WTF is EDC?
Every Day Carry
The stuff you carry with you every day.
Wallet, phone, keys, etc.
Some people put a ridiculous amount of time, money, and thought into their EDC.
I am one of those people.
This is my EDC.
RadNomad EDC – List
- Jaybird X2 bluetooth water-resistant headphones
- MinWallet minimalist wallet
- TrueUtility FireStash (repurposed into joint stash)
- Rite in the Rain Notebook waterproof pocket-sized notebook
- TrueUtility KeyTool discrete 8-tooled multitool
- Otterbox 5s Commuter Shell bulky tough iPhone case
- NiteIze Inka Pen all-weather quick-draw minimalist pen
- Ledger Nano S uber-secure cryptocurrency hardware wallet
- Handgrey KNOX hand-crafted aluminum side-splitting keyring
Note: Every item in this EDC will either have a full fledged deep-dive RadNomad Gear Review written about it in the future, or is already linked to it’s review.
1. Jaybird X2
Verdict: Not bad, not excellent
A pair of durable & minimalist headphones (that I wish I got in black, not Shrek-ear green). The Jaybird X2s have a lifetime warranty on sweat damage… which really means water damage, to a point.
To test the limits of that, I’ve worn them directly in the shower. Over 10 times. I’ve also had more than a few sweaty workout sessions. No lasting damage whatsoever.
The sound isn’t audiophile quality… but for my use of mostly work EDM and podcasts, it’s perfect.
Those strange fins you see also hold it in the ear securely. From running to shower to parkour to workout they’ve never once fallen out of my ear. Though they do loosen over time and become a bit less effective.
The Bluetooth can only connect to one device at a time, and it’s pretty finicky about switching between them. Can get annoying.
The mic is high enough quality for video calls as long as the background isn’t too loud.
All in all, I’d say that the engineering is great for durability, minimalism, & average listening usage But there’s a few design flaws in comfort & ease of use.
Update: After almost 5 months of heavy use, these finally broke down.
You can grab them for around $100 on Amazon.
Verdict: Pretty great
So it turns out that making a well designed minimalist wallet is quite a challenge.
You have to decide whether to include card slots, bill pockets, and coin pouches. Everything has to be really compact yet easy to access. It’s gotta be durable yet super light.
No one’s quite perfected it yet. But MinWallet, which was funded on Kickstarter in Dec 2014, is pretty damn close.
I’ve tested out more than a few minimalist wallets. I keep coming back to my MinWallet.
It’s so durable that it actually took a friend grabbing it in both hands from the middle pocket and pulling hard for it to break. And even that didn’t make the wallet useless, just one of the card pockets. Which was fixed as soon as we ran into a friend with a sewing machine (thanks Samuel & Caroline).
It’s seriously small. The size of a credit card a width that can expand to about 1 cm thick if you fill it with quite a few bills and 3-8 cards. My record is 9 cards, cash, and a key without breaking a sweat.
And it’s made of some thin & light yet durable fabric.
Only two downsides:
No coin pouch, so you gotta carry change some other way. I hate change.
And, when there’s a lot of cash or a lot of cards, it can be hard to fit it in the little cash slit. So you’ll have some time lost fiddling with it, and I’ve resorted to keeping my backup money in there and the cash I use daily in my back pocket.
Those aren’t a big deal, and all told MinWallet is the most accessible, minimal, and well designed I’ve found. I 100% recommend it.
You can grab one yourself for $15 at minwallet.com
3. TrueUtility FireStash (repurposed)
Verdict: Shitty for original purpose, great joint stash
I won’t go in depth here, but suffice it to say that the TrueUtility FireStash is no good. The idea of a waterproof, always ready, minimalist lighter is cool as hell… but it ran out of fuel every few days and broke completely after a couple months.
But when the lighter did go kaput, I was able to remove the lighter part (usually done so you can add fuel) and repurpose the casing into a small joint holder. So now I’ve almost always got a half-joint on me for when the mood to smoke strikes.
If you wanna get a FireStash, they’re going for $10 on Amazon.
Or you can just get some kind of pill-pot that achieves the same purpose. Aim for a long and thin one like this.
4. Rite in the Rain Pocket Notebook
You know, I see a lot of FieldNotes in EDC posts… But I have no idea how hell FieldNotes became the de-facto EDC notebook when there’s a company like Rite In The Rain around.
This thing is completely waterproof (in that it’ll swell up and then dry out and be completely back to normal in a few hours after a soak), plus you can write on it when it’s wet.
No pens smudge when writing on the RITR notebook, while the FieldNotes Expedition (their waterproof model) is half-useless and smudging all over without an all-weather pen. It comes in discrete black & other options as opposed to FN Expedition’s black & orange. It has more pages. Those pages feel more pleasant to the touch.
For the love of god if you have a FieldNotes now, try a Rite In The Rain next.
You can grab them at Amazon for around $7.
5. TrueUtility KeyTool
I’ve smashed TrueUtility a couple times on RadNomad. For their absolutely useless CashStash (they still owe me $50) to their sadly underperforming FireStash above this.
But… They fucking nailed the KeyTool.
