Archive for the ‘Stuff I Like’ Category

Stuff I Want – Garmin MARQ Commander

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

Every once in a while I will share stuff I love with you. Those are items that I own and use regularly and am happy to recommend to others?.

Today I want to share something I want. Every once in a while I will run across something and go, “I want that.”?. We all do it, regardless of whether it’s actually practical or not. In this case, I believe it’s very practical. However, I can probably get just as much performance out of a watch less than a quarter of the price, and from the same manufacturer.

Garmin’s MARQ line of GPS watches does the same stuff their other ones do, they just look better while they’re doing it. The line is now six deep with variants for sailing, flying, driving, mountaineering, working out and this new tactical model. Each boasts a distinctive case as well as onboard apps.

The Commander boasts a 46mm-wide by 14.4mm-thick Titanium case that is DLC coated. It also has a sapphire crystal, knurled buttons and a tritone black jacquard-weave nylon strap.

Features include dual-format GPS coordinates (military grid reference system or degrees/minutes/seconds), built-in topographical maps, UTC bezel, Night vision goggle compatibility and the Garmin Jumpmaster app.

For when you aren’t off storming the castle, the Commander also embeds all-day stress monitoring, Emails, texts and alerts as well as music storage and streaming services such as Spotify. It also equipped with Garmin Pay, in case you need to pick up some extra gear.

Finally, it will run for 12-days on a single charge in smartwatch mode.

Now, the sticker shock. It’s $1950. But, what the heck. It’s my birthday, and my wife may see this and say to herself, “sure let’s blow a house payment on a watch for my husband.”? Of course, you and I both know that’s not going to happen, but a fella can dream. On the other hand, some lucky guy might get one. If you do, let me know what you think. I can always put it on my “if I ever win the lottery, I’ll get this ” list?

I always recommend that SSD readers source their Garmin systems from our friends at Strohman Enterprise. Joe is a retired Marine and LEO and one of the best guys you’ll know.

Stuff I Like – In and Out Pack from Mystery Ranch

Tuesday, October 1st, 2019

Like the name implies, the In and Out Pack is a self-stuffing pack which compressed down to a 8.5″ x 4.5″ x 4″ envelope.

When open, it has a 19 liter capacity, but unlike most other stuffable packs, the In and Out offers comfortable shoulder straps and plenty of features.

In fact, I haven’t transitioned mine back into storage configuration since I picked it up at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. It now accompanies me as my carry-on for air travel and you’ll also find me wearing it during trade shows.

-Contoured shoulder straps with adjustable sternum strap
-Two, external zippered access pockets
-One, side stretch-woven water bottle pocket
-Two tool carry loops with secure straps
-Side compression straps
-2 L (70 oz) hydration reservior pocket against frame with ports to drinking tube above shoulders

Offered in a wide variety of color schemes, check the site for current availability.

Outdoor Research Adds Colors Options For Ferrosi Jacket

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

I am a big fan of Outdoor Research’s Ferrosi Hooded Jacket. It’s a great Spring & Fall soft shell, shedding wind and light rain.


While there are some great “tactical” color options, the Ferrosi is great for every day wear and the new colors offer low viz options for those who want performance as well as the ability to blend in with the crowd. On the other hand, they’ve got two Red options for times when you need high visibility like service as a Range Cadre or SAR.

The Ferrosi features a Hood, Zipperrd handwarmer pockets, Zippered chest pocket, and Thumb loops.

The Fabric is a 90D 86% nylon/14% spandex stretch woven ripstop body and hood combined with a 120D Cordura blend 91% nylon/9% spandex stretch woven shoulders and lower sleeves.

Paladin Press is Closing Down

Friday, November 10th, 2017

PP Logo

Paladin Press has announced they’re shutting down operations as of 29 November 2017.

For many of us who date to the days before the internet, Paladin Press was the source of all sorts of arcana on gunsmithing, weapon use, military history, and living lives of action adventure, or perhaps merely pretending to do so.  Revenge pranks, surveillance gadgets, lockpicking, Sykes-Fairbain knife fighting, new identities, and 10/22 Exotic Weapon Systems were all part of the lore.

The era of clipping an order form from a magazine ad and sending off your check or money order has passed but Paladin Press survived.  It outlasted “Soldier of Fortune” magazine, who was a major advertising and marketing channel for their publications.

While business was probably not as brisk as it once was, we’d speculate that the passing of owner/founder Peder Lund  in June 2017 probably had a lot to do with this business decision.

