The Rucksack

 

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The traditionally rugged canvas rucksack first became popular with hikers in the Swiss Alps in the 1930′s. It has made its way down the mountain and become the perfect hands-free carry all to transport laptops, gym clothes, a sweater, jacket, book or any other extra items one might want handy during the day. Both utilitarian and stylish, these modern versions of the classic rucksack are constructed from a combination of durable canvas and bright nylons, and distinguished by their elegant leather straps, buckles, and other useful stash-and-go details. So whether trekking though the great outdoors or cruising city streets, here are our picks for the 9 perfect sacks to pack.

ROW 1: JANSPORT ADOBE $75. Inspired by the classic rucksack design and showcasing the original JanSport woven label from 1967, this rugged nylon pack features such modern necessities as a 15″ padded laptop sleeve, tablet sleeve and padded shoulder straps, along with a double hook flap front, multiple exterior zip pouch and side snap-button pockets. L.L.BEAN WAXED COTTON CONTINENTAL RUCKSACK $149. Inspired by their own heritage and first introduced in 1930, this leather and weather-repellent waxed canvas rucksack has the vintage feel of the original along with modern comfort features. Synthetic shearling shoulder straps wick moisture away from skin and cushion heavy loads. ARCHIVAL COTTON DUCK RUCKSACK $230. A modern interpretation of the traditional, this pack is distinguished by its slim profile and simple design, and constructed from sturdy, water-resistant #8 cotton duck.

ROW 2: BROOKS PICKWICK DAY PACK $250. From noted english cycling brand Brooks, the Pickwick is versatile canvas roll-top backpack whose elegant design compliments the refined style of the urban rider. Available in 5 colors, and made from water-resistant treated European canvas, the Pickwick features a handy bottom zip pocket, perfect for storing a small U-lock, and a second pocket on rear of the bag. HERSCHEL SUPPLY CO. LITTLE AMERICA $85. With its mountaineer-inspired design and roomy storage options, this canary yellow rucksack is a stylish partner on rugged hikes or city treks. It features ventilated air mesh back padding and contoured shoulder straps; a fully lined and padded fleece 15″ laptop sleeve; main compartment cinch top closure and magnetic strap closures; and a front pocket with hidden zipper and key clip. DAKINE PULSE 18L $85. This camo pack with its neon orange rucksack buckles features a fleece lined padded tablet sleeve, U-lock and water bottle pocket, and a host of other handy compartments.

ROW 3: POLER ROLLTOP KHAKI $70. This stylish take on the classic roll top features room for a laptop, change of clothes, and even lunch, with an added front zip pocket for extra essentials. Multiple compression straps keep everything snug and enhance the design, while allowing for additional external transport options.  MASTER-PIECE OVER SUEDE-TRIMMED NYLON BACKPACK $315. Japanese design meets classic American style in this fun interpretation of the classic rucksack. Sturdy and practical, this green nylon pack features a top handle, brown suede trims, and multiple zip side pockets, front and top pockets, along with adjustable padded straps and padded back. BURTON SNOWBOARDS CANYON PACK $64.95. Heritage style with organizational convenience, this versatile pack offers internal, external, and laptop pockets, and mixes street style with mountain functionality. Made from bright and rugged ripstop nylon, and combined with genuine leather bottom and details, this pack is guaranteed hip and sturdy, as all Burton bags are backed by a lifetime warranty.

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Running The Gamut: Minimal to Maximal

 
VIBRAM FIVE FINGERS

HOW DID WE GO FROM THIS?

 

HKA116-CITBK320

HOKA CONQUEST

TO THIS?

 

A few years ago a revolution occurred and the majority of recreational runners were informed they were running incorrectly. Because we were wearing traditional cushioned running shoes with an elevated heel, we were not using our feet the way they were anatomically designed to move. We should be running barefoot or in the most minimal footwear, using the ball of our foot as a shock absorber, not all that soft and sqooshy Nike Air. We were told that all of us heel strikers were headed for disaster and that forefoot running was the only way to prevent injuries. Well fast forward a few years and lots of injuries later, here we are on the opposite end of the spectrum, in the era of maximal running.

