This past week, EDC brands you know and love came together to show off their latest and greatest gear at the industry's biggest annual trade show—SHOT Show 2017.
The show is massive, with literally tons of new products on display within the tactical, hunting, and outdoor industries.
We scoped out some of the biggest names in the EDC scene to check out what they're bringing to the table this year.
In this quick post-show recap, we're giving you a sneak peek at some of our favorite new knives, lights, and other EDC gear we saw that should definitely be on your radar.
SOG's Surprising (and Impressive) Foray Into Urban EDC
When you think of a SOG knife, you might picture something textbook tactical—blacked out, aggressive design language, maybe a tanto blade and serrations here and there. That's why a few of SOG's new offerings for this year came as a refreshing change of pace. The SOG Terminus still looks and feels like the SOG you've come to know, but it's actually a non-locking, two-hand open slipjoint knife that measures in under 3” in blade length. It gives EDCers in areas with more strict knife laws the chance to experience what SOG does best.
The new SOG Baton series of multi-tools, however, came as the biggest surprise. They've tapped IDEO (an iconic design firm behind the first Apple mouse, among many others) for design help on these. The Baton series essentially takes multi-tool implements and delivers them in an entirely new form factor that's more discreet and elegant than the butterfly design you've come to expect from a multi-tool. The smallest Q1 includes scissors and a pen, the Q2 combines a knife and flashlight, Q3 gives you pliers, and the largest Q4 packs in the most tools, including a magnetic leather carrying case with bit kit. When these come out later this year, I can see them finding their way into plenty of minimalist EDCers' pockets.
You can check out the rest of SOG's new lineup on their site.
Gerber Brings it Back Home with USA-Made Gear
This year, Gerber's committed to putting out higher quality gear with premium materials and USA made construction. We've seen glimpses of that in their recently released Center Drive multi-tool and US Assist blades, for example. One of the new USA-made knives that caught my eye was the Shark Belly. It's an ambidextrous lockback knife with a practical sheepsfoot blade. It gets its name from the “gills” on the handle. It's also surprisingly lightweight, and its wire clip rides super deep and inconspicuously.
Another new Gerber knife, the Pocket Square, was designed specifically for the urban EDCer looking for a more modern look. It sports a sub-3” blade, clean lines, large thumb lifts and a liner lock.
Lastly, fans of Gerber's tactical pen, the Impromptu, can look forward to a couple of new colorways: a gunmetal grey and a flat dark earth.
CRKT Drops Over 60 New Knives for This Year
CRKT's booth was just knives as far as the eye could see. They're really pushing their field strip technology from the Homefront to new applications with a tactical and an urban version of the knife. But out of all of the walls, I was drawn most to the new knives designed by Jesper Voxnaes. To put it lightly, he has a knack for elegantly simple, ergonomic, and utilitarian shapes in his designs. You can definitely see that in the new CRKT Pilar, a compact minimalist's folding knife.
Kershaw and Zero Tolerance Push the Envelope with Futuristic and Classic Designs Alike
You should be hyped for what's in store from Kershaw and Zero Tolerance. I know I am. That's because Kershaw is really explicitly leaning into the EDC concept, and it shows in their knives. The designs are all so different from each other but individually impressive, with many of them focused on portability or everyday utility. For example, the Reverb is Kershaw's take on an ultralight camping knife, complete with G10 and carbon fiber handles, as well as a built-in carabiner clip to attach to your keys, belt loop, or bag. The Jens Anso-designed Fraxion is a sleek flipper knife that I can see becoming popular. Another new knife, the Dividend, takes the best of both worlds from the well-received Link and the classic Leek.
In addition to their all-new designs, Kershaw is also taking excellent designs from the past and bringing them back with a vengeance. You might remember the iconic ZT0777 (and a few… “derivative” knives from other brands). The Kershaw Natrix brings the best of that award-winning design to a much more accessible price point as a production knife. Kershaw's 2017 lineup also includes a collaboration with Al Mar Knives, injecting Al Mar's classic ultralight knives with Kershaw's SpeedSafe assisted opening and flipper tech.
