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Showing 32 posts tagged Featured

The Utilitarian EDC Starter Kit
Since day one, we’ve been committed to spreading the word of EDC. That’s why we helped our friends at Broquet proudly bring you The Utilitarian — a starter kit designed to easily upgrade a wallet and keychain, two of the most common essentials, into a fully functional carry. Featuring solid picks from Machine Era Co., Gerber, and NiteIze, this kit has something for newcomers and veteran EDCers alike. Read more for our exclusive coupon code and giveaway!
BUY ($69)
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You can share your passion for EDC and give the gift of self-reliance for 10% off using coupon code: EverydayCarry at checkout.
We received The Utilitarian starter kit from our friends at Broquet to aid in the photography and writing of this feature. In the Broquet spirit of giving great gifts, and in line with our goal to spread the concept of Everyday Carry, we’re giving this kit away to one lucky reader! Enter the giveaway in our widget below. Good luck and carry on!
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The Utilitarian EDC Starter Kit

Since day one, we’ve been committed to spreading the word of EDC. That’s why we helped our friends at Broquet proudly bring you The Utilitarian — a starter kit designed to easily upgrade a wallet and keychain, two of the most common essentials, into a fully functional carry. Featuring solid picks from Machine Era Co., Gerber, and NiteIze, this kit has something for newcomers and veteran EDCers alike. Read more for our exclusive coupon code and giveaway!

BUY ($69)

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Meze 11 DECO Elegant Wooden Earphones
Meze Headphones aim to set the stage for audio gear that looks as good as it sounds with their new 11 DECO earphones. Beech wood enclosures housing 8mm neodymium drivers provide a natural warmth to their sound signature and a touch of elegance to its design. Featuring a smart-phone compatible microphone for hands-free calls, a tangle-free cable, and an included protective case, the 11 DECOs make a great addition to a stylish EDC.
BUY ($79)
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We received a new sample pair of the Meze 11 DECO earphones from Meze Headphones for the purpose of photographing and writing this feature. Enter our giveaway below for your chance to win this pair:
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Meze 11 DECO Elegant Wooden Earphones

Meze Headphones aim to set the stage for audio gear that looks as good as it sounds with their new 11 DECO earphones. Beech wood enclosures housing 8mm neodymium drivers provide a natural warmth to their sound signature and a touch of elegance to its design. Featuring a smart-phone compatible microphone for hands-free calls, a tangle-free cable, and an included protective case, the 11 DECOs make a great addition to a stylish EDC.

BUY ($79)

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distilunion Wally Bifold Review & Giveaway
When it comes to most wallets, what you see is what you get — minimalist wallets often emphasize form over function and traditional wallets get bulky and boring. The Wally Bifold from Distil Union, on the other hand, puts its own spin on the traditional bifold form factor with its interesting, minimalist operation. Read more for my full review of the Wally Bifold wallet and for your chance to win one courtesy of Distil Union.
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Upon first glance, the unassuming Wally Bifold could easily be dismissed as another boring, leather wallet. A closer look at its curious ribbon pull-tabs and shiny metal clip peeking out from within would tip you off that this isn’t like most wallets you’ve seen. It most resembles the Wally Stick-On wallet that we reviewed previously: the two halves of the wallet function like vertical versions of the Stick-On’s ribbon and pocket system, holding up to 12 cards. Internally, a metal moneyclip holds cash in place. What’s interesting is that the Wally really embraces the “traditional” bifold form factor, at least externally. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. Minimal wallets are all the rage as of late, but in pursuing extreme minimalism, so many of them miss the mark and completely lose that intuitive, familiar gesture of actually opening a wallet to grab some cash, then shoving it back into a pocket comfortably, and without worry of anything getting scratched. With the Wally Bifold, that feeling remains intact. While it isn’t constructed from the most luxurious leather out there, it’s well-made, comfortable in hand and in the pocket, and ages beautifully with use without getting worn out. I can’t ask for much more than that. One minor change that could make the wallet seem more luxurious would be to make the ribbon tabs out of leather instead, with some nice metal hardware to match the clip.

Using the Wally Bifold, I get the benefits of having that familiar leather wallet feeling, but elevated with its interesting operation. Most of the time when I use the bifold, I don’t ever actually open it — pulling the ribbon tabs lets me access my cards without having to open my wallet up and reveal how much or how little cash I have inside. Using the tabs is satisfying, intuitive and simple, as is storing cards when I’m done with them. It works how I expect, and I really appreciate the lack of a steep learning curve with this wallet. But its simplicity and convenience do have its drawbacks: when holding the wallet upside down and shaking it, the open pockets let cards fall out. Granted this never happened to me in practice, it’s worth noting if card retention is especially important to you. Considering the leather can stretch over time, I think the wallet could be improved by making the pockets a bit more snug, which would slim down the wallet’s footprint overall.