Currently, most of the books are 65 percent off, so if you want to score some great deals by the end of the month, order soon.

Paladin Press


Stuff I Like – Camber 107 Pant from Mountain Khakis

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

I was first introduced to the Camber 107 pant by Dave Kramer of Über Group a few years ago at Outdoor Retailer. They’ve since become my daily wear pant.

They feature an external cell phone pocket on right thigh, chap-style double-layer knee panels with integrated articulation at the knees. They also offer a diamond-shaped crotch and “Mudflap” reinforced heel cuffs. There are six pockets in all including the two rear patch pockets, phone pocket, two front pockets with plenty of room at the opening to get your hand in, and a watch pocket at the right. 

The material is a very comfy 9oz, 98% cotton/2% spandex canvas which has been given an enzyme wash to improve the hand. 

The Camber 107 are also quite roomy in the thighs. I think they revised the fit at some point because my first two pairs are a slimmer fit than the ones I purchased later. Also, the thigh patch pocket will fit most phones and has a silver snap closure at the center of the opening. If you don’t snap it, you will notice a slight ‘ding’ when you walk from the two halves of the snap hitting one another. Keep it snapped and it’s no problem.

Offered in Yellowstone (seen above), Slate, Terra and Tobacco. Sizing is 30-36 every size and 38-44 even sizes with 30-36 inch even inseams.

Stuff I Like – Stretch Operator Shirt By Black Diamond

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

During a recent trip to Ottawa I purchased this short sleeved shirt at Mountain Coop. I really like the construction and materials. It’s made from a slightly stretchy and quite confortable, blended cotton twill (150 g/m2, 68% cotton, 27% polyester, 5% spandex) which combines with underarm panels designed to keep the shirt from riding up during a reach. Additionally, it uses slotted buttons and features a low profile, inset chest pocket.

Offered in Burnt Olive (seen above), Slate (I purchased the Grey hued option) and Denim (the color, not the fabric). Sizes are limited at blackdiamondequipment.coml so you may need to check retailers like Amazon, Backcountry and Moosejaw.

Stuff I Like – Patagonia Men’s R1 Fleece Hoody

Monday, May 1st, 2017

I’ve always liked the Patagonia R1 Fleece, going back to when it was a part of the Military Advanced Regulator System (MARS) military clothing system. I don’t recall owning any before that but several years ago, I purchased my first R1 Fleece Hoody in Black. The Polartec Power Grid is comfy, and it makes a nice layering piece. Although, it’s considered a slim fit, it has a bit of stretch to it. In addition to the hood, there’s a single, zippered chest pocket, deep front zipper for ventilation and thumb cuffs for keeping your hands warm. Finally, the fabric offers Polygiene permanent odor control.

This Spring, I was shopping at an REI when I saw the Hoody in the Buffalo Green color, so I purchased a new one. The R1 Fleece Hoody is a design that is reintroduced, season after season, but in new colors, so you have to keep an eye out. As we near the end of the season, you may start to see these on sale.

Stuff I Like – UA Highlight Delta

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Dudes like comfortable shoes too, and these are some of the most comfortable I’ve worn in awhile. While I don’t spend as much time in my feet as I used to, I do find myself attending at least one trade show per month. I began wearing them last Fall and these were awesome at SHOT Show.

Despite the mid height upper, the Highlight Delta is essentially a running shoe. The heelcup and lacing system lock my heel in place and the instep is plenty wide. However, the uppers are mesh, so I’ m not wearing these when it’s raining or if it’s sandy because it will just end up in the shoe. Having said that, they breathe very well on hot days.

The Stealth Great colorscheme is murdered out, with tone on tone UA logo, so these won’t stand out in a crowd.

-Breathable mesh fabric with seamless construction is both lightweight & durable
-Molded heel cup offers a form-fit that keeps the foot from sliding
-Ribbed ankle collar provides a snug, bootie-like fit with an extended cut & unparalleled support
-Soft foam inside ankle collar stays comfortable against inside of heel & ankle
-Lacing system features deeply cut eyestays built to move freely with the foot
-Two-piece Charged Cushioning® midsole pairs a soft, plush layer of foam on top of a layer of dense, harder foam for the ultimate blend of support & comfort
-Solid rubber outsole covers high impact zones for greater durability with less weight
-Deep flex grooves provide extra flexibility where you need it most
-Offset: 10 mm