The Best New EDC Gear from SHOT Show 2020

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The beginning of the year is always an exciting time for EDCers. Our favorite gear brands kick off the year unveiling new products to shake up the industry at SHOT Show (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show). This year we made a quick trip out to Las Vegas, Nevada to check out new gear to look forward to for 2020. In this recap we’re highlighting our favorite gear that skews more towards the civilian urban EDC side of things out of the thousands of tactical and industry products on display. Read on to see what new and upcoming gear you should have on your radar.

The big news at the Kershaw booth this year was the debut of their first-ever balisong, the Lucha. While balisongs, also known as butterfly knives, aren’t always legal EDC options for many folks, the Lucha is at least designed to flip well if you can’t carry it out. Kershaw also showcased their new Launch 11, a gorgeous automatic knife — look forward to that if your local knife laws allow autos.

Personally I found the newly updated Link to be the most exciting for general urban EDC. It’s a revamp of their US-made assisted flipper knife, this time in an upgraded 20CV steel and sporting new machined aluminum handles for a bit better grip. It should come later this year as an excellent value given its steel, deployment and design. Speaking of value, Kershaw also debuted a few new budget knives featuring more premium D2 steel, an upgrade over the common 8Cr13MoV we’re accustomed to seeing on entry level knives. Check out the full line of upcoming Kershaw knives at their site, here.

Benchmade Bailout and Mini Bugouts

It’s no exaggeration to say that the Benchmade Bugout was a smash hit with EDCers ever since its debut despite its intended use case as an ultralight outdoor knife. Since then Benchmade introduced the Bailout, a more tactical bigger brother to the Bugout with its aggressive grip, emergency glass breaker, tanto blade shape and all-black-everything colorway. New for 2020, Benchmade announced a more urban EDC variation featuring a new OD green aluminum handle and CPM-M4 steel as the 537GY-1 Bailout. They’ve also shrunk down the Bugout to make it even more compact, with the 533 Mini Bugout variations debuting in a hi-vis orange colorway and a Stormtrooper-esque white and black option as well. Finally, the standard Bugout gets an all-black-everything treatment as well, giving you that tactical look of the Bailout with the more urban/outdoor feature set of the Bugout.

Gerber Pocket Cleavers, Prybrid and Armbar Multi-tools

It’s worth mentioning that the showstopper at the Gerber booth was the new Doubledown, a folding “bali-chete” of sorts. But since the majority of us won’t be plopping down a butterfly machete in our pocket dumps any time soon, let’s focus on Gerber’s new compact multi-tools and more pocket-friendly folding cleavers for 2020. We’ve briefly previewed the Prybrid and Armbar tools last year at Outdoor Retailer, and those should be set for release later this year.

Gerber also announced more new “pocket cleavers” riding the success of the original Flatiron. The assisted, US-made Fastball now comes in a cleaver blade shape variation with 20CV steel (while the original Flatiron gets refreshed in D2 steel). Lastly, a new design dubbed the Asada debuts as a sort of combination of the two, bringing the quick flipper deployment of the Fastball to the beefy pocket cleaver silhouette of the Flatiron. Preview the full lineup of Gerber gear over at their website.

SOG Ultra XR, Flash AT, and Brand Overhaul

The SOG at SHOT Show 2020 is not the SOG you might remember from 5-10 years ago. The brand started to show some of its new direction last year with some great designs like the Terminus XR that shifted a bit from the typical ultra-tactical image it had. This year we’re seeing SOG really redefine itself with a new brand direction that’s leaner, simpler, and user-focused. As a result a lot of older SOG designs got refreshed with a more focused use case in mind and the right feature set to support it, whether it be for professionals in the field, outdoors applications, or general EDC.  You can see part of this pursuit of simplicity in the naming of their new products too, with examples like XR or AT denoting the type of lock (as in the XR lock) or deployment mechanism (as in AT for assisted). Furthermore, SOG isn’t skimping on materials, offering knives in tiers of D2 steel as their entry level, S35VN in their midrange, and CTS-XHP steel for their more premium models.

As a fan of the original Ultra C-Ti credit-card sized knife/money clip, the new Ultra XR stood out from the pack. Pictured here in its golden-colored blade finish against a carbon fiber handle sporting that ambidextrous XR lock, it’s shaping up to be a promising option for a minimalist carry. I think of it as a premium knife (thanks to S35VN steel and carbon fiber) that fits the bill when pocket space is at a premium. Other SOG legacy favorites like the Aegis and Flash are getting reworked as well, with the Aegis repositioned as an assisted outdoors knife and the Flash as a more modern urban EDC blade.


