Kickstarter EDC Round Up
Tony Sculimbrene 04.21.15
Some of the best, most interesting gear being released is coming from Kickstarter. As the everyday carry trend has picked up steam, the number and quality of items on Kickstarter has increased. We used to be treated to nothing but weirdo hair scrunchy wallets and machined pens. Now we are starting to see major players and great ideas. Here is an overview of some KS projects that are focused on EDC. Some are recently closed and others are ongoing
There is no gear designer in the world doing more innovative stuff than Jens Anso (“Yens An Sue,” not “AN SO”). His knife designs are as delightful to they eye as they are to the hand, and they work exceptionally well. So when he took his small batch card holder design (with its titanium framelock) to Kickstarter, I was all in. The campaign is over, but the business partnership is going to yield a consistent supply of these wallets for folks that missed out.
For me, aside from the Anso Touch, the thing I am most intrigued about is the skeletal design. I am not much of a cash carrier, and so a card holder is pretty much all I need. I have tried rigid wallets before with little success. I hope that this design is slim enough to live in a front pocket without making trouble. He has stripped the design to its barest components, so if it’s possible to make a comfortable rigid wallet, it will be something very much like this design.
Pinch Multitool (funded but still active)
Some of the multitool designs out there have gotten totally ridiculous. They are huge, multi-piece contraptions, things that seem to be metal flypaper–a ton of “tools” randomly stuck together. They are big, silly, and often one tool impacts the performance of the others. Not so with the Pinch. Not only is it tiny, but the design is also really simple and clean. Everything looks like it will play well with everything else, and the overall piece is something that won’t turn your keys into a mace head. Plus, it’s cheap.
Spectre Wallet (funded but still active)
I have to give fellow Daytonian Jeremiah Skow a shout out, not because I know him (I don’t), but because he has made one heck of a cool wallet. The leather and steel aesthetic is great, especially with the exposed fastners giving it that extra bit of rugged industrial good looks. The RFID blocking feature is nice too. But the real trick is this is an auto-eject wallet. What? What’s that you ask? It’s a wallet combined with a switchblade.
In reality it is a pretty clever idea–the wallet has a single slot that is spring loaded. When a small tab near the corner of the wallet is pulled, the card in the spring loaded slot is partially ejected. It is still mostly in the wallet, perfect if you need to swipe it through a card reader, but it’s out far enough that you can grab it easily. There is also a double ejector slot model, for those instances when you need your credit card AND your ID. Double gold star for a slick, smooth, well done video. It showed me exactly what I needed to see and did so without words. This is a good design and a good presentation. My only fear is that the tab gets snagged in the pocket. If it doesn’t, this is a cool wallet and another break from the horde of weirdo wallets on Kickstarter.
Gamble Made Volks Dangler (unfunded by still active)
I am not a huge dangler/pocket hook fan, but the ones Gamble makes are so sweet looking and functional that I kinda have a weakness for them. I got a review prototype of the original, and it was quite a piece. These seem to be the next evolution–glow in the dark pieces, cleaner designs, and lower price points. There are two models, a hinged model and an one piece model. Both have plenty of attachment points and excellent finishing, as all Gamble’s stuff does. As far as pocket frosting goes, these are pretty sweet.
Griffin Pocket Tool (funded but still active)
The one piece multitool (OPMT) craze has gotten, well, crazy. But of the new designs I have seen recently, mindful that new ones come out every single day, the Griffin ranks as one of the most solid. The incorporation of a true pocket hook into the “pry/wrench/bottle opener” design looks interesting and the inclusion of a snag edge for cutting packages open is nice. One nice thing about the design is that it doesn’t seem to cram too much in. Like the Pinch, every implement on the tool seems to have plenty of breathing room to avoid problems with other implements. All of those animal-in-silhouette OPMT designers, take note–we don’t carry if it looks like a snarling tiger’s head. If I can’t use the driver, it’s a little bit less useful of a tool. Now if one these tools could just do a real built-in Philips driver, we’d be set.
VSSL (funded but still active)
Okay, so ignore the pretentious name. Skip the silly ad copy. This is a 300 ml bottle, with a built in cup, compass, and flashlight. The flashlight even has two modes. The bottle can hold booze. Get that? This is a flask for the 21st century. You can get shitfaced discretely and then stumble to your car without tripping thanks to the flashlight. I am not exactly sure who needs this device (prepared alcoholics?), but at least it is original. The original VSSL launch, with a variety of kits in tube form, was more practical (though pricey), but anything that can hold my bourbon and illuminate things is going to get my attention. It’s better than that awful knife/light combo from SOG. Okay, maybe not. They are both weird. But this one can get me mildly inebriated. I am not 100% sure I am serious about this thing, but the combination is so weird and intriguing that I had to mention it.