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Brands and Stuff That You Love (Emphasis on Quality)

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    Originally posted by Darcy View Post
    Sounds like my feet! Someone told me Scarpa boots have a reputation for being a good fit for those with narrow feet, but that's not me and they fit me great so... I haven't worn Keens, Merrells, or Moabs, so can't compare to those. Chacos are a great fit for my feet, but I think they're more universally adaptable.
    To avoid anyone's future confusion, I should clarify that Moab is a very popular model/line from Merrell.

    I have a very old pair of Chaco sandals that I used to wear all summer. I haven't worn them in years because they're incredibly heavy compared to my current preferred Keen sandal, which also has the advantage of a closed toe--I'm at least a little prone to stubbing it. They were always extremely comfortable, though, so I may take a look back at their shoe options. Last time I checked they were pretty limited. Still a sandal company at heart--which I understand.

    FWIW, definitely try some Keens next time you're shopping for a pair of boots or hiking shoes. The Targhee line is still pretty close to the same shape as their older signature wide toe box. I think the Targhee III is a little narrower, but still fairly wide compared to some other brands.

    Asics have usually been my other standard casual shoe brand, but I haven't tried on any current models to know if they've changed their general sizing and footbed shape.

    For PaulT00, I see that you're in England, so this may not help, but I've had decent luck with Allen Edmonds for dress shoes. My foot is a pretty proper US 9EEE on the Brannock, and with most of their lasts, that's the right size. Their classic 65 last is a little trickier for me because it's got a longer, pointier toe and not as generous an instep as I prefer. The 201 last has more volume in the instep and toebox, so I have done a half size smaller in it in one pair. Sock choice has a big effect also.


      Originally posted by BWeaves View Post
      Ms. Ferret. Thank you!

      I also don't wash my wool garments unless they look soiled. They never smell.

      Can I also ask how URESHII DESIGN's finish their seams and hems?

      Do you have a favorite garment shape from them?
      My favorite garment is the Soft Top. I have SIX of them in different fabrics and colors. The shape is cute, but relaxed and comfortable enough to sleep in (I just woke up and may still be wearing the same merino one I wore yesterday), the cowl neck is great for temperature regulation, it's basically sleeveless (so it layers well under anything), but still has decent armpit/shoulder coverage. Now that the Pure Merino comes in Mermaid I am definitely picking up a few more.

      I don't really know enough about sewing to comment on the seams/hems, but Emily sometimes blogs about this kind of thing. I would just ask them if you've got a question about a specific garment.


        Originally posted by autolycus View Post
        Asics have usually been my other standard casual shoe brand, but I haven't tried on any current models to know if they've changed their general sizing
        I have lots of shoe thoughts! : ) Here are some of my travel shoes ...

        For city touring on foot
        I'm also using ASICS for my travel city shoe - I just bought a pair of Gel Nimbus 21s to replace an old pair. I love the ASICS for city travel because they're super durable, have lots of protection, hold up to rain (but not water resistant!), have lots of cushioning for walking and standing, and they're available in mute colors (I have a pair of light grey ones - very nondescript). The note on the new ones is, definitely order one full size up. Other shoes I occasionally use and love for this are Scarpa Mojitos and Vasque Rift, although both of these are more outdoor / woods than city use.

        For air travel
        Here I violate my air travel rule of no synthetic clothing (which will melt to your skin and immobilize you in a fire) - I just bought a pair of Hoka ONE ONE Rincons. They're EXTREMELY light, like almost not there light, they have a ton of cushioning, and most important to me are two additional features: they are super breathable as in the most breathable athletic shoe I've ever had, and they have a roll-step meaning they push you forward as you walk. This makes them great for airport speed-walking / running (Schiphol anyone??). These features also make them great for city touring use in the tropics, although they have zero water resistance. These are some of the best athletic shoes I've ever had for walking / running.

        For training
        My new favorites are ON Cloudflows. First, I love how these look - they're just plain cool to my eye; that said I use them for training, so not too many people see them : ) I love them because of a few features: super breathable, super light, somewhat cushy, and most importantly, super planted: these are try-and-push-me-over shoes. They are ultra-stable when standing so they work great for jumping around, weight lifting, etc

        For water use
        Without a doubt, Merrell choprock shandals. I've got a lot of others (columbia, tiva, et al) but these have the most support and protection, while also staying tight to my foot - plus you can swap out insoles to wool vs rubber so you can wear them as sandals when you know you won't be around water. The only trade-off is, despite their giant air holes, they're not as breathable as you'd think, but it's a decent trade-off for the protection.

        Over the years I found two brands work best for me: Naot (by far the highest quality sandal I've owned) of which I have multiple sandals and shoes. I find Naots to be much better than birkies in terms of durability, fit, and comfort. Olukai, with one caveat: i'm finding their older stuff to be much better than their newer stuff, so haven't bought many Olukais lately

        My go-tos are Olukais, and anything that's Hawaii Lifeguard Association endorsed as those are awesome around water and the pool - both super grippy on wet slippery surfaces, plus the footbed is also super grippy so you foot never slides around when wet.

