Every week there are dozens of new and exciting pieces of gear. But are they actually worth buying? Trust the team at Cool Material to help you find the latest and greatest releases in a recurring column: What We’re Buying.


Arc'teryx Sabre Jacket

“I’m upgrading my ski apparel this year, and the Arc’teryx Sabre Jacket tops the list of new additions. The ultra tough and protective triple-layer GORE-TEX fabric still affords ample breathability, and the Sabre layers perfectly over mid-layers and sheds wetness, cold, and the frozen stuff. Perhaps most important is its ability to articulate for excellent freedom of movement on the slopes (and in my case, while falling). The adjustable StormHood works wonders to cover my giant helmet while maintaining my line of sight and periphery. The ample pockets are great for gloves and my all-important emergency snacks. I also love the Phenom orange hue that reminds me that ski patrol will find me if things go really bad.” Buy: $700

– Amos Kwon, Auto/Watches Editor


Blackwing 602 Pencils

“As the resident ‘pen guy,’ I know this may be a little out of left field, but I’m really digging pencils lately. Specifically, the Blackwing 602s. A favorite of writers, cartoonists, and musicians alike, the Blackwing’s popularity comes from its smoothness of paper and keeping a sharp point without breaking. I went ahead and grabbed a 12-pack and glad I did. I’ve already run through two this week as I put the finishing touches on my novel. These pencils just may have made me a convert.” Buy: $27

Brett Braley-Palko, Style Editor


Girardi Utility Wooden Stacking Stool

“As incredibly useful as they are aesthetically pleasing, these stacking stools have been the perfect living room addition as of late. I’ll admit, I initially bought them just to help fill a space in the corner, but I have come to realize that they may be the solution to my inability to commit to buying a set of chairs. Whether actually being used as stools or stacked to form a nightstand, these mid-century inspired little guys are perfect for a whole multitude of purposes and room styles.” Buy: $150

Eric Lacy, Graphic Designer


Compressed Air Duster

“While I’ll be the first to admit there’s next to nothing sexy about a compressed air duster–but I suppose you could use it in that regard at your own risk–there’s definitely nothing like a freshly cleaned keyboard. Cards on the table, I bought one of these to clean a bathroom fan so I hopefully didn’t have to replace it without dragging in the big air compressor from the garage. That project proved to be a fool’s errand, but this almost-hair-dryer air blower so impressed that I ended up having to buy a bunch more for every member of my family so they could also clean their keyboards, fans, ducts and even kick-start their charcoal in these frigid Midwest months.” Buy: $36

Ben Dahl, Senior Editor


DUER Lightweight Jacket

“Punxsutawney Phil predicted more winter days this year, but in Colorado there’s always the chance of a random cold day through spring (even if it started out at a balmy 70 degrees). This DUER lightweight jacket is the perfect layering shirt jacket to get through them all. It’s insulated with a relaxed fit for layering up, but isn’t so warm that it’s a drag to bring out when the weather seems nicer at first. Plus, its buttons and collar have an upscale look that can easily go from office casual to date night at a brewery or restaurant.” Buy: $189

Nickolaus Hines, Features Editor


Opinel Limited Edition No.08 Black Palm Wood Folding Knife

“I’m really a tactical folding knife kinda guy when it comes to my everyday carry kit. But sometimes, I crack out my automatic blade to slice some charcuterie meats, and I frighten my guests. That’s part of the reason why I added the Opinel Limited Edition No.08 Black Palm Wood Folding Knife to my EDC. It ticks the right boxes in terms of French vintage blade style and stealthy finishing. The Guaynese palm wood looks and feels great, and the matte anthracite blade looks downright purposeful. It gets more compliments than the peppered artisan salami I love so much.” Buy: $90


Broc Cellars Love Red

“Natural winemaker Broc Cellars is one of my favorite California wineries and their ‘Love’ series is a highly approachable trio of Red, White, and Rose wines. The Love Red in particular is a fruit-forward red blend with big jammy notes and hints of herbal flavors. It’s a delicious red wine but even better when it’s super chilled. Pairs well with any hearty meal or is excellent when enjoyed by itself.” Buy: $25

John A. Paradiso, Managing Editor

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Unzip your coat and have some mulled wine on the house—you’ve arrived at your final gifting destination: The Holiday Gift Guide. It’s like your friendly neighborhood one-stop holiday shop, except instead of balsa wood ornaments, ours is packed with thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list. Future heirlooms, small-but-significant stocking stuffers, and gear for getting out there (or staying in)—are all right here. There’s no music playing in the background though, so you’ll just have to hum Bing Crosby while you click around instead.

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