After a four-month hiatus, your favorite (we can dream) series has returned. Holyfield Essentials is back and better than ever. We’ve trimmed the fat, raised our expectations, and set out in search of the best gear on the market to share with you. You can thank us later.
Without further ado, let’s get down to business. Here are our February Favorites.
Fugoo Tough XL
Packed with eight acoustic drivers to deliver true 360-degree sound, the Fugoo Tough XL is a far cry from your average Bluetooth speaker.
From a build quality standpoint, the Tough XL is as its name suggests: tough. It’s a robust, brawny beast built for the outdoors and wherever your adventures take you. Featuring a polymer jacket with aluminum plating and stainless steel grills, the Tough XL has been constructed from the ground up to withstand virtually anything you can throw at it.
The largest and most durable of Fugoo’s line of speakers, it is, any hyperbole aside, virtually indestructible. The Tough XL is waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and not to piggyback off of a certain mobile case maker, essentially life proof. Whether you’re poolside or at the beach, rest assured Fugoo has engineered the Tough XL to endure even the harshest of conditions affording listeners a first class, worry-free experience.
What’s perhaps even more important is that the Tough XL sounds as good as it looks, and it comes as little surprise that the output here is nothing to scoff at. Its 38 watts of audio power are more than enough to fill even the largest of rooms, and its impressive low end bolsters nearly any track with Fugoo’s trademark oomph. True, it won’t replace the top of the line surround sound systems,. Yet for its relatively low price tag and rather compact form factor, the Tough XL is a master class in engineering sure to appease all but the most critical of audiophiles.
Verdict: Outstanding sound quality, premium materials, and 35 hours of audio playback at a step above entry level price. Your music’s new best friend. – Buy It
Sharpshank Brass Carabiner
What more can be said about an everyday essential such as a carabiner that hasn’t been echoed time and time again? The answer: very little, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen.
Sharpshank is a small, independent company based out of Toronto, specializing in handmade knives and tools. While I’ve yet to go hands on one of their formidable blades, their brass carabiner, stamped with the company’s trademark devil logo, has sat nestled on my belt loop for the better part of three months.
To say that little chunk of brass has performed admirably would be an understatement. The Sharpshank carabiner has done exactly what I expect of such a simple tool, and that’s all I could ever reasonably ask for. The integrated bottle opener, flat head pry bar, and hexagonal cut out for screwdriver bits are welcome additions. While I haven’t found myself utilizing their functionality all too often, it’s comforting to know they’re at arms reach should such a need arise.
From a craftsmanship standpoint, this is not your dime-a-dozen, dollar store carabiner. This is a heavy duty tool built for tough love, and while I personally have relegated it to a rather utilitarian career path of simply carrying my keys, let it be known that this particular piece from Sharpshank is more than up to the challenge.
Verdict: Its price tag may be a smidge too high for casual buyers less concerned with quality, but those in search of a reliable everyday carry need look no further. – Buy It
YETI 36 oz. Rambler
There’s something to be said for a water bottle built to withstand whatever abuse it may endure, so allow me to be the one to say it. Are you sensing somewhat of a theme here?
YETI, an American company specializing in ultra durable coolers, drinkware, and plenty more, are notorious for “over-engineering” their products, whatever that means. It’s a mantra that has not been lost on the brand’s sleek, yet alarmingly dependable line of rambler bottles.
Available in sizes ranging from 10 ounces to one gallon (though I‘ve found 36 ounces to be the sweet spot), YETI ramblers are double walled, vacuum insulated bottles conceived with the intention of keeping your water cold and your coffee piping hot, or so they claim. Is it marketing fluff, or do YETI products perform as advertised when faced with adversity from the elements on the front lines?
In short: of course. The long version? Let me condense it for you so you need not dig through the fluff. Put ice in your rambler and that same ice will be waiting to greet you hours later. Fill it to the brim with coffee or tea and you’ll come back to find it nearly as scolding as upon the first pour. That’s it. No strings attached.
Perhaps even more impressive is just how tough these bottles. Constructed with 18/8 kitchen-grade stainless steel, YETI ramblers have been carefully designed with long lasting durability in mind. The bottle’s exterior is puncture and rust resistant, and after numerous drops from my unapologetically buttery fingers, the bottle appears no worse for wear. Let’s call that a win for YETI’s design team.
Verdict: At nearly three times the price of a standard water bottle, the YETI rambler might be a tough sell for indoor enthusiasts, but its sleek exterior and outstanding performance make it a worthy companion for adventure seekers. – Buy It