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Back to College Essentials

Like it or not, summer is coming to a close and a new school year is right around the corner. Whether you’re a freshman venturing out on your own for the first time or a senior looking forward to graduation, now is a good time to start thinking about some of the essentials you might need. But why battle your way through the crowds of moms at the mall when you can skip the long lines and order everything from eBay straight to your door. It is 2017 right?

Luckily, eBay has everything from desks to backpacks and 68% of their items ship for free, so you can save some of your money for other things like expensive textbooks and ramen. In this back to school college we’ve gathered some of the most useful items to add to your school kit so you’ll be ready for whatever college throws your way.

This is a sponsored post presented by eBay.

Giveaway: Win a Black Aluminum Ridge Wallet!

Update: Congratulations to Kevin D., winner of this week's giveaway! Thanks to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for more chances to win a Ridge Wallet in future giveaways.

If you haven't made the switch to a minimalist wallet yet, now's the perfect time. Our friends at Ridge are hooking it up with their Black Aluminum Ridge Wallet in this week's giveaway! Aluminum is a great choice of material on an EDC wallet for a lot of the same reasons it's used on the rest of your tools: it's lightweight, durable, waterproof, easy to slip in and out of your pocket, and even blocks RFID skimmers to boot. The Ridge Wallet combines sturdy anodized aluminum plates for structure with replaceable elastic tracks for expandability into a sleek package. One lucky winner will receive a blacked out Ridge Wallet with their choice of cash strap or money clip, brought to you by our sponsor, Ridge.

Rugged Material Ultimate Leather EDC Belt

We've said it before—normal belts are boring. Sure, on the surface they're just pieces of leather and metal that keep your pants from falling down. But as EDCers, we can—and should—find utility on every piece of gear we carry and wear every day. Rugged Material know this well, and have set out to give you a leather belt unlike anything you've seen before. Not only is the EDC Belt built like it can hold up pants made from steel, but it comes with the extra functions and features that bolster your everyday carry.

For starters, the EDC Belt comes in a hefty cut of leather. At 1/4” thick, it's nearly twice as thick as off-the-rack leather belts at the department store, giving you the durability for daily wear to last a lifetime. The thickness also gives the EDC Belt the space for a concealed stash pocket, a zippered 7” compartment for your smaller essentials. A nickel-plated solid brass buckle gives the belt a classic look with a long-lasting finish, which you can remove should you prefer an old favorite or need a different style. Not that you'd be lacking in that department—at 1.5” wide the belt does triple duty as a formal, casual, or even duty belt thanks to its classic design and heavy-duty construction.

Don't get caught with your pants down. Pick up the last belt you'll need from Rugged Material at the link below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by Rugged Material.

Ridge Wallet

A great way to optimize your EDC and trim excess from your pockets usually begins with a hard look at your wallet. You might be used to a wallet that lets you carry it all, including hanging on to old receipts and unnecessary items. But really, your wallet should carry only the essentials. A slimmer, more compact wallet like the Ridge Wallet not only keeps your carry lighter, but it also helps keep it that way thanks to its minimalist design.

The Ridge Wallet is a lesson in minimalism. Two pieces of slim metal bound together with tough elastic bands means that it not only looks sleek, but it’s also durable enough to withstand everyday wear and tear. You can carry up to 12 cards with ease and its metal plates also provide RFID protection for added security. A perfectly placed finger notch lets you fan out the cards inside for quick access to the one you need, then when the transaction is complete just slide it back in place and you’re good to go.

Thin, card-focused wallets are great for keeping your pockets slim, but cash is still king. For all you cash carriers, the Ridge also comes with a built-in money clip (or cash strap depending on your preference) perfect for stashing a few folded bills. It'll come in handy when you inevitably hit up your favorite cash-only spot.

