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Gear Watch: Kickstart Your Keychain

Bernard Capulong

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Gear Watch: Kickstart your keychain

In this edition of Gear Watch we check out some of the latest and greatest from kickstarter, featuring gear pulls and flashlights. Read on for more

There is dozen or so gear hook designs on the market, from Munroe Mega Dangler that would set you back three figures to the $7 TEC Accessories version. Many of them are simply hooks that are designed to latch on to the lip of your pocket and make your gear accessible. Until recently, there was very little in the middle range of the market. Then the GearPull was released. I had a chance to get a preview sample of the GearPull, a hugely successful Kickstarter project by Gamble Staempfli. The GearPull was absolutely beautiful, albeit a bit big for my tastes. Fortunately, Staempfli is releasing a smaller design—the GambleMade Mini-D.

GambleMade Mini-D

But it’s not just a smaller GearPull—it’s a gear hook system. The entire design is modular and can be as simple as a basic hook, or as advanced as a mini version of the GearPull. There are three different kits—the basic hook, the mini GearPull, and the “Developer’s Kit” that basically gives you everything you’d need to stylishly carry around your knives, lights, and other EDC gear. As you can see from the lead picture, the Mini-D can do just about anything you need a gear hook to do. 

The Mini-D Kickstarter goes live on March 23. 

The Key to the Problem

After pens, wallets, and one-piece multitiools, the next most common EDC item on Kickstarter is key-managing devices. There have been quite a few, including one of my favorite designs, the BladeKey. Recently, they have all started to look the same—like a Swiss Army Knife for your keys—and that is pretty boring. The Panny Key is a new, refreshingly different approach to a key device. It looks and functions a lot like the Chawley Changer, but for keys instead of coins. The entire device is a square with milled slots. The keys slide into those slots, accommodating two keys per side. On the spine of the device, there is a slot for a small USB drive. There are a few different carry options, including a lobster claw connector and a pocket/belt clip. The overall design is colorful and, unlike many of the key managers on Kickstarter, relatively inexpensive.

The Panny Key Kickstarter is live and can be found here.


Pens are a dime a dozen on Kickstarter, but one pen recently caught my eye—the Ti-Post RAW.  It’s available in two configurations, one with and one without a stylus.  But the stylus doesn’t really move the needle for me.  Instead, it’s the fact that this pen’s cap can post, or attach to the non-writing end during use. So many of these metal pens do not have caps that can post, unfortunately.  While my favorite of the Kickstarter pens, the Prometheus Alpha, could post, so many others can’t. For example, even full-blown production pens, like the County Comm Embassy Pen, can’t post.  The idea of using a pen and having the cap rolling around somewhere drives me crazy. I’d much rather it be on the end of the pen where its both accessible and, when done right, adds the perfect amount of length and weight to the pen. Other cool things about the Ti-Post RAW is that it is already funded, meaning you’ll definitely get one should you decide to back it.  Finally, it takes a slew of refills and there the tactile pleasure of the raw titanium bar feel.  Its not terribly expensive either, coming in around $65.

The Ti-Post RAW Kickstarter is live and can be found here

Shoulda Been the Ensign

While this isn’t exactly a Kickstarter project, it’s just too clever to not highlight. Spyderco debuted three micro multitools at IWA (a German outdoor trade show) last year and they are finally available.The newly released ClipItTool comes in three configurations, all with roughly Ladybug-sized and shaped blades. You can get a ClipItTool with a main blade and a serrated blade, one with a pair of scissors, or one with a flathead driver and bottle opener. All three tools have 8Cr13MoV blade steel with stainless steel handles and a pocket clip. They are all slip joint designs, meaning there is no lock. They also have a healthy dose of Spyderco’s design language. The way the tool folds into the handle actually aids in grip when using the knife. The tool itself has a hole for easy deployment. Finally, there is a half-and-half finger choil for excellent control. Overall, the form factor looks like a real winner. All of the tools come in at a very fair street price of $25.95. 

Spyderco ClipItTool

To me, the choice is easy—the driver/bottle opener tool is probably the most unique and most useful when paired with the main blade. It also turns the ClipItTool into something very close to one my favorite EDC items of all time—the Victorinox Alox Cadet. The ClipItTool, however, offers two improvements over the Cadet—a pocket clip and a one-hand opening blade. It’s unlikely that anything will unseat the “iPhone” of EDC kit (the Alox Cadet), but the ClipItTool just might. Now all it needs a better, less awkward name. Spyderco Ensign, anyone? It makes clear just who the competitor is and actually sounds cooler than the real name.  

A Light Fix

LensLight makes some sweet, but expensive illumination tools. All of their designs are off the beaten path, some with their Delrin pocket clips and focusable beams. But until now, they didn’t make a model that could tailstand. This seems like an unforgivable design flaw for a light this expensive. They had lights with patina copper and Starlingear beads mounted on pocket clips. They even had one with a matching Strider SNG. But their single CR123a light couldn’t tailstand –  a massive design oversight. Even Surefire, with their relentless focus on tactical lights, offers a tailstanding tailcap.

LensLight Mini Ti Delta

With the release of the LensLight Mini Ti Delta (pictured), all of that has been fixed. LensLight products are known for having excellent beams, and this model’s output is very competitive with other 1xCR123a lights. You can purchase the Mini Ti Delta at Blade HQ ($220 USD).

#gear-watch #keychains #flashlights #knives #multitool #everyday-carry-keychain #kickstarter-edc #gear-pull-keychain #ti-gearpull #everyday-carry-gear #everyday-carry-kickstarter #keychain-watch #gearpull see all

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