Passion, adventure, design, gadgets … those are just a few of the things you'll find on Gear Patrol, a men's lifestyle site that covers everything the upwardly mobile guy will ever want. Founded and edited by Eric Yang and Ben Bowers, Gear Patrol is a leading men's site on the Web and a great place to get your fix on everything from the best new watches and cars, to the coolest sports adventures, and the latest food and style finds.
We checked in with Eric and Ben to find out what it's like to drive fast cars and play with fun stuff all day – and what guys really want for gifts this holiday season.
Do you have the coolest job in the world?
We definitely love what we do, but it isn't always fun and games. Driving a supercar through the French Alps is a great way to spend a day. But there are better ways to spend an evening than writing and editing photos late into the night, while hunched over a laptop in a hotel room.
What do you do that's different than other lifestyle sites? What's your secret sauce?
Our goal has been to bring the magic of the catalog back by blending the look and feel of a magazine with the speed, convenience and social graph of the Web. So we're always looking for ways to make our content and site standout from a design standpoint through original photography, high-production videos, and creative editorial. Most readers would probably be shocked at how much time we spend agonizing over details like fonts, color filters, or cropping.
Plenty of other sites do a better job of being first to report news. We prefer talking from a viewpoint of direct experiences or unique. You also won't catch anyone on the team writing about a subject they aren't truly obsessed with, be it dive watches, adventures, cars, movies, style, gadgets, golf, or equipment for surviving the apocalypse. In fact, all of the guys who contribute to the site started off as GP readers.
You take readers behind the scenes of some of your favorite brands. What's the goal?
We started profiling brands and the people behind them to help teach guys about the companies they should be paying attention to. We're also firm believers in learning as much as we can from talented people. The response has been great and we've just covered the tip of the iceberg when it comes to offering a peek behind the scenes.
What are some of the hottest gifts for men you see for this holiday season?
Hottest? That's probably something like the iPhone 4S. If you're looking for more unique ideas, we've got some suggestions below.
Photographers / gadget lovers: The Lytro Light Field Camera which packs the wild ability to refocus photos even after they've been snapped.
Home theater fans: The Roku LT is an affordable but incredibly robust media streamer for guys who can't watch enough TV or movies.
For more, you can of course check out the site.
What other men's style and gear sites do you read/admire?
There are a ton of talented people running excellent, independent sites today, and we're regular readers of most of them. So it's hard to call out just a few. Right off the top:
In terms of style, Michael Williams of A Continuous Lean has been a leader in style momentum. He also deserves the lion's share of credit for spurring the renewed love of American-made products. Atif Kazmi (the founder of Por Homme) is an up and coming tastemaker whose influence is on the rise and deservedly so. Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs, the duo behind Street Etiquette, have always impressed us with the quality and unique approach they take to their work. Selectism and the entire Titel Media network really crush it as well.
Broader sites we like in men's include Acquire run by Bernard Antolin, Art of Manliness helmed by Brett and Kate McKay, Hodinkee by Ben Clymer, Adventure Journal by Steve Casimiro, and GearJunkie by Steven Regenold - those guys do it all. And of course, a trove of traditional publications. Our respect for them runs deep.
What are the all-time most popular posts on Gear Patrol?
Our greatest hits are really all over the place. There's a roundup on apps, a photo essay on the Aston Martin Vantage S, a guitar pick hole-puncher, a hover bike, tons of epic products or adventures … the list goes on.
You love to drive cars, the rarer the better. What are some of your favorite rides?
We're both huge fans of the Land Rover Defender and Eric actually managed to acquire a rare one in the U.S. just last year. Driving the Aston Martin Vantage S, the Bentley Continental GT, the Nissan GTR, and Mercedes SLS AMG were all big high points for us. Which one we'd buy is a tough one though. There are just too many to pick from, but here's a handful from each of us - if money grew on trees.
Eric: 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SL roadster, Porsche Boxster Spyder, Audi A7, TLC Icon.
Ben: Lamborghini Aventador, Singer 911 Porsche, 2012 Range Rover Sport, 1956 Jaguar XK-140, Jeep CJ7
Gear Patrol is a SAY Media partner. Follow them on Twitter @gearpatrol