Whether you’re tired of lugging around a bulky bi-fold or looking for a secure and durable wallet, the Ridge Wallet has you covered. It comes in multiple colors and materials including aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium. Chances are you’ll be able to find the one that fits your carry perfectly. To free up some valuable pocket space without sacrificing the essentials click the link below to pick one up for yourself.

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This is a sponsored post presented by Ridge.

Win an EDC Kit from Urban EDC Supply!

Update: Congratulations to Luke C, winner of this week's giveaway! Thanks to everyone who participated.

Our friends at Urban EDC Supply are giving away this exclusive EDC kit worth $262 featuring their new Urban Sidekick! The Urban Sidekick, handcrafted in California using the finest Horween Dublin leather, is a versatile gear caddy that can hold your favorite EDC pen and EDC tool. All materials are sourced from the US as well. One lucky winner will be chosen at the end of the giveaway. Brought to you by our sponsor Urban EDC Supply.

Urban EDC Supply Organizer Hybrid

Whether you’re just starting out or you've been carrying for years, one thing still holds true: organizing your gear can be a challenge. There’s only so much you can carry in your pockets, and even with an EDC bag, you'll still have to dig through it for that one tool. When it comes to organization, a gear caddy is a good option. But what if your EDC is constantly changing? Urban EDC Supply has the answer with their latest caddy, the Organizer Hybrid. Its versatile pocket layout keeps your gear consolidated, whether it's your travel essentials, pen and paper, everyday tools, cards and cash, and more.

The new Urban Organizer Hybrid is the third the line of Urban Organizers and combines the functionality of the original with the minimalist design of the Mini wallet to give you the best of both worlds. On the front are two slots so you can put your EDC knife in one and your favorite pen in the other. Or swap one of them out for a flashlight, or even just carry a pen and a few credit cards. The choice is yours.

The slot on the back is perfect for an EDC pocket notebook, but it can also hold your passport when traveling just as easily. You also don’t have to worry about whether or not it can survive the daily grind thanks to its Horween leather construction, waxed edges, and saddle-stitching done by hand.

The Organizer Hybrid should age nicely with your gear, becoming as much a part of your EDC as the tools it carries. If you’ve been looking for a way to stay organized (or just like quality gear), the Organizer Hybrid is a great way to go. You can pre-order an Organizer Hybrid in your favorite leather at the link below..

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This is a sponsored post presented by  Urban EDC Supply.

Thyrm CellVault and SwitchBack Tactical Flashlight Accessories

In an emergency situation, few things are as essential as a flashlight. But to truly be prepared for the situation at hand, you'll need quick access to illumination, a solid grip on your light, and plenty of extra batteries nearby. In the dark, the last thing you'll want is to drop your light or have to rummage through your pack for fresh batteries. That's why Thyrm designed their products to give your flashlight setup that extra edge when it matters most. Their CellVault battery cases make it much easier to carry spare batteries and their SwitchBack flashlight rings grant fast, secure access to your EDC light. All of their products are made in the USA from premium high-impact plastics with some thoughtful design that will easily integrate into your EDC setup.

Thyrm’s CellVault and CellVault XL are cases specifically designed to carry a range of the most common battery types found in EDC lights. The standard version fits either four AAAs, two AAs, or three CR123s. The XL version can pack in 2 18650s, up to six CR123s, 8 AAAs, or 4 AAs. You can mix and match the battery types to accommodate different lights and gear you’re carrying. Inside the XL you’ll find a divider that keeps your batteries from knocking into each other. Both cases can attach to MOLLE straps on the outside of a bag for quicker access.

Despite the name, the CellVault is great for carrying small EDC items other than batteries. Since they’re waterproof, they make an ideal home for a small survival kit, lighter, matches, and anything else that you want to keep both dry and quick to grab. They’re available in a variety of colors commonly used on tactical bags and gear, so they’re sure to coordinate with the rest of your setup.

