The Best New Products of 2019
Our favorite style drops, watches, tech and more from the past 12 months
We wrote about more new products in 2019 than in any previous year in InsideHook’s history, and we are looking forward to providing even more product coverage in 2020. But before we get to that, we thought we’d take a look back at our favorite new releases of the past 12 months.
Men’s ’95 Retro Denali Jacket
This past fall, The North Face brought back their iconic ’95 Retro Denali Jacket. The lightweight, functional fleece has been a staple for hikers and outdoorsy people for decades, but as fleeces have made a fashionable comeback in the last few years the Denali Jacket is back as more than a durable piece — it’s a statement.
Air Jordan I Travis Scott
The first of three Travis Scott x Jordan collaborations to be released this year, the Jordan 1 Retro High featured brown leather trim and, most notable, a reverse swoosh. It retailed for $175 when it was released in May, and now you’d be lucky to snag a pair for less than $1,500. Pro tip: if you do, switch out the black laces for the also-included pink ones.
Belted Trench Coat
The eponymous American Trench coat is an unimpeachable masterpiece of minimalist design. At nearly a thousand dollars, though, it’s also not gonna be for everyone. Enter their Belted Trench Coat, which comes in at a more palatable $265. It features the same trim silhouette but is constructed of Japanese twill instead of the Ventile fabric that makes the original so pricey.
Levi’s® WellThread™ X Outerknown Lined Sherpa Trucker Jacket
One of the standout items in Levi’s and Outerknown’s long-standing collection of 100% recyclable clothes. Released in September along with Western shirts, pocket tees and a new pair of jeans, this sherpa-lined trucker jacket is made from cottonized hemp — a blend that combines the comfort of cotton with the sustainability of hemp — and was offered in classic indigo denim for the first time (in both this jacket and 502 jeans).
Two Button Hardsole Boot
Minnetonka re-introduced this men’s style, first released in 1969, because Brad Pitt sported the exact pair in Tarantino’s summer blockbuster Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. As such, we included the suede leather boots in our guide to dressing like Brad and Leo in the film, and the pair became one of the top products InsideHook readers bought this year. Safe to say the re-release was a smart move on Minnetonka’s part.
The Winter Parka
Recently, we tested Askov Finlayson’s climate positive Winter Parka and found it to be a solid investment if you’re serious about combatting the climate crisis. The parka is constructed from brand-new, never-before-seen 3M Thinsulate that’s 100% recycled featherless insulation, and comes with the One Winter Guarantee — so you can wear the parka for an entire winter and if you still don’t love it, they’ll take it back, no questions asked.
Suitsupply Custom Made Suiting
Buying an affordable suit used to mean A) getting an ill-fitting off-the-rack number that you’d then have to take to tailor and double the price of to get into wearable condition, or B) going to Men’s Wearhouse or JoS. A. Bank for the kind of suit that might as well have the price tag sewn into the lapel, because that shit looks and feels just as cheap as it is. That’s changed in recent years with the emergence of online-driven business like Indochino, Alton Lane and the pick of the lot, Suitsupply. Hailing from the Netherlands but grounded in Italian tailoring practices, Suitsupply offers both a fully bespoke “custom made-to-measure” program as well as their more affordable “custom made” program, the latter of which is, suite simply, the best way to order a great suit online. They offer unparalleled options for fit, details and fabrics, and pricing starts at a very fair $499.
Exclusive Todd Snyder + Golden Bear Shearling Collar Bomber Jacket in Burgundy
In collaboration with San-Francisco based brand Golden Bear, Todd Snyder released a slew of handsome heritage bomber jackets, including this burgundy shearling collar. Since the 1920s, Golden Bear has been crafting top-notch outerwear for longshoremen and dockworkers in San Francisco. So along with the fashionable sensibility, you know you’re getting a well-built jacket.
Hyperice Hypersphere Mini
Hyperice is Theragun’s biggest competitor, but we’re not in the business of playing sides. This little ball allows you to take percussive therapy on the road, which is huge, considering I’m most in need of a little tissue work after being cooped up in a long flight. It’s basically a tennis ball on steroids, with three levels of vibration; for best results, get on the floor or a mat, and situate it right in the area that you’re feeling the most tension.
Fitbit Versa 2
Fitbit’s latest wearable dropped in mid-September, and offers improvements on last year’s (already beloved) Versa in almost every way. The OLED display is larger, the sleep tracking is more accurate and digestible (it rates each night’s sleep out of 100), it lasts six days on a single charge, syncs with Spotify, and compiles pretty much all the data you could ever need on your fitness, from step- and calorie-counting, to heart health analysis and workout stats. It even works in the pool.
