KeySmart Nano Torch Twist

keysmart nanotorch twist 2

Keysmart, originally known for their compact keyholders, have begun to branch out into other everyday carry (EDC) type products. The Nano Torch Twist is one of those. Taking cues from the old 90-degree military flashlights of old, they’ve incorporated a twisting top, allowing for 90° or straight use.

keysmart nanotorch twist

The Nano Torch Twist is a solidly-built flashlight, maybe a little bit heavy for pocket carry, though, it has a handy belt clip. The ignition trigger is located on the body (instead of the cap), making it much easier to switch in the 90° configuration. The cap has another use, though, as it houses a powerful magnet for when your hands aren’t free to hold the light.

There are multiple modes of light output for the Nano Torch Twist: low (100 lumens), medium (250 lumens) and high (600 lumens). In addition, you can trigger strobe and SOS modes, too, which shine at the 600 lumen mode.

keysmart nanotorch twist 2

Now, it may appear that the Twist uses a standard AA battery, which it can, though at a greatly-reduced lumen output. Instead it comes with a rechargeable AA-sized lithium ion battery and the charging cable. Battery life should be 1-7 hours, depending on the lumen output you use.

Nano Torch Twist is a handy and solidly-built EDC light, and having the option of using backup AA batteries when it’s not charged is handy. The cap magnet will be put to good use, too, as it’ll save me from having to use head lamps when working in the car. The Nano Torch Twist is available in silver or black for $69.99 from Amazon.

Davidoff Churchill The Late Hour

davidoff late hour 1

Davidoff Cigars are famously well-constructed and are most certainly some of the most premium sticks on the market today. The Davidoff Churchill Late Hour is a relatively new blend from them, using an Ecuadorian wrapper, Mexican San Mexican San Andres Binder, plus Dominican and Nicaraguan Filler.

The wrapper is silky-smooth, and it’s these soft, smooth wrappers that are one of my favorite things about Davidoff, in general. Once lit, the cigar has flavors of pepper and bitter dark chocolate with really great smoke output. As you smoke, the pepper mellows in favor of roasted peanuts and the cigar remains well-built and full flavored throughout.

davidoff late hour 3

I smoked a Late Hour Robusto size, a 5″x52 stick that will run you about $20. The Late Hour is available by the box from Davidoff Geneva.

Anker PowerPort Chargers for USB-C

anker usbc pd chargers

Anker has really become well-known for their quality and innovative products. A brand that’s exclusively sold through Amazon, I’ve owned a variety of their accessories from USB batteries to charging cables.

Since several cell phone and computer manufacturers have moved to USB-C ports on their devices, Anker has developed charging products for that specific port, and I tested out 2 of their newest.

anker usbc pd chargers

The PowerPort Atom III Slim is an extremely compact charger that hugs the wall and includes a 30W port on the bottom to retain its slim-ness. the plug folds flat for traveling. This wattage is capable of charging phones with fast charge, but also matches the pack-in chargers that come with Apple’s older Macbook and new Macbook Air, plus gives you a better option for fast-charging iPhones and iPad Pros.

I tested it out with the 12″ Macbook and charging was as speedy as with the standard Apple charger. Since PowerPort Slim is less expensive ($35 vs Apple’s $50), more compact, and just as reliable, it’s a good replacement to pick up.

anker usbc pd chargers

The PowerPort Atom III 60W is a big deal. Until very recently, Apple was the only place you could purchase a brick that had the wattage to charge the 13″ Macbook Pro. On top of that, the PowerPro 60W will charge everything mentioned above as well: Pro tablets, fast charge phones and smaller laptops.

anker usbc pd chargers

Above, you can see the PowerPort 60W and Apple’s Macbook Pro 60W charger. The size difference is significant, especially if you travel often, and the weight of the PowerPort is significantly less than Apple’s as well.

Finally, there’s the contrast in price. These PowerPort 60W is $40, while a replacement from Apple is $70. At a lower price, less weight, and less bulk, there’s really no reason to choose one of these as a replacement or extra charger for your USB-C gear.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas 2019

fathers day gifts

Depending on your dad, Father’s Day gift-giving can be a lot of fun or a chore. For me, some tasty whiskey and cigars is about my favorite way to celebrate. If you are still looking for ideas, though, I have a few that might earn you the “favorite kid” title this year. Try these gifts out!

Door58 Decanter Set. $79.99

Packaged in a handsome wooden gift box, this decanter set is 100% crystal, not cheapie glass (note there are no seams in the tumblers or decanter). Styled in a sharp art-deco-inspired design, the decanter will hold a whole bottle of whiskey, and the wide, hefty tumblers feel great in the hand. Door58 has generously offered a discount for our readers (until June 15, 2019) of 20% off this set! Just follow the link about and enter the code 20DADBLOG at checkout.

