The best of...innovative winter gear
Thermacell Heated Insoles
No longer do boot warmers require protruding wires or bulky battery packs. These Bluetooth-operated insoles can be controll ed with a smartphone app, and they’re capable of keeping your feet toasty for more than eight hours on a charge. $200, heat.thermacell.com Source: The Boston Globe
Outdoor Research Capstone Gloves
For keeping hands warm, nothing beats these heated gloves, whose rechargeable batteries last twice as long as previous models’. Generous insulation and “bulletproof construction” mean they’re also great gloves when the batteries fade. $500, outdoorresearch.com Source:Forbes.com
Merrell Moab FST Ice+ Thermo
The Moab hiking boot features Vibram’s new Arctic Grip tread, designed to mimic a polar bear’s paw. The sole’s unique rubber compound causes “a split-second melt-thenfreeze reaction,” making the most treacherous ice almost sticky. $150, merrell.com Source: Popular Science
Marmot Cheeky Pants
Stop worrying about icy lift chairs. The removable insulated shorts in these fitted, triple-layer Gore-tex women’s pants will keep buns cozy and dry no matter the weather. Internal gaiters add another layer of protection. $450, marmot.com Source: Sunset magazine
Patagonia Down Shirt Jacket
Every component of this stylish lightweight jacket is recycled, including the wool, the 600-fill down, and the polyester buttons. “It performs great, too,” with ample insulation and a moisture-wicking liner. $199, Patagonia.com Source: Outside
Tip of the week...
Five habits that shorten a car’s life
■ Running on empty: Because many fuel pumps overheat if they’re not submerged in gas, keep your tank at least a quarter full to help the pump last longer.
■ Impatient shifting: Never flick the transmission into drive while still rolling backward out of a parking space. Over time, that move can damage the engine and transmission.
■ Revving a cold engine: Let a cold car idle 60 seconds to circulate oil and lift the engine’s temperature. Revving won’t help— because it causes abrupt temperature changes that stress tight-fitting engine components.
■ Never using a parking brake: Putting a car in park will keep it from rolling, but doing only that puts pressure on a small, costly-toreplace pin inside the transmission.
■ Resting a hand on the shift knob: Fans of stick shifts love to do this, but they shouldn’t: It puts strain on the transmission’s bushings, wearing them down prematurely. Source: Popular Mechanics
And for those who have everything...
It’s always a shame when a good bottle or can of beer goes flat before it’s served. The Fizzics Waytap Beer Dispenser is a “man-cave-worthy” remedy for that age-old problem. Just load the can or bottle into the rear of the device and it automatically pressurizes the beer, converting its natural carbonation into a microfoam that delivers “the ideal aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel.” Because the Waytap uses sound waves to revitalize the bubbles, no bothersome gas canisters are needed. Even the flattest beer will instantly be restored to “true pub quality,” ready to flow from the tap in “all its restored glory.”
For managing a schedule
■ Visibook is a “superbly designed” scheduling app that gives service professionals— from acupuncturists to financial consultants—a way to help clients book appointments. Customers can browse a calendar of available openings and confirm their bookings instantly.
■ Doodle streamlines the process of scheduling several people for a group conversation or get-together. Every participant can view the others’ availability, eliminating the need for multiple calls or messages.
■ Appointy is especially useful for helping manage group bookings, like workshops and classes or catered parties and similar events. Guests or customers can sign up “without a hitch.”
■ Acuity Scheduling is a favorite among freelance creative professionals. It allows clients to book and pay for work, and helps freelancers package client perks.