With a deluge of new products hitting store shelves and browser windows every day, it’s easy to lose track of everything that happens in a year. So, to jog our memories a bit as the year winds to a close, we combed through our Today in Gear archives and other news briefs to reflect back on all of the notable products we discovered in 2017. The result is a new series we’re calling This Year in Gear, and we hope you’ll enjoy reviewing this snapshot of the EDC industry’s work as much as we have. Think we missed something, or just want to sound off on any trends you noticed? Let us know by dropping a comment on Facebook, Twitter or email.
Opinel x L.L. Bean Folding Knife
Before barges, trains and 18-wheelers, loggers simply introduced newly felled trees into rivers and let the current carry them downstream. Some made it to the sawmill, some sank to the bottom. L.L.Bean is resurfacing some of those drowned logs from the depths of Maine’s Moosehead Lake and with a little help from French knife makers at Opinel, crafting beautiful pocket knives. Each one is made with 12c27 Sandvik stainless steel and a reclaimed century-old maple handle.
Field Notes Utility 3-Pack With Flip-Out Ruler
A three-pack of tough-as-nails notebooks with engineer graph lines and a fold-out ruler. Best kept on your leather toolbelt, right alongside your hammer and pliers.
Ray-Ban 8954 Frames with Graphene
Ray-Ban’s 8954 frames are made with blended graphene, a revolutionary (and we don’t use that word lightly) nanomaterial 100 times stronger than steel. Years from now, we might see graphene cyborg-esque prosthetics, ozone-scraping towers, even interplanetary spacecraft. But for now, it looks great on our face.
Exotic Pencils of Caran d’Ache: Sixth Edition
These are not pencils to be chewed on or lent out. These are four pencils made of rare, exotic woods: western hemlock, white oak, silver teak and white ash. Each pencil is varnished with a fragrance, tinting the air of your workstation with a sweet, earthy smell.
Grovemade Aluminum Key Ring
Cut from a solid block of pure aluminum, this EDC centerpiece is ultra lightweight, ultra strong and ultra cool. (It’s also ultra ready to party, with a built-in bottle opener).
One of the best knives of SHOT Show 2017, the CRKT Pilar, is now available for purchase and ready for duty as your EDC folder.
Oakley Crossrange PRIZM
There’s nothing stopping you from wearing big, boxy shades while riding bikes or running marathons. Go ahead and do it, but know this: without active shades, you will not be reaching your full potential. The same is true in reverse. You can wear active shades on city streets, but frankly, you’ll look, well, out of place. Oakley’s Crossrange is the solution the both of these problems. Interchangeable nose pads and temples — one Lifestyle set, and one Sport — allow for seamless transition between all pursuits. And the advanced PRIZM lenses enhance both clarity and color, allowing you to move fast without compromising alertness.
Bellroy Designers Edition
Bellroy’s wallets were already top-notch to begin with; now they’ve cranked the luxury dial to 11 with a line of designer wallets. Made with fine European leather, each wallet is sewn and stitched minimally, allowing the leather to flow unimpeded, and the stamped metallic accents give an extra pop.
The Hook by James Brand
From James Brand, makers of fine pocket knives, comes a new complement to your EDC kit: a steel key hook with a ruler and bottle opener, powder-coated to emulate cast iron and brass.
Horse Brand Carbon Steel Camping Knife with Leather Sheath
From the Gear Patrol Store: The Carbon Steel Camping Knife is a do-everything tool worthy of any EDC kit. The blade is just three inches and will stand up to a range of tasks thanks to a subtle drop-point design and a sturdy full-tang construction that extends the length of the sea-glass handle. Hand stamped with the HORSE logo and “USA,” marking where it was manufactured. Each blade is brought up to a brilliant polish and is meticulously honed. Each knife is offered with an optional leather sheath hand stamped and made by master leather smith Will Lisak from ETWAS bags, a friend and neighbor to the brand. The sheaths are just as durable and beautiful as the blade, made out of thick-cut vegetable-tanned leather and hand stamped with the HORSE logo.
Spax Tactical Multitool
The worst thing about owning a pickaxe, hatchet and machete is that all together they take up so much room. Second worst thing is none of them can open a fire hydrant valve. Best thing about this powder-coated steel beast is that it’s all three of the former tools and includes a cut out to make the latter happen in a pinch. Never leave home without it.
Creek Cutler Repurposed File Knives
Hand forged in England, each blade is repurposed from a carbon steel metalworking file, preserving the original file patterns on the grip. Since each order is custom, you can request whatever blade shape you like: paring, santoku, etc.
SOG Sync 1
All multi-tools are, by design, versatile and durable — some more so than others. Not all multi-tools, however, can be called fast. The Sync 1 can. With a detachable base that clips onto most belts, pack straps or boots, the Sync 1 can be snapped on and off with one just hand, allowing you to access your tools without fishing around in your pockets. And it comes with an impressive array of 11 tools: needle-nose pliers, a stainless steel blade, bolt grip, jewelry driver, flathead screwdriver and more.