This is an excellently designed, highly functional, wondrously minimalist, and almost completely unnoticeable piece of key-shaped metal. I haven’t seen anything as good for minimalism + utility anywhere so far.
So, first off, let’s talk minimalism. Because when you’re carry-on only, that doesn’t just mean light & tiny. It means the TSA won’t steal it or won’t notice it.
For the KeyTool, it’s the latter. It’s made to wrap around a key, making it nearly invisible as long as you’ve got another key or two on the ring.
Now utility. This fucking thing has 8 functions. Smaller than your pinky. 8 functions.
- bottle opener
- nail cleaner
- nail file
- flat eyeglass screwdriver
- small flat screwdriver
- flat screwdriver
I’ve tested them all numerous times. They all work. The knife is a small one in a niche, so only useful in some cutting situations. The nail cleaners work better as a secondary tiny stabby knife. The ‘eyeglass’ screwdriver doesn’t fit my eyeglasses. That’s about all that’s wrong.
You can get one for $10 at Amazon.
6. OtterBox Commuter Shell for iPhone 5s
The iPhone is the iPhone. Basic, high quality, some glaring limitations like non-expandable memory. I hardly need to review it here.
The OtterBox Commuter Shell is built to be an affordable, durable, not too bulky case that gives your iPhone 360 drop protection.
I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even react when I drop my phone. The OtterBox has protected from probably over 100 falls, losing a few bits of itself along the way but never losing its functionality.
It’s quite bulky compared to the naked iPhone, and so damn hard to put on/off that I cracked a part of it trying to do just that, though the damage wound up being mostly superficial.
Overall, it does its job well. You can get an Otterbox case for $30-40 on Amazon.
7. Nite Ize Inka Pen [v 1.0]
The first EDC item I ever bought, at a time when the $15 price tag was expensive for me.
I’ve had it on me almost every single day in the 4 years since, and it’s earned a place in my design hall of fame…. which is why I’m livid at Nite Ize for discontinuing it and creating a v 2.0 that is a piece of shit.
It’ll work in just about any temperature on earth, under water, and in space. It can be quick-drawn for jotting notes & filling forms in half a second, and assembled into a full-sized and beautifully weighted pen in <10 seconds.
If you want to know absolutely evvvverything about it , read the Nite Ize Inka Pen RadNomad – Gear Review.
If you want to buy one… well, I recommend you check eBay and Amazon. Every now and then one pops up for some extravagant amount of money that I would still happily pay if I lost mine.
8. Ledger Nano S
At any given time about 80% of my net worth is stored on this device.
No bank or third party has it, it’s as if I’m carrying it all in cash.
Now, if you don’t give a damn about cryptocurrency, you can skip this. Otherwise…
The Ledger Nano S is a near-perfect device for secure storage of bitcoins, ether, litecoins, zcash, dash, any ether-based tokens… you get the idea. It also works as a two-factor authentication device.
And all that shit is incredibly difficult to steal or hack.
If you stole the device itself, without the pin, you couldn’t access it.
The pin itself can’t be spied on via a keylogger or screen recorder virus, because it uses the Ledger Nano S’s own screen and buttons.
Same with all transaction confirmations & thereby your private keys. None of the important data ever actually interacts with the computer or leaves the Ledger in any way.
And if it is lost or stolen, I can get another one and regain access to all my shit with a 24 word passphrase that was randomly generated when I activated my Ledger.
Which even has a neat little trick for avoiding a $5 Wrench Attack by creating a 25th word that unlocks a hidden set of wallets. So anyone who forced the pin out of you won’t know that they’re only accessing a part of your funds. You could keep a few hundred/thousand worth here & the rest hidden behind the 25th word.
And all this comes in a tiny & durable USB stick.
God damn excellence.
You can get one yourself for €58 at ledgerwallet.com.
9. HANDGREY KNOX Keyring
This is possibly the most expensive keyring out there, clocking in at $19 USD. It’s literally hand made by the guy who owns the company. It’s just him, and he launched the KNOX via a Kickstarter that Asha sent to me.
[Side note: tell me that Kickstarter video isn’t the most relaxed you’ve ever seen]
Before finding it, I’d left a trail of bent, rusted, loosened, or just plain badly designed keyrings in my wake in a quest to find the perfect nomad’s keyring. A keyring that would survive with me until the day I die.
Yes, I am aware that I’m weird.
The KNOX looked like it might be it. It’s made of Gr. 5 Titanium, which makes it light (which doesn’t really matter… it’s a keyring), durable, and rust-proof. Nice.
It’s got a 10-sided side-splitting design (see the pic). Which makes it even more durable, easier to add things to, and less prone to stretching out of shape when you put something big on it. It also looks way cooler than a normal keyring.
In the > 1 year that I’ve had it, its shown absolutely no wear and tear. The rings haven’t loosened (despite putting things as thick as my pinky on it to test it out), there’s no rust (despite it getting wet plenty of times)… nothing at all.
You can buy your own from handgrey.com for $19.
As a final note, let me just point out that, if you think I’m weird for giving this many shits about a keyring… what about the strange EDC genius who invented this thing?
Got any gear upgrades to recommend? Think I should do one of these every year? Agree with one of my reviews and have something to add? Comment below 🙂