Gear Patrol

Gear Patrol

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Staff Picks: Tanner Bowden, Editorial Apprentice


My personal philosophy towards products is complicated. It’s the result of an internal conflict between my own unavoidable 21st-century desire for things, and a conscience that pulls me away from rampant consumerism and tells me to simplify my life. The square footage of my tiny New York apartment also comes into play. Consequently, the items that do inhabit my life are subject to much scrutiny.

Quality is essential, but what does “quality” even mean? According to the late Robert M. Pirsig, who has done much thinking on the subject, quality is “not just ‘intuition,’ not just unexplainable ‘skill’ or ‘talent.’ It’s the direct result of contact with basic reality.” It’s both inherent and learned, and definitely not a result of cost. It is, in his words, “a sense of what’s good.” I like to think I’ve got that sense nailed down pretty well.

Brazyn Morph Foam Roller

In lieu of a personal masseuse, the foam roller is a traveler’s best friend. Its worst quality, however, is an odd shape that’s never compatible with the typical carry-on. Brazyn figured that out with its collapsible Morph. It’s still not tiny, per se, but it is exponentially more packable — and for that reason, it’s found a permanent place in my travel kit.