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Road Test :: Skinth Plus and Skinth XL

Road Test :: Skinth Plus and Skinth XL

by , January 29, 2014
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Something for the EDC maniacs amongst us…

Skinth Solutions (or “Skinth” for short) is the brainchild of carry genius Eric Au, an Industrial Designer who’s based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. You can learn a bit more about Skinth and Eric in our 5 Minutes with Skinth post that we recently did.

5 Minutes w Skinth 5


  • Name: Skinth XL
  • Brand: Skinth
  • Format: EDC
  • Measurement: Skinth Plus 1.75" wide x 0.75" deep x 4.5" long -- Skinth XL 2" wide x 1" deep x 4.5" long
  • Capacity: more than you expect
  • Material: 1000D Cordura nylon with PU backing
  • PriceSkinth Plus $45.50 -- Skinth XL $50.50


We first learned about Skinth as a hot tip from some of our EDC fanatic readers. In this popular niche of everyday carry, there was an extremely great demand for highly specific pouches for some time. No brand was really nailing it. Companies like Leatherman included a leather or nylon pouch with their multitools, but it was single purpose and could only carry one particular tool, maybe even just that particular make/model. If you tried to squeeze in a flashlight or other relevant tool, you were out of luck. EDC folks carry a wide range of items, and were left just tossing them into a single general purpose zipper pouch or at the bottom of a large pocket in their bag, loose and unorganized. Not necessarily ideal.

So Eric stepped up to the plate with Skinth (skinny + sheath). We had to get our hands on a Skinth or two to give them a proper Carryology Road Test and Eric was happy to oblige.

Carryology Skinth Road Test 9

The range of Skinth products is extremely varied, each unique and each with the ability to be highly customized for each individual user. Different colors, carry methods, custom pockets, etc. The options are endless. Go have a look at the full range and click through all the custom options, but be prepared to spend some time. So, rather than try to cover all of these different products and their features, let’s focus on the two that we’re road testing. We opted for the Skinth Plus ($45.50, as tested) and the Skinth XL ($50.50, as tested).

Carryology Skinth Road Test 8

The Skinth Plus

This one is a variation on the original Skinth OG design, just a tad bit bigger. We selected this model for the particular combination of EDC tools I had intended to include and we asked for the Skinth Plus to be built in all black (all Skinths use 1000D Cordura nylon with PU backing), Velcro horizontal carry straps (standard), with side tube closure flaps, and then the option to have one of the side tubes open at the bottom (so larger items can fit through the bottom opening).

Carryology Skinth Road Test 4

When the post arrived from Canada, the high level build quality was the most obviously apparent trait. These Skinths are military grade, constructed for extreme EDC use. No loose threads, reinforced seams, everything overbuilt. After the initial fondling, it is shocking how much this little kit can hold. It seemed I couldn’t fill it up no matter how many items from my pile of goodies I put into it. So much so, that even when I thought I was fully finished filling this kit, I discovered two MORE pockets (the two sleeve pockets on the inside of the side pocket tubes, which are to the right and left of the main compartment).

Carryology Skinth Road Test 11

So I ventured back to Google to place another order or two to fill these two pockets up (ultimately with a Pry Bar, Bit Extender and Zip Ties). This thing just kept begging for more EDC bits and this was the smaller of the two Skinths (main compartment is 1.75″ wide, 0.75″ deep, 4.5″ long with side tubes that are 0.75″ in diameter and 3″ long). I could just imagine having to fill Skinth’s largest product, the colossal Catch All; that project would probably take me a month, especially with how picky I am.

Carryology Skinth Road Test 2

The goal for filling the Skinth Plus kit was to create the ultimate EDC kit which I could toss into a backpack or messenger on the way out the door, knowing that it had every tool I could possibly ask for in a pinch. And potentially even toss it onto a belt if I were heading into a situation where I’d need to tinker with things on the fly, out in the field essentially.

Carryology Skinth Road Test 5

The optional horizontal Velcro straps add some extra mounting options if you need them – the outside of a bag or pack or even mounted somewhere neatly inside.

Here are the items I decided upon for the EDC kit in the Skinth Plus:

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Leatherman Charge TTi Multi-tool
Leatherman 21-Piece Bit Kit (42 bits)
Leatherman Bit Driver Extender
Fenix LD12 AA Flashlight (max 125 lumens!)
(1) Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA Battery (underneath Leatherman)
DSPTCH 550 Paracord Wrist Strap
CountyComm Straight 4″ Micro Widgy Pry Bar
Uncle Bill’s Silver Gripper Tweezers
$20 bill (folded, behind Tweezers)
TEC Accessories PicoPen
(2) 8″ Zip Ties
Bic Lighter

I’ll cover these bits in detail in a later post, as I spent countless hours of research to ensure they were the best of the best, perfectly sized and suited for this kit. This curated collection of items allows me to accomplish almost any small task, potentially even great ones. A very sharp S30V knife, a saw blade, super bright waterproof and compact flashlight with exceptional battery life (which can be used while still in the Skinth, as the side tube is open at the bottom), 42 different bits, the ability to tie something down with the extra paracord, take down some notes, even make fire. And it all fits into one product.