The Powerbeats Pros are the latest generation in sport earbuds, and it’s hard to imagine them improving much on this. Like Apple’s AirPods, they’re completely wireless and come with a charging port. But they loop over the ear, and are completely waterproof, so you can sweat away. I’ve been wearing them to the gym for a month and can confirm that they’re worth the upgrade.
Alone amongst fitness products, the protein shaker had seen little to no improvement over the past couple decades. Many of today’s best-selling shakers still leave clumps in the corners. Until a British trackstar figured out a solution — no corners. This tumbler uses centrifugal force to mix shakes without the aid of a mixing ball or grid; the result is a thorough blend with minimal clean-up, in a vessel that can hold nearly 25 ounces of liquid.
Reebok Nano 9 Training Shoes
Our preferred lifting shoe. This is what you should be lacing up in when making the most of that gym membership. The Nano series began in 2011, when Reebok became the official supplier of CrossFit, but Reebok has taken pains in recent years to make the sneaker more accessible for the lifting public. Its boxiness is perfect for squats; it acts as a sort of set platform, and thus discourages “fidgeting,” which can lead to improper mechanics or even injury.
Centr Fitness App
Chris Hemsworth’s body has long had access to the best, and now you do too. This subscription-model lifestyle app, priced at $16 a month, offers daily-updated videos, tips, recipes and training from Hemsworth’s hand-picked team of ex-Navy Seals, Hollywood stuntmen, professional ballet dancers, Michelin chefs, and world-renowned yogis.
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%
The most controversial running sneaker of all time? Marathon records are shattered when pro runners wear this hyper-foamy, carbon-plated racing shoe, and the advantage extends down to casual runners, too. Pick up this sneaker before it gets banned.
Dyson V11 Torque
The V11 is a cordless cleaner that adapts to different types of flooring in “auto mode.” It provides up to 60 minutes of cleaning, has 40% more suction power than earlier generations (like the V8) and will keep your space spruced up as all get-out.
Amazon Fire TV Cube
The Fire TV Cube is basically a 4k-enabled Fire TV stick and an Echo Dot combined into one roughly 3.5″ box, allowing you to control your home theater and all your other smart devices with Alexa, as well as giving you access to many assorted apps and services.
Technology in the world of mirrorless cameras advances pretty quickly, and as a result, we’re seeing once cutting edge advancements trickle down into more affordable options at an extremely rapid pace. Case in point, the game-changing X-T30, which takes all the best parts of the X-T3 and packages them in a camera that comes in at an impressive $899 — a whopping $600 less than the X-T3.
Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 Mosquito
Breitling is has been on the comeback trail for the past couple years, heading in a new, less gaudy direction and paying more and more attention to their rich history in aviation and other areas. The Aviator 8 B01 Chrono is a perfect distillation of their new approach.
Zodiac Limited Edition Aerospace GMT
This watch turned an awful lot of heads at this year’s Baselworld, selling out pretty much immediately, and it’s remained popular ever since, thanks to its approachable price point and smart, unexpected design.
It’s been 50 years since man first landed on the moon and to commemorate the “golden anniversary” Omega re-created the iconic Speedmaster BA145.0220 — the official watch of the Moon. In homage to the original, the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 is nearly identical to its predecessor, with the exception of a few aesthetic adjustments and embellishments. The 18k yellow gold has been traded in favor of what Omega is calling “Moonshine Gold,” an 18k gold alloy that better endures wear over time, and the burgundy bezel remains but has been upgraded to ceramic.
Patek Calatrava 5212A
You’d be hard-pressed to find a Basel recap from this year that didn’t include Patek’s new Weekly Calendar among the best at the show. There is pretty much no way a photo can do it justice, but the dial is an absolute thing of beauty, with a date window, a day-of-the-week indicator, and a weekly calendar as indicated by the numbers 1-53 around the dial. Why 53 instead of 52? We don’t really know! But man does it look good, and man are we wholly incapable of wrapping our heads around how it all works. Bonus: the writing on the dial is based on the handwriting of one of Patek’s designers, so you can see some slight variation from letter to letter.
Exclusive Timex + Todd Snyder Marlin Watch Navy Dial
When Todd Snyder isn’t busy dropping the hottest, most reasonably priced menswear around, he’s teaming up with Timex on the hottest, most reasonably priced watches around. They run the gamut from mod-inspired to mid-century-inspired and sometimes even drawn from the archives. In 2018, our favorite of these was the Marlin, a reissued 1960s timepiece with a hand-wound mechanical movement and refreshing 34mm case (no dinner-plate tickers here). This year, the two brands released a new version of the watch, with a rich blue sunray dial and faux croc strap.
