The 30 Best EDC Items For Men

Jun 17, 2021

Category: Gear

Even if you’re completely unaware of the concept of everyday carry, it’s damn near certain that you participate in some way. After all, EDC is all about the gear you keep on your person every single day, and it includes things as seemingly innocuous and practically ubiquitous as wallets, watches, bags, pocket tools, and so much more. Whether you’re a complete newbie to the concept or a seasoned veteran, there are always more things to learn and more gear to behold — opening up the possibility of the lifelong pursuit of that perfect loadout.

If that sounds like a juicy prospect and you’re ready to take a deep dive, you’re in luck because we’ve taken a comprehensive look at all the different EDC categories with the goal of offering some of the best picks in each category. Just keep in mind: this is only a small sample of the huge number of exceptional products that are available — intended to illustrate options across both budgets and styles — and your own loadout should be a personalized reflection of your daily life, personal tastes, functional needs, and more. Of course, you also can’t go wrong with anything we’ve highlighted here. These are the 30 best pieces of EDC gear for men.

Bags

Helpful Haulers

For business, pleasure, adventure, and more, it’s always good to have some kind of gear hauler as a part of your everyday carry. While the format is ultimately going to be up to you, we’ve picked out a trio of our favorites below.

Codeofbell X-POD Sling Pack

One of the hands-down best sling bags perhaps ever envisioned, the Codeofbell X-Pod is kind of like what would happen if an advanced alien race and/or a future civilization had invented the fanny pack. But it isn’t science fiction; it’s very real with its expandable 2.3-7L capacity, ultralight X-Pac sailcloth front, self-locking magnetic buckle, a complement of organizational pockets (inside and out), and so much more.

Purchase: $149

Aer Gym Duffel 2

If you’re the type that goes from home, to work, to the gym, and back again — all in one trip — then the Aer Gym Duffel 2 is perfect for you. You see, this 22.3L duffel bag was designed to house all the gear you need for a full day of adventuring while keeping the different pieces separate, organized, and secure. That includes slots for tech (including a laptop 15.6″ slot), a separate ventilated pocket for sneakers or dirty clothing, a quick-access slot for your EDC, and so much more. This is less like a duffel bag and more like a basecamp you can carry with you.

Purchase: $150

GORUCK GR1 Slick Backpack

A sleeker, more urban-friendly take on one of the all-time best backpacks ever made, the GORUCK GR1 Slick retains much of what makes its standard brethren great — including the legendary bombproof laptop pocket inside — while paring down the exterior to be a bit less tactical (meaning it has no MOLLE grid on the bottom quarter). It’s also made in the USA, only available through Huckberry, and comes in four smart colorways.

Purchase: $295

Flashlights

On-Demand Illumination

Whether trying to find your way after the sun has dipped beyond the horizon or just attempting to explore the dark corners under your desk for that pen you dropped, flashlights are tremendously useful. And the three below are some of the best available, bar none.

Prometheus Lights Beta Magnetic Flashlight

Ideal for keychain carry, the Prometheus Lights Beta is a stupendous, compact portable torch capable of outputting 40 lumens — more than enough for typical day-to-day tasks. What’s better: it also has a magnetic quick-release tail, so you can detach it from your keychain for easier usage when you need it. This flashlight proves there’s always room for portable illumination.

Purchase: $69

Olight Warrior X Pro Tactical Flashlight

If you were hoping for something a bit more rugged, perhaps with some potential self-defense applications, you definitely can’t go wrong with the Olight Warrior X Pro Tactical Flashlight. Not only does this formidable torch boast a sturdy anodized aluminum construction with a toothed bezel perfect for blunt strikes, but it also outputs up to a whopping 2,100 lumens — enough to blind potential assailants to the point that you might never actually need to use the striker bezel.

Purchase: $120

Muyshondt Beagle Titanium Flashlight

Muyshondt makes some of the most exceptional premium everyday carry flashlights ever imagined, and their Beagle is just one of the many superb options. This particular edition is made from solid titanium — making it lightweight and extremely formidable — and offers a range of 1-435 lumens across five different intensities. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the brand themselves calls this their “most electromechanically sophisticated electric torch,” which is saying quite a lot.