But for me, the real test of a worthy EDC wallet is how it performs at the register. With the Wally, I can easily recognize and pull a color-coded tab for the card of choice, pay, and slip it back into the wallet without fighting zippers, rubber bands, flaps, or buttons. Paying with cash, and more importantly, putting away my change in small bills, is a breeze. That’s where I think the Wally Bifold edges out so many minimalist wallets on the market: I don’t feel limited in how much cash or change I choose to carry, and I am never slowed down by needing to quadruple fold bills before they fit my wallet.

Compared to other popular minimalist wallets, the Wally Bifold still manages to stay comfortably slim, even when fully stuffed.  It slides smoothly into the pocket and sits there comfortably against my body thanks to its streamlined leather construction. Between storage, retrieval, and comfort, the Bifold carries well.
Reviewer Score: 5/5
Pros:
Carrying cash is a breeze
Intuitive, hassle-free pull-tab operation
Large capacity while remaining comfortably slim
Cons:
Card retention not the most secure by design, also possibly resulting in larger footprint than needed
I’ve reviewed plenty of wallets for the site, but none have managed to impress me how the Wally Bifold has. It might not have the “cool” factor that other wallets do, but at the end of the day, it just does what a wallet is supposed to do, in its own unique way. Looking for a slim, comfortable, easy-to-use wallet that isn’t limiting? Meet Wally.
BUY ($59.99)
Lindsay at Distil Union has kindly provided a brand new Wally Bifold as a prize for our latest giveaway. Enter in the widget below. Good luck!
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distilunion Wally Bifold Review & Giveaway

When it comes to most wallets, what you see is what you get — minimalist wallets often emphasize form over function and traditional wallets get bulky and boring. The Wally Bifold from Distil Union, on the other hand, puts its own spin on the traditional bifold form factor with its interesting, minimalist operation. Read more for my full review of the Wally Bifold wallet and for your chance to win one courtesy of Distil Union.

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Tactile Turn Brass Mover Review
Tactile Turn have been turning heads among pen addicts and EDCers alike with their machined aluminum pens in recent months. Now, they’re back on Kickstarter in all new materials. Do these new pens continue to live up to their names as movers and shakers in the pen market? Read more for my hands-on review of the new Brass Tactile Turn Mover, provided by Will from Tactile Turn.
[[MORE]]Tactile Turn have returned to Kickstarter to start production on these updated versions of their already successful Mover and Shaker pens, which we recommended in Vol. 4 of our Carry Smarter buying guide series. The new Mover and Shaker pens are essentially the same great pens — expertly machined clicky pens that accommodate a variety of refills with a unique micro-ribbed grip section, but updated with new materials and finishes this time around. I was sent the Mover in Brass, which is the longer pen in the Tactile Turn lineup at a respectable 5.55” length. The brass barrel affords a significant heft, weighing in at 2.51 oz — over twice the weight of its original aluminum counterpart. Along with the heft comes a bright, beautiful golden hue, contrasted against polished stainless steel hardware on the pocket clip and click mechanism. The Mover employs sleek, industrial design language that when combined with the gleaming brass and steel hardware, results in a striking, almost luxurious look. Much of the Mover’s sexiness comes from its impeccable fit and finish. It takes close inspection to even tell where the barrel unscrews to access the refill.

Included out of the box is a Pilot G2 refill, but the Mover can take at least 20 different refills to suit your preference. The refill of your choice is deployed using a sturdy metal clicky, or knock mechanism. Having a retractable tip and a quick and near-silent knock mechanism is ideal for EDC, mainly for its convenience and ease of access when you need to get writing without fussing over unscrewing caps, keeping track of a loose cap, and so on. I’ve tested the pen both out in my day to day as well as at my office desk, and it was consistently up to the task every time. When making quick notes or signing receipts, I had no trouble unclipping the pen, advancing the pen tip, and scribbling here and there. One of the standout features of Tactile Turn pens is the grip portion. It flares ever so slightly out from the already beefy barrel to give you plenty to hold on to, then provides extra surface area to grip through fine, precisely-machined grooves. It rides the sweetspot between being comfortably grippy without being overly aggressive, which is important to control a pen this heavy. 

For longer writing sessions at my desk, it handles like no other pen I’ve used before. While I expected a pen this heavy to make writing effortless, as the weight of the pen itself imparts most of the downward pressure when writing, I was really impressed by how comfortable the writing experience was. Above the famed smoothness of the G2 refill and the precision the grip provided, the almost magical balance of the pen is what really elevated the Mover from writing instrument to an inky extension of my hand. The writing experience for me was similar to using a fountain pen in that no pressure was required, but with the awesome durability and convenience of a clicky ballpoint. Sort of like the best of both worlds from an EDC standpoint.
I’ve heard some common excuses for not carrying a pen, even from people who wish they had one with them: they lose or break them all the time. I can’t foresee that happening at all with the Mover. The pocket clip is super sturdy and rides really low and snug in my pants pocket. Factor in the heft of brass and it’s not going anywhere. And if it does, you’d be sure to feel it. A solid machined brass barrel is near indestructible, so there’s no worry of leakage in my experience. There were only a few instances where the knock mechanism seemed a little loose from riding in the pocket, and over 2-3 weeks of EDC the clip has let up ever so slightly. Overall, I’m confident I can carry it anywhere.

