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Backed Hard: The Best Stuff Our Editors (Actually) Bought in October

This month, the purchases we stand by include mini Dutch ovens, an affordable Theragun alternative, and a silky boi eye mask.
The Best Stuff Our Editors Bought in October
Composite by Vice Staff

Oh October, how we love you so. The weather is immaculate, the leaves are changing in much of the Northern Hemisphere, and the land is ruled by dark beers, light jackets, dogs in sweaters, and hard apple cider. The only thing we love more than enjoying this time of year IRL? Shopping for it. 

Last month, we were ensorcelled with coffee makers, Japanese skincare, giant tweezers for any and all purposes, and much more. This month, we filled our hollowed-out pumpkins with tons of goodies, from miniature Dutch ovens for fall soupin’ and yerba mate gourds for cold-weather sippin’ to calming audio books and a particularly disturbing Furby mask. 

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Here’s all the stuff we bought and won’t stop texting the group chat about this October. It’s a mélange of the best kitchenware, fall clothing, and products to make your friends say ooooh, izzat, like, vintage?

A mini-Dutch oven for a small kitchen

[Clears throat in Werner Herzog] “I would like to see the Baby [Dutch oven].” Those belonging to the Great Jones cult of aesthetic cookware have spoken, and they have asked for a smaller version of the brand’s best-selling Dutchess. Thus, the three-and-a-half-quart Dutch Baby was born, which is perfect for someone who doesn’t cook a lot, has zero kitchen space, and hates Ugly Things on Counters (meeee). Great Jones graciously offered to send a bébé my way, and I love the damn thing; I love that it comes in a shade of Yves Klein blue, and I’ve been using it for everything from pasta to soft boiled eggs. Most of all, it doesn’t give me Virgo Dread to see it out on my burners. —Mary Frances Knapp


$120 at Great Jones

$120 at Great Jones

A beer holster

Do I have a beer holster, you ask? Of course; as a gentleman must. This badass belt accessory is perfect for taking to the club, the house party, and the old-timey saloon. It fits bottles, cans, and tallboys quite perfectly. Maybe even too perfectly… —Ian Burke


$7.99 at Amazon

$7.99 at Amazon

A noodle annihilator 

I recently wrote about the Olsky Handheld Electric Body Massager, which only costs 50 bucks—a big step down from the Theragun PRO’s hefty $599 price tag—because it a) has a full 5-star rating average from over 1,200 reviews, and b) absolutely slaps, despite being a generic version of a big-time massage gun. In fact, it’s my new favorite workout recovery gadget. —Ian Burke


$49 at Amazon

$49 at Amazon
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These ice cubes that make amazing instant cocktails

When it comes to enjoying a drink at home (solo, or more likely with friends), I'm a cocktail bish. I'm just not a huge beer person, and I never seem capable of finishing an open bottle of wine before it gets skunky. But as I learned in the early days of Dark Times of Hermitude 2020, it can be a drag to have to pull out, use, and clean my cocktail shaker, jigger, and other gear every time I make a marg or whatever. That's why j'adore these infused cocktail ice cubes from Herb & Lou. You just freeze them whenever, and then when you're ready for a "Cooper" (blood orange ginger old fashioned) or "Cecile" (cucumber watermelon margarita) you throw them in a cool-looking glass with your booze of choice and voila: adulthood. —Hilary Pollack


$36 at Food52

$36 at Food52

The world’s best notebook

A Moleskine is like the leather jacket of notebooks. It’s so damn smooth. The pages are thick, but not too thick, and come in this shade of buttery eggshell. It just makes everything I write feel like an epiphany, even if it’s a reminder to pick up my laundry. —Mary Frances Knapp


$13.21 at Amazon

$13.21 at Amazon

A silk sleep mask 

I've lived in my current apartment for over two years now and I stillllllll haven't quiiiiite gotten around to getting blinds installed in my bedroom. I will continue blaming the pandemic for this but really it's one of my character flaws, and that's fine; nobody's perfect. Anyway it also took me way too long to get a sleep mask, but as soon as I got this washable silk one from Lunya and started dutifully wearing it to bed every night, my sleep quality dramatically improved. It's so soft and luxurious-feeling, doesn't mess up my hair, and puts me in a total blackout. Give one to someone you love who's always complaining that they slept like shite last night. —Hilary Pollack