Powers Three Swallow Irish Whiskey. $40

For those of you who haven’t experienced much Irish whiskey, you’re missing out. The sweet notes of bourbon and the richness of Scotch make Irish a taste all of its own. This is a fairly new expression of Powers that’s only been available in the US for a few months, so if you see some, pick up a bottle for dad.

Speyburn 10 (gift set). $30

To me, Speyburn is one of the best buys in single malt scotch. Often $30 and sometimes as low as $20, it’s an easy brand to keep around. In this case, my bottle of Speyburn came boxed with a bottle of “Source” – Scottish water designed to accompany Highland whiskys like this one. You serve your Speyburn neat, and give it a small dash of Source. A fun idea and perfectly affordable.

Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum. $45

If dad wants to venture out into aged rums, then a nice one like Diplomatico is the way to go. With both tropical and woody notes, aged rums sometimes match the terrior of cigars, for instance, or even coffee. If dad like stogies or adds a splash of whiskey to his coffee, have him try Diplomatico.

 

Enjoy your Father’s Day this year! Cheers!

Christmas Gifts for Mac and iPhone

christmas gifts for apple lovers

Macs and iPhones have always had some of the most interesting accessories in the world of computing. From old collectibles to new products that look like old products, Apple’s fanbase has always been willing to pay for premium, well-designed products, and accessories are no exception either. I talked to my friends at Anker, TwelveSouth and Rareform and got some of the coolest, most useful products for Apple laptops and phones and compiled this short list of Christmas gift ideas – all items are below $100, and most are below $50! Continue reading

Nomad Battery Cable (Lightning)

Nomad Battery Cable

I have to confess that I’m about 2 weeks overdue in posting the review of the Nomad Battery Cable. The problem was that this cable went straight into my EDC bag and I haven’t stopped using it long enough to photograph it.

Nomad Battery Cable

The Battery Cable is a great concept: a Lightning cable for charging your Apple products with a built in “battery barrel” (as I call it) that maintains a charge and acts as a backup/emergency battery for your gear as well. It’s built on a rugged ballistic nylon, moisture-proof cable that’s reinforced throughout and on both ends of the cable. I suspect this will last 10 times longer than my EDC charging cables usually last.

Nomad Battery Cable

Cable length is 10″ from the wall to the battery pack, then another 44″ of cabling thereafter. Nomad includes a built-in silicone cable keeper to prevent tangles while it jostles around in your bag.

Nomad Battery Cable

At $50, this is a cable that will provide you with the value of saved space in your everyday bag, as portable battery packs become unnecessary. I normally keep my AirPods plugged into the cable while it’s in my bag, which keeps them topped-off and I can forget about charging them. This cable is a well-built, useful cable that gives you the bonus of portable charging outside of electrical outlets, too.

As they always do, Nomad has scored a home run with a truly premium, useful product in the Battery Cable.

Nomad Leather Cases for iPhone X

nomad leather case iphone x

I haven’t been shy here at Simple Guy Stuff about my love for Nomad’s gear for the Apple Watch, which ranges from the fashionable to the technologically helpful. Nomad’s Modern Strap is my favorite Apple Watch band.

That said, when Nomad offered to let me check out some of their brand-new leather cases for the iPhone X, I jumped at the chance. Here are the cases I tried, pictured left to right above:

nomad leather case iphone x nomad leather strap apple watch

Since the iPhone X was just released yesterday, I’ve had just a bit of time to try the cases out. Right now, I’m using the Rugged Leather case on my phone, which I chose for 2 reasons: the way it looks with my Nomad Apple Watch band (pictured) and because I wanted to use a Qi charger with my iPhone X (more on that below).

nomad leather case iphone x

Here’s the flipside of the Rugged Case. A simple, tight black edge with functional, covered buttons. Because of the design of the iPhone X, you can’t really tell if you’re rocking the silver or black model until you get to the back of the device, so either one will look mostly the same with this case.

nomad leather case iphone x

Internally in both the Rugged and the Wallet case is a nice, thin layer of foam for added drop protection. Of the 3 cases here, the Wallet and Clear case are rated for 6-foot drops, while the Rugged case is good up to 10 ft.

Since one of the new features of iPhone 8s and the X is Qi wireless charging, I wanted to put that to the test with these. Each case enabled me to use a Qi charger and my phone charged great without interruption. If you are considering using the Nomad Wallet Case with a Qi charger: don’t do it if you’re putting credit cards in it (business cards are ok). Qi chargers can potentially damage RF chips and magnetic stripes in credit cards.

nomad leather case iphone x

Depending on your iPhone X’s hardware color, that may be where the Clear Case really shines. With the same type of Horween leather as the other 2 cases, this one is a little less rigid (TPE is used for the clear part) and a “patch” of leather where it rests in your hand. We tried this on both a black and silver iPhone X, and objectively, I’d say the silver model looks cooler in this case. It’s easier to see the Apple logo.