        Yes I like shoes. Yes, it might be a problem. I'm working on it. (not really )
        Last edited by GrussGott; 03-07-2020, 04:56 PM.


          A few things I love are:

          Tactile Turn pens: https://tactileturn.com

          I use their Bolt Action Pen in Copper. I love the weight and feel of the product. Seems like it would last forever.

          Filson (not all products):

          I use a 24-Hour Briefcase and I absolutely love it. It’s laid out similarly to a Pilot without the water bottle middle channel. I love the craftsmanship and material. I also own a coat from them that is fantastic as are their Mackinaw wool products.

          Western Rise: https://westernrise.com

          These are new to me, but I really like their pants. They seem very durable and are lightweight.

          WoolX and other merino t shirts:

          I travel almost exclusively with Merino wool t shirts. I can wear them for 4-5 days without odor and I wash them in the sink.

          Darn Tough socks:

          When I bought darn tough socks I threw away the rest of my sock collection. I now own a handful of crew socks and a few longer socks and that’s it. My sock drawer is now extremely empty but easily organized.

          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


            I'll add something I recently bought and it's giving me so much joy, I have to share it, albeit for a niche group: veterans of The Struggle.

            The Struggle is when you share a bed and your partner/spouse likes the air temperature 10+ degrees different from you; in my case she likes it about 70F, I like it about 55F. How we've stayed married for decades, I dunno

            But then recently a sleep specialist told me about the chilipad!

            At first it sounds a little scary: it's a mattress pad (for one side) that circulates cool (or warm) water. He insisted on it's quality, so I bought one. Two weeks in I can say HOLY MOLY this thing is a life changer! Every night I can't WAIT to get into bed: super cool sheets, cold all night long. No more sleeping coverless and waking up sweating, no more long waits to fall asleep, just super comfortable cool deep sleep. I'm falling asleep in like 15 min now, it's amazing!

            You can buy them on amazon (from the manufacturer) for cheaper, although not cheap, $300, but I can honestly say I'd pay that just for the 2 weeks of pure sleep I've gotten so far. I can't believe I didn't know about this thing. If you have trouble sleeping, especially if it's due to temp regulation, definitely give it a shot! (30 day trial period on mine)

            I've got a plastic barrier and then towels just in case it leaks but I don't think it will, it's built very solid, although I'll update if it does. One thing I would note - if you have high humidity in your room, I could see having trouble with condensation just like a glass of ice water so I wouldn't recommend it in those cases. No problems whatsoever for me so far, but I'll keep you posted - In the meantime, oh boy do I recommend the Chilipad!
            Last edited by GrussGott; 03-11-2020, 11:22 PM.


              AESOP Australia

              Particularly the hand sanitiser. Easy to use with a flip top lid, non-sticky, lovely herbal scent. I also use their spray deodorant.


                The fulFILL container is the newest addition to my EDC, and it's a perfect fit in a mini Ghost Whale. I use mine to carry a tiny amount of tinted lip balm, solid perfume, mints, floss, ibuprofen/tylenol, and tweezers. It would fit really well in a PIKA or the interior pockets of the Luminary.

                Current Everyday Carry: S19 in Cloud/Island, 15C Cache, SE in Wasabi, SC in Fjord; Cubelets in Dawn, Canyon, and Grass, COW in Original Halcyon
                Current Travel Carry: A30 in Original Halcyon/Ultraviolet, DLBP in Nordic, PCSB in Sitka, Large TT in Sitka, SSK in Wasabi, 3DOC in Solar


                  I know this brand has probably been mentioned here a few times, and I'm well aware that I'm performing thread necromancy here...but I wanted to give a massive shoutout to Darn Tough because of their warranty. I bought a few pairs about a year ago and they were a size too big. I sat on them for about 3 months and then finally got around to filling out a warranty claim...and then promptly forgot to actually send the socks to them for another 9 months. Then last week I found the unsent package while cleaning out my room, and I finally shipped it to them. If anyone's keeping track, that means that I'd been meaning to send these back for a year at this point. The package got delivered to them today, and about 20 minutes after I got the delivery notification I got an email saying that my warranty had been accepted and I got a code for two new pairs of socks. Absolutely fantastic warranty, they really do mean "no questions asked" when they say it.
                  Guide's Edition Synapse 25, Pilot, HLT2


                    This thread is as bad for my wallet as TB
                    Some things I love:
                    L.L. Bean's pima cotton v-neck tees. Super soft and wear like iron. The v-neck is high enough to still be work appropriate too.
                    Zaqq minimalist shoes. Bit of a pain to order from if you're in the U.S., but they have some very stylish zero drop shoes and boots.
                    Stream2Sea sunscreen, hair, and body care. Made in my home state of Florida and all products are certified reef safe.
                    Black/Island Synapse 19, Black/Steel, 13" Ristretto, Indigo BB, Island LSB, Black SSB, Sitka SSB, Seapine P.I.K.A, Sitka STT, Sitka SSC


                      Going to give this thread a bump because it's one of my favorite non-bag-related threads! I've been making an effort to be more slow-fashion-minded, buy carefully and invest in products/companies who are intentional about ethical, sustainable production and vertical integration. Patagonia and Tom Bihn are standout favorites for obvious reasons. Below are some less obvious favorites of mine.

