19 Must-Haves Every Intrepid Gentleman Needs to Keep Active Amid the Global Pandemic
The pandemic has certainly impacted many facets of both work and leisure. For active men—particularly those with sizeable disposable incomes—finding ways to keep that adventurous spirit alive and kicking has become a bit of a challenge. Worth has reviewed and compiled a list of 19 fun or otherwise noteworthy items that we believe should appeal to the sophisticated gentleman who seeks adventure, is willing to try new things or is constantly on the go—even amid a global shutdown. Although the items are presented in a list format, this should not be viewed as a ranking per se; a Breitling wristwatch cannot really compare to a French press, as both can be incredibly useful but in completely different situations.
If you are looking for something different, or know someone who is, this is one list worth saving.
1. The HyperScorpion by Juiced Bikes
Retail price: $3,499
Its silence is deafening. Talk about the anti-Harley. If Ninjas used scooters, the HyperScorpion by Juiced Bikes would be their transport of choice. Whether you live in Santa Monica and are looking for a fun way to cruise down to the beach or are in the Hamptons and need to make a quick Saturday morning sprint to Carissa’s the Bakery, the HyperScorpion is an eco-friendly, stealthy and effortless mode of transportation. Its moped-style bike sports a 1,000W Bafang motor that can move at 30 mph (although upon testing, we got it up to well over 40 mph on downhills) and its 52V/19.2Ah battery will give you a full 70 miles of drive on a full charge.
Unlike some e-bike models, the HyperScorpion plugs into any standard outlet. Its striking retro design harkens back to the early days of motorcycles when they were still, at least aesthetically, the first cousins of bicycles. And, of course, if you are feeling like you need to get in some good old-fashioned exercise, the HyperScorpion is also a full-fledged bicycle, with eight gears to get you whatever kind of workout you are looking for.
2. BotBoxer Pro
Retail price: $24,990
Whether you train just to keep in shape or are actively gearing up for a match, nothing beats the BotBoxer Pro. If Rocky Balboa had sparred against this intelligent training robot instead of slamming his fists into frozen hunks of meat, he most likely wouldn’t have lost his initial fight against Apollo Creed. Luckily, one need not be the world champ to enjoy this beast of a machine.
Part coach, part sparring partner, part personal trainer—the BotBoxer Pro is a beautiful piece of equipment to add to any home gym. Its touchscreen options allow you to choose from free training mode, drills mode and fight mode, all of which utilize motion-sensing tech to move the automated punching bag like a real opponent. The level of combat you choose drives the effectiveness of the bot’s deceptive moves, its ability to react to your punches, the percentage of mistakes the bot makes and how much space between you and the punching bag the bot will keep.
Not a tech-savvy guy? No worries—the BotBoxer Pro’s interface is very easy to use. Each workout records comprehensive blow-by-blow performance feedback and uploads it to your cloud-based user account, where you can review the effectiveness, direction and velocity of your punches on your iPhone as well as relive your prize fight. Championship belt not included.
3. Leather Head Sports Special Edition Black Python Football
Retail price: $1,000
You probably haven’t been spending the pandemic thinking about when to upgrade your family’s pigskin to a snakeskin. And shelling out a thousand bucks for a football might seem like a stretch—that is until you see Leather Head Sport’s new $1,000 special edition Black Python Football. This scaled beauty is one that you will probably want to keep on a shelf in your office as opposed to tossing around the backyard. But if you ultimately decide to take it outside to play catch, it will certainly add more than a touch of class to any father-son bonding session.
Leather Head Sports makes a limited number of these handcrafted, richly textured footballs with python belly leather and rawhide lacing. The football is highly grippable and is a real looker; they are beautiful pieces of craftsmanship. Whether it’s destined to sit on a shelf at home, adorn a son’s bedroom or be something you just toss in the air to bide the time during your next Zoom call, this new stunner from Leather Head is just the pick-me-up you might need.
4. EPOS Adapt 660 Bluetooth Headset
Retail price: $439
Listen up, audiophiles: EPOS Audio’s new Adapt 660 headphones are a must-have for anyone on the go. There are more expensive headsets on the market, but the Adapt 660 can stand toe-to-toe with just about anything out there when it comes to comfort, sound quality and engineering ingenuity. The Adapt 660’s premium ergonomic form and lightweight, high-quality materials allow for all-day comfort and use. The software running EPOS’ voice technology and advanced sidetone algorithms are optimized for sound quality and pick-ups providing a natural conversation experience for all call participants. If that wasn’t enough, it uses machine learning and its three advanced microphones to monitor your external environment and adjust or remove background noise dynamically, acting as your own personal and very private sound garden—basically the audio equivalent to having a key to Grammercy Park.