Reviewer Score: 5/5
Pros:
Superb fit and finish, durable materials, EDC-friendly design
Excellent balance in hand, effective grip, pleasant heft
Comfortable, smooth writing with included G2, also very versatile in accommodating refills
Cons:
Pocket clip loosened up ever so slightly over time
Barrel might be too wide, heavy, or rigid for some
I don’t throw out a 5/5 score very often, but after extended use and carry, the Mover is hard to fault. It’s beautiful, it’s well-built, it performs when and where I want, and it absolutely slays each page with a robust elegance. Its flaws, if any, are minor or a matter of preference. Its Kickstarter price of $60 is still a great value, considering how long this pen should serve you. If you’re looking for a pen that lets you make a statement in more ways than one, this is it.
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Tactile Turn Brass Mover Review

Tactile Turn have been turning heads among pen addicts and EDCers alike with their machined aluminum pens in recent months. Now, they’re back on Kickstarter in all new materials. Do these new pens continue to live up to their names as movers and shakers in the pen market? Read more for my hands-on review of the new Brass Tactile Turn Mover, provided by Will from Tactile Turn.

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distilunion Wally Stick-on Review
For the minimalists out there, chances are your phone and your wallet make up the bulk of your carry. The Wally Stick-On wallet adheres to your iPhone, slimming down two of your most essential items to one. It’s promising in theory, but how well does having a wallet stuck to your phone and vice versa really work? Read more for my review of the Wally Stick-On wallet and to enter a Wally Case giveaway, all provided by distilunion.
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The Wally Stick-On is a single-piece leather cardholder that attaches to the back of an iPhone using a high quality, 3M adhesive backing. It’s shaped and cut to protect the back of the phone from scratches, with some clearance left for the rear-facing camera and dual flash. With proper application, it sits tight and flush, without adding much thickness to the phone. At first glance, the Wally looks like nothing more than a protective leather cover for the back of your phone, especially when empty. A quick pull of the ribbon tab pushes the Wally’s contents up for quick and easy access: distilunion recommends three cards and a trifolded bill. After using the cards, pushing them back into the Wally also pushes the ribbon tab back into place. There’s no fussing with snap enclosures, zippers, or fighting resistance of rubber bands and magnets here. The ribbon  is easy to use for both retrieving and storing cards. It’s a surprisingly satisfying experience coming from such a simple mechanism.

Admittedly, I began testing the Wally with some skepticism — while I’m all for minimalist wallets, I’m not one to use a phone case. I find cases can change the physical feel of using a phone, while adding bulk and weight. I had to get used to the Wally Stick-On in a number of ways: first, my phone felt completely different in hand. However, the added thickness of just a few cards combined with the texture of the leather lent a pleasant, comfortable curvature to the phone, reminiscent of the iPhone 3GS ergonomics. The next thing I had to adjust to was the unwarranted anxiety of having your phone and wallet stuck together — sometimes I’d think I left my wallet at home. But for everyday use, it’s convenient and really simplifies my EDC. It carries not much thicker than do a phone or wallet on their own, so I could comfortably keep it in my front pocket where I’d normally keep wallet, and just as easily throw it in my back pocket where I keep my phone, which is some welcome versatility when it comes to carry options. However, with this setup, I couldn’t carry as much as I used to or wanted to. For the Wally to really excel at what it does, I needed to limit my cards to my three most important ones and carry a single $20 bill or no cash at all. Otherwise, the leather on the Wally stretches out a bit, and also pulling the adhesive towards the top of the wallet off slightly. While distilunion offers “recharge” packs to make the Wally stick like new, fixing stretched out leather is more involved. Although the capacity of the Wally leaves something to be desired, I really appreciated its simple, effective operation, the convenience of combining my phone and my wallet, as well as the pocket space it affords. Eventually, one of my coworkers saw the Wally, ripped it off my phone and stuck it to his, then immediately stuffed it with business cards. By effectively ending my testing period prematurely, he revealed just how appealing and versatile the Wally can be even for people who already have a wallet they prefer.

