- Buyer's Guide
It’s been months of slowly building this creature and keeping it a secret. Now, we're ready to release the multi-headed beast from its hidden lair: introducing the Orbitkey x Carryology Hydra System. The world’s most advanced keychain ecosystem.
Joining a new Orbit
How did we join forces? Well, it was a matter of pushing our collab program into new realms. Because for us ‘carry’ isn’t just about bags. It’s everything you carry, moving down to the things in your pockets, the tools you need to nail your day. And carrying keys was a frontier we not only wanted to cross, but to conquer.
And when we mention ‘keys’, there’s no other brand with their finger more on the pulse than Orbitkey, the pocket innovators out of Melbourne who’ve flipped up the key carry game with their key organizer (Carry Award winner) and supremely dope keyring to name a few. We just had to work with them!
So we reached out to founders Charles and Rex, and the match was done. They were onboard. And we agreed early on that a simple fabric upgrade to an existing piece of gear wouldn’t do, it’d be a missed opportunity to really work on something that could nudge the needle. Something that would make access to our keys easier, and transitions smoother, while pushing the performance of Orbitkey’s hardware and material choices to the cutting-edge. Those would be our goals.
Inventing the ecosystem
So, as a collective team, we began asking... What key-related problems do we want to solve? We explored how we used our keychains – the common transitions as we moved through our day. We wrote them out and circled each one... drawing a line to a center point with a question mark.
The question mark representing the answer, not the question. Each individual style looking like a circular head, extending from the center via a thin line or “neck”. It would not be one thing. It would be many things, for many people, for many lifestyles. We’d build a keychain that would adapt to any mode of carry. Based on our research, the styles of carry we narrowed it down to were: Belt Carry, Belt-loop Carry, Pants Pocket Carry, Bag Carry (internal), Bag Carry (external), and even Home Organization. Our ecosystem would work with all of these – and give its users blisteringly fast access.
The Hydra System was born.
Two heads are better than one
Like the mythical multi-headed beast, our system has duel heads – a carabiner and hook, working together – so there are two ports for your keys at all times, allowing for seamless transitions as you bounce from: bag to belt loop, sling to admin panel, pocket to messenger, backpack to corridor wall. In endless combinations. So your keys can move with you.
We imagined the end user traveling to work via bicycle, their keys attached to their pack's straps. Upon arriving at their office, they quickly deploy their keys, lock up their bike, drop their bag off at their desk. Then transition to pants pocket or belt pocket carry while they roam their office, looking smart, keys at the ready to access locked security doors. After work, their keys can rapidly transition and snap back to shoulder strap carry, access the door to their home, and then even snapping them into an organizer where they will live for the evening... ready for the next day's transitions.
Pure magnetism (controlled)
There was only one way to make the transitions between the two heads of Hydra fast and smooth – magnets. And there’s only one brand we trust when it comes to magnets – Fidlock. And so we went with their most premium of options.
Each head of the Hydra is embedded with a high-strength N45 grade neodymium magnet. Strong enough to pull your keys to its rightful place from inches away with a satisfying and vocal click (warning: this clicking of your keys on and off is highly addictive).
And Fidlock’s magnets are of the highest quality on the planet, designed to securely keep your keys on an magnetic plate, and only release them when they’re lifted from a certain angle, but we wanted to build in one more line of defence, for peace of mind (these are your keys after all).
How was this done? With a very clean innovation: the pull tab, which is used to lift and transfer the keys, has been specially designed to move when needed, so it naturally remains vertical for easy location without looking, but rotates downward with any downward force, preventing the Fidlock from becoming accidentally dislodged by errant brushes or knocks.
This one simple but important design element enabled us to perfectly balance all the functions required of the pull tab, optimising the quick release and ensuring a fast, reliable and safe system.
An indestructible beast
You know we geek out of the very best materials and construction techniques. And this wouldn’t be a system worthy of the name of a mythical and indestructible beast unless we took it to the next level. So that’s exactly what we’ve done: no keychain comes close in the materials and construction department.