Whether it’s the promise of the perfect golf drive with a bigger club, quicker times in the pool with a full body aerodynamic swimsuit, or a more powerful swing with an oversized tennis racquet, all athletes, both recreational and professional, are looking for that edge to make them better, faster, stronger. The sports industry loves a trend they can market and sell. Call it “performance enhancing gear” — the equipment equivalent of steroids that’s not cheating.

When Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run was published a few years ago, that celebrated the indigenous Mexican tribesmen who could run ultra-long distances without shoes and seemingly without injury, the response was sign me up! The book launched a craze to run barefoot or in the most minimal shoe possible, and a footwear vertical was born. Vibram FiveFingers led the way, and New Balance, Saucony and Brooks soon followed with minimalist designs, eager to capture the urban version of the superathletes in McDougall’s book. But in order NOT to get injured running in this minimalist footwear, you had to be a forefoot runner or change your style… not so easy if you’d spent your running life as a heel striker. Everyone also forgot that most us ran on pavement, not the more forgiving dirt trails of Mexico. Read More

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The SOS Workout

 
BODY SPACE FITNESS AND OWNER KELVIN GARY

 

Located on West 14th st. in Manhattan is Body Space Fitness, a mini-training camp for the urban athlete. The gym is laid out like a football field with 65 ft. of astro turf, and filled with NFL style training equipment and other sports conditioning apparatus. Weight sleds, power ropes, TRX suspension trainers, agility ladders, kettle bells and more are all used as part of the functional training that is at the core of owner and coach, Kelvin Gary’s fitness philosophy. Functional training is designed to simulate everyday movements performed at home, work or sports with multi-muscle, full body exercises that build strength, speed, endurance, flexibility, and help prevent injury.  Says Kelvin, ”I believe in training the body to work and workout the way it was designed. Resistance training should be performed with as much lower and upper body integration as possible.”

Continuing our Spring Training with the official start of summer just about 6 weeks away, we asked Kelvin to design a quick “Body Baring Workout” to get you ready for the hot months of short shorts, swimsuits, little dresses and tank tops to come. It’s a 3-part workout, 15 moves in total, delivered in 2 week installments of 5 moves each. Phase 1 is below and focuses on the core and legs. These are “no equipment needed” total body exercises, designed to get your heart rate up and your body fat down with fast results! Read More

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The Surfers Cove

 

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A bit bohemian, a bit retro is look for surf this summer, whether catching waves or just catching some rays. Graphic wetsuits with 50′s style, a modern take on the classic wayfarer, crop top rashguards with scenic prints, leather beaded sandals, jewelry and more… it’s hot summer mash-up of patterns, colors and textures. So grab your board or just your towel, because the surf is up wherever summer finds you.

LEFT COLUMN: TORY BURCH BAJA BIKINI $190; ROXY SUNSET REMIX SHORT SLEEVE CROP TOP RASHGUARD $40.00; BILLABONG TRIBAL PRINT FRENCH TERRY SHORTIE SHORTS $39.95; REEF GYPSY LOVE SANDALS $38; CENTER COLUMN: MONCLER X PHARRELL LUNETTES $510; CYNTHIA ROWLEY WETSUIT $210; CHAN LUU TURQUOISE MIX WRAP BRACELET $195; MAAJI ROCK PAPER SCISSORS RASHGUARD $94.95; RIGHT COLUMN:AVIATOR NATION “PRAY FOR SURF” SIGNATURE HOODIE $165; ROBERT AUGUST 9’6 “WHAT I RIDE” LONGBOARD $840 

 

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Nike + R.T Air Force 1

 
NIKE + R.T. AF1 COLLECTION

 

Now available at Nike.com, Net-A-Porter and Mr.Porter, is the much anticipated collaboration between Ricardo Tisci and Nike. While we have seen many sport and fashion mash-ups, the Nike + R.T Air Force 1 collection may be the most visually striking to date. Tisci, the Creative Director of Givenchy, has had a long term love affair with the Nike Air Force 1. A competitive basketball player growing up, he has reinterpreted the sneaker’s iconic design with vibrant colors and dynamic graphics. Four silhouettes are now on sale which include the Nike Air Force 1 Low, Air Force 1 Mid, Air Force 1 Hi and the most dramatic and fashion forward of the four, the gladiator style Nike Air Force 1 Boot. This white collection promises to sell out fast, but stay tuned for the black variations soon to come.

