Great Gear Stocking Stuffers, Part I
Tony Sculimbrene 12.03.13
You have a buddy that always asks you for your bottle opener at the bar. He’s been a good friend, listened when you had issues, warned you when your beer goggles were kicking in, and generally been a stand up guy. He does not have edgeaphobia either. So you think that it might be time to set him up with something cool.
Or maybe instead of a buddy, it’s your significant other. As the winter moves in and robs us of daylight, the walk to the car is extra dark. Maybe a little, tiny light would work. Or maybe you’re thinking that a little gadget might make life easier if your Dad had it on him at all times. This is a gift guide for them, not you.
(If your friends and family have Dozier customs for hunting, skip this list. If not, read on.)
Department stores seem extra crammed with junky wind up lights this time of year. Skip the crap and get the good stuff. Everything on this list and the list in Part II is under $30 (excluding shipping; how the heck am I supposed to know where you live?).
Maratac AAA Flashlight: This thing is a little flamethrower, hitting 115 lumens on high from a standard 1xAAA battery. It has a friction clip and starts in medium, neither of which I like, but the form factor, price, standard battery format, and chosen lumens outputs are all very good. If you can, the v.2 edition starts in low which seems better, but has no medium and has a lower high. I think the trade offs are worth it, but they may be out of stock. Last year for Mother’s Day I got one for my Mom, who is a huge fraidy cat, and she takes it with her jogging.
Tombow Air Press: Everyone and their mother likes the Fisher Space Pen. I like it, but its clip is terrible. Also, the slick body can be hard to hold on to in cold or wet conditions, precisely where the pen is designed to work best. The Air Press is the Fisher Space Pen Japan-style.
Kershaw Chill: Though it is not quite the blade the Drifter is, largely because of the stain-prone bead blasted 8Cr13MoV, the Chill is one of the best flipping knives I have ever used.
Gerber Shard: The Shard was originally swag Gerber gave out for a trade show. It was so popular among the gear cognescenti that a petition was started and Gerber decided to make the Shard for the general public. Good decision. This is one hell of a one-piece multitool.
I have a few more budget suggestions for gifts in the next installment.