See the rest of the upcoming knives at Kershaw's website.
My favorite knife at the Kershaw/ZT booth had to be 0055. It's based on the GTC Airborne, a custom design by knifemaker Gus T. Cecchini known for his innovative and futuristic knives. It has so much going on, especially in its highly geometric titanium handles. But looks aside, it also features a spring loaded hidden flipper tab that makes for a uniquely awesome deployment.
Check out the rest of the ZT lineup, including some crazy collaborations and newly developed colored carbon fiber handles at the Zero Tolerance site.
More Gear to Look Forward to This Year
As a brand, Benchmade has always put out beautifully designed knives. This year, they've outdone themselves with the 781 Anthem. It's an integral knife, meaning it's machined from a single piece of solid titanium. You might've seen this on a handful of framelock knives, but the 781 is the first integral to sport Benchmade's AXIS lock.
After last year's Tread wearable and Signal outdoor tool, Leatherman's keeping things lighter and simpler with their new lineup. The Juice CS3 (shown above) and the KBx are basically pared down versions of the mid-size Juice and Skeletool series, fitting into just a single “handle.” The CS3 packs a can and bottle opener, large scissors, and corkscrew into its handle, while the KBx combines a simple locking blade with a bottle opener/pocket clip.
Victorinox Swiss Army seemed to take an “if it ain't broke, don't fix it” approach again, sticking to what they do best. They told me some of their new colorways coming out later this year, and I'm sure a lot of you will want 'em for your EDC. We're talking premium materials and neutral colors instead of the brighter shades that might not blend in with the rest of your carry. Their full-sized Swisstools got refreshed with a new and improved, all-black finish to them shown above.
It wasn't just all knives at SHOT Show. As far as lights go, most were tactical designs, but there were a few standouts from SureFire, Streamlight, and Olight that caught my eye.
SureFire continues to innovate with the two-headed DBR Guardian, packed with their best technologies. One head throws light at a distance and can regulate regulate brightness at the same rate as your eyes can adjust to it using Intellibeam technology. The other head pumps out an even, floody beam for wide or up close work. You can access each head with their own respective push buttons, making operation even easier. It's like having several lights in one to handle any kind of lighting task.
Fans of Streamlight swear by a couple of their smaller lights: the Microstream and the Nano, both of which rank as two of the most popular and most carried lights on this site. The KeyMate USB marks another solid entry in their EDC-sized lineup. It's shaped like a key, but the entire blade of the key lights up. It's dual output with controls and battery indicators at the base of the key, complete with USB recharging capability and a carabiner clip for easy carrying.
Last but not least, 5.11 Tactical showed off a couple of solid new bags, as well as a few surprises. The COVRT Boxpack gets the black camo treatment in a more supple nylon makeup, but otherwise stays the same. They're also coming out with a new bag that's super low profile—especially compared to their classic RUSH series—called the Dart. See those rectangular imprints faintly peeking through its nearly blank pack exterior? That's MOLLE webbing all across the internal lining of the bag. So it boasts similar modularity to most tactical packs at the cost of slightly slower accessibility, but keeps a lower profile overall.
5.11 also teamed up with Griffin for a new set of phone cases and ultra rugged battery packs. But 5.11 was most excited to announce their new pants they've been developing for a decade, dubbed the Defender Flex jeans. I know pants aren't strictly the most relevant to EDC, but these are worth a mention—they're slim or straight leg jeans with built-in stretch for mobility, then just loaded with extra hidden pockets. For example, a longer coin pocket for a knife, and two hidden slit pockets along the back yoke for a large smartphone or even an AR mag.
Whew. Like I said before, the show was massive, so this recap doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of all the new gear coming out this year. As more of it becomes available, you'll be sure to see it here on Everyday Carry.
What new releases are you looking forward to most in 2017? Leave a comment and let me know.