Reviewer Score: 4.0/5
Pros:
Intuitive, efficient and satisfying operation
Protects phone without much bulk
Versatile as a secret pocket
One less thing to carry, and it carries well
Cons:
"Uh oh, I lost my phone!" becomes "Uh oh, I lost my phone AND my wallet!"
Limited capacity and organization
Doesn’t handle cash or change well
Affects physical handling of phone
Calling the Wally a wallet might be a bit of a misnomer — it certainly can hold cards and some cash, but it really feels more like a phone accessory with a wallet functionality. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just speaks to how readily the Wally unobtrusively takes a back seat and gives access to your cards while protecting your phone, and how versatile it can be as a secret pocket for business cards, emergency cash, or anything else you want with you out of sight and out of mind until you need it.
BUY ($39.99)
Because the review sample I tested has been slightly stretched and severely de-stickied (as well as taken by my coworker), we’re giving away a brand new Case version of the Wally, courtesy of DistilUnion. Good luck and carry on!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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distilunion Wally Stick-on Review

For the minimalists out there, chances are your phone and your wallet make up the bulk of your carry. The Wally Stick-On wallet adheres to your iPhone, slimming down two of your most essential items to one. It’s promising in theory, but how well does having a wallet stuck to your phone and vice versa really work? Read more for my review of the Wally Stick-On wallet and to enter a Wally Case giveaway, all provided by distilunion.

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Native Union JUMP Cable Review & Giveaway
If you rely on your smartphone everyday, battery life shouldn’t stop you from getting the most out of your phone. There are several ways to keep your phone charged, but not without their flaws. Most power banks are too bulky to EDC, wall chargers are very limiting when out and about, and cables can tangle or fray when tossed in a bag. Native Union puts forth their JUMP Cable as a 2-in-1 solution for mobile charging on the go. Read more for my review of the JUMP Cable and for a chance to win one for your EDC, courtesy of Native Union.
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Despite what its name may suggest, the JUMP Cable is more than just a cable — it’s an 800mAh external battery too, providing over 30% of charge to an iPhone 5, or somewhere between 24-28% for a 5S, depending on usage during charging and age of the battery. The JUMP can also be used as pass through cable for high-speed (2.4A), prioritized charging using what Native Union calls AutoCharge technology. The USB to Lightning version of the JUMP is MFI certified by Apple, allowing you to confidently sync and transfer data using the cable. Physically, the cable is braided and slightly stiffened, making it less prone to tangling and fraying when carried. The ends of the cables are also very slim, resembling 1st party Lightning cables, ensuring compatibility with most phone cases. The ends of the cable snap flushly into recesses in the center of the battery when not in use, while the stiffened cable wraps perfectly around the perimeter of the battery portion. Best of all, unlike most external battery bricks, this thing is impressively compact at just 1.96in x 1.96in and 1.4 oz. Native Union has received several accolades for their product design — after seeing how they’ve managed to eliminate the hassle of carrying a brick of a battery and the tangly, fragile mess of an overly long charging cable, I’d say their praise is very much deserved.

Charging your phone with the JUMP is easy enough — pull the Lightning end of the cable out of its center slot and unravel the cable a bit, plug into the phone and press a small button on the JUMP to begin. Three small LEDs indicate the charging state and capacity of the JUMP. According to specs, a full discharge in battery mode should take about 35 minutes at 1A, providing around 24%-28% of charge to my iPhone 5S. In my testings, I didn’t quite get as much of a charge. For me, it took about 20 minutes to completely discharge, giving me a consistent extra 20% of battery. That was without actively using the phone, just as if it were in my pocket or on my desk. As a disclaimer, I use my phone a lot. So much so that I’ve jailbroken it to use it in even more ways. I use my phone so much for music, photos, texting, and most importantly, keeping tabs on the blog when I’m away from my desk. I feel a distinct anxiety when I see a single pixel sliver of red and a 1% in the top right of my screen. So although the JUMP Cable delivered less than its promised 24%, I figure for the average, non-jailbroken iPhone user, the JUMP should charge adequately. With that said, I think even 20% under high stress is a welcome boost at the end of the day. It’s enough to get my phone out of the red and to get me to a power source.
I can forgive the marginal discrepancy in performance because the product, by design, foregoes huge capacities for something that’s truly pocketable. I respect that decision and admire the execution of it. I effortlessly carried it in my coin pocket, zip wallet, and bag. It doesn’t scratch anything, discharge on accident, tangle or fray. But the plastic housing can get scratched a bit, and the white plastic parts of the cable can get dirty — neither of which affect performance. My other complaint would be that when actually charging your phone on the go, it does kind of dangle awkwardly from the bottom of the phone. It’s just a mild inconvenience to deal with for half an hour or so.

Reviewer Score: 4.5/5
Pros:
Very compact and lightweight, easy to carry
2-in-1 function as battery and passthrough cable
Quality construction, fit and finish of a well-designed product
Cons:
No elegant solution for how to carry the JUMP on the go during charging period
800mAh capacity might not suffice for power users
Considering the JUMP Cable’s massively successful $372,000 Kickstarter campaign and the fact that I begrudgingly carry a 0.8lb external battery and a 10ft long cable to charge my phone on the go, I had high hopes for the JUMP. While it can’t charge my phone 8 times over, it’s still a wonderful for what it is — an elegant, well-executed way to provide a small but significant charge to your phone at the end of the day. You can pick one up for yourself at Native Union at the link below, or enter our giveaway to win one of three JUMP Cables (Lightning or Micro USB), graciously furnished by Native Union. 
BUY ($50)
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Native Union JUMP Cable Review & Giveaway

If you rely on your smartphone everyday, battery life shouldn’t stop you from getting the most out of your phone. There are several ways to keep your phone charged, but not without their flaws. Most power banks are too bulky to EDC, wall chargers are very limiting when out and about, and cables can tangle or fray when tossed in a bag. Native Union puts forth their JUMP Cable as a 2-in-1 solution for mobile charging on the go. Read more for my review of the JUMP Cable and for a chance to win one for your EDC, courtesy of Native Union.