$48$35.52 at Lunya

$48$35.52 at Lunya
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This cursed Halloween mask

HELLO! Please don’t hate me if I slither out from under your bed in the night like a human slinky in this mask, do all of your dishes, kiss all your little toesies, and then crawl back to hell before breakfast. Such is the life of a long Furby LARPer during Halloween month. —Mary Frances Knapp


$19.99 at Etsy

$19.99 at Etsy

This ridiculously calming audiobook read by Devendra Banhart

Daaaaaamn, dude. Cynicism and Magic is a really special book, and a great intro into Buddhism. It assembles a series of lectures by the late Chögyam Trungpa, a Tibetan Buddhist whose teachings really popped off in the 1970s in the United States, and goes through basic concepts like karma, the structure of ego, the paramitas, and the bodhisattva with ease. I bought one version of the hard copy (you’re going to annotate the hell out of this baby), and the audiobook, because it’s read by the musician Devendra Banhart, whose voice sounds like a million little bells drifting down a river. Someone give him an ASMR channel, please. —Mary Frances Knapp


$15.99 at Amazon

$15.99 at Amazon

Yes, I bought something from Abercrombie in 2021

My colleague Mary Frances is right: Abercrombie & Fitch is cool again. I probably haven't bought anything from the heritage teen hot-people store since, like, 2003, but yes, I did buy this corset top after going into an internet k-hole about Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly (I'm sorry!) and it did turn out to be a great purchase (I'm not sorry!). It's super-stretchy and flattering, and I shall be wearing it a lot, OK? (Also, I love that Abercrombie is repenting for its utter lack of inclusive sizing in the 90s by now having crazy vanity sizing. I'll take it.) —Angel Kilmister


$45$35.28 at Abercrombie & Fitch

$45$35.28 at Abercrombie & Fitch
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A yerba mate gourd

Yerba mate is a traditional South American drink historically consumed in countries such as Argentina and Brazil. (It’s similar to tea, but has a much higher caffeine content.) You’ve probably seen it in the store—and don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the cans of Guyakí you can find in your supermarket—but a gourd offers a seriously different experience. You’ll still get a blast of mellow caffeine, but with the added ritual that surrounds it, which I find to be a super soothing way to start my mornings. Now, this is a stainless steel gourd and bombilla set, so it’s not suuuuper traditional, but it’s affordable and easy to clean. —Ian Burke


$14.99 at Amazon

$14.99 at Amazon

Some good underwear

We’re no stranger to the vast and voluptuous world of the best underwear for men, but we’re always on the lookout for new additions to our undergarment arsenal. This eight-pack of Reebok Performance Boxer Briefs is easily my favorite right now, since they’re stretchy, breathable, and have a comfort contour pouch designed for added support. —Ian Burke


$35.99 at Amazon

$35.99 at Amazon

The bootleg phone case of your dreams 

Let me preface this by saying that you should always support bands directly by going to shows and buying merch IRL or through official webstores. For real! And, before I continue and start sounding like a bad person who doesn't think musicians deserve to be paid for their work, I've seen metal gods Sleep live at least a half dozen times and I own a bunch of their official merch, including several shirts and the infamous pillowcase. That being said, I recently discovered that if you need a cell phone case, Redbubble—yes that Redbubble—has a bonkers selection of stoner metal merch that is almost definitely not giving a penny of its revenue to the actual musicians, so this is not a substitute for meaningfully supporting art… but also, I get loads of compliments on my Holy Mountain album cover phone case, because it rules. Think of it as a parking lot bootleg of the world wide web. (Next time, I think I'm gonna get a Matrix case to remind myself to not spend too much time in cyberspace.) —Hilary Pollack


$21 at Redbubble

$21 at Redbubble

$21 at Redbubble

$21 at Redbubble

See you in November, tasty turkeys. 


The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.