The headphones are equipped to deliver 30 hours of battery life. Their dual-foldable design fits easily into any carrying case, and it comes equipped with Alexa built-in for those times when you cannot help but get lost in the sound. Innovative, beautiful and practical, the EPOS Audio’s Adapt 660 checks just about all the boxes for any music fan or Zoom-addict, and then some.
5. Solos Headwear Smart Glasses
Retail price: $500
If you are already familiar with the Solos Headwear Smart Glasses, then you fall into one of two categories: Either you followed the company’s highly successful 2016 Kickstarter campaign, where after just one day the glasses were 100-percent funded, or you’re a member of the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team which entitled you to exclusive early access to a pair of Solos smart cycling sunglasses. Assuming you don’t fall into either of those two buckets, all you need to know about the Solos Headwear Smart Glasses is that they are the primo AR (augmented reality) glasses available on the market right now for bicyclists of all levels.
What sets a pair of Solos apart from other AR competitors is its Vista virtual screen. The five-inch tall optical display cuts glare for easy reading of the information you choose to display in your high-definition glasses: preferred biking routes, navigation, lap times, personal records, real-time ghost feedback that measures you against your previous biking performances, key biometrics and more. On top of that, the Solos glasses are customizable with swappable lenses if you’d like a different color or even want to pop in prescription lenses. Made to handle the abuse that is meted out by Olympic-level athletes, these high-performance, augmented reality glasses are made from a highly durable polycarbonate that helps shield from any wind, dust, shocks or bumps you may encounter on the road.
6. OVRLANDR French Press
Retail price: $50
Life is full of trade-offs, but hiking in the Colorado mountains should never force you to forego a quality caffeine fix. The OVRLNDR French Press is Planetary Design’s latest addition to its line of rugged accoutrements for those who need their daily java hit no matter where they find themselves ensconced. Planetary Design has spent the past 15 years perfecting their BruTrek line of outdoor-oriented coffee products, an effort that has culminated with their newest French press called the OVRLNDR. And marketers the world over know that when you drop vowels from a name, you mean business.
With its patented removable base for easy cleaning of coffee grounds, the OVRLNDR incorporates an array of features that intrepid explorers will appreciate. Its rugged construction is ideal for road trips or any adventure in the great outdoors. It comes with a double-wall vacuum insulation to keep coffee hot with a lockable, spill-proof lid and its best-in-class plunger and plate assembly, which stops the brewing process once fully depressed to prevent coffee from becoming overly bitter. The OVRLNDR Press has a 28-fluid-ounce capacity, which is perfect for the serious coffee addict or for sharing with others, as you social distance in your mountain retreat.
“It truly is a ‘no mess’ French press,” quips Jess Nepstad, CEO of Planetary Design. “Consumers today are more educated about coffee and brewing methods, and they expect innovation and higher quality—even when traveling America’s highways, byways and backroads, or recreating in the outdoors. We’re poised to make a big change in the design of French presses.”
7. Pocketalk Voice Translator
Retail price: $299
The Pocketalk Voice Translator is like your personal C-3PO. Not only does the device translate over 74 different languages and dialects, it does so with an accuracy that is unattainable by most of today’s popular translating and natural language tech. Even though global tourism has all but come to a halt amid the pandemic, the wealthiest Americans are still finding ways to hole up in elegant redoubts across the globe—many in places where English is not universally understood. Leap over language barriers with a simple touch of a button with Pocketalk, which is a highly functional on-the-go translation tool. It even picks up localized dialects and slang. We tested it in Columbian Spanish, French and Brazilian Portuguese, and it did remarkably well.
The multi-sensory, two-way translation device is designed for full conversations, even in noisy environments. With a sleek figure encompassing a large touchscreen, two high-quality speakers, noise-cancelling microphones and a text-to-translate camera, Pocketalk creates connections across linguistic divides. This handheld Tower of Babel should be a staple in any intrepid traveler’s pocket.
8. pureAir SPORT Air Purifier
Retail price: $79
If you find yourself being a bit more of a germaphobe than you have in the past, you are not alone. One of the most innovative and timely products we reviewed is the pureAir SPORT. This is a must-have for anyone who lugs a bag to the gym but can’t stand sweaty, sporty smells. Turn it on, throw it in your gym bag and voilà, the pureAir SPORT immediately goes to work refreshing your clothes, eliminating odor and preventing mildew. After just a few minutes, you can put your head in the gym bag and not recoil. It also works if you want to deodorize other stinky spaces from your coolers to your car—even your pet’s room.