You won’t find any Cordura webbing here or plastic clips or belt hooks, no no. We’ve gone all in, with a mystifying mix of individually CNC machined aircraft-grade 6063 aluminium alloy, Hypalon webbing, ultra-high strength nylon, and tough-as-nails heat-treated stainless steel.
Where is all this goodness? Well, let’s dig in.
Custom backing plate (CNC machined in 6063 aluminium alloy)
First, we custom-built the Fidlock anchor (backing plate) and threw away Fidlock’s off-the-shelf unit. Not that it wasn’t great, but it was plastic and chunky. Instead we individually CNC machined a new part using high-strength aluminium alloy, making the geometry as slim as possible whilst enhancing its construction and strength.
Carabiner (CNC machined in 6063 aluminium alloy)
Next, the Carabiner. Again individually CNC machined in 6063 aluminium alloy. Black anodised from that all-black goodness with a laser-etched logo. And specifically designed to give the best Carabiner experience. How? Well, a larger than standard gate allows you to attach to more carry options. Secondly, there’s increased surface contact between the two parts (gate and outer clip) which helps reduce side-to-side gate movement, a common issue with regular carabiners. And unlike other carabiners, there aren't any sharp corners where your thumb rests on the gate – which means it’s super comfortable to operate day in and day out.
Why CNC machining?
This process takes raw material (in this case a block of 6063 aluminium alloy) and shapes it using a material removal procedure with a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine.
Although considered excessively laborious for most mass manufactured products, we chose to use CNC machining for a very good reason: precision machining creates highly sophisticated hardware with unparalleled accuracy, ensuring that it works perfectly as intended – day in, day out.
Fun fact: it takes an average of 3,705 seconds to machine the Clip and 5,654 seconds for the custom-designed FIDLOCK Female Part.
Funner fact: gifted with each Hydra System will be an package of metal shavings from the aluminium block used to machine the hardware on your Hydra. Well, just because.
Custom D-ring (heat-treated stainless steel)
Detachable and custom-designed to fit with the Fidlock part, and made from heat-treated stainless steel 304 wire, the D-ring snaps off its holster and allows you to easily add or remove keys to a small opening – reducing bulk by eliminating the need for an extra key ring and fitting any keys, including most car keys.
Belt hook (CNC bent durable stainless steel 304H)
The heat treated stainless steel ensures that the belt hook has maximum strength to take any hit, but flexible enough to bend to even the largest of belt widths or backpack panel. This is a hook made to last – and to keep things tight and secure when attached.
Pull Tab and Webbing (Hypalon and ultra-high strength nylon stitching)
Designed for performance (and used in Navy SEAL inflatable boats), Hypalon has a naturally-grippy surface, making sure that you can pull your keys on and off the “anchor” confidently. Light. Strong. And badass.
Multiple heads, multiple styles of carry. CNC machined perfection, aircraft-grade aluminium, neodymium magnets, seamless transitions, all-black, and contained in a streamlined stealth package.
Prepare yourselves, the Hydra System is here.
The Hydra System Launch Date
Wednesday, 14th of October
(6pm EDT New York time)!
As always, our readers will have exclusive first dibs, this time only 3hrs before the public. After that, the Hydra will be revealed across all of the internet and the world for all to secure. So if you'd like to tame this creature, act quickly.
Mark your calendars and get ready for the big reveal.
The link to purchase will be in the Exclusive Release article here on the Carryology website which will be posted at the time/date listed.
It will also be sent out to newsletter subscribers. For speed, we recommend you come to the website to find the article and the link, otherwise it may already be sold out by the time you find it in your inbox.
NY – Oct 14th, 6pm
LA – Oct 14th, 3pm
London – Oct 14th, 11pm
Vancouver – Oct 14th, 3pm
Sydney – Oct 15th, 9am
Singapore – Oct 15th, 6am
Berlin – Oct 15th, Midnight
Paris – Oct 15th, Midnight
Tokyo – Oct 15th, 7am