Tech

The Best Slim Portable Battery Packs

At some point you’ve probably had your phone die on you when you needed it most (it happens to the best of us). If you want to avoid the dreaded low battery warning, EDCing an external battery pack is a good idea. The problem is most batteries are designed for long trips to last you days at a time, with more juice than you'd ever need along with a ton of extra weight to carry. Luckily, there are some battery packs that check all the boxes for EDC. They're slim, lightweight, and give you just that extra boost in battery to make it to the next outlet. In this guide, we've rounded up some of the best slim batteries for EDC and travel alike.

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.

Giveaway: Stylish and Secure Travel Essentials

Update: Congrats to Jason, winner of this week's contest!

Whether you've got big travel plans this summer or you just like to keep your EDC essentials sleek and organized, our new giveaway has got you covered. Today, we're hooking up one lucky reader with a stylish set of travel essentials, like a versatile sling bag, a dopp kit for your devices, a handy power bank, and more. We're including RFID-blocking wallets and a TSA-friendly multi-tool you can wear on your wrist, too. Learn more about the gear and how to enter to win below.

Timex iQ+ Move

As if keeping on top of your fitness goals wasn't hard enough, try passing off a fitness tracker as an EDC watch. Unless you're mid-workout, they stick out like a sore thumb and can be hard to mesh with your day-to-day style. Plus, most of them don't really look like watches, so it's hard to even tell the time at a glance with one. With their new iQ+ Move, Timex put their experience with traditional watch design at the forefront and gave it a modern update with smart fitness tracker features.

The iQ+ Move has a legible three-hand face to tell the time. A smaller dial shows the state of the current activity you're tracking. You can use it to keep track of metrics like steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned.

And it does this while looking like a stylish watch instead of a tech “wearable” on your wrist. You can choose from a wide variety of case, face, and strap designs to suit your fancy. The iQ+ Move straps swap out easily too, giving you some extra versatility and wearability from the watch.

If you've held off on getting a fitness tracker because you can't pull off the sporty look, give the iQ Move a shot, available at the link below.

View on Amazon

GRID-IT Wrap Laptop Sleeve

Turning your backpack inside out in search of accessories or charging cables is never fun, but we’ve all been there. Cocoon Industries has a large line of accessories aimed at helping you organize your most used essentials when they won’t fit in your pockets. The GRID-IT Wrap is a laptop sleeve that fits up to a 13” slim laptop, outfitted with their signature criss-crossed elastic straps for secure gear organization at a glance.

With a GRID-IT on your laptop sleeve, there'll be no more digging through your computer bag in search of tiny accessories like USB sticks or earbuds. You can strap in everything from your favorite multitool to any charging cables you might need right onto the webbing panel of the GRID-IT Wrap. With the flap folded back, you’ll be able to see all your gear in one place without needing to empty your pack or rummage through compartments. Best of all, you can take advantage of the versatile straps to fit your specific needs. The setup that you use today might be completely different than the one you'll use tomorrow.

Because this is a laptop sleeve, it can be your own portable workstation that slips in and out of your bag with ease. Whether you’re trying to be a little more organized with your gear or are looking for a painless solution to loose accessories, the GRID-IT Wrap is worth checking out.

View on Amazon

This Is Ground Tech Dopp Kit 2

Dopp kits aren't just for lugging around a toothbrush and deodorant anymore. This Is Ground's latest riff on the essential travel staple, the Tech Dopp Kit 2, keeps your cable hygiene in check instead. They've taken their organizational expertise and brought it to a premium leather version of a dopp kit, designed specifically for all your portable tech, cables, and gear.

The organizer comes in three sizes to accommodate most tech carries, from just a few cables to a full-on mobile office's worth of accessories. All three sizes take on a structured, rectangular shape to give your gear ample protection inside and out. They're made from a durable and luxurious vegtan cowhide leather in five smart, neutral colors.

And while they look great on the outside, it's what's inside that counts after all. The kits unzip to open flat—clamshell style—giving you a neat and clear top-down look at your gear. Small leather loops keep your cables tangle-free, while larger loops secure larger items like hard drives, batteries, and small cameras. Lastly, loose items tuck away safely into an internal leather zip pouch.