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There seems to be an idea that carbon fiber is popular for one’s everyday carry because of its dominant color and premium price, but there is some science to the fiction for why it’s a fantastic material to use on products. In the seventh installment of Carry Smarter we cover a complete carbon fiber carry and see why its properties make good equipment even better.
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Despite not having a lot of real estate to work with, sunglasses frames can still benefit from carbon fiber’s light weight and high temperature tolerance. Ray-Ban infuses its classic Aviators with carbon fiber to make its arms lighter and tougher without added weight.
BUY ($138)

Flashlights with magnetic control rings are rare by themselves, and ones with premium material construction are even rarer. Niteye’s EYE10 TIC falls into the latter camp with a titanium/carbon fiber body on top of its base rotary system model that has four modes and an output of 260lm. Withstanding high temperatures along with minimal thermal expansion are definitely key benefits for anything that produces a lot of heat, and the carbon fiber on this light is no different.
BUY ($297)

The Spyderco Sage 3 is already a great everyday carry with its 3” drop point blade and ambidextrous Bolt Action Lock, but add in light weight, chemical resistance, and high tensile strength in its carbon fiber/G-10 scales, and the result is this easy-to-carry, handsome, and highly-functional knife.
BUY ($134)

Multi-tools are generally quite heavy and bulky so the light weight yet high strength of carbon fiber is a welcome enhancement. The Leatherman brand needs no introduction in the world of quality EDC. In addition to its sleek carbon fiber accents and highly capable tool complement, the affordable Skeletool CX packs a better 154CM plain edge blade compared to its standard counterpart into the same five ounce frame.
BUY ($60)

What makes for a great EDC pen is usually a combination of good writing action, reliable ink, and portability and weight. At a mere 0.5 ounces including its refill, carbon fiber certainly allows the Tombow Zoom 101 to fulfill the latter categories. It also doesn’t hurt having the pen in one’s bag or pocket due to the high stiffness and strength its full CF body affords, making it a solid carry.
BUY ($91)

Being worn on the wrist certainly exposes a watch to the wear and tear of the environment and other elements, so if there’s a type of product that could benefit from high strength and heat resistance, a carbon fibre-infused timepiece would be it. The Seiko SNAE17 Velatura chronograph definitely looks the part of the roadworthy watch; the addition of a carbon fiber face adds some welcome function to its sleek form.
BUY ($369)

While a completely carbon fiber-covered wallet would be rather uncomfortable or impractical as an everyday carry, a money clip would fit the part far better. So in the true spirit of utility, how about one that adds a bottle-opening feature to its already thin profile? The Flexy money clip does just that, at an astonishingly light 0.46 ounces, yet still strong enough to pop open a brew thanks to the strength afforded by its multi-layer CF construction.
BUY ($45) High-res

There seems to be an idea that carbon fiber is popular for one’s everyday carry because of its dominant color and premium price, but there is some science to the fiction for why it’s a fantastic material to use on products. In the seventh installment of Carry Smarter we cover a complete carbon fiber carry and see why its properties make good equipment even better.

Read more

BIGiDESIGN Ti-POST RAW Review
Whether you like letting your ideas flow on old fashioned pen and paper or getting your work done with the processing power of a modern tablet and stylus, the Ti-POST RAW from BIGiDESIGN is designed to handle it all. In this review, I put this titanium machined pen (graciously provided by BIGiDESIGN) to the test.
[[MORE]]We gave BIGiDESIGN a nod of approval in our Best EDC Pens buying guide a while back for their Aluminum Pen + Stylus. The Ti-POST RAW in this review boasts many of the same features but comes upgraded in titanium and attempts to address some of the balance issues found in earlier versions of the pen.  
There’s a lot of great things to be found in the pen upon first glance. I immediately appreciated its solid TA2 titanium body, its beautiful machining, and flawless fit and finish. The pen’s overall aesthetic relies mostly on its pristine machining and much-desired titanium materials, as the rest of its features are fairly sterile and understated. The only branding on the pen appears as an almost indistinct periodic table “Ti” etched into its deep pocket clip. On the other end of the pen are its sturdy titanium threads for twist cap posting and its optional conductive stylus tip. While these external features are great, much of the Post Raw’s appeal comes from within. It can accommodate almost any refill you can throw at it (35+ refills!) to really configure the pen to your personal needs and preferences.

