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How Henry Masks Took Over The NBA

You’ve probably seen a Henry mask, especially if you watch NBA basketball. The recognizable, origami-inspired face covering can be seen on celebrities and athletes. And they look good, standing out among the crowd of Covid reducing coverings you might be so inclined to purchase yourself.

So how did Henry masks get such an endorsement deal? A big, moderately evil corporate entity with money to throw around? Actually it turns out, no. Word of mouth. Developed by Fresh, a designer who was homeless in 2017. These are the kind of stories that will inspire you to do good things and I had the pleasure of speaking with Fresh on a recent episode of the foXnoMad Podcast. It’s well worth listening to, profound, and thought provoking.

You can watch a clip in the video above and listen to the full episode here.

Winter, I’m Sorry

winter forest

I have, in the past, been harsh on winter. From sunnier climates I’ve even told the entire season to go fornicate with itself, in not so eloquent terms. Since then, my relationship with winter has improved. We have reconnected over the things we love, like snow and the occasional disruption of civilization resulting in warm drinks. Embrace layers and you’re not so bad. Maybe I never thought you were but couldn’t say it. Winter, I’m sorry.

Don’t get me wrong, the ease of being outdoors needing only to cover your core and bits with a shirt and shorts is hard to neglect. With winter, real winter (no snow, no go) you have to think. The air temperature might kill you. Chapped lips at best. And the in between isn’t pretty. But there’s also the beauty of being a bundled sack of flesh with other sacks of flesh walking in isolation on a city block. The look of, this sucks but we can’t dwell on it, too cold.

Like driving down some old isolated highway and seeing someone broken down. It’s a whole different experience making you rethink stranger danger.

Snow absorbs sound, did you know that? It’s the reason the white fluffy stuff kids love and adults hate makes things so quiet, even our loud, noisy mechanical societies for a moment. Moments that are becoming rarer, thanks in part due to those machines. Winters are getting warmer. Summers, hotter.

foxnomad winter

We collectively turned our backs on your winter, and now look at us. All we might be left with are scorching summers, can’t even enjoy the heat without you. Being able to strap on boots and moving dangerously fast on two pieces of wood with only your knees as shock absorbers isn’t the only benefit.

Runoff from snow caps and glaciers is an important source of fresh water. Something a lot more people around the world are finding it hard to access. It turns out winter, you’re a lot more useful than we give you credit for.

There might come a day where we can’t meet. As it is already, we meet less frequently every year. In our lifetimes, you could become very rare indeed.

As humans, we tend to shy from winter’s blustery winds, freezing rains, and deceptively sunny skies. Many other creatures do too, like ticks and mosquitos – not a lot on the cute and cuddly list. Allergies get worse.

We should have realized it. Winter, we need you. The ying to planetary yang, we have neglected you too long. I hope, soon, we all start caring about you again. It will take some change on our part. Saying sorry is one thing, doing something about it another. See you around winter, I’m looking forward to seeing you again.

Osprey Daylite Daypack Review: Updated For The Better

Let’s keep this simple. The last Osprey Daylite was a good daypack for hiking or just touristing your way around a city. Big enough for a day’s worth of clothes, light electronic gear, or some combo of the two it didn’t have many noticeable downsides. Now, Osprey have taken that bag and made it better in all the ways that matter with an updated Daylite.

Even Stronger

The Daylite’s materials have been enhanced through cross-stitching and certified recycled recycled polyester. This is a tough bag, even though it’s unassuming at 43 x 26 x 20 centimeters and weighs only 493 grams. You can collapse the Daylite nearly entirely flat or pack it up with 13 liters of stuff.

The shoulder straps have been improved as well. They’re now lighter but with more support – somehow Osprey knew you’d have a tendency to over-pack and compensates for that extra weight. Additionally Osprey removed the lining (coming apart in my older Daylite) for a more durable design.

Easy Choice

Overall, if you’re coming from a previous version of the Daylite but are happy with what you have, this isn’t a must-have upgrade. But if you are thinking your current Daylite (or other daypack) is getting a bit rough around the edges, this is an updated you won’t be disappointed by.

You can watch my full review of the Osprey Daylite in the video above.

A Review Of The Ridge Wallet, The Slim Way To Carry Only What You Need

The Ridge Wallet is a minimalist way to carry your money without the bulk of a traditional wallet. It’s basically a redesigned wallet made up of two metal plates, elastic, and an optional money clip or cash strap – all of which might sound spartan, cheap, or otherwise useless. Ridge Wallets though they might be the extreme, even for slim wallets, are impressively functional if you’re willing to take the time to adjust.

You can watch my full review in the video above or read on.

Cutting Out The Fat

Trimming down the folds, thick leather, and pockets for stuff you’ll never see again found in traditional wallets, Ridge come in style. There are a number of designs to choose from starting with plates. You can select from aluminum, titanium, and even gold plated wallets with a variety of colors and looks.

Functionally though, these wallets are basically the same. Two pieces of metal-plated plastic, held together by elastic bands measuring a total of 86 x 54 x 6 millimeters and weighing about 71 grams. The Ridge holds up to 12 cards that you pop out by using a cutout in the bottom.