Carryology Skinth Road Test 10

Carryology Skinth Road Test 7

One of the really trick construction methods used here is the “inside out” pocket lips/seams (shown above), uncommon on most soft-goods, where they tuck them on the inside for aesthetic purposes. This turned out method allows tools to be inserted and removed without catching, which would normally be on the interior of the pocket. Nice little detail there, straight from Eric’s very sharp eye, his response to customer feedback, the result of field testing, and the knowledge of his craft. This Skinth Plus is incredible, dialed in for the ideal EDC kit.

Carryology Skinth Road Test 1

For convenience, I leave the fully kitted Skinth Plus hanging by the door, as I regularly toss this into my messenger work bag or backpack when I’m heading out, knowing I have everything I could need no matter what comes my way. Depending on where I’m traveling to, I’ll even pack it away in my checked luggage. This Skinth Plus is exactly what I was looking for.

Carryology Skinth Road Test 14

The Skinth XL

This was just a touch bigger than the Skinth Plus, so I wanted to come up with a different kind of kit, something maybe even a bit more specialized than the general purpose EDC variety above. This time, I wanted a killer bicycle repair/emergency kit. To add a bit of differentiation for photographs, I opted for the OD Green color (again, all 1000D Cordura nylon), all standard options across the board, except for the addition of the H&K clip.

Carryology Skinth Road Test 15

Just like the Skinth Plus, the XL is built at a premium level, like a full-sized military assault pack shrunken down (they do use all military grade materials, like the high density, high durometer Mil-Spec 17337 nylon webbing, for example). Here, the XL’s main compartment is 2″ wide, 1″ deep, and 4.5″ long.  The side tubes are 0.75″ in diameter and 3″ long. So just a touch bigger than the Skinth Plus.

Carryology Skinth Road Test 16

This XL model worked out like a dream, much better than expected. I had assumed it would work well, but not this well. In fact, there are still additional pockets in this kit that I’ve yet to fill with the perfect tools. Pick up a Skinth for yourself and then see what I’m talking about; it’s borderline a project or homework that you’re signing up for.

Here are the bicycle-related items I’ve included in the Skinth XL:

Carryology Skinth Road Test 17

Crank Brothers Multi-17 Tool
Blackburn Flea Rear LED Light (with USB Charger)
(2) Tire Levers
Tube Patch Kit
Swiss Army Knife
Stubby Phillips Screwdriver

This kit is great to wear on a belt, even though I generally don’t like wearing pouches on my belt. But for cycling around, running errands across the city, it is spot on. Everything I need, right on my hip.

Carryology Skinth Road Test 13

The clever H&K metal hardware is extremely convenient for clipping on a set of bike/house keys on the go. With the hip placement, the bike light is in a fantastic location for visibility, even higher up than where it would traditionally sit lower on the seat post (safety bonus). One thing to note is that if I were to take a spill, I’d have everything in the Skinth XL to make the necessary repairs to my bicycle to get it back up and keep on rolling, whether it be repairing the tube or readjusting the tweaked handlebars. This was exactly the plan.

Carryology Skinth Road Test 12

To get a Skinth best suited to your needs, the best bet would be to see what items you currently have, and which items you want, check the Skinth site carefully and even email Eric with questions (he’s highly responsive to questions).

Carryology Skinth Road Test 19

Another great way to give yourself some ideas is to view this excessively long forum thread, showing photo after photo of user-submitted Skinth load-outs. Some are simply inspiring (the best stuff starts at around page 50 and then keeps getting better from there, in my personal opinion…or you can look at every single page, like I did). It will definitely get your gear junkie juices flowing, just be sure to keep a close eye on your wallet as you’ll be tempted to place orders.

Carryology Skinth Road Test 18

The final say here is that these Skinths are highly recommended no matter the intended purpose, general or specialized. Fantastic carry with several customizable features and mounting/carry options and orientations. Be warned, most folks who buy one Skinth end up picking up at least 1-3 more. I know I’ve already purchased another one for myself and I’m currently eyeing up a fourth. I may even take on the challenge of trying to fill that bunker of the Skinth Catch All.

Best paired with: Meatloaf heavily seasoned with herbs (50% beef, 25% lamb, 25% pork) with a dark malty cellar-temperature Baltic Porter.

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