Untwisting the cap via its surprisingly smooth, grit-free titanium threads unveils the business end of the pen, which comes pre-loaded with a Uni Signo 207 refill right out of the box. The surrounding grip area is markedly narrower than the rest of the body, with only three minimal “rings” etched into the barrel to serve as a grip. Initially, I was concerned that this “grip” wouldn’t suffice, especially given how smooth and how heavy the body can be. Fortunately, I discovered just how well-balanced the pen really is, which comes as a surprise considering its noticeable overall length when posted. By letting the pen rest most of its heft between the base of my thumb and index finger, I needed much less of a grip on the writing end of the barrel and was able to let the pen do most of the work. Writing becomes easy and comfortable, even with just the included refill. If your refill of choice is supported and you figure out how to balance the pen, you’re in for a smooth writing experience. I didn’t test the pen’s writing performance without the cap posted because in practice, it would be easier to lose the cap that way, but a cursory run indicates it balances similarly. Its stylus end works and feels sturdy, without much of that hollow balloon feeling when gliding across a tablet surface I find in other styluses. If a stylus isn’t a necessary part of your EDC, it can be easily unscrewed and replaced with a flat endcap to cut down on its length a bit.
At just over 5.3” including the stylus when capped, the Post Raw takes up as much pocket space as the average click pen, if not a tiny bit more. It isn’t the most compact pen, but it still carries great thanks to its deep, sturdy titanium pocket clip. Furthermore, each pen comes packaged with a high quality felt pen sleeve if you’d rather pocket it loose, throw it in a bag, or just want extra scratch protection from the rest of your gear. It seems like these guys get the big idea behind everyday carry given all the thought they put into the pen’s carry options.

Reviewer Score: 4.0 of 5
Pros:
Pleasant heft and balance facilitate smooth writing
Clean titanium construction
Very deep pocket clip
Versatile refill compatibility
Cons:
Loose, threaded cap not ideal for EDC — makes quick jotting inconvenient
When cap is posted, pen is slightly long, slightly long overall
“Grip” portion of barrel could be more aggressive
For the casual writer whose ideas come frequently and without notice, the Ti-POST RAW might be too slow to get set up in time to jot them down. Its postable twist cap, heft and balance, and refill compatibility seem to encourage longer writing sessions and cater best to pen enthusiasts. With that said, the pen has many strengths that warrant a spot in an EDC, and could, with time, convert the quick jotter into a more serious writer. It’s something to be used and envied at the office, but designed well enough to be carried along to wherever inspiration strikes.
BUY ($75) High-res
BIGiDESIGN Ti-POST RAW Review

Whether you like letting your ideas flow on old fashioned pen and paper or getting your work done with the processing power of a modern tablet and stylus, the Ti-POST RAW from BIGiDESIGN is designed to handle it all. In this review, I put this titanium machined pen (graciously provided by BIGiDESIGN) to the test.

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Machine Era Co. Wallet Review
Last September, Machine Era Co. invited early adopters on Kickstarter to rethink their everyday carry with the introduction of their fully machined, aluminum slim wallet. The campaign was met with tremendous support, raising nearly $250,000 from over 5600 backers. In this review, I attempt to rethink my everyday carry as well and share my thoughts on this wildly successful wallet, courtesy of Machine Era Co.
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The Machine Era Wallet takes an industrial approach to a modern, minimal wallet through its design and choice of materials. Its understated design, essentially an assembly of a metal plate and a thick elastic band, immediately appears somehow striking yet barebones. The Machine Era Wallet forgoes conventional design cues in favor of rugged functionality, constructed from a high grade 6061 aluminum. The flat black anodized finish not only adds to its aesthetic, but also offers improved corrosion resistance and a comfortable, grippy texture to the surface. I found that with normal use the finish comes off, especially in areas of high wear such as the corners and the top edge that grazes against the pocket the most. It also tends to show scratches and smudges easily, but it appears more like a nice patina than a poor anodization job. The machining overall is excellent, with enough curves and chamfer to the plate that its lines look nice and clean but still handle comfortably.

The aluminum plate has two notches on its sides machined out to fit a thick elastic band, which holds 2-6 cards and tri-folded cash snug to the wallet’s interior. Cash or cards can also be held onto the back of the plate as well, for even easier access. A minimal wallet like this lacks any other organization, so storing cards is a matter of stacking them behind each other. When retrieving cards, I’ve found the most convenient method is to slide cards up and fan them out that way rather than digging through them from the top. Some might find this inconvenient when retrieving the last card in the wallet, but organizing the cards by most frequently used towards the front should minimize hassle. I must be one of the few people still using cash these days, as many modern slim wallets on the market don’t really address what to do with loose bills. This wallet accommodates tri-folded cash, which works decently for the odd note here and there. But folding cash in thirds really adds up thickness quick, and storing them on the outside of the wallet or on top of your cards makes the wad easier to push or slide out. I noticed this happening a lot when I’d try to stuff the wallet into my front pocket with a bunch of singles folded up. It’s a problem that I don’t think would happen to most users, but it happened in my experience. I also appreciated that I could use my bus pass without removing it from the wallet since the elastic band leaves most of the card exposed. Others might consider this a privacy or security risk, however. Overall, storing and retrieving cards is quick and painless. With cash, the wallet operates best with just a few bills.
With the average user’s amount of cash and cards, the wallet slides into the pocket really nicely. It’s slim, sturdy, and lightweight at just 1.3 oz due to its aluminum body, which also happens to handle moisture well. A potential drawback is comfort — while I found it slim enough to be comfortable, others might not appreciate a rigid metal block rubbing against their thigh. Similarly, I wouldn’t recommend back pocket carrying a wallet like this (or sitting on anything in your pockets in general) for comfort reasons.