Purchase: $595

Keychains

Jingle Jangle

Even if you only have your house and car keys, you still need a means of carrying them around and keeping them organized. And these keychains, carabiners, keyrings, etc. will manage that brilliantly.

Handgrey Knox Titanium Keyring

Proof that even the smallest, most ubiquitous pieces of gear still have room to be improved upon, the Handgrey Knox Titanium Keyring is a vast upgrade from standard keyrings. Not only is it made from ultralight, ultra-durable titanium, but it also has a new split-ring design that makes putting on and taking off keys and accessories much simpler without being any less secure.

Purchase: $19

Orbitkey Key Organizer

For their beauty and simplicity, Orbitkey’s key organizers are some of the most spectacular keychain organizers around. And while you truly can’t go wrong with anyone, this one is extra special — for it’s made from an eco-friendly, sustainable cactus leather that looks, feels, and performs just like animal leather. It also holds up to seven keys, has a key fob attachment point, and has an integrated locking system.

Purchase: $40

The James Brand Mehlville Carabiner

A modernized, minimalist take on the classic keychain carabiner, The James Brand hit a home run with their Mehlvillve. Not only does this beautiful piece of everyday carry have a stunning appearance, rock-solid stainless steel construction, and secure key-capturing dual-compartment design, but it also has the subtle and handy addition of an integrated bottle opener. Of course, if you want to upgrade, it also comes in brass or titanium.

Purchase: $60+

Knives

Capable Cutters

One of the staples of the everyday carry industry, we’re firm believers that everyone should carry a knife as a part of their EDC loadout. And you definitely can’t go wrong with the trio of options we have for you below.

Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter

One of the most iconic pocket knives ever made, you can never go wrong with a classic like the Buck Knives 110 Folding Hunter. It comes with a reliable, easy-to-maintain 420HC clip point blade alongside a sturdy back lock and gorgeous ebony wood handle scales mated to brass bolsters. Perhaps best of all, it’s made in the USA and comes slapped with the brand’s forever warranty.

Purchase: $70

The James Brand Carter Knife

According to The James Brand, the Carter is the brand’s most advanced everyday carry knife — and they would know. Even without that claim, it’s a spectacular folder all-around, marked by a versatile high-end VG-10 steel drop point blade, Micarta handle scales that are gorgeous and grippy, and an ambidextrous slide lock that’s handy and secure. And, like so many of TJB’s offerings, it can be purchased with upgrades including (but not limited to) a partially-serrated blade, Damascus steel, and numerous different color combinations.

Purchase: $159

Chris Reeve Sebenza 31 Knife

Those in the know are already abundantly aware that the Chris Reeve Sebenza has practically single-handedly set the pace for the rest of the everyday carry knifemaking industry, and it’s with good reason. This is the very definition of a grail-level piece of EDC marked by ultra-tough titanium handle scales, the Chris Reeve Integral Lock (a legendary component in itself), and a wildly versatile high-end drop point blade. Yes, this is a knife, but it’s also a work of functional art that never ceases to impress.

Purchase: $375+

Multi-Tools

DIY Dynamos

Even if you’re only mildly interested in DIY projects and quick fixes, a multi-tool can be indispensable in a pinch. That goes double if you pick one of the three options we have for you in the following section.

Tactica Gear M.100 Multi-Tool

While it looks a bit like a keychain carabiner, the Tactica M.100 is actually a fully-fledged 17-in-1 multi-tool ideal for discreet, compact carry. On top of its extremely pocket-friendly design, it’s also TSA compliant, was made with an exterior material picked specifically so as to not damage tech (namely smartphone displays), and it has 420 stainless steel tools and a matching core. For a uniquely useful reimagining of the multi-tool category, go no further than Tactica.