Limited Cash

When it comes to cash, you’ve got two options: a cash strap or money clip. The money clip is reminiscent of more traditional wallets, potentially enticing if you’re not ready to go off the slim deep end entirely. Personally, I prefer the cash strap since it doubles down on the slimness, not to mention it’s easier to slip in and out of your front pocket.

ridge wallet burnt titanium

The other benefit of the cash strap is you can slip in a contact free card there. Since Ridge wallets are RFID blocking, if you still want to tap to pay, you’ll have to place that particular card on the outside. You can do this with the money clip as well but it puts a bit too much pressure, easily scuffing up many credit cards.

Ready To Switch?

Ridge is betting that if you’re going slim, you’re going all the way. There are slim wallets that take a more measured approach like some of Ekster’s offerings or the fabric Trove wallet, but if you want slim with metallic durability, the Ridge wallet is hard to beat, in any color.

Swissdigital Made A Backpack With 4 Massage Motors And It’s Ridiculous

Well, this isn’t a turn in backpack technology any of us were expecting but Swissdigital have debuted a backpack. With massage motors. To massage you while you’re wearing it. Of course it sounds ridiculous and of course it is, but with a few modifications, the Swissdigital Cosmo 3.0 might not be as crazy as you think.

You can watch my full video review here or read on.

Starting With A Backpack

First though, it’s worth considering the Cosmo 3.0 as a backpack. Massaging motors aside, it’s a medium sized bag (28 x 13 x 41 centimeters) weighing 1.37 kilograms. Swissdigital don’t provide any specs in liters but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s around 26 liters. Split into two compartments, the Cosmo 3.0 has a large turtle shell with a smaller pocket for more vertical gear like a laptop.

The turtle shell opens up flat 180 degrees, great for organization and easy access while packing. Overall the Cosmo 3.0 is a respectable backpack designed better for weekend trips rather than as a daily carry due to its bulk.

Let’s Talk Motors

But the most interesting feature of the Cosmo are the 4 massage motors. Two are built into the shoulder straps while on the lower back two other motors add to the mobile massage. You power those massage motors with a portable charge bank (not included) activating 4 massage modes with a little button on the right hip belt.

swissdigital cosmo 3.0

There’s the shoulder massage, the lower back massage, the combo, and a high intensity mode where all the motors are on at full blast. And it’s a pretty relaxing massage until you notice the noise.

Integration Situation

Loudly humming backpacks don’t make for discrete airport lounging. Having motors in the shoulder straps mean they can’t bend too well so when the massage isn’t running, they’re not the most comfortable. Plus you have to bring your own power and possible explanation to airport security who might be wondering why your backpack is motorized.

In all, the Cosmo 3.0 feels like a prototype. A concept you didn’t know you wanted and once they iron our the design a bit, could be one you look for in your next bag. For now though, unless you really want a massaging backpack, it’s better to wait to see what the next version brings.

Airtags vs. Tile: What’s The Better Bluetooth Tracker?

Tracking your lost luggage for finding house keys you’ve misplaced is made a lot easier with Bluetooth trackers. These small, electronic homing beacons let you locate items in your home or far-flung locations through their smartphone apps. Until recently, Tile was the biggest Bluetooth tracking network. Now that Apple has joined the market with Airtags, which one is better and for who?

Comparing Trackers

At their core, both Tile and Airtags work to accomplish the same goal: help you find lost things. They also work in similar ways, via Bluetooth and by leveraging their user networks. Right now, in both regards Apple has an advantage.

Let’s look at the two problems trackers attempt to solve. The first is finding things that go missing locally, like around your house. These aren’t so much lost items but more misplaced ones. Chances are they’re going to be in one of a few usual places or at least within the walls of your home. Both Tile and Airtags have chimes you initiate through their respective apps and using those beeping tones, lead you to the tracker.

apple airtags

Airtags though use ultra-wideband (UWB) technology which is more precise in close range. Tile is rumored to be working on a UWB version of its trackers this year but for now, you’ll have to rely on the chimes. In other words, Tile can tell you lost keys are in your house but not show you where exactly.

Stitched Through Networks

Now when things gets really lost, like blocks or across a city (or further) the Bluetooth signal on your phone (about 10 meters of range) isn’t going to do you much good. In these cases, what Tile and Apple do is leverage everyone else’s Bluetooth connection to geo-locate a tracker marked as missing.

With Tile, you have to be using their app. With Apple, if you’ve got an iPhone, you’re already part of their network. In both cases as you walk by (within Bluetooth range) a tracker marked as missing, your phone sends back an anonymous, encrypted location of that tracker back to Tile or Apple. The person walking by has no idea this happened but you will get to see a location of the missing tracker on a map.

What Recovery Is Like

Once you’ve got a location you can retrieve the tracker (and lost items it’s hopefully still connected to). Getting that location in the first place though as you may have guessed, comes down to the size of the network. Tile says they’ve got 26 million users (potential people running their app who might happen to walk near a lost tracker).

Worldwide however, there are a billion iPhone users, according to Apple. A network of users 42 times the size of Tile is a major advantage, as is the use of UWB. Tile for their part does make trackers in different shapes (some flatter, better for wallets) but otherwise lose out to Apple’s massive user-base advantage for most people.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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