Additional Key Carry/Gadgets:
A side note of additional methods and tools that I uncovered during my long hunt for the perfect system. There are quite a few here, I liked and disliked them for multiple reasons. Some of, or a combination of these, might be perfect for you. Send us a message if you’re going to give any of these a try, or what your experience is/was with these, or your experience with any other types of key carry. Now you will know all of my key secrets… except for a few which I’m reserving for later.
The Kaijin fishhook. Ended up losing it during SXSW 2011. A killer product with its own unique look, available in multiple finishes, made in Japan. People would compliment this product a lot, which was nice. But I wanted function, not compliments on my key hook. I preferred the P-7, but some may really dig the look and larger size of the Kaijin. Also available from their eBay store.
MAKR Bottle Key. Clever. A key blank with a bottle opener built in. $11.
A&P stainless steel cable key rings. These just looked awesome. For me it still had the drawbacks of a carabiner, stored externally and keys clinking around. But for those who are into external key carry, this looks like a cool, organized techy/tactical solution.
S-Biner gear clips. Seems like a great idea. A carabiner with two access points. I’ve heard dozens and dozens of stories of people losing their keys with this bit of hardware. It opens the other side as you unclip/clip the side to your belt loop or whatever else you’re clipping to. It happens because you’re pushing against the opposite side of the clip, opening it, at the same time you’re trying to clip the other side (the intended side). Not ideal.
Key Wallets. This is a unique system. Myself, I’m not into it. But its a way to combine your wallet and keyring into one, theoretically reducing bulk. I’m not entirely sold though. I’d rather not reach for my wallet when I want to quickly use a key though. Anyone run this setup?
The awesome Keybrid. I’ve been waiting for the black version for months now. I’ll absolutely get this item, as it combines two existing elements into one, cleverly reducing bulk and weight (even though its minimal, I’ll admit). Cannot wait to have this.
Free Key split ring. This is an interesting nail-saving creation. However, I don’t find the need to swap keys on and off daily, weekly, or monthly. My keys have been on my nail-hurting split ring for over a year. They probably won’t need removing or adding anytime soon either. With this product, I’d think that there would be a possibility of keys accidentally coming off, but I could be wrong. Anyone tried one? We’ve talked about them before here.
Neck Chain Key Hanger. This system is hardcore. Recommended if you only have 2 keys, max. One single key would be even more ideal. And even more rad if you simply used one “Best Wishes” key (previous entry above). If anyone does this, please send in a photo, because you are awesome. Pretty simple. Buy a length of chain. Attach key. Wear. Hidden, out of sight, out of mind, pockets free, jingle free. Plus, if anyone sees it, you can tell them its for your “safe house”, in case of emergency.
Tritium Cubes. These things are awesome for those klutzy ones of us out there. If you frequently (or may possibly) lose your keys in places that could dark, this magic little cube will help you find it. Best part, they don’t require hours of a bright light shining on it to make the tritium bar glow inside. Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen… naturally occurring, it is extremely rare on Earth, where trace amounts are formed by the interaction of the atmosphere with cosmic rays. It glows without batteries, without electricity, without charging, its not glow-in-the-dark, it relies completely on radioluminescence. Science aside, the point is, this bar inside the protective resin block glows day and night without losing its luminescence for many years (about 12 years until it gets half as dim). Small and trick, eh?
Hone. A system that helps you find your keys via a smartphone app and a bit of Bluetooth hardware. Battery life could be better. Because we know we’d forget to change the battery, then lose the keys the day after the original one dies.
Keylet. A key + wallet organization system, created by two young Industrial Designers. Currently still on Kickstarter. I had bad experience carrying cards in metal money clips like this one, as the magnetic strips on my credit card and drivers license wore off within a couple months of use. I literally ended up having to replace my cards when they stopped working, a minimum of 2 or 3 times per card, so I quit that method. The idea is sound, definitely says “Industrial Design”.
Huckberry’s EDC Kit. We love Huckberry. You should too. These guys release curated collections of various products you will want to own and have in your life. Oh, and you’ll get big discounts on the products too, which is the best part. Sometimes the brands themselves never even have sales, so the only time you’ll get a discount is via Huckberry. To name just a few examples of stuff they’ve recently offered; Mission Workshop packs, Defy Bags messengers, Benchmade knives, rare single origin coffee beans from exotic locations around the world, high-tech and low-tech camping equipment, US-made Tellason denim jeans, functional gadgets, and all sorts more. I know several Carryology contributors and readers alike have signed up (its free, really easy and really fast to sign up) and purchased many sweet items. Huckberry’s EDC Kit, located in the “General Store” section of their site, is a great way to jump in to a nice kit for functional key carry. It includes; Freekey Split Ring (mentioned above), Survival Pod (contains two 2’ of 550 paracord strands, concealed mini blade with sheath, fire starter flint, 6″ fire starter jute/tinder, 3″ Duct tape, key ring), Screw Key set (Phillips and flathead), and Stainless Steel Mini Lighter… all for $39. By the way, Carryology readers get a $5 credit towards your first purchase at Huckberry, but you’ll need to sign up at this link here to get that $5 credit. So this handy kit actually will only cost you $34, shipped (free shipping within the USA). We really dig this site, check out everything they’ve got over there… chances are whatever you find will be incredible.
PicoPen. Under 3.00″ in length, 3/16″ in diameter and less than 1/4 of an ounce. A perfect lightweight slim pen for when you really need one, but don’t have room to spare a full-sized Pilot Hi-Tec C. Less than $20 from TEC Accessories direct.
Swiss+Tech Utili-Key. Pretty trick little gadget. 6 tools in 1, the size of a key. I opted out as I didn’t want to get my keys confiscated by TSA or any type of building with strict security (the knife blade may just be a touch long for). Still, a very nice option, especially for 8-10 bucks.
True Utility KeyTool. Pretty much the same as above, except this unit is lighter, has 8 tools, and actually wraps over a key. I’ve seen a photo or two of this product broken/bent up, but those could have been caused from operator failure or misuse. People seem to like it overall. About $10, maybe cheaper if you look around.
LaCie PetiteKey. A key-shaped USB thumb drive at a fair price with a surprising amount of storage (8GB = $15 / 16GB = $23 / 32GB = $40 / probably cheaper if you search around). Great for those who may need to keep digital work files handy (resumes, presentations, etc). Also great for spies.
Corter Leather Bottle Hook. Last but not least, a handsome key hanger that doubles as a bottle opener. The leather detail makes it really nice too. I was highly tempted by this for a while, but then I would’ve been going back to external key carry method. Nothing is wrong with external key carry, it just wasn’t for me. This is a great product, handmade, one by one. Still tempted.
And finally, here is another great blog 100% dedicated to Keychain Gadgets and Pocket Tools… so many damn cool items reviewed on there to feast your eyes on. Definitely worth taking a close look at.
All this being said, we’re not suggesting that you carry 50 new gadgets to your existing keyring, but rather to find your own combination or system that works best for you. “Less but better” (D.Rams) and “Travel More, Carry Less” (Carryology)! Carry on.
Yeah, alright, so I’m obsessed. We all are over here. Hope you enjoyed. Send us a message if you change up your key carry method, or if you’ve got a unique one you’d like to share with us.