Purchase: $40

Victorinox Spartan PS Swiss Army Knife

Let’s be honest: multi-tools as we know them today likely wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the classic Swiss Army Knife. And, wouldn’t you know it, SAKs are still some of the best around. We’re particularly fond of the Victorinox Spartan PS Swiss Army Knife you see here, which benefits from 12 built-in functions including a knife blade, corkscrew, can and bottle openers, and so much more. But what makes this one special is that the tools have a polispectral coating, which makes their appearance change depending on the angle of the light glinting off of them.

Purchase: $80

Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool

If Victorinox created the multi-tool category with Swiss Army Knives, then Leatherman perfected it with offerings like the Wave. Designed to fold down compact enough to stash in your pocket, this stainless steel folding device houses a whopping 18+ built-in functions including pliers, multiple blades, drivers, and so much more. This portable toolbox is the kind of EDC device you buy once and then use for the rest of your life.

Purchase: $100

Notebooks

Scribe Essentials

The written word is a dying art, but it’s still tremendously useful for keeping track of important information like phone numbers, million-dollar ideas, and more. Of course, you could also just use the following notebooks to doodle and pass the time.

Field Notes Pocket Notebooks

Aaron Draplin, the mastermind behind Field Notes is one of the greatest designers of our time, and his exceptional skill is on full display across the entirety of this pocket notebook brand. And while Field Notes offers a bevy of traditional USA-made notebooks, the real value proposition therein comes in the form of the rarer, special edition releases — like the Snowy Evening winter notebooks, of which every single unit, even those packaged together, has a completely unique cover.

Purchase: $10+

Ezra Arthur Small Notebook

For those that want something that’s a little more refined than a disposable notebook, there’s the Ezra Arthur Small Notebook you see here. Inside, you’ll find a simple arrangement of blank pages for all your scribbling, scrawling, and doodling needs — which can be refilled and even come with a lined guide. But it’s the outside of this notebook, crafted from high-end Horween leather in numerous colorways, that’s the real star of the show.

Purchase: $32

Bellroy Work Folio A5

For those who need something a bit more large-scale and professional, like those that work in legal professions, you can’t go wrong with Bellroy’s elegant Work Folio A5. Designed to fit standard A5 notebooks — like those made by Moleskine — this notebook boasts a stunning zippered environmentally-certified leather exterior, which also hides a series of pockets for all your notebook accessories and everyday carry gear (there’s even a tablet pouch and cable storage).

Purchase: $199

Pens

Ink Slingers

When your technology inevitably betrays you, especially by running out of battery, you’ll be happy that you’ve still kept a writing utensil in your everyday carry. Even if you do prefer to go primarily digital, being able to scrawl down notes on the fly is still extremely valuable.

Fisher Space Pen Bullet

The Fisher Space Pen Bullet is so influential and revolutionary that it’s actually a part of the NYC Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. And while that accolade is certainly special, you might be more interested in the fact that this ultra-compact writing utensil can function upside-down, underwater, and even in zero gravity — using the same tech as the pens NASA sends into space.

Purchase: $25

Inventery Pocket Fountain Pen

Calligraphy — and fountain pens, by proxy — isn’t for everyone. But it’s a gorgeous artform and a tremendous skill that should be preserved and practiced. If you want to take up the quill (albeit in a much more modern form), you can’t go wrong with the Inventery Pocket Fountain Pen. Available in three materials/finishes, these are more than just fountain pens, as well — boasting interchangeable tips including a fountain nib, ballpoint, and even a tech-ready stylus.

Purchase: $125+

Benchmade 1100 Tactical Pen

The pen is mightier than the sword, so goes the old adage. The thing is, if you’re talking about the Benchmade 1100 Tactical Pen, it might actually be true. You see, on top of this being a superb writing utensil just itching to be added to your everyday carry loadout (complete with a Fisher Space Pen pressurized ink cartridge), it also boasts a kubaton-like striker tip for emergency and self-defense usage. Plus, it was made here in the USA.

Purchase: $145

Storage

Superb Stashes

At the end of the day, you’re going to want to have a place to put all your precious everyday carry gear. And that’s exactly what the following section is meant to help you manage, while still looking good in the process.