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Fly Fishing Demystified

 

 

Now available in Patagonia retail stores and online is a new book entitled Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod & Reel, authored by the founder and owner of the company, Yvon Chouinard, in collaboration with Craig Mathews and Mauro Mazzo. It is part of a campaign being launched by the company designed to demystify fly fishing and make the sport more accessible. The book is the centerpiece of the Patagonia Simple Fly Fishing kit, which contains a tenkara-style fly fishing rod, box of flies, line and leader, and quick set up guide.

The tenkara fly rod contained in the kit has no reel and comes from a centuries-old Japanese fly fishing technique. “This is for the young person who has wanted to learn, but is intimidated by the complexity, elitism and expense of fly fishing,” notes Yvon Chouinard. “This is for the woman and her daughter who are put off by the image of the testosterone-fueled, good-old-boy bass and trout fisherman who turned the ‘contemplative pastime’ into a competitive combat sport. And for the long-time angler who has everything and wants to replace all that stuff with skill, knowledge and simplicity.”

The philosophy behind the campaign comes from Chouinard’s belief that the way towards mastery of any endeavor is to work towards simplicity, and to replace complex technology with knowledge. Patagonia’s Simple Fly Fishing kit aims to achieve just that. Chouinard has found this incredibly simple technique to be highly effective at catching even the most difficult, highly selective fish. Read More

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Spring Training

 

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Continuing with Spring Training and our countdown to summer, it’s all about motivation. There is no better way than some fun new gear and apparel to get you going. Who wouldn’t want to swim in a sleek new suit, bike on a hot set of wheels or run in cushy new pair of kicks! Outside or in, here are a few of our favorite items to get you feeling sporty and looking fit as we get closer to the body baring months ahead!

ROW 1: TECHNOGYM WELLNESS BALL $225. We have never seen a Physio Ball quite so chic as this Italian model from TechnoGym. Featuring a zip-off matte black honeycomb cover and carrying case, the ball doubles as a chair that engages and works the core muscles while sitting as well. The ball comes with a training guide of exercises accessed through your smart phone. POC BLADE LARSSON EDITION $250. Designed primarily for road biking, these mod looking sport frames are lightweight, durable and flexible. The lens tints are optimized with enhanced contrast to spot irregularities, holes and gravel on the road. Anti-fog and repellent treatments help keep dirt, grime and water off the lenses, while rubber inserts and an adjustable nose piece keep frames in place.

ROW 2: SPEEDO ENDURANCE LIGHT LASER CUT $66. Lightweight and quick drying, this chlorine resistant swimsuit stays bright and resists sagging and snagging. Its sleek silhouette is enhanced by thin straps, a low cut back and laser cut sides, for extra resistance while training. XFINITY FITNESS BAND $30. Voted Gear of the Year in 2013 by Runners World magazine, this multi-purpose training tool is designed for both strengthening and stretching. Made of a pliable silicone-rubber, the “Change Your Grip, Change Your Resistance” design means you only need one band. The six loops allow multiple hand and foot options and an endless variety of exercises. The Xfinity Fitness Band comes packaged with six 20-minute fitness workouts on two DVDs and includes a 30-day meal guide. Y-3 FS MESH BACKPACK $300. Rugged yet urban, this luxe and sporty backpack features a large main compartment perfect for all your gym gear. A padded laptop sleeve, zip pockets for smaller items, mesh and bungee elastics hold all your other daily essentials too. Read More

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White Beans

 

 

Just in time for spring,  L.L.Bean has released a Special Edition of their classic Bean boots in chic white on white. For the first time in their history, L.L.Bean has broken from their traditional palette of earthy browns, tans and blacks into more fashion inspired colors, that also include a red edition.

While there are many duck boots on the market, the L.L.Bean Boot is the original, first created in 1912. Recognized for the attention to detail and “Made in Maine” craftsmanship, the boots combine the waterproof protection of rubber-bottom boots with the comfort of full-grain leather. The chain-tread bottom provides traction and durability. A shearling lined edition is coming later this month.

So while we may be done with the snow, April showers are no doubt ahead, but we can brighten those rainy days with a new pair of old favorites. Click to shop the L.L.Bean Boot Special Edition. 

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