Lioe Design Stealth Pen
A futuristic, elevated EDC piece made of just four lightweight components. The aluminum body features a unique slotted design, revealing the ink cartridge and further cutting weight, while the wide shape provides a more secure hand-feel.
Civilware Clipper Folding Knife
Civilware’s best-selling titanium folding knife, now in bronze. Its small form and minimalistic aesthetic make it a great addition to your EDC kit. Preorder now and save 20%. Ships in July.
The Ridge Wallet
Ordinary leather bi-fold wallets have remained more or less unchanged for generations. They get crammed with receipts and cards and coins, eventually becoming a flabby wad of worn-out leather. The Ridge, however, boldly goes where no ordinary leather bi-fold has gone before. Choose from four materials: aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber and polycarbonate. Then, pick your style: elastic money strap or steel money clip. Up to 12 cards fit nicely in between the two RFID theft-proof machined plates; should The Ridge ever fail, you’re covered by a lifetime warranty.
Swiss Tool BS Multitool
Victorinox can trace its multitool heritage back to 1897, when the company developed the Officer’s and Sports Knife, now known as the Swiss Army Knife. The Boy Scout classic has always been a multitool in everything but name, but the SwissTool BS is less incognito. Its 29 tools present a formidable range of utility forged from durable black oxide steel. “Multitool” is clear, even when the famed Swiss heraldry is less overt.
The PDW Badger Folding Knife by Prometheus Design Werx
An elegant EDC knife, made of machined steel and titanium. Its shape draws inspiration from millennia-old spear-point blades; other details, like luminescent thumb studs and tapered capsule shapes, give it a decidedly modern feel.
CRKT Septimo Folding Knife
A tactical folder designed by a Green Beret — no-brainer.
Montblanc M Ultra Black Collection
For the most discerning longhand writers.
Opinel Mushroom Foraging Pocket Knife
Even if mushroom foraging isn’t your thing, it’s still a very pretty knife that’s sure to spark some conversation. The handle is beechwood, the blade is stainless steel, the brush is genuine boar’s hair. And it’s made entirely in France.
Arc’teryx Veilance Leather Goods
Arc’teryx Veilance’s first-ever accessories collection includes a card wallet, two bifold wallets and a passport wallet. As you’d expect from Veilance, they are meticulously engineered and outrageously extravagant: each is made with reinforced Horween leather, welded together not with stitches, but with that magical laminate treatment so characteristic of Arc’teryx products. These are wallets built to be slimmer than any fat chunk of cheap cowhide you’ve ever carried before, and will grow into a shape specific to your daily use. We’d expect nothing less from Veilance.
— Michael Finn
Designed by a meteorologist with years of experience in the field covering severe weather, Weatherman umbrellas are built to stand up to nature’s worst. With Teflon-woven fabric panels and industrial-strength fiberglass ribs, the umbrellas can withstand 55-mph winds. Available in two models — collapsible and stick — the umbrellas features Bluetooth technology, so you’ll never leave your umbrella behind. It’s worth investing in an umbrella that will last, and these umbrellas offer great value for your money. — John Zientek
HEAdesigns Wingman Pocketknife
Who says a bespoke pocketknife has to look like an antique? Sam Abdelrahman, the founder of HEAdesigns, crafted this midsize folder with an eye to the future. “I wanted to design something that looked like it could move at the speed of light,” he says. But the Wingman’s flash isn’t all exterior; the knife’s Wharncliffe blade is forged from high-quality stainless steel and, when folded, hides flush inside its aircraft-grade titanium handle. — Tanner Bowden
Savage Industries EDC One
Adam Savage, the real-life mad scientist famous for blowing shit to smithereens on Mythbusters, is returning to his roots in industrial design. His first creation is the EDC One, a wonderfully unique everyday bag inspired by the tool carriers used by NASA astronauts on the moon. It’s constructed with insanely strong and lightweight upcycled sailcloth, and hidden magnets keep the clamshell mouth locked shut. — Michael Finn
The James Brand Elko Knife
At just 2.6 inches when closed, the Elko is The James Brand’s smallest EDC knife yet. Along with a 1.74-inch drop-point steel blade, the Elko has a pry bar that doubles as a key ring, bottle opener and screwdriver; its lightweight anodized aluminum handle further bolsters its minimalist EDC perfection. — Michael Finn
Loyal fans wanted a sleeker version of the Signal, one of Leatherman’s best-selling multi-tools. And Leatherman delivered. The all-black Signal is loaded with 19 tools: pliers, hammer, ferro rod, diamond-coated knife sharpener, and more. — Michael Finn