                      Case - Classic American-made pocket knives. Beautiful traditional handle materials. All the charm and quirks of being hand-made and finished. Several patterns date back over 100 years, and one will probably last you 100 years.

                      Ecco - European footwear and accessories. Very particular about their materials. Nearly indestructible TPU soles. And they own their own cattle ranches and tanneries to ensure quality and are constantly innovating. Read more here.

                      Kent Brushes - Centuries-old UK brush maker. Lovely hand-cut acetate combs that are much better for your hair than molded plastic combs. Also, that Royal Warrant.

                      S.E.H. Kelly - Beautiful old-school garments with outstanding Tom Bihn-like attention to construction and materials.

                      Seiko - Japanese watch-making giant (and not the mall brand you think they are). All the geekery I love about Tom Bihn. They're one of the only watch-makers to create ALL of their materials in-house. Seriously, these guys even grow their own quartz crystals and make their own hairspring alloys to meet their exacting standards. Read more here.

                      Vetra - High-quality, hard-wearing French-made jackets. Love the company's ethics - they destroyed their factory during WWII and moved cross-country after refusing to make uniforms for the German army.
                      Co-Pilot, Maker's Bag, Synapse 25


                        I return to this thread from time to time as well, to see the great recommendations here. I'm going to suggest two products that have proven their usefulness to me throughout much of sheltering in place:

                        The Gill tube wringer, https://www.tubewringer.com - I have the Medium Duty. It's similar to what's used to squeeze out the last bit of caulking, and it helps get the last bit of toothpaste, tomato paste, etc. from plastic or metal tubes.

                        The Dan Chan corrugated cardboard cutter (got mine on Amazon from the Canary store). I've become the recycling/box breakdown person at home, and this thing has saved my arms. I used to use my Leatherman, but the smooth blade was not really intended to cut through corrugated cardboard easily. This little serrated gadget is perfect. Take care with the blade, of course.

                        Wishing all of you a Happy New Year, enjoying catching up on your recommendations and other Tom Bihn news.


                          I have a love/mixed feelings relationship with this thread-- I love finding out about high-quality brands but at the same time massive changes in my life over the last few years have largely prevented me from getting... much of anything that isn't an absolute essential (worked in research at my alma mater in a LCOL area, funding ran out so I couchsurfed at a friend's for several months in a HCOL area as I went job hunting and worked as a barista for a coffee chain once my savings ran low, then the pandemic hit so for a period of time I worked three part-time jobs while still looking for literally any job relevant to my future career goals in medicine, and now I'm volunteering for AmeriCorps full-time, still working as a barista part-time to pay the rent, and working on getting my EMT license because I got tired of feeling helpless amidst the pandemic).

                          Anyway, my contribution to this thread: Nicks Boots. I have their Roberts boot with medium arch, got them while I still worked in research, so I've had them for about 3 years but really only started wearing them rigorously for the last 1.5 years (being on my feet for 20-39 hrs/week at minimum). I have flat feet that are also small and wide, so finding shoes that don't result in foot/knee/back pain after about 3 hours of standing/walking (even with shoe inserts) had previously been an absolute nightmare. Their boots have built-in arch support that molds to your foot over time. After breaking them in, they are hands-down the most comfortable footwear I have ever worn. 8-hour shifts are no problem for me, zero foot/knee/hip/back pain. Back when I worked 3 jobs to stay afloat I'd have 14+ hour days on my feet, multiple days in a row-- I'm pretty sure their boots saved me from immense knee and back pain. They are admittedly (very) pricey, but they are also resoleable and rebuildable and made in Spokane, WA. If I were to somehow lose my current pair tomorrow, I would honestly take out a small loan to purchase a new pair, which is probably the highest praise I can give them. I recommend them to anyone looking for a hard-wearing, comfortable work boot, anyone with flat feet who struggle to find comfortable shoes, or really, anyone looking for comfortable shoes.


                            This is a fun thread to read through. I have seen some folks mention companies that I also like, and have met some new ones as well.
                            I'll add a couple of my favorites.

                            Kent Brushes, www.kentbrushes are quality, hand made brushes and combs, for both men and women. Made in the UK, they are made with natural materials and designed to last a lifetime.

                            I'm a firm believer in merino wool. It feels great, packs light, and doesn't contribute to the micro-plastic issue coming from laundry residue.
                            Two companies that carry nice clothing lines are Woolx (Merino Wool Base Layer - Warmest Base Layers For Men & Women - Woolx)
                            and another Seattle company, Woolly Clothing. https://www.woolly.clothing
                            Last edited by labrain; 01-18-2021, 11:07 AM.


                              If you use or are looking for a portable travel battery with enough power for laptops, phones, etc I posted here about a great one I found after trying all kinds


                                Cafelat Robot Espresso Maker

                                The shots are great, the machine is simple. I do need a new grinder, though: open to recommendations, if anyone has any!

                                Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

                                Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.