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Welcome to InsideHook’s Staff Picks, a compendium of what our editors are digging recently. This week’s theme: “Buy it once.” Below, each editor picked an item they own and love that they expect to last forever.
TUMI Alpha 2 Business Class Brief Pack
Here’s a dirty little secret: I once saw the enclosure mechanism on one of TUMI’s flagship hard-shell suitcases break after a single use because it was packed too tight. In my opinion, an $800 piece of luggage should be better than that. And the company’s Brief Pack, which sells for $395, very much is. Made from ballistic nylon with a rigid frame and featuring robust zippers and hardware throughout, the Brief Pack is the hardiest backpack I have ever owned (and I currently rotate about 10 of them). It’s got a heavily padded laptop sleeve, generously portioned main pocket, and tons of little side stows and interior stashes for all your personal effects. You can comfortably fit your entire life into it for weekend trips, no other bag needed. — Walker Loetscher, Editor in Chief
Flint and Tinder Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket
I’m skeptical whenever a brand claims I’m going to “bequeath” their product to my grandson. Who’s to say my grandson will want my dusty old junk? And more importantly, is your product really that durable? It can withstand a half-century of human error? I’ve ruined many things, and sometimes it’s even my fault. I usually get ketchup on my shirt at baseball games. I once dropped my phone into Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. Thankfully, here’s a purchase from this year that even I can’t mess up. I bought this flannel-lined trucker from Flint and Tinder (Huckberry’s American heritage brand) a couple months back, and it’s going to be in the rotation for a very long time. The waxed exterior doesn’t give two hoots about rain, sleet or ketchup and the interior’s already aging like a beloved blanket. Worth every dime. — Tanner Garrity, Associate Editor
Leatherman Charge + TTI Damascus
Every year, my dad gives me a new tool for Christmas. So over my many, many years, I’ve built up an enviable toolkit, one that I happily share with neighbors … and rarely use myself. Because outside of hammering, I use a Leatherman for pretty much every home repair or furniture build. This particular model, the Charge, isn’t the one I own — I have the more classic Wave, and since Leatherman has a 25-year warranty, I’ll probably never get a chance, or have any reason, to upgrade. The Charge has all the standard Leatherman utility, with the added wow factor of Damascus steel blades and an eye-catching blue titanium anodized handle. — Kirk Miller, Nation Editor/Managing Editor
Nomad Rugged Cable
I have never so vigilantly kept track of a piece of equipment that doesn’t actually entertain me. After dealing with all the pitfalls and ass-painery that come with using standard issue Apple charging cables (I’m sure it’s the same for my Android brethren, for which they’re available), I have seen the light. After a solid three years of mistreatment by yours truly, this cable has indeed lived up to it’s “rugged” name. So while I grow older, fatter and more decrepit with every passing day, my phone charger shows no sign of breaking down along any parts of its 1.5m body. And while in other parts of your life, you may have been told that length doesn’t really matter, trust me when I tell you once you’ve experienced how easy a longer phone charging cable makes life, you ain’t goin’ back, honey. — Eli London, Director of Partnerships and User Acquisition
Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker
Is it cliche to pick cast iron? Definitely, but I’ll explain. First, when people talk about cast iron, 99% of the time it’s about shallow skillets. If that’s all you have, you’re missing out on the best the immortal cookware has to offer! Most of my meals so far this winter have been cooked in this one-two punch combo, from Shakshuka to a spiced chickpea stew from NYT Cooking my lady made entirely in the deeper pan (you can thank me later for that recipe). Second, I went home for the holidays and found my parents’ cast iron had developed rust. Thankfully, Lodge not only makes the pans, they teach you how to take care of them, too. — Alex Lauer, Senior Editor
Billy Reid Cashmere Bowery Coat
Nine straight winters I’ve been rocking my trusty Bowery Coat, and it still looks every bit as crispy as the day I brought it home from the store. Kind of amazing, now that I look at it. Granted, back in 2010 Billy & Co weren’t offering the removable fur collar (would that I could retrofit mine with one), but that razor-tailored cut I love is still there and ready to add a healthy dose of style to casual and dressy kits alike. Best coat I’ve ever owned, and I didn’t even have the benefit of getting it for half price (hint: this means it’s on sale). — Danny Agnew, Creative Director
Filson Mackinaw Cruiser
I neither hunt nor spend any amount of time “in the field,” nor would I even know where to find said field. Or even what happens there, come to think of it. But since these are the conditions under which my beloved Filson Mackinaw Cruiser are said to thrive, I see no reason it won’t be able to withstand decade after decade of the kind of things I put it through, like walking to the train and, uh, sitting on the train. It’s made of thick, 100% Mackinaw wool that’s warm, water-repellent and, again, far more durable than I’ll ever need it to be. It also looks great in a timeless way and is cut generously enough in the arms to leave room for comfortable layering or, I guess, shooting helpless animals. — Mike Conklin, Executive Editor
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