Hydrophobia: 20 Waterproof EDC Essentials

Fact: about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. And around 80 percent of all people live within 60 miles of the coast. So, chances are you and your stuff is going to be exposed to water at some time or another. Even if you live in the most desolate desert, you still need water to survive and, by proxy, your everyday carry gear is going to be near that life-giving liquid too. Problem is, water tends not to agree with much of the EDC gear spectrum. Metals rust, electronics fizzle out, and things just stop working. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We live in the era of technological evolution and, as a result, there are plenty of intrepid inventors who have figured out how to protect otherwise at-risk items from exterior imperilment – such as the negative effects of H20. Whether you frequently take to the waves, engage in routine water balloon fights, or just find yourself clumsily dropping your things in the toilet, you might want to look into getting yourself some waterproof EDC. But remember, just because something is labeled as ‘waterproof,’ it doesn’t mean you can store it in your fish tank; it just means that a quick dunk isn’t necessarily going to break or ruin it. There are limits to everything – even element-proofing. The following items are 20 of the best waterproof pieces of gear available for purchase right now.


UCO Stormproof Match Kit

One of the most water susceptible non-technological items, matches are often ruined by even the smallest amount of moisture. As anyone who has collected firewood knows, damp wood does not make good kindling. And sparks are much harder to come by if your starter is wet. Well, all that can be avoided with the UCO Stormproof Match Kit. This fire starting set comes in a waterproof case, contains 25 stormproof matches, and includes 3 strikers. So even if you fall in a river, you’ll still be able to get a campfire going.

Purchase: $7


Exotac FireSleeve Lighter Holder

If matches aren’t your thing or you just have an attachment to your lucky Bic, you might want to pick up this container from Exotac. Made to fit a standard-sized Bic lighter, this keychain attachment with a screw top lid will ensure that the lighter stays dry – so long as the lid is attached. The design also keeps the gas button from being pressed accidentally and the gas lock makes it so that you can keep your flame alive without having to hold down the button. And this USA made lighter holder is waterproof for up to 30 minutes beneath 3 feet of water.

Purchase: $16


Fisher Space Pen Bullet

Although it is lightweight and easy to pocket, this writing utensil from Fisher Space Pens opens into a full-length and perfectly balanced pen. And, thanks to its pressurized ink cartridge, the Bullet is completely waterproof – even to the point that it will write underwater. And if that’s not enough, it can also write at any angle, including upside down, or in zero gravity. Furthermore, this brass constructed stylograph is built and hand-tested in the USA.

Purchase: $20


EDC Waterproof Lighter

The two biggest benefits to this tiny lighter are that it has a completely waterproof seal – meaning you can take it for a swim and it will still light right up afterward – and it can be attached to your keychain – thanks to the simple addition of a keyring hole. And it is shorter in length than most standard keys, so you can’t use the “not enough room” excuse as a reason not to pick one up. The EDC Waterproof Lighter is made in California from 300 stainless steel and can be attached to anything you could slip a keyring onto.

Purchase: $24


Corsair Flash Survivor

If you’re an off-the-beaten-trail type who likes to document his travels via pictures, video, or by any other digital means, you might have a hard time keeping those files intact, unless you want to spend a fortune on wifi-enabled and/or satellite equipment. That is, unless you pick up a Flash Survivor from Corsair. This 32 gigabyte USB 3.0 flash drive features a hard anodized aluminum construction, a molded shock dampening collar, and is waterproof up to 200 meters. If you can make it there and back, so can this little guy.

Purchase: $25


Mini Stash Cash-Can

Whether you are wandering the streets of a city with which you are not familiar or you have a penchant for misplacing your wallet, it’s always a good idea to keep some extra cash on hand – just in case. With the Mini Stash Cash-Can, that’s an easy thing to do. Made from solid brass and featuring a rubber o-ring and keyring-through design (to ensure that it won’t ever open unless you expressly intend to), this little canister can hold one bill safely and securely on your keyring. And it’s manufactured right here in the USA.

Purchase: $25


MecArmy Illuminex-3

Never underestimate the benefits of keeping a flashlight on you – let alone one that can both fit on your keychain and is waterproof up to 2 meters, like this one from MecArmy. Made from brass and equipped with a CREE-XP G2 LED, this tiny flashlight (which is smaller than a tube of chapstick) has a maximum output of 130 lumens, two brightness modes, and a potential 20-hour runtime. And it is the world’s smallest USB rechargeable flashlight. Did we mention that it takes only an hour to fully charge, as well?

Purchase: $40


FourSevens Quark Click QK2L-X

If a tactical option is more your speed, there’s no better you can do than this pocketable flashlight from FourSevens. This version of the Quark Click is equipped with a CREE XM-L2 LED emitter and runs on dual lithium CR123A batteries, giving it a range of 55-780 lumens and a runtime of 1.9-14 hours. Made from aircraft grade aluminum and featuring a simple push-button functionality, this portable torch is waterproof up to three meters and impact resistant up to a meter drop. And it features three operational modes: high, low, and burst.

