CATEGORY /// THE GEAR




Volcom Hotainer ///

Volcom Hotainer rashguard | GregoryWest

Turns out that after all my giddiness to get in some surfing while in Maui, I forgot to pack my rashguard. No worries, though – perfect excuse to waste an afternoon wandering through surf shops (one of my favourite things), where I found the Volcom Hotainer. Designed in a medium weight, it’s more substantial than my usual rashguard, and provides 50+ UV protection. It tends to get a bit hot while out in the sun, but once you’re in the water it’s perfect. And given its warmer composition, it’ll be great for cool-weather kayaking until the next surfing trip rolls around.





Oxgut Hose Co. ///

Oxgut Hose Co. Walsh wood carrier | GregoryWest

The Oxgut Hose Co. derives its name from civilization’s first fire hoses of ancient Greece. All of their products are hand-crafted of hose salvaged from US fire departments, and they donate a portion of every sale to the Children’s Burn Foundation. This durable, waterproof, and flexible reclaimed material is ideal for chairs, floor mats, and hammocks; but my favourite is the Walsh wood carrier. It helps you easily carry the fruits of all your chopping to the fireplace, supporting responsible burning long after retiring from active duty.





The Overthrow by Solé ///

The Overthrow by Solé Bicycles | GregoryWest

A lovely thing happens when function and form align, and The Overthrow from Venice, California-based Solé Bicycles is an excellent example – a minimalist fixed-gear with a beautiful, minimalist design. The Deep Dish rims and the vintage-looking rivet saddle are perfect touches, and the matte paint job with a subtle two-stripe accent is reminiscent of a classic Fred Perry polo. One other interesting feature is that the bike arrives at your door 90% assembled (with all the tools and instructions you need to get to 100), which means that you get an extra bit of sweat-equity in your weekend ride.





Rapha GT Shoes ///

Rapha GT cycling shoes | GregoryWest

I just registered for my second GranFondo – a beautiful 122km ride from Vancouver to Whistler, with a total elevation gain of 1,700m. While I’m all set in the bike and helmet departments, I’d love to pick up a new pair of cycling shoes, and I’ve got my eye on the Rapha GT. With a carbon sole for lightness and stiffness, and a perforated Yak leather upper delivering soft, water-resistant durability, these shoes promise to become even more comfortable with time as they contour to the shape of your foot. Added bonus – Rapha’s impeccable styling will help me look presentable as I pass out crossing the finish line.

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Bell Bullitt ///

Bell Bullitt motorcycle helmet | GregoryWest

If Santa really is going to leave a sidecar motorcycle under my tree next week, I’m going to need the right helmet to protect everything north of my neck. The Bell Bullitt was inspired by the company’s original Star model, introduced in 1963 as the first ever full-face motorcycle helmet. Just four years later, one of those helmets would be credited with saving Evel Knievel’s life when he crashed while attempting to jump the Caesars Palace fountains. The Bullitt is an ideal combination of vintage styling and modern advances in safety and comfort; and if you’re feeling extra old-school you can go for the optional bubble-visor … just try to keep all wheels on the ground.





Octovo + Jason Tilley ///

The Egg by Octovo | GregoryWest

Speaking of my fledgling surfing skills, I’m hoping that they improve enough to one day warrant adding this work of art to my collection. The Egg is part of a collaboration between Octovo (a travel accessories brand) and Jason Tilley on a collection of beyond-beautiful hand-shaped surfboards. This one in particular is made of colour-blocked cedar, and true to form, comes with a custom transport case that’s UV-resistant, waterproof, and temperature-insulating. Which means that when the time comes, The Egg will safely accompany me to the beach; and in the meantime, I’d be more than happy to display it like the masterpiece that it is.





Black Diamond Carbon Aspect ///

Black Diamond Carbon Aspect skis | GregoryWest

I learned to ski as a kid, but once I got on a snowboard, I instantly fell in love and never looked back. This season, though, I’ve decided to return to my downhill roots, and I think the Black Diamond Carbon Aspect will be my weapon of choice. Classically-shaped touring skis, their wood and carbon construction makes them among the lightest in their category. Paired with a beautifully-clean design, they look light years ahead of the gear that I learned on.





Topo Designs x Woolrich ///

Topo Designs x Woolrich | GregoryWest

It’s an ideal match – a collaboration between Topo Designs (a Colorado-based brand making uncomplicated gear to help you get closer to the outdoors) and Woolrich (a company that started in Pennsylvania almost two centuries ago, selling woolen blankets to local lumber camps). The result – three minimal and modern pieces with a comforting touch of heritage. They’re great go-tos for weekdays of running all over the city, and weekends of sleeping under the stars. (via Gear Patrol)

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Pelican ProGear Elite ///

Pelican ProGear Elite luggage | GregoryWest

I’m always on the lookout for a solid piece of hardcase luggage. Each time I check in for a flight and my suitcase floats away through that rubber-strip curtain, I imagine it instantly becoming the focal point of a no-holds-barred match of TSA Rugby. To ease my worries, I think my next travel companion is going to be the Pelican ProGear Elite. Based on thirty-five years of protecting military and emergency services gear, it’s lightweight, crushproof, watertight, and guaranteed for life. And it comes with a price tag reasonable enough to spring for the optional accessories, including a garment bag, Dopp kit, zippered shoe cover, and a pouch for you laundry. (via Uncrate)

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Arc’teryx Carrier Duffle ///

Arc'teryx Carrier Duffle | GregoryWest

I was looking for a new duffle bag that could take a beating, and decided to go with the Arc’teryx Carrier Duffle. It is highly water-resistant due to its coated ripstop fabric, taped seams, and WaterTight zipper; has a combination of handles and adjustable straps to be slung over the shoulder or worn as a backpack; and a bright-white interior ensures that you don’t leave anything behind when unpacking. I’ve used mine on a few camping trips and it performed perfectly. Even better, I’ve made the Carrier my new triathlon transition pack. The 50L size is just right for all my gear, and because the bag is virtually waterproof, I don’t have to worry about my post-race clothes getting soggy while I’m out on the course. (photo via Livestock)