Thyrm's SwitchBack rings add a level of security to your flashlight grip. While they’re designed to improve your grip on a tactical flashlight while shooting, they have some everyday applications as well. You can attach the SwitchBack onto your flashlight (make sure to check the compatibility chart!) so it’s easier to hold onto. The high-impact plastic ring allows you to retrieve your light from a pocket or bag and activate it with with one hand. Since your finger goes through a ring, you can still hold the flashlight while using both hands.

All of Thyrm’s products are made in the USA from high quality materials that are designed to withstand military, law enforcement, and survival use. Pick up a CellVault or SwitchBack from Thyrm’s Amazon store via the link below.

View on Amazon

This is a sponsored post presented by Thyrm.

Bespoke Post

As a gear head, you're probably familiar with the seemingly endless hunt for that perfect addition to your everyday carry. You can search high and low with a laser focus for specific gear, and finally finding it is like a reward in itself. But sometimes the best finds are the ones you weren't really looking for in the first place. Imagine opening your mail and getting some fresh, interesting gear you never knew you needed. That's what you'll find in each box of carefully curated essentials from Bespoke Post.

They do all the digging to find stylish, quality gear from up-and-coming small brands so you don't have to. What you end up with is a themed box of gear for just about any lifestyle delivered each month to satisfy your gear craving without all the research and headache. Even better, you're getting a deal, since Bespoke Post works with their featured makers to pass some savings on to you. Each box comes packed with over $70 worth of gear, but only costs $45 with free shipping to boot.

Even if you've got your EDC totally dialed in, you're bound to find essentials for the rest of your life beyond your pockets. For example, in the past Bespoke Post has put together boxes with everything you'd need for a close shave the old fashioned way, as well as a chef's knife kit to step up your game in the kitchen. And if a box isn't quite your style, you can skip it entirely that month and only pay for the gear you want.

For one of the easiest ways to shake things up in your EDC and try out new gear, check out Bespoke Post at the link below.

Join the Club

This is a sponsored post presented by Bespoke Post.

SOG Baton Q2

It used to be that carrying a multi-tool meant putting up with bulky pockets to cover your bases. Even then, your options were either overly tactical looking or chock full of tools you'd rarely use. But what about the minimalists and urban EDCers who want a tool that looks as good as it performs? For that, the tool experts at SOG teamed up with design powerhouse IDEO to produce their new award-winning Baton series of everyday carry tools. The Baton Q2 packs in only the most essential functions in a stylish, modern form factor not much bigger than a marker.

Upon first glance, you'll notice the Baton Q2 takes on a sleeker, lower profile design that blends in better with the rest of your urban carry compared to your standard tactical multi-tool. Its two-tone anodized aluminum body weighs just 3 ounces and measures in at 6.3” long, giving it a shape and feel much like an ink marker. Combined with its screw-on pocket clip, the Baton Q2 can pack away easily in your pocket, a pen slot in your bag, or strapped into a larger pouch organizer.

The Baton Q2 conceals four essential tools from end to end. At the bottom of the Q2 lies a twisty LED flashlight with a groove-textured head for easy activation. It packs a respectable 75 lumens as its single mode, providing enough brightness for general purpose use. At 75 lumens, it's not a battery-draining, blinding burst of brightness, but it can compete with the ambient light in your urban environment.

On the other end you'll find a handy combination medium flathead screwdriver and bottle opener. Given the Baton Q2's longer form factor, you'll get plenty of leverage for cracking open a cold one with the boys and a familiar grip when turning screws.

Last but not least, you can fold the Baton Q2 in half to reveal its 2.5” 5Cr15MoV straight edge blade. When fully deployed, the folded handle gives you a fuller grip for precise control of the knife. And unlike some other multi-tools, you can deploy the knife with one hand right out of the pocket.

With its pocket-friendly form factor, thoughtful set of tools, and sleek urban styling, the Baton Q2 makes for a solid addition to any modern minimalist's kit. Grab one from SOG's website via the link below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by SOG.