As far as gear organizers go, the Tech Dopp Kit 2 is a premium item. It doesn't come cheap, but it's likely the nicest thing you'll pack all your expensive electronics into. See it in action, in all its different colors, sizes, and packing configurations at the link below.

Check It Out

Current Bags

If you have a smartphone, you know what it’s like to leave the house and realize your phone is about to die. A dead battery means missed calls, emails, or worse — no memes and cat videos to get you through the morning. You could carry an external charger, but a battery brick isn't exactly the easiest thing to stuff in your pocket. Current Bag Co. aims to solve that problem with two stylish backpacks on Kickstarter—the Move and the Classic—complete with integrated batteries for charging your mobile devices.

A good EDC bag is built with materials you know can keep up with your daily life. The water-resistant blended nylon of the Classic will keep your essentials dry when you get caught in the rain, while microsuede lining the laptop compartment will protect your devices from scratches. There's also a main compartment that gives you plenty of space for notebooks or a light jacket. And on the front, you'll find a smaller pocket for quick access to your most used essentials.

But the killer app of Current Bags has to be the built-in charging station. It comes with a 10,000 mAh battery with two outputs that can charge your smartphone 4-6 times so you'll stay connected, all day long.

The Move bag is just as durable but with a slightly different design. It's also made of a water-resistant material (heathered polyester), but doesn’t have a dedicated laptop compartment. Instead, the laptop sleeve relocates to the main compartment to cut down on the bag's overall size and weight. It comes with a 5,000 mAh battery that can charge a smartphone 2-3 times and a zippered quick access pocket on the front.

If you’re looking for tech-centric EDC bags that keep your gear charged without sacrificing style, the Move and the Classic backpacks might be for you. Learn more about them by clicking the link below.

Check It Out

This is a sponsored post presented by Current Bag Co.

Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000 Hybrid Charger

Gear focused on a single task may be more effective, but sometimes carrying less is more in the long run. And in this age of tech, bulky battery packs and adapters can take up more than their fair share of space in your EDC. This is where Anker's PowerCore Fusion hybrid charger comes in. It combines fast wall-charging and extra battery life in one device, so you can keep all your tech charged while traveling light.

The PowerCore Fusion 5000 comes with two USB outputs that charge up your devices at a maximum of 3A per port. That's 3 times faster than the plug most devices come with. Paired with Anker's PowerIQ technology, this means faster and smarter charging that detects and matches the right speed for your devices.

Its built-in 5000 mAh capacity is what makes the charger the perfect addition to your EDC. It's not content with being just a quick-charging wall adapter—it would much rather spell the difference between a dead device and an emergency call or pulling up a map in a pinch. And with a compact size, 4.16 oz weight, and folding plug, you can easily slip it into a jacket pocket or bag for a top-up on your daily commute.

Power up with Anker's PowerCore Fusion 5000 hybrid charger, which you can pick up from Amazon at the link below.

Buy on Amazon

1 2 3 4 5 6

6 High-Capacity Battery Packs for Everyday Carry

If you're out and about (playing Pokémon GO on your smartphone or new Apple Watch, maybe), you already know that battery life goes fast, and that outlets aren't immediately accessible. And the more you move around and with more tech being added to your kit, there just isn't enough juice to get through the day anymore.

So what you need is a high-capacity external battery pack in your everyday carry. We've rounded up six of them to give your tech a boost: they're high capacity to keep all your devices topped up, fast charging to save you time, and still compact enough to throw in your bag and not weigh you down too much.

Omnicharge Power Bank

"Most power banks handle only smaller devices like smartphones and tablets that plug in via USB. The Omnicharge Power Bank has no such limitations. On top of two 2.4A USB ports this battery-pack-on-steroids also packs an AC/DC power outlet into which to plug anything — a laptop, projector, drone charger, hell even a projector or television. Omnicharge recognizes connected devices and adjusts power output to..." (via GearHungry)

Read More

Huawei Watch

Customization is king. You tailor every part of your EDC to fit your style, your taste, and your daily needs. Why should it be any different for the watch you wear every day? With the Huawei Watch, it doesn't have to be.