Purchase: $50


MecArmy TR25 Tritium Glow Bar

This little device, which is much smaller than a tube of lip balm, is the perfect keychain attachment for anyone who tends to lose their keys in the dark or just wants to add a little futuristic flair to their carry. The interior features a tritium core which automatically glows – meaning it doesn’t need to be “charged” by light – and can last for up to 25 years. The exterior is TC4 titanium alloy, features three polycarbonate viewing windows, and is waterproof up to 100 meters. And it looks super cool.

Purchase: $60


Matador Freerain24 Backpack

Made from waterproof 30 denier Cordura, this versatile bag has the ability to collapse into itself – fitting into a shape about the same size as a beer can. Its straps are both breathable and double stitch reinforced for comfort and strength, the large main compartment is waterproof, its exterior is puncture resistant, and it has a Hypalon rolltop closure. For anyone who likes versatile carry, but doesn’t have a lot of extra room, this is the perfect backpack.

Purchase: $60


UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker

Beach hangouts and blasting music seem to go hand-in-hand, but their relationship is often limited by the fact that water and technology do not make good bedfellows. Usually, there’s always a risk that your speaker system might get doused and fried. And you used to have to just deal with that prospect. Unless you’ve got yourself the UE Roll Bluetooth Speaker. This 360-degree speaker is waterproof (IPX7 rated), has a 65 foot Bluetooth range, and a nine-hour battery life. It also works with both Apple and Android-equipped devices.

Purchase: $74


Spyderco Pacific Salt

Another superb example of Spyderco’s ability to create functional waterproof folding knives, the Pacific Salt is a rust-free folder that just gets better with use. With a carbon coated blade made from H1 steel and a hollow ground plain edge, this knife promises to be both durable and effective. The handle is made from super tough and versatile injection-molded fiberglass-reinforced nylon and the back lock ensures that the blade will stay securely extended every time it is deployed.

Purchase: $88


Flowfold Stormproof Conductor

This duffel bag is made from X-Pac material – a fabric that is incredibly lightweight, durable, has the best strength-to-weight ratio available on the market, and is water-resistant – giving it some pretty impressive qualities. For example, it weighs in at just 12.7 ounces. That’s lighter than a can of beer. Yet it still has a 40-liter storage capacity. So you can choose to keep all of your stuff in the roomy main compartment, or you can separate some of the things you want to keep on-hand in the easy-access external secondary pocket.

Purchase: $98


Dark Energy Poseidon

With the rise of mobile-based games (we’re looking at you Pokemon Go), keeping a portable charger on hand can be the difference between keeping your electronics alive and just carrying around a bunch of extra weight. And this one is better than most options out there. Offering 10,000 mAh of what Dark Energy calls “destruction-tested” portable power, you can charge your phone fully between 4-6 times. And don’t worry about dropping it; the Poseidon is military-grade and completely waterproof and rated at IP-68. And if you don’t have a cable of your own to plug into either of its two ports, it comes with a paracord-wrapped micro USB cable.

Purchase: $100


Bellroy All Conditions Phone Pocket

Let’s say you like to get away for a day at the beach. Or maybe you’re the type to take a long-form vacation to traverse Yellowstone. In either case, you’re probably going to encounter a body of water or encounter some falling from the sky at some point in time. Rather than keeping your phone and wallet in a difficult to reach pouch in your pack or risking getting the stuff wet, pick up the All Conditions Phone Pocket from Bellroy and you don’t have to worry about your wallet and phone taking a dip when you do.

Purchase: $110


Mophie H2Pro Juice Pack

Charging iPhone cases are a dime a dozen nowadays because, the fact of the matter is, your onboard battery just doesn’t have the lifespan to get you through an entire day. But why settle for just a charging case when you could also get something that will protect your phone from any unfortunate water damage? Whether you accidentally take a dive into the pool with your phone in your pocket, or you lose your grip and send it sailing into a sink, your phone will live to see another day with Mophie’s IP-68 rated H2Pro Juice Pack.

Purchase: $130


Chrome Excursion Rolltop Bike Pack

If you, like literally millions of others, lug around a computer in some form or another in your day-to-day life, you probably already know that electronics and water do not agree with one another. But your typical commuter bag in which you might keep your stuff probably isn’t going to stave off even the lightest rain for very long. This one, from Chrome, is completely waterproof and still has enough interior space to keep all your stuff safe and sound. It even has an internal sleeve that can fit up to a 15-inch laptop.

Purchase: $160


Seiko SKX007K Diver’s Watch

Seiko, though they don’t have the same notoriety as Omega or Rolex, makes some very high-quality products. And one of the huge benefits of their status is that you can get your hands on a superb timepiece, like the SKX007K, without paying a premium price for it. With a kinetic automatic movement (that means it functions and winds with your arm movement rather than a battery), this 42mm watch is water resistant up to 660 feet, so you could take it on recreational dives without worrying about it getting waterlogged and broken.

Purchase: $210


Olympus TG-870 Tough

You might not want to take photos from inside a waterfall. But, with the Olympus TG-870 Tough, you could because this pocket-sized digital camera is waterproof up to 50 feet. And it is shock proof up to a 7-foot drop, crush proof to 220 pounds (just in case you slip it in your back pocket and forget before you take a seat), and it comes with built-in Wifi and GPS. So any of the pictures you take with the 21mm ultra-wide angle lens with 5x optical zoom will stay protected from the elements and at least a good deal of the accidental damage you might inflict upon it.

Purchase: $279