Massdrop x NuForce EDC IEM

When you think of your go-to essentials, a pair of headphones might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But whether it’s for listening to a favorite album or catching up on a new podcast, EDCing a pair has its benefits. So when audio company Optoma NuForce teams up with the gear enthusiasts at Massdrop to release a pair of headphones, it's a match made in portable audio heaven. The Massdrop x NuForce EDC IEMs aren't the large, bulky over-ears that you might be picturing, but a super portable set of in-ear monitors designed with everyday carry in mind.

IEMs typically have better sound quality than the ‘buds that came with your smartphone, but they can get downright expensive. Fortunately, NuForce has earned a reputation for their quality audio gear at a value, and bringing Massdrop into the mix only helps the EDC IEM stay affordable yet feature-packed.

For example, the earbuds come equipped with a 6mm dynamic driver inside a hard plastic housing that's light enough to comfortably wear yet durable enough for the daily grind. Each earbud attaches to the cable via a two-pin connector that keeps them secure as you move while also letting you swap between the two included detachable cables. You'll get a standard cable for pure listening and one that's compatible with another essential EDC item—your smartphone. You can use it to answer calls or access your voice assistant without pulling your phone from your pocket thanks to its in-line controls.

Having the option to switch between cables doesn't just add versatility, it could save you some money, too. When you're especially hard on your gear and your cables fray or get lost, you can replace them for much less than what it'd cost to buy a new set of IEMs. With the included protective zip pouch, the EDC IEMs are even easier to carry and keep out of harm's way.

If you're still using the stock earbuds that came with your phone, it's about time for an upgrade. Check these out as an affordable pair of quality IEMs designed to be your daily driver over at the Massdrop link below.

View on Massdrop

This is a sponsored post presented by Massdrop.

Kershaw Pub

The newly released Kershaw Pub is part knife, part multi-tool, and all kinds of useful. It's a refreshing take on an easy-to-carry EDC knife made in collaboration with custom knifemaker Dmitry Sinkevich. Because of its compact size and handy set of extra features built in, the Pub makes for a capable primary knife or backup option to carry anywhere.

At first glance, the Pub doesn’t even look like a knife. When the blade is closed, it looks more like a keychain than anything. The standout feature in the Pub's unique design is the back end of the blade. When you fold the knife partially open, an attachment loop opens up so you can throw it on a belt loop, key ring, or lanyard. When using the knife, the loop becomes a support for the blade, ensuring that it won’t close during use.

The compact 1.6” modified sheepsfoot blade is made from thick 8Cr13MoV steel that feels nice and sturdy during use. The non-locking slip joint, low-profile looks, and sub-2” blade make the Pub ideal for carry in even areas with strict knife laws. There’s also a bottle opener and screwdriver tip/prybar built right into the frame of the knife for quick fixes on the go.

Kershaw’s Pub is available in three different colors: carbon fiber, blue, and black. You can check them out in more detail below.

Check It Out

Update 06/09/17: Congrats to this week's winners Russ W., Rafael F., and Eric B.! Thanks to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for more giveaways in the future.

This contest is sponsored by Kershaw.

Hitch & Timber Leather Goods

When you load up your pockets day in and day out with the same key essentials, it's easy for things to get a little messy. Even the some of the most popular EDC items like Swiss knives and space pens don't always come with pocket clips to keep things neat. The last thing you want is your pockets resembling the infamous junk drawer you've got lurking somewhere in your house: everything scattered about, bouncing around, and hard to find. More and more EDCers use pocket organizers to keep their essentials protected and organized in one fell swoop. Hitch & Timber make several gear caddies, wallets, and other leather goods like these, all designed to make your EDC much more manageable.

Take the Pocket Runt and Pocket Runt 2.0 for example. They keep a pocket pen and up to two small knives, Swiss army-style multi-tools, or flashlights bundled together. And it gets the job done with a simple, no-frills design: It's a fold of leather sewn up into a pocket with a mil-spec elastic band on the side. Consolidating your essentials into a single sleeve like this makes your pockets feel less cluttered while adding an extra layer of protection to both the pen and knife.

