Did you come upon this page because you’re still not completely sure what an Everyday Carry is? If so, you’re not alone! The Everyday Carry (or EDC) community has been growing for years now, which means more and more people are are adopting the EDC lifestyle all the time. Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about Everyday Carry items and how they can make your life better.
What does “Everyday Carry” mean, you ask?
Just as the name implies, an everyday carry is an item or tool that you take with you while on-the-go daily. Most people have a collection of everyday carry items they never leave home without, but not because they’re valuable in the sentimental or monetary sense. Rather, they’re tools you want to have with you all the time.
Does this mean anything you stick into your pocket or bag and take with you counts as an everyday carry? Not exactly. The general philosophy is that for an item to be an everyday carry it must have some sort of utility or function. They’re tools you want to have with you should you want to be prepared for the worst, able to help others, and ready to do your best.
What makes something an Everyday Carry?
These are some general characteristics that help determine if something can be considered an EDC. Any item that falls into all (or most) of these categories is certainly worthy of being kept in your pocket on a daily basis.
It doesn’t matter how great a tool is if you can’t have it with you at all times. If it doesn’t fit in your pocket and you instead have to keep it in your truck or a toolbox, it’s not an EDC. An EDC is small enough to keep in your jeans but also not too heavy or cumbersome enough to affect your mobility. It should fit comfortably in your pocket (preferably front and not back) and not cause problems if when you climb a ladder, sit down, etc.
EDC is not about tools that can perform numerous tasks but cannot do any of them exceptionally well. Instead, an EDC item is designed for top performance and will justify its weight by serving you well. It must also be comfortable in your hands and not a pain or hassle to work with. The best EDC tools are not only useful but pleasant and satisfying to utilize.
An EDC should always be ready for use at any given moment. This means you’ll never have trouble taking them out of your pocket and putting them back in. Examples include a switchblade that flips open seamlessly or a flashlight that slides out of your pocket without a problem. Accessibility is very important if you prepare an EDC system for emergency situations that require you to act fast.
While items that are handy, easy to use, and useful are great to have, it won’t matter if they break or lose their quality quickly. EDC items are in it for the long run, which means keeping an eye out for good design and durable materials. No one wants to waste cash on something you’ll have to buy more than once in a short period of time.
Common Everyday Carry items:
The beauty of everyday carry is that everyone is different— the items you’ll want to have aren’t the same as everyone else. For this reason there’s a personal element to everyday carry that makes it more enjoyable and interesting. That being said, here are a few items most everyday carry people consider very useful tools.
There’s a reason why it’s rare to find someone without a smartphone these days. These powerful mini-computers offer more uses and functions in the palm of our hands than perhaps any other invention ever made in history. Have you ever stopped to think how many tools you’d need to replace your smartphone? It can serve as a camera, flashlight, calculator, writing tool, and more.
Most everyday carries keep a pocket knife with them, but not for the reason you’re probably thinking. Sure, it can be used as a defense weapon but the chances of you having to use it are slim. Instead, knives are excellent tools that you can use to quickly cut through a package, open a letter, etc.
Yes, that 3.5 by 4-in. folding piece of leather or fabric does count as an everyday carry. Without it, how else are you going to store your license, credit cards, money, and other small important papers? A wallet helps you keep all that in one place, making it less likely that they’re all lost or ruined by damage.
Pen & Paper
While our smartphones do have a number of writing and drawing apps, sometimes it’s faster and more efficient to use pen and paper. A pocket notebook lets you quickly jot down notes, draw diagrams to explain ideas, and more.
A situation can quickly go from bad to worse if you can’t see what you’re doing. Since people know it’s going to get dark eventually, most carry a flashlight with them as a source of light. While a smartphone can do the trick, modern flashlights are much more powerful and won’t eat up your phone’s juice.
If you carry more than one key with you than chances are you already own one. A keychain helps you keep all your keys in one spot, reducing the chance of losing individual keys should you leave them separated. Keychains are also awesome because they can also hold a number of other everyday carry items.
Thanks to the advent of cellphones, less people go about their day with a watch strapped to their wrist. While you can simply glance at your iPhone to check the time, this usually required taking it out of your pocket. This can be a no-no in certain situations such a when you’re in a meeting, or just a hassle if you’re seated in a crowded subway. A wristwatch lets you check the time with a simple flick of the wrist.
If there’s one item that perfectly represents what everyday carry is all about, it’s the multi-tool. Here you have a single tool that can serve as anything from screwdriver and bottle opener to scissors and pliers. Check out our section where we recommend a number of excellent multi tools worth investing in.