Craighill Nocturn Catch

Remarkably elegant in its appearance, Craighill’s Nocturn Catch is so gorgeous that you might not want to sully it by placing your EDC loadout into it at the end of the day. But we promise this all-hardwood valet tray, which also happens to be made in the USA, is just begging to be used for that exact purpose. Better still, if you don’t like the maple version above, it also comes in a darker walnut.

Purchase: $88

Dango Side Tray

For those that prefer a bit of industrial design to their gear — even when it comes to valet trays — we submit to you the Dango Side Tray. This storage solution is crafted from precision-machined aluminum, has removable DTEX pads to keep your everyday carry gear safe and secure, and has a cut-out for your charging cables. Oh yeah, did we mention that it was made in the USA? Because it was.

Purchase: $99

Killspencer Valet Tray

Admittedly, the Killspencer Valet Tray comes at a bit of a premium. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the money. In fact, those with a flair for the beauty and character of leather will certainly feel drawn to this offering — which is especially true when you consider that the brand tried to keep the leather as natural and unmarred as possible, even leaving some blemishes, markings, and the like — giving this tray quite a bit of character on top of its stellar construction.

Purchase: $135

Wallets

Currency Carriers

Probably the most ubiquitous piece of everyday carry, every single person on this planet needs some means of transporting their currency. And you can do no wrong with any of the following wallets and the accompanying brands.

Pioneer Carry Wallets

With such a ubiquitous category, it’s really hard for any brand to stand out from the crowd. However, when it comes to wallets, Pioneer Carry has made some really impressive, progressive strides — including developing a synthetic fabric that’s 10x stronger than steel by weight and inventing a technology called FutureForm that allows your wallet to conform to usage over time. If you want to buy a wallet and then never have to worry about buying another one again, check out Pioneer Carry.

Purchase: $55+

Bellroy Wallets

Bellroy makes a lot of really exceptional everyday carry gear, but their bread and butter might just be their collection of absolutely stupendous wallets — which manage to toe the line between traditional styling and materials and modern minimalist constructions. Whether you need a full-on passport wallet or just a simple cardholder, you definitely can’t go wrong here.

Purchase: $59+

The Ridge Minimalist Wallet

As we know it, The Ridge pretty much single-handedly created the minimalist wallet movement. — or at least they’re responsible for the most impactful early-entry wallet in the category. As it turns out, that original design is still one of the best available — and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. Regardless of which version you pick, all of these wallets can carry up to 12 cards, cash, and have built-in RFID-blocking technology.

Purchase: $88+

Watches

Tick Tock

Once a near-necessity, watches have become a touch more fashion than function — but they’re still very much a staple of the everyday carry industry and can be hugely useful in the right hands. The following is just a small sample of the wonders to be found in the world of horology.

Timex Q Reissue

You absolutely do not have to spend an arm and a leg in order to get a handsome, reliable timepiece. That’s perhaps exemplified by the Timex Q Reissue watch you see before you here with its quartz movement, stainless steel case with an integrated bracelet, INDIGLO lume markings, and signature Pepsi bezel. It doesn’t hurt that this is also a faithful, modern recreation of a watch from 1979, giving it the retro factor.

Purchase: $179

Junghans Max Bill Automatic

Perhaps the pinnacle of Bauhaus watchmaking — or, at the very least, amongst the top, elite examples — the Junghans Max Bill watch is a stunning work of functional minimalism. And it was made all the more special with the release of the automatic version, which you see here. This watch is proof that subtlety can, in fact, be more eye-catching and much more long-lasting than overdesign.

Purchase: $1,100

Rolex Submariner Dive Watch

The Rolex Submariner might actually be the most iconic watch of all time, and that’s reason enough to consider adding it to your everyday carry rotation. Of course, it’s all the details together that have really help it stand out and earn its many accolades, including a precise Swiss automatic movement, 300m water resistance rating, case crafted from the brand’s signature Oystersteel, and chronometer certification.

Purchase: $8,100

20 Everyday Carry Brands You Should Know

The above is only a tiny fraction of the huge number of exceptional pieces of everyday carry gear available on the market. If you want to become more acquainted with the industry, we suggest you take a deep dive into our comprehensive guide of EDC brands you should know.

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