My 10 Favorite Purchases in 10 Months – The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss

Photo: From Tim’s Instagram

I love testing new gadgets and products. It’s an obsession.

For The 4-Hour Chef alone, I tested well over $100,000 worth of gear. OCD + Amazon Prime = expensive.

Why on earth do I do it? Simple–I love sharing the 5-10 things out of 500-1,000 that really work. Strange fetish, perhaps, but I get off on it. Readers seem to enjoy it, too.

In the first ever 5-Bullet Friday newsletterI recommended my favorite all-purpose sandals, and more than 100,000 people clicked on the link within the first 48 hours (!). This type of click-through assault was nicknamed “the hug of death” by one Facebook fan. It crashes websites, wipes out inventory (eg Mizzen+Mainsardines at Whole Foods), creates nutty pricing spikes (eg used books going for $1,000 after the Sacca podcast), etc.

Below are 10 recent purchases that have given me—and continue to give me—value, joy, or both.

They are from a handful of 5-Bullet Friday newsletters (here’s a full sample). For the data nerds out there, I’ve listed the below products in descending order of click-through rate.

I’ve provided two sets of links for each. The first link (usually the name of the item) is often an Amazon affiliate link, if you’d like to chip in a few pennies to support my compulsive gear-testing habit. The second link, labeled “non-affiliate link,” is exactly that—a plain old link where Uncle Tim gets to fend for himself in the wild. I’m cool with either. Some items lack affiliate links altogether, as I was too lazy to search.

Here we go… (and what the hell is it with you guys and shoes?)

Vans Unisex Classic Slip-On (Gumsole) Skate Shoe (Non-affiliate link)

This makes me seem like one of the group, but I love these shoes. Not for skating. My criteria: great for airports, zero-drop soles for restoring Achilles mobility, usable at semi-casual but nice dinners, and small enough to pack in carry-on luggage. I’ve worn these for everything from business meetings to canyon hiking (in a pinch), and they’ve held up beautifully.

My elixirs warm-weather sipping

Here’s one of my favorite rosé wines in the US, perfect for summer sipping: The Wolffer Estate Rose from Long Island (many years are good).

[I’ll also give you a cold-weather alternative: YakTrax, for modifying normal shoes when you need to walk on snow and ice. They are amazing and fit in a jacket pocket. I bought the basic “Walk” model, but there are many options.]

My preferred odds

Many of you have asked, so here’s my favorite gear for podcasting, coffee, everyday carryand survival gear (some ridiculous).

Rumble Roller (travel size) (Non-affiliate link)

I’ve tried every foam roller imaginable, but this is my new favorite for opening up hamstrings and IT band prior to AcroYoga and other gymnastics practice. That front lever is still eluding me, but I’ll keep at it. WARNING: This will smash you 10x more than smooth rollers. I got overzealous my first session and, the next day, felt like I’d been leg kicked by Buakaw (my fave kickboxer, BTW).

Mini parallels (“p-bars”) for travel (Non-affiliate link)

These are small enough to stick in carry-on luggage. I use them primarily for pushups, planche leans, and L-sits for time. If you want to make a homemade version out of PVC that can live in your garage or living room, here’s another option.

Original Buddha Board (Non-affiliate link)

A zen-minded Etch-a-Sketch. Use the included brush to paint designs onto the board with water. As the water evaporates, your image fades, all within 30-60 seconds. This is a great tool for learning to let go… or rekindling your artistic side. If you have 60 seconds a day, you have time for the Buddha Board.

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB mic (Non-affiliate link)

I had to highlight this one. This is the best bang-for-the-buck USB mic I’ve found. I use it for all phone interviews for my podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. It’s traveled with me around the world. With this, ear buds, and ECamm Call Recorder, you’re set. For my more complete gear list, see the podcast bullet above from kit.com.

Wild Planet Canned Sardines in Olive Oil (Non-affiliate link)

I’m sitting in the Bahamas as I type this [back in December, at least], and 24 cans of sardines are sitting next to me in my suitcase. That’s my MO. I open one can upon waking, drizzle about half the oil over my dog’s kibble (which she sometimes refuses to eat dry), and then consume the fish myself. My skin and her coat her have never looked better. Hat tip to the incredible biochemistry beast Dom D’Agostino, PhD for intro’ing me to these beauties.

Epsom Salt (39.5 Lbs.) (Non-affiliate link)

I take hot baths every night when at home in SF. Nearly always, I add epsom salt (typically 4-8 cups), which facilitates muscular relaxation and recovery. Rather than buy small boxes at CVS or Safeway, I buy in bulk and store it in rolling dog-food containers. This is a good use of Amazon Prime.

Nayoya Gymnastic Rings (Non-affiliate link)

These are super portable (easily fit in a small backpack) and incredibly durable for the price. I’m using them for mostly dips and muscle-up progressions. The Nayoya allow me to leave the rings outdoors. BUT: If you’re going to travel without chalk, I highly suggest wooden rings.

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So… do you enjoy these types of recommendations?

Would you like to get a short e-mail from me every Friday with the five coolest things I’ve found that week? It often includes gadgets, books, supplements, albums, articles, new hacks, and — of course — random, useful stuff I find around the world.

Achtung! You can only get “5-Bullet Friday” if you subscribe to my free e-mail newsletter.

Why not test drive it for a week? You know it’s making your temples tickle, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Click here for a taste of why “5BF” (5-Bullet Friday) usually has a 70%+ open rate.

If you have any special requests for what you’d like see more of in the newsletterplease let me know in the comments.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 700 million downloads. It has been selected for “Best of Apple Podcasts” three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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