Reviewer Score: 4.0 out of 5
Pros:
Well-machined, minimal durability
Easy to operate and comfortable to use
Carries well, slim and lightweight
Cons:
Limited performance for cash carriers
Finish wears and shows imperfections easily
Machine Era Co.’s years of tweaking this design ultimately resulted in this solid, simple, but very efficient wallet. It might not look like much, but that’s part of its appeal — it capably handles your cards and cash in ways you think it couldn’t upon first glance. In that regard, I did rethink my everyday carry, and quickly saw its success on Kickstarter was no fluke. Admittedly, it doesn’t handle cash as effectively as I’d like. But for true minimalists who don’t deal much with loose bills, I’d confidently recommend the Machine Era Wallet in a heartbeat.
BUY ($28) High-res
Machine Era Co. Wallet Review

Last September, Machine Era Co. invited early adopters on Kickstarter to rethink their everyday carry with the introduction of their fully machined, aluminum slim wallet. The campaign was met with tremendous support, raising nearly $250,000 from over 5600 backers. In this review, I attempt to rethink my everyday carry as well and share my thoughts on this wildly successful wallet, courtesy of Machine Era Co.

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Fenix E12, PD12, & E35UE Mini Review Roundup & Giveaway
Fenix has built a reputation in the EDC community as one of the leading flashlight manufacturers, using high quality materials and solid designs. In this mini-review roundup we take a quick look at some of Fenix’s newest offerings, the E12, the PD12, and the E35 Ultimate Edition, graciously provided by Fenix Outfitters.
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Fenix E12
My immediate impression of the E12 is that it’s nothing flashy — it brings a simple, unassuming sensibility to the table. It’s styled very traditionally, with the usual black knurled aluminum body that you’d expect from Fenix and other practical flashlight brands. It’s decently compact for a 1xAA light as its head, battery tube and tailcap are all flush with each other. Unfortunately, the E12 does not come fitted with a pocket clip of any sort, limiting carry options to a keychain (which, I feel is just barely acceptable at its size) or deep pocket carry using an included wrist lanyard. Both a keyring and lanyard can attach to the tailcap, which also houses a reverse clicky switch. The switch is protected by a scooped “bezel” to allow tailstanding and easier access to the switch. At the business end of the light, there’s some interesting optics going on around its XP-E2 emitter. Turning the light on starts on its 8 lumen low mode, and soft presses of the tailcap cycle through its 50 lumen medium and 130 lumen high mode. On low, 8 lumens is plenty for walking around at night or scanning dark spaces, and personally I feel it’s more than enough. A 50 lumen medium is great for covering a larger area. Most impressive, however, is its 130 lumen high — it’s great to have that power when you need it in a compact light, and it’s this capability that Fenix tends to highlight, with good reason. You’d likely find yourself using low and medium modes in everyday situations, but I wish a moonlight or lower low were offered to help space out the levels better. The E12 produces a surprisingly wide, white hotspot, with relatively little usable spill in a bluish tint. It might not appeal to the most discerning flashaholics, but it makes its case as an simple, easy-to-use, reliable primary or backup light. I can see this doing well in a mini EDC pouch kit or a beginner’s carry as an intro to higher quality lights.
Reviewer Score: 2.5/5
Pros:
Sturdy build quality, clean fit and finish from Fenix
Pushes the envelope with an impressive 130lm high
Simple operation
Cons:
Lack of pocket clip and sized slightly too large for keychain, making it hard to EDC
Mediocre beam pattern and tint
Wide hotspot makes low mode appear brighter than it should
The E12, to me, seems average in many ways. Its $30 pricetag is a good indicator of what to expect — it’s a step up from keychain lights in build quality and output, but doesn’t stand up to $60+ EDC lights. Its strength lies in its reliable construction and simple operation at an affordable pricepoint.
BUY ($27)

