- Buyer's Guide
Drive By :: Orbitkey
If there’s one category that Kickstarter has more of than wallets, it’s key holders. And yet, as with wallets, there are surprisingly few well-resolved products.
It’s obvious why so many folks are targeting key carry. Keys are like mini steak knives in your pocket, with their serrated teeth slowly destroying any and all pocket linings (not to mention your thigh).
If you wear pants with a fob pocket, you have a perfect solution to keep keys tight and constrained. But if you don’t have the joy of a fob, keys really are peskily little critters hell-bent on making your EDC uncomfortable.
“Keys are like mini steak knives in your pocket, with their serrated teeth slowly destroying any and all pocket linings.”
Orbitkey was launched on Kickstarter just over one year ago to address some of these key issues (sorry, couldn’t resist), and smashed its goal with $210, 793 pledged. This small Australian startup has since finished the product, started shipping, and built a solid following.
We had a play with a few variants, and summarised our thoughts below…
Who It Suits
Someone looking for a simple solution to corall keys in a pocket or bag, while retaining easy access as required.
Who It Doesn’t
Someone who carries expensive or delicate items they can’t afford to get damaged or scratched by keys. There’s no guarantee a key won’t slip out at some point and get a little too close to your phone for comfort.
Your keys don’t attack you as often. When you have the Orbitkey tensioned properly, it’s only very infrequent occasions that you can feel the love-bite of a serration. Keys are also reasonably fast to access with the Orbitkey. Some key holders lock them away so well that it’s annoying to get to them.
Sometimes the stack plays nice alongside other pocket contents, aiding carry comfort and keeping your pocket more organized. At times the long shape nests well next to a wallet or other pocket item.
In terms of styling there are plenty of attractive housing options, with a variety of leathers and elastomers to keep you pleased. The housing and other keys can also work like a lever, helping you turn your keys. In addition, accessory options are available too. If you like to carry a bottle-opener or USB key, Orbitkey have you covered.
“When you have the Orbitkey tensioned properly, it’s only very infrequent occasions that you can feel the love-bite of a serration.”
The Not So Good
Sometimes the spring washers don’t nest that well with the top of your keys, meaning the spring tension feels irregular and your keys don’t always stay in their home position. But with larger-headed keys they nest fine, so this can be predicted to a degree.
If your door lock is close to a wall, the housing can get in the way as you try to turn your keys, so you may need to align the Orbitkey carefully to avoid this.
While the Orbitkey sometimes sits well with your pocket contents, at other times it doesn’t, riding up and over and creating a lump. There’s also quite a lump at the top of the holder where the screws anchor, which is a bit hard to nest next to other items.
You can’t trust it enough to keep keys with a phone. It mostly works, but only enough to sit next to a wallet or something else reasonably durable.
“You can’t trust it enough to keep keys with a phone. It mostly works, but only enough to sit next to a wallet or something else reasonably durable.”
We really wanted to love this design. It’s well resolved visually, has some great energy behind the brand, and is addressing an area that needs a better solution.
In the end, we realised this is for a particular type of person. If you have the right pocket for it, carry keys in a bag, or like keeping accessories with your keys, you could be really happy.
For me, it just didn’t quite make it to keeper status, so I’m back to the little finger from a leather glove.
“If you have the right pocket for it, carry keys in a bag, or like keeping accessories with your keys, you could be really happy.”