The larger 2.0 version holds everything for the knife-light-write combo that most people don't leave the house without. An integrated brass grommet even lets you attach a lanyard pull cord for easy retrieval right when you need your tools.

And chances are if you're carrying smaller gear or traditional knives that pair well with a caddy, you'd appreciate the same convenience for your wallet and notebook, too. Unlike the other wallet and pen/notebook holders out there, the Trucker’s Hitch is actually pocket friendly. That's because it's designed to accommodate a more manageable 2.5” x 4.25” notebook instead of the more common 3.5” x 5” varieties.

Inside, there’s a loop made from mil spec nylon to hold a small pocket pen (like the Fisher Bullet Pen or Kaweco Liliput) and a few pockets to carry all your cards and cash. The other half of the Trucker's Hitch houses a small notebook that's perfect for quick notes and lists on the go. Overall, it's an ideal grab-and-go solution for those who like to keep a pen and notebook nearby.

These leather goods are all crafted in the USA from materials sourced in the USA too, like Horween leather and mil-spec elastic webbing. You can check out the rest of Hitch & Timber's line of EDC gear at the link below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by Hitch & Timber.

Arceo Wallet

If you've got your wallet, spare change, a set of keys, and a couple of small tools to carry, cramming them all into your pocket isn't the best look. Since pocket space can be hard to come by, you could clean up your pocket situation with the help of a few accessories. For starters, you could carry a key organizer, gear caddy, and cash stash. Or you could carry the Arceo Wallet from Ronin Energetics to do it all. It's a versatile, modular wallet with a few tricks up its sleeve to store your most essential EDC items all in one place.

While it may look like another minimalist plate wallet, it sets itself apart with features that are as impactful as they are discreet. A standout example of this is a secret stash compartment built right into the frame of the wallet itself. The bottom of the wallet opens via a magnetic latch. Inside, a spring-loaded mechanism keeps its contents securely in place. It's handy for stashing anything from coins, wads of cash, your favorite loose EDC gear, or up to 14 cards right inside your wallet and out of sight.

On the outer edge of the wallet, a magnetic quick-release attachment post replaces your keychain. It works like a key organizer, letting you swivel out a couple of keys or other small gear with lanyard holes for easy access and a silent carry. The whole post detaches from the frame of the wallet and snaps back in magnetically for added convenience.

Of course, the Arceo Wallet handles cards and cash easily thanks to its fuller frame. The front plates in its sandwich construction work like card or cash pockets with cut-out windows and a staggered layout to identify and retrieve your cards at a glance. It's built to be tough for its weight, CNC machined out of high performance composites like G10 and carbon fiber that'll most likely fit the rest of your gear's aesthetic. Customize one to your liking at the Kickstarter campaign below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by Ronin Energetics.

SOG TOC 20 Backpack

When looking at tactical backpacks, you expect certain things. MOLLE webbing on the front. An admin pocket for organizing smaller essentials. Adjustable straps, and high-quality materials and construction. So how does a tactical bag set itself apart from the rest? SOG have their answer with the TOC 20 backpack. It's got all the features you want and expect from a rugged pack, with upgrades in all the right places and features you didn't even know you needed.

Right off the bat, the TOC 20 covers all the bases for a tough EDC backpack. Padded shoulder straps and rigid suspension make it comfortable to carry, even when filled to the bag's 20L capacity. A sternum strap with whistle doubles as a stabilizer and emergency tool. For tackling the weather the TOC 20 is built from polyurethane-coated Kodra 500D nylon for extra durability and water resistance.