The WE Knife Co and CIVIVI booth was jam-packed with knives, to put it simply. Visually most of the designs on display had a lot going on, looking more like props from sci-fi movies or items in a fantasy role playing game. That’s why the Ferrum Forge-designed Odium caught my eye — simple, elegant, utilitarian yet beautiful nonetheless. With CIVIVI handling production of this Ferrum Forge design it should release at a good value too. Specs wise, it’s sporting tried-and-true G10 on the handle and D2 blade steel, measuring in at about 2.65″ blade length. 

Victorinox Swiss Army 2020 Limited Edition Alox Collection

There it is, folks. The 2020 color for limited edition Alox Swiss Army Knives is a beautiful rich Aqua Blue. Expect to see it on your favorite models like the Classic SD Alox, Cadet Alox, and Pioneer Alox soon. Victorinox also has more products set to release this year, folding and fixed, that we’ll be sure to share when they’re ready.

Ontario Knife Company Wraith ICE

OKC made a name for themselves with their extremely popular budget knife, the RAT II. I stopped by the booth to see some new options for general EDC and found their new ICE variation of the Wraith to be especially cool. It’s positioned as a budget knife so its specs and materials aren’t particularly exciting, but I do like the concept of a translucent handle and hope to see more knives experiment with that sort of aesthetic.

CRKT Techliner, M40 Series, and More

CRKT seems to be one of the more prolific knife brands attending the show, putting dozens of knives on display each year thanks to their stacked stable of designers. We’ve already seen Jesper Voxnaes’s work with CRKT from the 2020 lineup in the CRKT Piet, for example. And in honor of the late Kit Carson, who designed the iconic CRKT M16 series of knives, CRKT pays homage with the Deadbolt lock-equipped M40 series.

In the sea of new knives, however, I was most pleasantly surprised to see CRKT produce Mike Bond’s Techliner pen. It’s one of my favorite EDC pens and I’m excited to see it available at a more accessible price point and equipped with a tried-and-true Fisher Space Pen ink refill. If you aren’t familiar with the Techliner, you can geek out with me in my full review of it here. To see the rest of CRKT’s upcoming collection, head on over to their website here.

Maxpedition Prepared Citizen Backpacks and Tote

This year’s SHOT Show seemed to follow a trend of brands moving away from the full-on tactical design language to better serve urban EDC and civilians who want tactical performance in a more low-profile package. We saw some of it already with SOG’s rebrand and now even moreso with Maxpedition going all in on their tactical/non-tactical Prepared Citizen line. The bags here look like unassuming school bags or hiking packs, but they’re CCW-compatible and built from heavy duty, high-denier nylon. While rows of PALS webbing and modular MOLLE packs undoubtedly serve their purpose, I’m excited to see more options for EDC bags that blend in with the crowd a bit more.

Mystery Ranch RIP RUCK Series

Mystery Ranch debuted a pair of cool compact EDC bags as part of their newly revised RIP RUCK Series. Available in 15L and 24L (pictured) variations, these packs focus on ease of access with their unique “Rip-Zip” functionality. You can pull the central flap upwards, which unzips the two side zippers as you pull for quick access to the main compartment. As modern updates to the original Rip Ruck, these feature hidden magnets to secure the bottom flap. Closing the bag or re-opening it simple and easy — no more fussing around with difficult zippers and buckles.

Streamlight Macrostream USB

Imagine the crowd-favorite Streamlight Microstream USB, with its no-frills operation and convenient USB recharging battery… just… bigger. The Macrostream USB doubles the output of its little brother, hitting 500 lumens on its highest setting. With the bumped up output and easier to grip size, it’s a compelling option for fans of the original Microstream looking for a primary light.

Fenix E06R

There’s a new compact rechargeable keychain EDC light on the block, the Fenix E06R. It conveniently recharges via a USB-C port built right into the body. It boasts 200 lumens on Turbo with some extra functionality in a flashing red LED as well. It’s set to release sometime this spring at around a $25 price point, giving us even more affordable options for powerful backup lights to carry on our keys.

Magpul DAKA Everyday Folding Wallet

Last but not least, Magpul’s DAKA line of high performance technical soft carry goods gets a new addition in the Everyday Folding Wallet. This new wallet features a super slim bifold layout with a windowed slot on the exterior for credentials, while the inside accommodates bank cards in its laser-cut slot pockets. It’s shaping up to be a solid alternative to Magpul’s Everyday Wallet for those of you who prefer a bifold design for better separation of your cards.

What products from the show are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below!

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