9. Levi’s Sherpa Trucker Jacquard Jacket by Google
Retail price: $248
No, Google is not becoming a fashion label, but they are pairing up with Levi’s, the iconic denim brand. The result of this unconventional marriage is the Levi’s Sherpa Trucker Jacket With Jacquard by Google. While the name might be a bit clunky, this jacket is anything but. The Levi’s-Google collaboration has brought the classic jean jacket into the 21st century. Like the iconic Tom Cruise gesturing interface scene in the 2002 hit film Minority Report, with just a few swipes on your sleeve, you can access a multitude of features and useful shortcuts.
The Jacquard by Google tag—which weaves new digital experiences into the things you wear or use every day—comes tucked into the left sleeve cuff and pairs to your phone. Ask your Google Assistant to get real time updates about sports, news and weather; receive an alert if you leave your phone or jacket behind; take photos—remotely or from a distance—with a simple gesture; play music, make calls, and check messages and texts, just by raising your arm. It’s not magic, but the future is up your sleeve.
10. Wyrmwood Prophecy Gaming Table
Retail price: $6,000
While most of the items on this list are designed to help you keep your body honed and toned, the Wyrmwood Gaming Prophecy Table is all about making sure that space between your ears gets a workout as well. Note to Gen Xers: Dungeons & Dragons—better known as D&D—is back. (Don’t believe it? Watch Stephen Colbert absolutely gush as he relives the D&D days of his youth.) If you or someone in your family who is now all grown up but harbors a desire to nerd-out and get back into the game, then the Prophecy is the table you need.
With a full range of options, you may just spend more time customizing your table than you do crafting your D&D character. With an optional lift mechanism, you can raise the surface of the table, set up your game and begin to play, then lower it down below the surface for dinner. If you are thinking, “Who stops in the middle of a game to eat dinner?” then the optional table topper is a must; it completely overlaps the gaming surface and has integrated rubber gaskets at each seam. This ensures that should an over-excited player accidentally spill his martini at the table, the liquid will harmlessly trickle off to the side while the seam catches your spilt olives, giving you time to clean up and continue on with your adventure. You can also deck out your table with a choice of magnetic cupholders, wood options and shelving for game pieces and cards.
Dungeons & Dragons is back, but if you are having trouble bringing together a group of people to game, take the initiative and charm their tunics off with the Wyrmwood Prophecy Table.
Retail price: $80
There is a certain irony behind a company called Smarter Than Most (STM) making a product that is a no-brainer. Australia-based STM’S ChargeTree is a sleek, wireless charging station that can charge up to three devices at once, including iPhones, Airpods, Apple Watches and Android smart phones. For anyone who finds the sight of multiple tangled charging cords remotely unsettling, then this is an investment worth making. The ChargeTree is small and lightweight, making it easy to take with you on quick weekend getaways to the lake house.
12. Breitling Superocean Automatic 48
Retail price: $5,450
It’s tough to not like a Breitling; the rich aviator history coupled with understated luxury and supreme craftsmanship has made Breitling the Range Rover of high-performance watches. But the Superocean Automatic 48 is something special. Accurately described by Breitling as “big, bold and bulky,” the Superocean Automatic 48 is a self-winding mechanical wristwatch that is specially crafted to survive depths up to 300 meters. Packaged in a titanium case with a blue or black ceramic bezel and your choice of a deep blue or green dial, it basically demands that it be cooed over. But aesthetics aren’t everything, of course, and if you dive below the surface of this testosterone-oozing wrist piece, you will encounter a soft-iron inner case that offers protection against the effects of magnetic fields, while the bi-directional rotating bezel can be safely secured with a lock on the left side of the case. This timepiece comes with a matching blue or black rubber strap with a stainless-steel pin buckle. It’s as sturdy as it is good-looking.
13. Vuzix Labs Smart Swim Wearable Computer
Retail price: $500
There’s a reason why the Vuzix Labs Smart Swim Wearable Computer made such a big splash at the CES 2020 Innovation Awards. This Android OS water wearable was made to meet even the most exigent swimmers’ demands. While other AR swimming glasses provide information asynchronously—accessible only after you are back on land—the Smart Swim wearable services swimmers by providing them real-time information and feedback; no need to step out of the water to check your stats.
Attach the Smart Swim wearable to your goggles of choice and then select either the open water or lap training regimen. Both modes record your workout, provide a Bluetooth coach-to-swimmer connection and display elapsed time. The open water trainer displays a compass heading, your current pace and total yardage, as well as other distance information you might need, while the Lap Trainer provides set-distance details, a lap timer and allows you to download and preview assigned workouts. Poseidon himself would be jealous.