Why should you join the Everyday Carry community?
You probably already carry one or more of the EDC items we just talked about. Of course, you could be benefiting more by putting more attention into what you keep in your pockets each day. The following are some of the biggest reasons why everyone should have their own everyday carry system:
Time and Convenience
It’s never a good use of time when you know what you have to do but don’t have the tool to do it. Instead, you’re forced to ask around, dig through the garage, or have to abandon the task until later. Having the right EDC items with you means you’ll have just the tool you need already available and won’t waste any time.
Readiness and Efficiency
While there’s nothing wrong with asking for help, we preferably would like to do things ourselves or help others. Everyday carry items can also make all the difference in an emergency situation where every second is precious or when all you need to solve a problem is a cutting tool, flashlight, etc.
Perfect For You
One of the best things about EDC is that you carry what you want. There are no rules that say you should have specific items. This allows you to customize your system so that the EDC items you have are not only useful to you but also reflect your personality and lifestyle. It makes the items you carry special and fun to show off to others.
A Good Investment
The average American wastes money on the little things because we opt for things that are cheap and will cost us the least at the moment. But eventually that inexpensive item gets busted and you’re forced to buy the same thing again. You’ll instead save in the long run if you invest in EDC items that are durable and reliable, even if they have a bigger upfront cost. In fact, many of them are made well enough to last you a lifetime as long as they’re not lost.
Our Recommended List of EDC Items
Whether you’re an everyday carry veteran or new to the community, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. That’s why we’ve assembled a collection of everyday carries that are not only high-quality but also affordable. For your convenience, we’ve arranged our recommended items into different categories:
There’s nothing comfortable about carrying around a bulky collection of keys, especially on a regular keychain. With the KeySmart you can keep all your keys together in an organized way to give your pockets more space. This handy EDC also eliminates that key jingle a lot of people find annoying, plus you’ll never have to worry about a key poking into your leg or through your pocket again.
KeySmart is affordable, easy to assemble, and doesn’t customizing or changing your keys in any way. KeySmart Classic can hold up to a dozen keys, comes with a 2-year manufacturers warranty, and is available in three colors: black, blue, and red. If you carry a lot of keys over 55mm in length than we recommend KeySmart Extended instead.
This is a great choice if you prefer a key organizer that you can either keep in your pocket or clip onto anything, including your jeans thanks to a portable carabiner clip. The KeyKlip boasts a sleek design that makes it one of the slimmest key holders you’ll find on the market. It holds up to 10 keys and doesn’t require any special tools or complex instructions to assemble.
Other features include the ability to use the key fob holder as a bottle opener. Best of all, KeyDisk offers a risk free money back guarantee in case you decide that a KeyKlip isn’t for you. There are also two awesome color styles to choose between: Onyx Black and Gunmetal
This compact folding EDC can hold up to 14 keys in a way that eliminates any jingling in your pocket. Each one is constructed with durable 3K carbon fiber, strong black anodized bolts, and a polished stainless steel key ring. You’d be hard-pressed to find a key organizer that can withstand as much wear and tear as this one.
The Koba Keysafe also has a cool high gloss and twill-weave pattern look and is slim enough to fit into any pocket. Last but not least, KOBA includes a complete lifetime guarantee and free replacement should your Koba Keysafe ever arrive with defective parts or break.
This awesome folding knife features a high-quality nylon handle with an open-built steel liner lock frame. The 3-inch satin finished full flat tapered blade is made of Aus-8 stainless steel and has a plain edge. The entire knife measures in at 7″ when opened and 4.1″ when closed.
With nearly 500 customer reviews on Amazon and a near-perfect rating, it’s clear that the Ontario Rat II is one of the best and most affordable folding knives out there. It’s also very comfortable, durable, and has an ambidextrous design with dual thumb studs and a 4-way reversible pocket clip.
A wise investment if you don’t mind paying extra for one of the best EDC knives out there.The SOG Aegis offers unmatched performance thanks to a 3.5″ Aus-8 steel folding blade with a partially serrated edge, tanto shape, and hard-case black TiNi finish. It’s also ergonomically contoured and durable enough to last a lifetime.
SOG Assisted Technology means its very easy to open with one hand, and a Piston lock adds an extra layer of safety when open. The handle comes with anti-slip security via checkered Digi-Grip on the glass-reinforced nylon handle with a black finish.
The Cryo II comes with with a flipper that offers the option of manual and assisted opening as well as a Speed Safe feature for easy one-hand opening. Comprised of titanium carbo-nitride coating on pure stinaless steel, this knife is both sturdy and attractive.