The Huawei Watch isn't just a smartwatch. You could call it a platform for your own personal expression. You're able to mix and match its multitude of case and 18mm band combinations and the customization doesn't end at the hardware. Android Wear integration lets you pick various faces to display on its 1.4" round AMOLED screen. Feel like sporting a Roman numeral watch face one day? Done. Going for a more minimal Bauhaus look on another day? Easy. And don't worry about needing to baby this watch, either. The Huawei Watch is the first smartwatch to feature a sapphire crystal, known for its superior scratch resistance.

This watch does more than just tell the time, too. After pairing it with your smartphone, you'll be able to read texts and notifications on your wrist. It can even keep track of your health and fitness with its built in heart-rate monitor and step tracker. It'll do all this on a battery that lasts up to two days and charged simply via magnetic cradle.

Your search for a custom-fit smartwatch just got easier. Pick up a Huawei Watch to customize at the link below.

Buy on Amazon

Garmin vivomove

It's hard to find a good fitness tracker to EDC if you prefer the looks of an analog watch to a digital display. With the Garmin Vivomove, you won't have to trade aesthetics for functionality.

That's because the Vivomove is a fitness tracker built into a traditional analog wristwatch. With its familiar feel and customization options, you can tailor it to your own style. You'll finally have a device that doesn't look out of place in a business casual setting.

Instead of a digital readout, an analog bar counts your steps and provides an idle movement reminder. If you want more metrics, the watch connects to Garmin's mobile application on both Android and iOS. It'll even keep track of the length and quality of your sleep if you leave it on at night. As a watch it's also quite capable, with a reliable battery that will last a year and water resistance down to 50 meters.

If you've been holding out from getting a fitness tracker for your EDC because of the way they look, the Vivomove could be a perfect fit. You can get yours in six different trim and band options at the link below.

Buy on Amazon

Boker Plus Tablet Pen

If you EDC a smartphone or tablet and you've been looking for a tactical pen to carry, the Boker Plus Tactical Tablet Pen is for you. It sports a ballpoint tip for analog note taking and a stylus for electronic devices. Both lie protected under screw caps, with the pen at the front and the stylus at the rear near the clip like an eraser. The stylus is the capacitive rubber type, able to manipulate most modern screens. True to its application as an EDC pen, it accommodates the venerable Fisher Space Pen cartridge. Its durable, milled aluminum composition ensures it'll stand up to hard use. Between its ink refill and robust construction, you can count on this tactical pen being able to write in the most extreme situations. Do more with your tactical pen than just write. Make it a part of your electronic device ecosystem, and pick up the Boker Plus Tactical Tablet pen at the link below.

Buy on Amazon

Pebble 2, Time 2, and Pebble Core

Despite the smartwatch market getting a little crowded, Pebble Technology have done two things right with their products that set them apart from the competition. While their watches do fewer things, they do them exceptionally well—at a fraction of the cost of their competitors'. They've done it again with the latest iterations of their watches (and the introduction of a new wearable),  smashing their goals with over 50,000 backers and 11 million in pledges.

There's something for everyone with the new Pebbles. The Pebble 2 is their affordable smartwatch that offers 7 days of notifications, heart rate monitoring, and fitness tracking. The Time 2 offers the same set of smart features with a larger color display and 10 days of battery life. Both watches are water-resistant down to 30 meters, highly customizable, and play well with both Android and iOS, making them excellent complements to any carry.

Their newest product, the Core, is the perfect addition to a digital EDCer's arsenal, featuring a tiny, clippable device that does GPS tracking, emergency SOS locating, and tracks and syncs with your favorite fitness apps. It also integrates with Spotify, letting you sync your offline playlists, and Amazon's Alexa platform for voice navigation and control. 4GB of internal storage and 9 hours of battery life also make sure your Core keeps up with all your activities.

There's just over a week left to get your EDC ready for the smart new world, so pick the Pebble that's right for you (or get all three) in a number of colors and finishes at their Kickstarter campaign below.

Learn More

Spooly Cables

"Unless they’re but a couple of inches long, cables tangle. But not Spooly. These flat cables are cleverly designed to spool around their USB plug and secure themselves while doing it thanks to a magnet on the former and powdered barium ferrite included in sections along the cable, magnetizing as they overlap. The USB plug is thankfully reversible and the other end bears either a Lightning, USB-C 3.1, or Micro USB connector…" (via GearHungry)

Learn More