Top 5 | Best Everyday Accessory
Our Best Everyday Accessory category celebrates the smaller gear that makes a big difference in our daily lives. And as you’ll see in our top 5 finalists, these pieces can range vastly in design and purpose, from keeping our essentials organized to helping us stay hydrated and ensuring our tech is juiced on the go. Each finalist has earned its spot thanks to its well-considered, practical design that makes it genuinely useful to carry every day. But which one really nails its intended purpose with ease of carry? Choose your top contender below…
Something magical happened in 2017 when a co-founder of GORUCK and product engineer from Patagonia decided to open shop in Montana. Their mission: to bring their knowledge from military-grade packs and outdoor gear respectively and design bags and accessories that were both rugged and tough, but could operate well at home, at work, and during travel.
EVERGOODS started off with their CIVIC line of products. As the name implies, this is your EDC city gear; something you might wear while cycling to work, or off the plane, while you explore a new city. Later, they introduced the Mountain line, which is geared more towards outdoor pursuits. Within the CIVIC line, we find the Civic Access Pouch 2L, or CAP2 for short.
At the time of its introduction, there had been many accessory or organizer pouches but most followed similar designs. You had the clamshell opening, pouches with horizontal zippers near the top, or pouches that opened down the middle accordion-style. But what Jack and Kevin introduced to the world with the CAP2 was truly unique. The main zipper warped around the top edge and towards the back, at an angle, to produce a wide opening. Once the lid is lifted back, you can see that it contains a quick-access mesh pocket that is accessible from both the inside and a hidden zipper externally. The bag stands well on its own and has a main body divided with a compartment accessible with a long zipper. Pockets line the front and rear wall of the CAP2 but lay flat if you want to fit in larger items.
There’s padding around the entire pouch that gives good structure and peace of mind. It manages to hold tons while somehow being compact, able to fit into any bag it’s tossed in. It excels at filling out the bottom of most backpacks, allowing you to stack other accessories and items on it. Finally, since it excels at standing, it’s perfect to take to your destination and set up next to your workstation where it acts as an impromptu organizer.
The CAP2 is an instant classic in the world of EDC organizers. It introduced a new shape and design, holds everything one might need, stands on its own, and manages to still stay quite slim.
Wide opening for easy access
Padding to help protect the contents and maintain structure
Prior to 2020, much of the world had not heard of Dan Matsuda but everyone knows his work. As a softgoods designer for Triple Aught Design (TAD), he was responsible for some of the most iconic bags and accessories in the EDC world. If you’ve ever lusted after the FAST Pack EDC, Litespeed, OP1, or Control Panel, then you’ve admired his work. After working for TAD for 12 years, Dan decided to branch off on his own as a freelance softgoods designer. What started off as a sling pouch for some fishing buddies, turned into EDC organizer pouches with a number of strap and organizational options and made with different materials. These pouches are part of his aptly named SAMPLE series.
The SAMPLE series has gone on for two years now and almost every Friday, at Noon PST, a few more drop. Known only by their Article Number, the drops are always limited and sell out quickly. Through the years, Dan has experimented with different materials (rice bags, Pendleton wool blankets, VX21/25) but 1000D Cordura remains a mainstay fabric.
Speaking of experimentation, Articles have come in a few different sizes and configurations but the one that started it all still proves popular. It is rectangular in shape, measuring 9.5” x 5.5” x 3” and has a circular Velcro patch panel in front and adjustable cording for stowing items you need quickly. The rear has a large elastic retention sleeve as well as more cording. The bag opens up through a center zip and stands on its own, for easy spotting and access of the contents. Long Velcro panels on each side offer the user a chance to customize the layout to fit their needs. Currently, options include elastic loop organizers, a mini zipper pouch, removable tray, and more.
Dan’s SAMPLE bags manage to be practical, expandable and customizable, and durable all at the same time. There’s something special about being able to participate in the artisanal journey of an item that is handmade, one at a time, in small batches, by a single designer in his workshop and released into the world. Samples are a word common in the marketing and press world. It’s often used to refer to a prototype or quickly assembled unit for testing. Or an item sent off for review or testing that might not be final. It makes sense why Dan would call his series this, but in using his SAMPLE Pouch, one can’t help but experience and sense all the quality and refinement of one of the best pouches out there.
Handmade artisanal piece that exudes quality
Wide opening for ease of access
We first heard about Mobile, Peak Design’s ambitious foray into the smartphone case and accessory world in the summer of 2020. It is comprised of a series of mobile phone cases with an accompanying ecosystem of mounts. What makes it unique is the ability to work with both hard locking (mechanical) and soft locking (magnetic) mounts. There were some snags along the way, with a few redesigns needed to support Apple’s MagSafe, but in early 2022 the system has fully launched and inventory is readily available.
