- Buyer's Guide
Staff Picks: EDC Essentials We’re Carrying Right Now
There’s always a curiosity about what our Carryology team carries, being that we play with so much awesome product. So we thought we’d start a new thing: Staff Picks. And every month or so dig into the packs and pockets of our team, to reveal the EDC essentials we’re all personally carrying (or seriously coveting) right now. We hope you enjoy it!
Having tested so many good bags it is difficult for me to pick one clear winner. But the item that has stuck with me over many years 24/7 always has been the Secrid Slimwallet. This is a very slim minimalist wallet with a nifty card deployment mechanism. The card compartment is made out of aluminium which keeps your card safe from breaking (e.g. when you sit on your wallet) and is RFID protected. But to give the wallet a great look and feel it is then surrounded by leather that allows you to store bills and more cards. Of all the items that I carry every single day this has been the one that has been with me the longest.
MIG Bolt Action Pen
If you’re a fan of writing things down and appreciate workmanship, you may have already heard of Marks Innovative Gear. Chances are you haven’t, because it’s a two-man shop in rural South Australia that is quietly but surely pumping out incredible handmade bolt action pens.
Formed in 2015 by Shane and Neil Marks, a father-son duo, MIG specializes in custom-made metal goods and has hit a sweet spot with Australian-made bolt action writing instruments – the current lineup consists of a pen, with a pencil soon to follow. I’m a massive supporter of Australian-made products, and it is fantastic to see a small family business succeeding in such a niche market.
MIG’s bolt action pens are available in Copper, Aluminium, Brass or Stainless Steel – with Titanium coming soon. They feature custom-made pocket clips, and Schmidt Easy Flow 9000 cartridges.
Small Pocket Knife
Most carried item? It’s actually quite easy for me: small pocket knife, of course! I’d feel almost naked without one in my pocket. It’s humans’ oldest tool, which is still used every single day by virtually everyone. I could easily name a couple of my favourite brands but there is actually ONE which started it all for me, and it’s Chris Reeve Knives – now under the leadership of Chris’s son Tim. They’ve been producing the best working folding knives for years, including the iconic Sebenza, followed recently by the even more refined Inkosi. Uncompromised quality, produced entirely in-house in Idaho, USA. And they’re good people too!
Bose QuietComfort 35 II
These babies right here are the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones. They make me forget about the rest of the world whenever I’m traveling or working in the office or a coffee house. They weigh next to nothing, are exceptionally comfortable on my ears (my ears don’t even get warm) and most of all: they have great noise cancelling and even better sound. I like that they come in a hard case that can take a bang or two. As for the tech part: the headphones connect via Bluetooth or cable and noise cancelling can be switched between high, low and off. There’s an Android/iPhone app that helps with a few things including updating firmware and it can also work with Google Assistant. The battery will last 20 hours. I also tried Sony’s WH-1000MX2, which for me is too loose-fitting and warm on my ears and Bowers and Wilkins’ PX, which isn’t foldable. The Bose headphones came out best but this is a very personal choice. Right now, my only fear is that I’ll burst into song one day with all my colleagues ROFLTAO…
mophie x UNDEFEATED Powerstation Plus Mini
I thought a bit about what may be the most essential item in my daily rotation. Packs, wallets, and other items consistently revolve in rotation depending on what the day may bring. So after some thought and deliberation I came to the conclusion that my iPhone has become my most critical daily essential and my mophie x UNDFTD Powerstation Plus Mini has become the everyday carry accessory of choice. My phone is used practically continuously throughout the day for emails, calls, and even social media. While driving, I use it to listen to podcasts, Audible, and for navigation. The mophie Powerstation Plus Mini with 4,000mAh provides ample juice to get me through a full day without the worry of a dead battery. I dig the matte olive color and the slim profile of the battery makes it easy to slip inconspicuously into a pocket or in a pack.
Muji Card Cases
I’ve been rolling with these two card cases from Muji for a few years now. I rarely carry cash so the small case fits 3-4 cards/ID’s. The larger case is great for carrying business cards. They look awesome together, feel super small in my pocket, and cost less than $15 total. They don’t develop as nice a patina as leather but still have a feel all their own.
Micro Travel Pillow
Travel pillows can look naff – dangling from tourists’ bags, adorned in their national flag, signalling their temporary fit in that environment. They shout “Hey, I’m a tourist!” better than almost anything else. But you know what – they make a big difference to your sleep. And not just on airplanes. Long car trips, trains, boats – even a quick kip under your desk when you had a few too many the night before. My compromise is a micro travel pillow from Sea to Summit. It folds up tiny, has a great valve system to inflate and dump air quickly, and can live permanently in my bag for random needs at random times. Sleep is good.
This Lamy Safari in Charcoal has accompanied me a few times around the world, scratching words into my journal or lost somewhere in my bags. Having broken one too many “traditional” fountain pens (think Parker or Waterman), I was set on a quest for a more robust writing implement that could offer the tactile feel of nib on paper only a fountain pen can create. I found the perfect travel pen when I stumbled on this Lamy in a Tokyo Loft store. Although it leaks at 747 cruising altitudes (like most other fountain pens), the cap doesn’t fall off by accident when in my pocket or thrown around an airplane, it refills quite easily, survives crashes to the floor, time and time again, and delivers that perfect scratchy feel of metal and ink on paper. As long as I’m writing, I’ll have one of these Lamy’s in my arsenal.
Muyshondt Aeon Mk. III Electric Torch
There’s endless applicable EDC adages that can apply to this one here. Two is one, one is none. We all carry certain items just in case of the low percent chance of XYZ occurrence, but why don’t you carry a flashlight when there’s a 100% chance of it being dark every single day? So at any given time, I always have at least one electric torch on me. Sometimes two (being the Muyshondt Beagle). But the one EDC item I cannot live without that I’m specifically referring to here is the former of the two, the Aeon Mk. III from Muyshondt Electric Torches. And if you’ve ever read any of my articles here, you already guessed what material it’s made from; a bead blasted 6AL4V Titanium. The fact that it was tested in near-space at 100,000 feet above Earth earns additional points. The Aeon fits nicely on my all-titanium keychain (or a pocket clip), disappearing into my pocket but always ready for whenever I need it to spill out 1, 15, or 160 lumens of beautiful high CRI light via a simple and easy clicky tailcap interface whenever nightfall should come my way…which is 100% of the time.
The Brown Buffalo Conceal Pack in Black Multicam
Full transparency, The Brown Buffalo is one of our long-time contributors and a bud of mine. But he’s also a true master in bag design, having designed for the likes of Nike to Head Porter. So when he started his own thing in Costa Mesa, CA, and offered to flick a BB original my way, I replied: “Dude, heck yeah!”
But how good could a $139 daypack be? Damn good. Out of the box, it has this heft and hand feel that speaks to its superior craftsmanship. Every stitch is laser lined. The 1000D Nylon CORDURA, 500D STORMPROOF liner, and size-10 YKK zips (now updated to AquaGuard) are burly and rugged and give you peace of mind when rain hits. It’s reinforced in all the right places. And – most likely thanks to BB’s love of Japanese design philosophy – there’s everything you need designed in and nothing you don’t. You have access to your small things, and enough space to pack large items like a jacket, lunch box and headphones. Oh, and it stands on its base when you put it down, looks good half-full, and can be slung over a luggage handle. This is a home run.