The Most Popular Gear in 2018

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Another year, another great time for gear. With upgraded manufacturing processes and the advancement of tech, it’s the best time ever to add a new piece to your EDC. So when all’s been said and done, 2018’s list of most popular gear should be filled with the latest and greatest, right? Well, that’s what we thought, too. Instead, when we looked back through our database for the year, the surprising standouts were well-established EDC essentials. It bucks the trend for what we were expecting to be a list of only the freshest gear, but more importantly, it shows that the classics never go out of style, or ever skip a beat with how useful they can be, even today. Even better, it’s a great list to show new EDCers gear that will stand the test of time. Read on below to see 2018’s most popular—and timeless—EDC gear.

Olight I3E EOS

Sometimes, the latest and greatest flashlights seem like overkill, and what you really want is a light that’s small, bright, and easy to use. In that case, the Olight I3E might be more up your alley. Olight took their EDC crowd favorite i3S model, shaved off about .38” in length, simplified the user interface to a single mode, and slashed the price in half with the I3E (“E” meaning economic). Its Philips Luxeon TX LED pushes 90 lumens through a TIR lens for a bright, smooth beam. It’s still powered by a single AAA battery, waterproof to IPX8 standard, and constructed from hard anodized aluminum. It makes a great candidate for a simpler EDC and an attractive option for a budget-friendly backup too. Plenty of you agree, putting the I3E at 10th place for this year’s most popular gear.

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Victorinox Classic SD

You know what this is; it’s the classic everyday carry Swiss Army Knife. And even in 2018 it’s still the gold standard for a compact EDC multi-tool that won’t raise eyebrows when you use it in public. It’s compact enough at 2.3” in length to fit easily in your pocket, but it packs seven essential functions in that small frame: a blade, a pair of spring-loaded scissors, a nail file with integrated 2.5mm screwdriver, a toothpick, and tweezers. The key ring lets you attach it to your keys for easy carry as well. It’s also available in a plethora of colorways, not just the standard timeless SAK red. Pick the one that suits your style and EDC aesthetic—you can’t go wrong with the Classic.

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Apple Airpods

If you’re an Apple device user, the AirPods may be the single most important accessory you can add to your EDC. Thanks to its almost magical wireless tech, pairing with your device(s) is convenient and instantaneous, so music or a podcast or an audiobook is always within reach. Just put them in your ears, and off you go. They’ve got about a day’s worth of battery life thanks to the compact charging case, and they sound pretty good, to boot. You don’t realize how great it is to have your daily soundtrack available in seconds until you try the efficiency of simply putting an earbud into your ear. And the best part: touch controls on the buds themselves give you playback and Siri options to further extend their smart functionality for calls and other tasks.

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Leatherman Wave+

Seventh on the list comes as no surprise, as it has graced the pockets and toolboxes of countless EDCers for decades. Designed as a toolbox replacement, the original Wave featured 18 total functions, including Leatherman’s signature butterfly-opening pliers and fold-out tools from its aluminum handles. Celebrating their 35th anniversary this year, Leatherman re-released many of their signature multi-tools (including the Wave) and upgraded them with 154CM steel replaceable wire cutters for even more longevity in the hands of people who depend on their tools. The Wave+ strikes a perfect balance of form, function, and rugged dependability that’s stood the test of time over the years, and will for many more.

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Benchmade Mini Griptilian

The Benchmade Mini Grip is a classic EDC knife and an excellent option for beginners and southpaws. Benchmade’s ambidextrous AXIS lock system gives it a smooth action so you can quickly deploy the blade with just a flick. It has a 2.9” drop-point blade made from 58-61HRC steel that many EDCers swear by. Between the knurling on the handle and the smartly placed jimping along the spine, it’s easy to see where the Mini Grip gets its name.

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Streamlight Microstream

There’s a reason the Streamlight Microstream is one of the most popular flashlights on this site, and number 5 overall for 2018. It’s simple, reliable, effective, and most importantly, inexpensive. Sometimes you just need something that works, and even if it’s low on the lumens the Microstream makes them count. And with a lightweight, anodized aluminum body and pocket clip, it’s easy to EDC in your pocket or on your bag as a backup.

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Spyderco Para Military 2

This classic Spyderco tactical folding knife is a perennial favorite for EDC and well-deserving of its 4th spot. Aside from minor updates to the ergonomics of the knife, it’s remained the same super-sharp folder we’ve come to expect. It features a premium CPM-S30V plain edge blade with the trademark thumbhole for easy deployment, even when you’re wearing gloves. More recent updates to the blade made improvements to the opening as well, with a Bushing Pivot System that makes for a smoother deployment. At the spine is a Spyderco Compression Lock, which eliminates blade play and insures against failure during hard use. And the aggressive G10 scaling on the ergonomic handle that conforms to your grip keeps the blade in your hand no matter what.

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Gerber Dime

One of Gerber’s most popular multi-tools is also one of their most useful, and it’s easy to see why EDCers have enjoyed its performance over the years, even to this one. 10 tools that include pliers, scissors, cutters, and drivers fold into a compact 2.75” stainless steel package that sits comfortably on your keychain or in your pocket. And weighing only 2.2 ounces with an included split ring, the Dime is effortless to carry or clip to the rest of your gear. Available in 5 colors to match any loadout with a price tag that belies its utility, Gerber’s mini multi-tool is the perfect addition (or backup) to any EDC.

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Zebra F-701

Zebra’s F-701 is a super affordable ballpoint pen that’s made from metal. The price to performance ratio is one of the best out there, For under six bucks, you get a steel pen with a click mechanism and knurled grip. Since the pen is made from steel, it can ride along with the rest of your EDC gear without being any worse for wear. It’s the perfect gateway into machined pens as a whole, while holding its own as an everyday staple.

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Fisher Space Pen

All hail the king of EDC. The Fisher Space Pen is probably the one item on this list that needs no introduction, or further explanation as the years go by. You know it well by now: an inexpensive pen whose legendary refill writes anytime, anywhere, in any orientation. It’s extremely compact in size, yet works with its cap to write like a full-sized pen. And best of all is its price, making it an extremely affordable way to add an easy-to-carry writing option to any EDC. Long live the king.

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Want to see more popular gear? Check out the rest of our monthly roundups with our Trending Gear series.

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