14. Adventure Sportsman Medical Kit
Retail price: $125
As the saying goes, it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. The Adventure Sportsman 400 Medical Kit, made by Adventure Medical Kits, is the one product on this list that we think you should buy but hopefully never have to use. Lead your group of fellow-minded weekend warriors on hunting, fishing, snowmobiling or ATV trips knowing you’re ready if accidents occur. The Sportsman 400 medical kit contains ample first aid supplies—enough for 10 people headed into the backcountry for up to two weeks. Don’t let a nasty fall, slipped knife or stuck fishhook ruin your time outdoors. With the Sportsman 400, you and your companions will have peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared.
15. The Couch Bunker
Retail price: $20,510
Ever wondered what your living room would look like if John Wick was your interior designer? Wonder no more; Enter Couch Bunker. This fire-rated gun safe by BedSafe hides in plain sight within a custom leather couch. Its cushions can do double duty as bulletproof shields in the case of a home invasion. It’s a place where you can keep valuables such as firearms, cash and jewelry out of sight but easily accessible. Also, it’s just plain cool.
16. LifeStraw Steel Water Filter
Retail price: $44
As long as you can find water—even if it is a muddy slop of unknown origins, with this handy instrument from LifeStraw, you’ll never go thirsty again.
The LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter is an item no intrepid adventurer should leave basecamp without. When you purchase a LifeStraw Steel Water Filter, what you’re actually buying is a long-lasting, independently tested, eco-friendly product. Here’s the bonus: Each purchase is matched by LifeStraw, giving a child across the globe one year of clean water. If that alone isn’t enough to sell you on the LifeStraw Steel, then it is also worth mentioning how extremely effective its filtering system is. The device filters out 99.999 percent of any bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella), 99.999 percent of parasites (including giardia and cryptosporidium) and 99.999 percent of microplastics, chlorine, organic chemical matter, dirt, sand and cloudiness. It just goes to show that there are good companies who are looking out for us on this big blue planet.
17. Bushnell PRO XE Laser Rangefinder
Retail price: $550
We don’t think Bushnell Golf is exaggerating when they say that the Bushnell Pro XE is the best-in-class laser rangefinder. Its yardage, performance, accuracy and consistency will put any competing rangefinders on the market to shame. Bushnell has maintained its king-of-the-hill stature within the laser rangefinder space since it was first introduced to the golfing world, but they have outdone themselves with the Pro XE.
What makes this model so special is the newly implemented “Elements Compensation” tech which adds or subtracts yardage based on temperature, barometric patterns and slope. The Pro XE takes into account the weather, geography and air pressure at a micro-level to give you the perfect shot.
18. The Vitamix Venturist V1200
Retail price: $630
If the Vitamix Venturist V1200 was a vehicle, it would be a decked out, fully-loaded Ford Raptor. A mix of power and design that can make the most mundane of tasks—like mashing up almond milk, a banana, and avocado with ice—a heart-pounding thrill. Any high-end kitchen without a Venturist V1200 is simply and utterly incomplete. Use it to break those questionable eating habits you’ve gotten into since this pandemic began. Healthy, whole-food recipes are a snap with this 64-ounce beast of a blender. The variable speed control lets you fine-tune the texture of your meal, and the pulse feature is akin to a ‘sport mode’—giving you more control over your meal prep as the blades alternate between rugged chops and smooth purées.
The Venturist V1200’s motor base automatically adjusts the maximum blending time for the container size you’ve chosen. No more fiddling with buttons, no more timing experimentation and no more excess food. So put down the candy bar, stop ordering delivery and go buy some fruits and vegetables to mix yourself up a liquid meal, Venturist-style.
19. Vibe Sea Ghost 130 Kayak
Retail price: $1,000
When you first set off on your new Vibe Sea Ghost 130’s maiden voyage, you’ll realize this kayak isn’t just a regular kayak; it’s a statement. The color palette presents a plethora of hard choices, as it is available in ghost white and galaxy purple or in a variety of camo hues—choose between orange, blue or green. No matter which paint job you go with, your Sea Ghost single-person vessel will look like it was ripped straight out of the pages of a superhero comic book.
Novices and hardcore kayak enthusiasts alike will appreciate the Sea Ghost’s craftsmanship. The Sea Ghost sports an 8-inch sealed deck plate with a waterproof cargo bag insert, a large, sealed V-Wave bow hatch with waterproof cargo bag insert, rear cargo storage, two tackle tray holders and a hinged-access center console that features a watertight seal, twin mini hatches with cargo bags, magnetic gear catch and two top-loading gear tracks.