The Mobile system revolves around the phone case with the iPhone 11 to 13 supported, in all size variations including the Mini. The Everyday case comes in Standard or Loop, which provides added grip and security. On the Android front, the Samsung Galaxy S21 is supported. For everyone else – a universal adapter converts any case into one compatible with the Mobile system. In the center of the case is Peak Design’s mounting technology SlimLink. This allows it to connect to all Mobile mounts, chargers, and accessories, and yes, is fully compatible with Apple MagSafe chargers and accessories as well.
Speaking of accessories, there are a total of six Mobile mounts. These range from motorcycle and bicycle bar and stem mounts, to car mounts and even a wall mount for flat surfaces. Depending on the situation, these either use a soft mount or the SlimLink system which securely locks the phone to the mount, releasing with a simple push of a button.
Popular Mobile Accessories include the Mobile Tripod which is as thick as a few credit cards and allows you to quickly stand the phone in portrait or landscape mode for consuming media, video conferences, and taking timelapse photos. The Mobile Wallet holds up to 7 cards and doubles as a kickstand. It allows you to bring everything you need in a compact package and lets you leave your bulky wallet at home. Other accessories like the Mobile Creator Kit and Wireless Charging Stand round out the collection.
Nobody knows what to expect from Peak Design but since their humble beginnings on Kickstarter with the Capture Clip, the team out of San Francisco has managed to produce hits no matter what category they decide to wade into. From Clips, to camera and everyday bags, travel packs and accessories, the tripod, and now Mobile, Peak Design hits another one out of the park.
Innovative phone cases that work with mechanical and magnetic mounts
Versatile system accommodates a range of phones
Wide range of mounts and accessories to tailor setups to your specific needs
When groups of self-proclaimed Flashaholics gathered around online watering holes like Candlepowerforums to talk about all things flashlights, one brand was right there with them. Nitecore has been building high-performance flashlights, and subsequently the batteries that power them, the chargers that juice them, and a number of other illumination-related items for what seems to be over a decade now.
While the bulk of their catalog is still firmly focused on torches, the brand has started branching out into the EDC world. We’ve covered their tactical pen previously and they even have a line of well-received backpacks. But, the item that really caught my eye this year was their NB10000 Battery Pack. As the name implies, this is a 10,000 mAh battery bank which means it has enough juice for about two full refills of a typical modern-day smartphone. For me, this is a Goldilocks capacity because it allows me to carry more than enough juice for myself, and a partner if needed, and most importantly, it keeps the size manageable.
Speaking of size, this was the main focus of Nitecore in developing the NB10000. They claim it’s the world’s most compact and lightest 10,000 mAh battery and having owned a number of batteries with this exact capacity, I believe it. It measures 4.8” x 2.32” and is only 0.42” thick. It weighs a tiny 5.29 oz, some 40% lighter than comparable batteries. It’s constructed of lightweight carbon fiber and Nitecore claims they developed it specifically for trail runners so it can survive tumbles on rock and debris.
Runner, I am not but I have carried this around the country and it’s my favorite power bank ever. It’s so compact but beyond that, it performs incredibly well. It has both USB-A and USB-C output with both capable of outputting 18W for quick charging. It also has a unique feature to put the battery in low current mode for charging smaller devices like headphones or smartwatches.
Great balance of capacity with compact size
Durable yet lightweight design
Flexible charging options
Camping culture has a strong history and continues to be a popular pastime for many Japanese citizens today. Founded in 1958 by Yukio Yamai, and with a presence in the United States since 1999, Snow Peak is a company that is as known for their tasteful modern designs as they are for titanium as their material of choice.
This year, the brand introduced the Titanium Aurora Bottle and took the EDC world by storm. Designed and manufactured in Snow Peak’s hometown of Tsubame-Sanjo, the bottles are constructed from a single titanium sheet for an even and seamless exterior. The walls measure just 1 mm thick, allowing them to be both ultralight while maintaining durability. The titanium leaves no aftertaste regardless of the type of beverage carried. Rounding out the specs, they measure 3 x 9 inches and hold 27 fl oz. All this comes in at 5.2 oz which is feather-light for a bottle with this capacity. The bottles come in 5 colorways including a much sought-after Rainbow with an incredible anodization process that starts with subtle orange and yellow and builds up to a brilliant blue.
The bottle is both familiar as a Snow Peak item while showing a sense of modernity and fun. In use, the bottles are incredibly lightweight (as mentioned) and carry with ease due to the large top handle. The size fits easily in most bottle pockets while the height is not too tall as to cause any balance issues. If you can get past the price, this is the type of item you buy once and never let go of.
Durable and lightweight titanium construction
Elegantly modern and fun design
Top handle for easy carry
VOTING CLOSES 18 MARCH