The gear we stole from our fathers

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The term retrade is very fashionable these days. It refers to the notion of keeping products in circulation longer by passing them on – even reselling them to their manufacturers, so they can refurbish them and resell them at a discount – and we’re all for it. Better for your wallet and better for the planet.

But as new as this trend may seem, the truth is that we’ve been doing it for generations. Because every time you took a liking to an item owned by, say, your dad, and he said – warmly or reluctantly – “G’head, keep it,” he was unwittingly supporting the circular economy.

In doing so, he shared his own particular knowledge and tastes, encouraging a conservative child to understand what good gear was. That’s what happened with many GP staff anyway, as we continue to rely on well-worn items that have been snatched – or outright stolen – from fathers and father figures who understood and appreciated quality craftsmanship.

So, in honor of Father’s Day, we bring you this latest edition of The Gear We Stole from Our Dads. You might find the perfect gift here – for the old man or for yourself.

Technics DC-Servo SL-BD20 Automatic Turntable

Matthew Pastorius, Getty Images

My dad has no idea where it came from. He said, “maybe your grandmother’s old ballet studio,” which sounds perfect to me. It probably sat in his garage for 30 years before he dug it up and gave it to me to refurbish. This gesture, in itself, meant a lot to me, because my father is a renovation pro. Beyond that, we have always been connected through music; the warmth of sound, plus the simplicity and reliability of this deck always reminds me. I hope I have it forever. — Matthew Pastorius, Business Development Manager

Price: $140.25 (used)

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Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Wide Mouth Bottle

a green stanley coffee coffee thermos superimposed on a shot of a table topped with coffee cups, donuts and spoons

Ryan Brower, Getty Images

I fondly remember it being my father’s work thermos when I was a kid. He filled it with cold water in the summer and even the soup my mother made in the winter and brought it with him. He eventually stopped using it, and when I moved to California I needed a thermos and he obliged. These days I’ll be using it a lot when I’m surfing all day – in the winter I fill it with boiling water to keep me warm and in the summer it will be cold water to keep me cool. It has a nice patina, and every time I use it, I recognize that a thermos still usable 30 years later is pretty awesome. — Ryan Brower, Trade Editor

Price: $24.97

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Hamilton Intra-matic Panda Chronograph

a hamilton intramatic panda chronograph watch in silver with a brown leather strap layered on a biscuit background

Eric Yang, Getty Images

I can still imagine all the last creases and wrinkles that formed in my dad’s face when I gave him this watch over cheddar berry cookies at Red Lobster for his 70th birthday. To be fair, he might have been just as excited about eating Red Lobster (his favorite spot). Alas, too soon after that day we learned he had cancer and I would end up “stealing” the Hamilton from his wrist the day he died. I’ll probably never wear it, but it’s a beautiful watch that has stood the test of time, just like my father was a handsome man whose wisdom has stood the test of time. — Eric Yang, Founder

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Lagavulin 16 years old

a bottle of lagavulin 16 superimposed on a photo of a vintage pool table

Tyler Duffy, Getty Images

It’s hard to list one thing that I inherited from my father. As you become a fully-fledged adult, you recognize the jokes, moans and general physique and realize that – when you inherit 50% of someone’s DNA – the genetics are unbeaten. But one quality we share has been a lifelong curiosity and passion for learning new topics. I didn’t steal scotch from my dad, at least not as an adult. But exploring new single malts was a hobby we shared as he parted ways with Johnny Walker Red and I needed more time to decompress with two young children. — Tyler Duffy, Associate Editor

Price: $79.99

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Patagonia Atom Sling 8L

a black patagonia side pannier overlaid on a photo of a forest with trees and a road

Emma Cranston, Getty Images

I hike Red Rock every time I return to Las Vegas to visit family. On my last trip, I picked up this pack from my dad, and after that comfortable, hands-free first ride, I haven’t looked back. My dad has always been a fan of one-shoulder backpacks; toting different versions of every World Cup over the past 30 years or so. Now, back in New York, I have become a converted Atom Sling myself. I even met another friend with the same backpack, who first hooked it up – I’m not kidding – to his own father. So dad, thanks for securing the bag. — Emma Cranston, Associate Editor

Price: $59

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Ryobi One+ 18V 1/2″ Cordless Drill/Driver

a lime green ryobi drill superimposed on a photo of a workbench

Jack Seemer, Getty Images

When you move from a one-bedroom apartment to a house, like I did last year, you quickly realize the need for reliable tools. Here’s one I literally stole from my dad: the Ryobi One+ 18V 1/2-inch Cordless Drill/Driver. Joke on me. Its battery is compatible with tons of other Ryobi cordless tools – an impact driver, an orbital sander, an angle grinder – which I’ve convinced myself are not only nice to have, but absolutely essential to life outside New York. Naturally, I’ve since purchased half of Ryobi’s catalog, including some of its more powerful 40V jobsite equipment. —Jack Seemer, Editor

Price: $79

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Vintage belt buckles

two belt buckles depicting farming clubs superimposed over a photo of a rancher with cattle

Steve Mazzucchi, Getty Images

Can the story of a man’s life be told in two belt buckles? Probably not, but these items left by my mother’s father say a lot. Before fighting across central Europe with the 90th Infantry Division in World War II, he was a cattle judging champion at the University of Missouri. After retiring from the army with the rank of colonel, he bought a farm in rural Pennsylvania, where he could grow anything – and everyone laughed with lovingly embellished stories of days gone by. . Like those (damn sturdy) buckles, the memories will always be with me. —Steve Mazzucchi, Editor-in-Chief

Buckle up

REI synthetic jacket

a gray rei jacket with a left front chest pocket overlaid with a photo of a lake with trees and a mountain

Zen Love, Getty Images

“Has stolen?” Not exactly. I had just returned to the US from living in tropical Thailand and had no warm clothes. I had to drive my stepdad to the airport one morning and it was cold so I borrowed this REI jacket he had in his car. When I noticed it was good, he said I could keep it. Now he realizes how nice that is, swears he never said that, and wants it back. It’s not gonna happen, and I’m sticking to my story. — Zen Love, Associate Editor

SHOP SIMILAR

Rolex Oysterdate Precision Ref 6694

a silver rolex precision oysterdate superimposed on a photo of a house with a swimming pool in the garden

Tyler Chin, Getty Images

My grandfather rarely wore a watch. When he did, it was for special occasions, and it was his Rolex Oysterdate, the little-known cousin of the better-known Datejust. He bought the watch around when he arrived in America in the 60s or 70s. Like most Chinese immigrants at the time, a Rolex purchase was like a way to signify that you made it to the United States. United. I don’t know exactly what triggered the purchase, but at the time he was a great husband and a great father – and later, for me, the perfect grandfather. He gave me his watches shortly before he died. I wear the Oysterdate most often, almost every day, not only because it’s a great watch, but also for my grandfather. I guess we both succeeded. — Tyler Chin, Associate Editor

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