Overall, Nomad’s line of iPhone X leather cases are well built and great-looking. One minor complaint I have is that the vibrate/ring switch is buried a little deep in the Rugged and Wallet cases for a guy like me with short fingernails and fat fingertips. Outside of that small quibble, these are definitely the cases I’ll be using on my iPhone X for quite some time.

Sengled Bluetooth Speaker Bulbs

sengled bluetooth speaker bulbs

On my quest to find better-quality music on the patio, I ran across this pair of bluetooth LED speakers from Sengled: Pulse by JBL Audio. Pulse offers a matched set of stereo speakers cleverly disguised as lightbulbs that you install into a light fixture and can then connect to their internal JBL speakers via bluetooth.

sengled bluetooth speaker bulbs

Available in pewter (the option I chose), red or white, it’s a simple setup with thoughtful inclusions of stem extenders (the white things pictured above) that help if your fixture is a little too narrow for the wide base of the speaker bulbs (as mine is).

Sengled says these are not safe for outdoor use, but I’ve been using them all summer on the back patio, and because they mostly live in the light fixture we have there, and they point downward, I’ve not had any malfunctions or leaks.

sengled bluetooth speaker bulbs

When you install the speakers and turn them on, the first thing you should do is to download the Sengled app [iOS Store link], pictured above, which allows you to control the brightness of the LED bulbs (or turn them off entirely) and the overall speaker volume, which I always just control with my iPhone volume rockers.

sengled bluetooth speaker bulbs

At $100, a stereo bluetooth speaker set with this much power (it’s 13 watts and can be expanded out to a total of 8 speakers) is a value. It’s unobtrusive and handy for a space that you don’t want to install unsightly stereos and it’s especially handy when you’ve got the fixtures in place already. I imagine a garage or man cave would benefit from a set of these as well. Get your from Amazon here.

Nomad USB Charging Hub

nomad usb charging hub

Nomad Goods has introduced a new device that it seems we need more and more these days: a multi-port USB charger. I’ve been pretty happy with many of Nomad’s products in the past  (like watch accessories and leather goods), so I was excited to try out their “hub.”

Here’s the thing that I’ll get out of the way from the start: this isn’t a USB charging hub, it’s a USB charging hub. Did you catch the subtle difference there? I mean that this is not a USB hub in the sense that you connect it to your computer and plug in multiple devices into a single port. Instead it’s the hub of your digital life in that it provides 5 ports (some that are high speed), which’ll charge your multiple phones and tablets.

nomad usb charging hub

Using a single power brick (pictured above), you get power for your devices in a sleek and handy charging station, which is accented with a rubbery top that’s just perfect for setting your devices on as they charge.

One other cool feature of this Hub is it has a 5-light display on top of the device which shows when a device is charging (the light only shows if something’s drawing power). But: imagine this is in your bedroom at night. Who wants bright lights flashing then? Well, the Hub has a built-in ambient light sensor that will dim those LEDs in a dark room, allowing for an annoyance-free night’s sleep. It’s really thoughtful and cool.

nomad usb charging hub

The Hub is available in 5-port and 3-port models in both black and white. The 5-port hub has 2 high-speed (2.4A) ports and 3 regular-speed (1A) ports, while the 3-plug hub has 1 high-speed and 2 regular-speed ports. Both have a nice rubber cord management slot in the back of the device.

The Nomad USB Charging Hub retails for $50 (5-port) or $40 (3-port) and it’s available from Nomad or at Best Buy.

La Aroma de Cuba

la aroma de cuba cigar

One of the most classic blends you’ll commonly see represented in the cigar world is La Aroma de Cuba, available from Holt’s in 9 unique sizes, as well as a variety of cigar samplers. LADC is an amazingly tasty cigar and very affordable – ranging from just $5-8 for a single smoke.

Being comprised of Nicaraguan tobacco, LADC cigars are rich and woody, with notes of black pepper that give way to a wonderful palate of peanuts, almonds and sugar cookies. This is a cigar that is perfectly balanced between sweet, spicy and creamy, and in this price range, these would be the perfect cigar to fill your humidor with as their flavors are approachable and satisfy many cigar-smoking preferences.

double rum old fashioned

I paired the La Aroma de Cuba with a drink that I invented just for this pairing: a Double Rum Old Fashioned. This is a sweet and citrusy drink that adds an acidic and smooth element to the pairing, and this is a drink that’s so familiar and tasty that it would easily be enjoyed by most drinkers.

Double Rum Old Fashioned

in an old fashioned glass, add:

  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • 1/2 oz spiced rum
  • stir well, and fill glass with ice
  • add 1 1/2 oz aged rum and stir again until cold
  • garnish with a lemon twist
Thanks to Holt’s Cigar Company for sponsoring Simple Guy Stuff. 
Enter the promo code SIMPLE at check out and receive a complimentary 10% discount on your purchase! Discount is available online only. Certain exclusions apply. Offer expires January 31, 2018 – cannot be combined with other coupon codes.  Limit one discount per customer.​