You can safely secure the blade thanks toa tough frame lock with lockbar stabilization. Despite being 20% bigger than the origianl award-winning Cryo, it’s still very slim and takes very little space in the average pocket. Quad-carry also allows you to position the pocket clip for tip-down or tip-up and either right or left-handed carry.
Streamlight has designed one of the most top EDC flashlights you can find. A white C$ LED delivers 90 lumens/860 candelas and a beam able to reach up to 58m. It’s only 5.3″ in length, weighs less than 2 ounces, and runs for nearly 7 hours with one set of batteries.
The body is made of a corrosion-resistant anodized aircraft aluminum while the poly-carbonate lens aren’t easy to scratch. The Streamlight pen light is water-resistant, can withstand being dropped a full meter, and comes with both a pair of “AAA” alkaline batteries and a nylon holster.
This great all-around EDC flashlight offers a max output of 80 lumens and a number of output levels. Switch between moonlight, high, low, and strobe mode just by rotating the head of the flashlight. A stainless steel clip means you’ll never have to worry about Olight snapping off.
Other features include an aluminum body for scratch resistance, a flat tail cap that allows tail-standing, and a 96% transparency ultra-clear optical lens. If you want simplicity and performance, look no further.
A fantastic option if you want a flashlight that’s inexpensive but not cheaply made. The Coast G19 offers a circular beam with low glare that’s ideal for up close work. The beam can illuminate up to 65 feet away and the flashlight itself can run up to 2.5 hours on a single “AAA” battery.
Of course, the main benefit you’re getting from this excellent EDC flashlight is that it’s very small and compact. It even comes with a pocket clip so it’s one less everyday carry you have to stick in your pocket.
Few multi-tools can compare to this one in terms of usability and performance. The Juice XE6 offers 18 different tools, making it a must-have if you want an EDC that can really help you out in numerous occasions. The tools include everything from needlenose pliers, a 420HC knife, and scissors to a a diamond-coated file and different sized screwdrivers.
This great multi-tool is made of corrosion-resistant high-carbon stainless steel and has many tools that are accessible whether its in the closed or open position. Leatherman is also nice enough to toss in a lanyard ring and 25 year warranty.
On the other end of the price spectrum is this superb multi-tool that might fool you with its low price. Despite being very affordable, the Gerber Dime will last a long time thanks to a stainless steel construction. It also features a compact design and lightweight size so it doesn’t take up a lot of pocket space.
It offers 10 different tools, including wire cutter, fine edged blade, scissors, and more. It features a handy butterfly opening and also comes in six great color options: black, red, green, purple, pink, and silver.
SOG is known for more than just their great knives. Their PowerAssist multi-tool comes packed with 16 different tools such as a full-serrated blade, can opener, needle nose pliers, V-cutter, and more. Made of stainless steel and with a black oxide finish, this EDC is both durable and attractive.
All in all, this is one of the best mid-range multi-tools available if you want something that’s not too cheap but not expensive either. An added limited lifetime warranty by SOG only sweetens this deal.
A lighter will always come in handy while camping or venturing through the great outdoors. These stainless steel capsule peanut lighters (and matchbox) are not only exceptionally durable but also waterproof. They’re also compact enough to keep in your pocket at all times.
The cool thing about these lighters is that Foxtrot offers 3 of them, which means you’ll have two spares should the first get lost. The attached clips also mean you can hook them onto your pants, backpack, or other equipment while hiking or doing other outdoor activities.
A smartphone can be a very useful tool, but once it runs out of battery its pretty much a paper weight. This #1 Best seller on Amazon is one of the most compact portable power banks you can find and a wise investment if you always want to have a back up power source ready.
Anker’s Astro E1 can give even the latest smartphones more than one full charge plus only takes a few hours to charge completely. It comes with a need travel pouch, an 18-month warranty, and is available in four colors: black, blue, red, and white.
Trayvax has designed a wallet that every man should own. Its lightweight stainless steel frame wrapped in oil-tanned leather and paracord binding makes it both extremely damage-resistant and slim. The Element Wallet can carry and conceal up to a dozen credit cards and offers RFID-resistance.
Another neat feature that comes with this particular EDC wallet is that it has a built-in bottle opener that makes opening up drinks a cinch. An integraded money clip also makes it easier to keep cash with you. The Trayvax Element Wallet isn’t the cheapest wallet out there but it’s durable enough to last you a lifetime. There are six different color designs available: Canyon Red, Mississippi Mud, and Tobacco Brown.
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