Omakase is a monthly selection of products, services, applications, and art I have enjoyed. These are not reviews. Instead, they are my recommendations. I don’t mind endorsing these products because they are of high quality, and in general have been a positive addition to my life. I am sorry that the November 2017 edition is a little late.
- Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffle, 40 Liters: For $299 (or less if you shop around), you are going to find this well made and extremely durable duffle with wheels. It fits in all overhead airline compartments, and you can cram a lot of stuff into this diminutive looking duffel. It has been on a few trips now and I couldn’t be happier.
I have owned many a bag, but this one which weights about 3.2 kilograms (6 lbs) a sturdy, no-nonsense bag. The wheels are solid and the telescoping handle is okay — not the best, but good enough. I find this duffel to be way more flexible and sturdy that some of those fancy new bags that try and imitate the Rimowa look. I like the low-key, un-styled look which says: I am not a douche. I got the one in black.
- Down Pilot’s Vest: Much as I love Patagonia as a brand, the ubiquity of Patagonia vests amongst my VC peers is such a cliche that I don’t care for them. Instead, I love these slightly heavier down-filled vests from Best Made Company. It is pricey – $218, but will stay in rotation for a long time. The pockets are deep and my iPhoneX doesn’t fall out of it. The collar band makes it look spiffy and it is very well made. I wear it with my shirts or sweaters and it is an ideal layer for San Francisco. Highly recommended.
- Glerups Slip-on Camp Sole: Talking about San Francisco — man, this city is a cliche wrapped in a punchline and nothing represents it more than the stupid Avocado Toasts and Allbirds shoes. Despite all the publicity, they are the sweat pants of shoes — a sign that person wearing them has stopped trying. I like woolen/felt slippers — they are great to wear at home. They are even better when they are Glerups, which has been selling pollen shoes since 1993. I have a pair of these $125 slip-ons and use them as slippers when puttering around the house. They are cozy, comfortable and so far they have not breathed outdoor air. I would highly recommend these, even for outdoor use. And they are better than clogs, crocs or Allbirds. Available on Huckberry’s and Amazon. I got mine at Huckberry.
- AudioQuest Red DragonFly : To start with, I am not an audiophile, but I do want to find ways to improve the sound of my streaming services. I don’t want to sign-up for Tidal as I am deeply committed to Spotify. I do have premium Spotify and get a high-res version of the service, so I was looking for ways to improve the sound quality. I had heard about DragonFly as a USB-powered digital amp that really helped improve the quality of music. I looked up on Amazon and ended up spending $200 on the high-end version of this tiny USB stick amp and boy, was that a great decision or what. I can’t believe how this tiny little device brings so much clarity, depth and auditory bliss to my ears. There is magic in this device which is shorter than a stick of gum. My now aging Beyerdynamic open headphones sound fantastic — I would say about a 3x improvement over the built-in audio source. You can get the cheaper $99 version and that is spectacular as well. In order to hear it on the iPad, iPhone and new MacBooks, you need to jump through some hoops and need those Apple dongles. I do think it is worth it.
Originally published on my Kit