Fenix PD12
The PD12 falls into the “primary EDC” flashlight category, with its compact size, decent set of features and other design cues that reinforce its role as a general utility light. For a CR123a light, it’s not the most compact, but still highly pocketable. This is mostly due to its wider head design: it allows for a deeper reflector around its CREE XM-L2 T6 neutral white LED emitter, some adequate heatsinking at the base of the head, and a less commonly seen electronic side switch. The other half of the light is less interesting — just a knurled battery tube with a scooped rear bezel to allow for tailstanding and a wrist lanyard attachment. The build quality, fit and finish, is superb as always from Fenix. Unfortunately, the PD12 also lacks a pocket clip — which I feel is necessary on a light this small meant to be used for everyday carry. A quick press of the electronic side switch turns the light on instantly. More interestingly, the light has “mode memory,” meaning it turns on at the last output level used. Modes through which it can cycle include a 10 lumen low, 80 lumen mid, 200 lumen high, and long-holding the switch accesses a 360 lumen burst mode. The memory feature is nice, but for general usage I often find myself using mainly the dimmest mode, which usually fires first. I can see value in memory for those who use their flashlights in emergency only situations and want the brightest light possible, or often work with the brighter modes. For a light like this, where the side switch encourages an “underhand” grip and discourages a traditionally tactical “ice pick grip,” memory for instant-on high might not be as useful. To turn the light off, a longer press is required. I have some issues with the switch and UI in my testing, though. Physically, the side switch lies very flush to the flashlight body to prevent accidental activation in the pocket. I found that this made locating the switch with my fingers in the dark to turn the switch on more difficult than it needs to be. A glow in the dark button or some texturing on it might have helped with tactile feedback in the dark. Secondly, accessing burst mode through a very long hold causes the light to turn off completely first (a long hold turns the light off), then holding for a moment longer unleashes a whopping 360 lumens. Because there’s no head-twisting involved, it’s sort of a necessary evil, but it is a bit jarring to reach burst after complete darkness in that brief pause between modes. Luckily, the PD12 delivers a beautiful beam pattern in a pleasant neutral tint. Its hotspot is tight and clear with plenty of usable surrounding spill, allowing it to perform well in general up close and short distance applications, but its deep reflector and high output levels really give it some distance as well.
Review Score: 3/5
Pros:
Good output/size ratio
High quality construction
Great beam tint and pattern
Cons:
No pocket clip
Side switch difficult to locate
The PD12 is a solid light, but it’s not the only neutral white 1x123 light, it isn’t the most pocketable, and the operation isn’t for everyone. Because of some key oversights like the lack of a pocket clip and the missteps associated with the electronic side switch and its resulting UI, I give it a 3/5. I would recommend it to someone interested in buying one as it is a good light — it’s just that there are others that outclass it in certain aspects.
BUY ($47)

Fenix E35 Ultimate Edition
Last up for review is the fittingly Ultimate Edition of the E35. It’s the largest of the group, accommodating a 1x18650 battery or 2xCR123a configuration. With the added length from using these battery types comes plenty of power and longer runtimes than the previously mentioned lights. As expected from a Fenix light, it’s built very well and looks great. While the E35UE lacks a pocket clip as well, it isn’t too much of an issue considering its size alone precludes it from comfortable pocket carry. The light also utilizes the electronic side switch, but unlike the PD12, is much easier to locate due to the rubber texturing on the button. The side switch again encourages an underhand grip, which is great for exploration and general path illumination. A short hold (it feels longer, though) of the button fires up the E35UE’s CREE XM-L2 U2 emitter in whichever mode was used last through a memory function. The light can cycle through a 10 lumen low (lasting 140 hours), an 80 lumen mid, and a 200 lumen high. Holding down the switch longer turns the light off, and longer still accesses a monstrous 900 lumen burst mode. That’s some serious power coming from this light, which can really help in outdoors applications. The beam itself is interesting — a cool white, huge hotspot helps illuminate larger areas. Its spill is comparatively less useful, as it exhibits a dark ring right around the hotspot, which brightens back up towards the edge of the beam. In application, I found the hotspot is big enough so that the usable spill doesn’t matter as much. The wide hotspot of a beam and the 140-hour long runtime on low make a winning combination for a long-lasting emergency light, especially backed by Fenix build quality.
Reviewer Score: 3.5/5
Pros:
Fenix build quality
Impressively high output on burst, great runtimes on low
Useful, wide hotspot
Balanced ergonomics on underhand grip with longer battery tube
Cons:
Hold switch activates too slowly
Can’t ramp up into burst mode, requires light to turn off and back on again — can be disorienting in the dark
Dark ring in spill
The E35UE can really satisfy those looking for power, but brighter isn’t necessarily better. What I appreciate in the E35UE is its great runtimes, usable low mode paired with its big hotspot. The lack of a pocketclip isn’t really a dealbreaker, as I see this right at home in a bag, glove compartment, or tool chest. Not everyone thinks to keep a larger light in their rotation, but a light this capable for only $45 is well worth the versatility it provides.
BUY ($45)
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Fenix E12, PD12, & E35UE Mini Review Roundup & Giveaway

Fenix has built a reputation in the EDC community as one of the leading flashlight manufacturers, using high quality materials and solid designs. In this mini-review roundup we take a quick look at some of Fenix’s newest offerings, the E12, the PD12, and the E35 Ultimate Edition, graciously provided by Fenix Outfitters.

Read more