But organization and expansion is where the TOC 20 shines. Up top is an impact-resistant admin panel with internal pockets for your smaller gear. Laser-cut Hypalon MOLLE panels cover the bag's front exterior, a lower profile version of the usual nylon webbing. The bag's front pocket and main compartment also come with internal organization to let you keep things in the right place. A pass-through side access laptop compartment lets you pull out your computer from either side while doubling up for hydration duty when needed. And for expansion, nylon MOLLE webbing on the bottom, webbing lash points, and Hypalon zinger tabs on the shoulder straps let you attach additional equipment as needed.

The SOG TOC 20 covers everything you need from a tactical backpack and possibly even more. Pick one up from SOG direct in the color of your choice at the link below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by SOG.

Massdrop x Ferrum Forge Falcon S35VN Folding Knife

While mass-produced knives can get the job done, there's a difference between a knife that simply cuts and one that slices with style. And when you put together three industry icons' heads together to design and produce a knife, you can bet the result is nothing short of extraordinary. Designed by Ferrum Forge, a small operation out of San Diego that's big on custom design and quality, manufactured by WE Knife Co., a solid production company already making waves in the knife world, and produced by Massdrop, the hobbyist and enthusiast destination, extraordinary is exactly what you get with the Ferrum Forge Falcon.

Simply handling the Falcon gives you an idea of how scrutinized its design and features were, as expected of a custom knife from Ferrum Forge. S35VN steel was selected for its blade, the flagship steel from Crucible Industries and Chris Reeve that gives impressive performance and edge retention.

Don't be fooled by the blade's compact 2.9” length (you'll appreciate being able to carry it in more places, though). It features a bold, drop point design with details that draw your hand towards a secure grip. These include a large finger choil to lock your index finger in place while cutting, and a concave cutout with jimping along the blade's spine for a secure thumb grip.

The Falcon's understated handles belie the fit, finish, and function within them. 6AL4V titanium gives the knife an excellent strength while keeping a light weight, and titanium's springiness lends itself to a more reliable frame lock. The Falcon's blade deploys through Ferrum Forge's caged bearing flip action, giving it a smooth and effortless action that lets you get to the cutting much faster.

While engaged, the blade is held in place with a hardened steel lockbar insert, designed for the long haul to keep the knife safe even with hard use. A reversible 3D-machined titanium clip rounds out the Falcon's handle features, letting righties and lefties alike carry the knife with ease.

Thanks to WE Knife Co's production capability and Massdrop's enthusiast reach, the Falcon can reach the hands and pockets of every knife user, from collectors to hard-use outdoorsmen. Check out the link below to grab this one-of-a-kind collaboration for yourself.

View on Massdrop

This is a sponsored post presented by Massdrop.

Kershaw Reverb

One look at Kershaw's new Reverb and you already know it's a knife built for everyday carry. It's clear from the sweeping edge on its blade to its minimalist construction, not to mention the built-in carabiner. The Reverb—true to its name—echoes features on both urban and outdoor knives to give you a unique blade that fits any EDC. As an ultralight pack knife it's indispensable as much as it is invisible, and as an everyday knife it's as capable as it is compact.

While its 8Cr13MoV steel blade measures only 2.5”, it makes the most of its length with its excellent blade geometry. Its modified drop-point shape, sweeping belly, and piercing point let it handle a variety of cutting tasks. It conspicuously doesn't come with Kershaw's SpeedSafe assisted opening, thumb stud, or flipper tab (meaning nothing to snag on your gear). But thanks to a recess on the blade, manually opening the Reverb one-handed is easy.

Dual-material handles give both style and strength where they're needed. G-10 with a contoured carbon fiber overlay keeps the Reverb's front handle light, while its rear handle comes in steel to lend extra strength to its frame lock. These handles are also home to a pocket clip and carabiner, giving you plenty of options for carrying the knife, whether clipped in your pocket or hanging off your pack. And at only 1.6 ounces, it's one of the most versatile ultralight knives you can add to your EDC. You can pick up the Reverb from Kershaw at the link below.

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This is a sponsored post presented by Kershaw.