The North Face Geodome 4 Tent
Do you need this Buckminster Fuller-inspired tent? Probably not. But that is so not the point. After only releasing this architectural, Instagrammable marvel in Japan and South Korea, the North Face finally brought the Geodome 4 to the States in 2019. It sleeps four, handles winds up to 60 MPH and has been a hit despite the price tag.
Tecnica Original Trail-Running Shoe
You probably know Tecnica for their ski boots, if you know them at all. They’ve been slowly branching out into snow-free territory with hiking footwear, but with the Origin, a trail-running shoe, they’ve hit on something unique. Not only is each shoe customized to its wearer in-store, you also have the option of choosing one of two base designs based on your weight. It’s not only spindly superhumans who are trail-running; we normal people are, too, and we’re glad Tecnica is taking the rest of us seriously.
Yakima LockNLoad System
Want to turn your sad SUV or station wagon into the ultimate adventure mobile? Yakima’s plug-and-play platform roof-rack system, which attaches to an existing rack or towers, is just the ticket. Want to throw a couple bikes up there? Yakima’s gotchu. A couple non-origami kayak’s? Yakima’s gotchu. A tent with your partner and dog? Yakima has got you.
Leatherman FREE Collection
The biggest product launch since the brand’s founding, Leatherman released the Free collection in three batches this year, including the P-Series (pliers-based multitools), T-Series (EDC pocket tools) and K-Series (multi-purpose knives). The reason? They all feature a brand new proprietary magnet-based architecture. Expect everyone else to copy it in 2020.
SHERP the Ark All-Terrain Vehicle
The SHERP is an all-terrain amphibious vehicle plucked straight from Star Wars. Introduced in 2015, its ability to go where no four-wheeled, human-powered machine has gone before has made it the subject of viral videos and Kanye sermons. This year, the company expanded their offerings, and added six more wheels, with the Ark, adding the ability to haul cargo, medical units, people, even your own super off-grid home.
Oru Kayak Inlet
We’ve had a crush on Oru Kayak ever since we laid eyes on their goofy origami vessels, and we didn’t have to issue any retractions when we tested them in real rivers, either. But it should be said that kayaking is somewhat of a niche activity. With the Inlet, the company’s most portable boat yet, they’re not only providing industry leading design, they’re opening up accessibility in terms of price and living situation, too. And we need more of that.
Igloo Biodegradable Coolers
No, our favorite cooler this year was not some luxury ice bucket that costs a whole paycheck. Instead, it came from our old friends at Igloo, who solved the problem of single-use styrofoam coolers — an environmental scourge that didn’t get the same attention as, say, straws — with the new biodegradable Recool line.
The North Face Futurelight
For the most part, breathable waterproof fabrics have been a myth, no matter how big the marketing budget. The North Face actually delivered on the holy grail of adventure gear with Futurelight, which we described earlier this year as “fabric with pores, basically.” It’s been three years in the making, and you can expect to see a lot more in the coming year. But for now, there’s enough gear to last you a lifetime, whether you’ve got a climb, run or cross-country ski in the books for 2020.
Pro-Ject Audio X1
There’s nothing about the Pro-Ject Audio X1 that jumps out and makes for a grabby headline; rather, it is an exceptionally solid new turntable that offers an impressive package of features and components at a price that is more than competitive. And man, the acrylic platter paired with the walnut finish is sexy.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Bose’s Quiet Comfort 35 had a good long run as our favorite over-ear noise-cancelling headphone since it was first released a few years ago, but it’s now been dethroned by the 700, which features a sleeker design and even better noise-cancelling.
Cambridge Audio Alva TT
For the past few years, the audio world has been lousy with “high-tech” turntables that offer things like USB connectivity and Bluetooth capabilities but mostly sound terrible. Legendary British company Cambridge Audio has taken a massive step into the future with the Alva TT, a direct-drive turntable that offers the aforementioned connectivity options — but kicked up a notch with aptX HD — plus a high-quality built-in phono preamp and an impressive build quality.
PSB Alpha T20 Floorstanding Speakers
There’s a lot of competition in the sub-$1,000 range for audiophile-approved speakers, and while PSB tends to fly a bit under the radar, they knocked it out of the park with this high-performance and extremely handsome set of floorstanders.
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