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.
“I was in the market for a DSLR camera to take photos of my kids at games this fall. I’m no Chris Burkard for sure, but I can hold my own. I was hoping to pick something up that had a great long zoom lens and wasn’t expensive. Insert the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80. It’s an extremely reasonable Point and Shoot Long Zoom Camera. With an 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor, the pics come out clear and crisp. And this sucker has a shocking 60X zoom DC Vario lens. I can literally sit in the stands and get up close and personal near the goals. If you are looking to break away from that iPhone (you should) and capture some moments at a great price, I definitely recommend you pick one up.” Buy: $298
“There’s nothing quite like window-shopping on Etsy. There are plenty of misses but every now and then you can find a serious hit. I’ve had my eyes on this handsome wooden tripod set from Habibco for a while and finally decided to pull the trigger. And I couldn’t have asked for a better speaker stand duo for my turntable setup. They were easy to assemble and look fantastic. Plus, they give my bookshelf speakers a proper home rather than just sitting on the floor. You might be able to find less expensive options elsewhere, but for the quality and charming design, you can’t do much better.” Buy: $260
“Chicago is starting to feel that fall tease with the chilly air through the night and into the early morning. I’m not ready to wear a jacket just yet, but the Filson Ultralight Vest is perfect over a flannel button-up shirt. I snatched one up about a month ago and just broke it out over the past few days. The 60-gram PrimaLoft Gold insulation is thin but warm, and the vest is easily packable in my messenger bag. I love the soft Moleskin collar and the elastic armholes that add comfort and mobility. Size down since it runs big.” Buy: $145
“Ralph Lauren runs sales pretty frequently but it’s rare that RRL is included. So when I saw they had a bunch of RRL items in their sale section recently, I decided it was time to add to my collection. I’ve been looking for the perfect pair of off-white jeans or chinos for a while now and these fit the bill perfectly. They look and feel like a durable pair of pants a painter would wear, but finished off nicely with button fly, contrast stitching, and cool pocketing on the front and back. Looking forward to putting them on, rolling them up, and breaking them in.” Buy: $109
“While we’re equally in love with our cast iron skillets and stainless steel frying pans, each of those options is useful for very different purposes depending on what you’re cooking. Whether space is at a premium or you just hate dealing with pans with separate uses, the Made In Blue Carbon Steel Frying Pan is here to combine the best of both worlds. With the heat retention, seasoning, and slick properties of cast iron, combined with the heat control, lightness, and cooking speed of stainless, carbon steel is the new, old school wave of the future and this Made In pan delivers it perfectly and at an affordable cost.” Buy: $69
– Ben Dahl, Senior Editor