City Dweller: Urban Commuter Essentials For Men

Mission Workshop Transit Bag

One of the greatest things about living in a city is the wide variety of choices you have when it comes to getting from point A to point B. Taking the subway, walking, or riding your bike is as convenient, if not more so (parking…), than driving in a dense urban area. While we are based out of Southern California, a part of the U.S. notorious for its dependence on cars, we recently noticed that everyone in our office gets to work in a totally different way. The wide range of modes of transportation just within our own office inspired us to build out a list of urban commuter essentials for gear and EDC nerds.

Whether your means are by bike, car, motorcycle, or your own two feet, we’ve built out five different getups that are ideal for your morning and afternoon commute. Kevlar jeans, super breathable shorts, beautiful but deadly knives, and trusty pens that’ll remain at the ready – we’ve got it all. Take a scroll through and see what jumps out to you.

Public Transit EDC

Public Transit

  • Word Pocket Notebooks ($10)
  • Fisher Space Pen ($20)
  • Nuko Tools Fatboy G10 Punchring ($25)
  • Buck Mason Steel Crew Slub Tee ($28)
  • TI5 Slim Wallet ($42)
  • Converse Chuck Taylor All Star ($50)
  • Foursevens Bolt Mini ($90)
  • MIS Backpack ($135)
  • James Brand County Knife ($150)
  • Jack Mason A101 Aviator Watch ($185)
  • Iron Heart 14.OZ Denim Jeans ($275)

While we’ve written pretty extensively about the advantages of shorts in the summer time, it’s hard to shake the feeling that anything but a solid pair or jeans is in order if you are on the subway, trolley, or bus every day. Kind of like how it just feels wrong to wear thong sandals in the city, you’re going to want to ditch the shorts and go for some pants, and when it comes to a solid pair, you can’t get any better than Iron Heart’s selvedge denim. For your gear, feet, and your own protection on late nights walking back from the office, you should also walk out in the morning with an army-green MIS bag, a trusty pair of chucks, and an office favorite – the Nuko Fatboy G10. Simple, classic, easy; just like catching the bus, trolly, or train.

Motorcyclist EDC


  • Opinel No. 8 Trekking Knife ($18)
  • Keychain Bottle Opener ($60)
  • American Benchcraft Hammer Riveted Wallet ($74)
  • Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool ($90)
  • Wyatt Five Pocket Jeans ($150)
  • Jack Mason Aviator Watch ($185)
  • Biltwell Gringo Helmet ($189)
  • Iron & Resin Rambler Jacket ($275)
  • Colfax Design Works SDP_01 Pack ($345)
  • Iron & Resin X Danner Tramline Boots ($350)

Motorcyclists have to take more than just style into account when suiting up to head out on the road. The type of threads you throw on can literally save your skin, so you need to pick carefully. We ended up grabbing Iron & Resin’s Rambler Jacket, a solid understated piece and paired it with Chrome’s Wyatt Jeans, a pair of pants designed to protect you from even the gnarliest road rash. It was hard then not to include the Danner X Iron & Resin collaboration Tramline boots, nor the great pack just released by the Southern California-based Colfax Design Works. Both are American made pieces that are built for motorcyclists by motorcyclists. And to top off the rustic look, we also decided to throw in the classic Opinel Trekking Knike, Biltwell’s Gringo Helmet, a Jack Mason watch, and an American Benchcraft Hammer Riveted wallet.

Cyclist EDC


  • Novara Patch Kit ($3)
  • Timex Weekender ($28)
  • Crank Brothers Multi Tool ($33)
  • SWRVE Cotton/Modal Polo ($40)
  • Bellroy Slim Sleeve ($79)
  • Cygolite Expilion 800 Bike Headlight ($99)
  • Krytonite New York Fahgettaboudit U-Loc ($130)
  • Giro Republic Bike Shoes ($150)
  • Pedal ED Discovery Shorts ($150)
  • Mission Workshop The Transit Laptop Bag ($225)
  • Smith optics overtake Helmet ($290)
  • Rapha Classic Sunglasses ($295)

As someone who feels like they are on their bike more often than not, I can personally attest to the fact that the biggest enemy of any cyclist while heading to work (other than cars, potholes, or flats) is showing up super sweaty at the office to start out the day. There are two really good ways to combat this. One, set yourself up with some sweat-wicking and breathable threads like the Polo we grabbed from SWRVE and the shorts from Pedal ED, it can really make all the difference. Second, ditch the backpack and go for a bag you can strap to the front of your bike like Mission Workshop’s 19L Transit Laptop bag. Both of these adjustments will significantly change the quality of you ride. Of course, you also have to stay safe and be prepared, so it never hurts to bring along a multi-tool, a patch kit, your trusty Smith Optics helmet and a Cygolight for visibility. Ride on.

Pedestrian EDC


  • Word Pocket Notebook ($10)
  • Quiet carry Mini Q Knife + Key Organizer ($68)
  • Seavees Hermosa Sneaker ($78)
  • Eiger Flashlight ($80)
  • Lululemon Evolution Polo ($88)
  • Bellroy Note Sleeve ($90)
  • Buck Mason Sand Cotton Linen Short ($120)
  • Tessel Supply Jet Pack 2.0 ($140)
  • Zero Tolerance Les George Titanium Flipper ($197)

Those who walk to work are quite possibly the luckiest of the bunch. Want to go home for lunch? Easy. Forget something at home? There are no long car rides, bike trips up a hill, or extra trolly fairs to make the trip longer. Of course, you want to make your daily walks as comfortable as you can, especially in the summer. During those warmer months, it never hurts to go for a synthetic polo like Lululemon’s Evolution – a piece featuring four-way stretch fabric powered by a silverscent technology that fights odor and keeps you cool. Pair that shirt with Buck Mason’s classic and American-made linen shorts, and you’re good to take on even the hottest days. To keep you punctual, we included a Tsovet watch, and for your feet, a classic pair sneakers, the Seavees Hermosa.

Motorist EDC


  • Bull & Stash Travel Stash ($25)
  • Maxx & Unicorn Money Clip ($38)
  • Foursevens Mini ML ($40)
  • Roark Revival First Nation Woven ($66)
  • Karas Kustoms Retrakt Pen ($80)
  • Bonobos Washed Chinos ($88)
  • Leather Timex Weekender Chrono ($128)
  • Anso Knives Titanium Carabiner V.3 ($135)
  • Timbuk2 Hudson Laptop Briefcase ($298)
  • Reate Knives Wave ($375)
  • Helm Boots Muller Brown ($485)

Despite all the renewed attention that alternative modes of transportation have received in the past decade as more people move to the city, driving may still reign supreme. Aside from parking and paying for gas/repairs, driving is pretty much the best thing ever. You don’t have to get into a crowded train car, dodge traffic on a bike, or worry about road-rash. While in a car, you get to listen to the radio, wear a shirt you’re not as worried about getting all sweaty like Roark Revival’s First Nation, and you can even throw on a nicer pair of boots like Helm’s gorgeous Muller Browns. In addition to all of that, you can even throw your work essentials into a bag that’s more style-focused and less about technical construction like Tumbuk2’s standout Hudson Briefcase.