Staff Picks: Our Most Useful EDC Gear in 2019

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As the decade comes to a close, you might already be looking forward to the new year (and some new gear). But now is also a great opportunity to look back on what we’ve carried this year and how much of an impact it made in our day-to-day lives. In this quick round-up the Everyday Carry team shares their single favorite piece of gear from this year that helped them out the most. We’re curious to hear what item in your EDC got you out of a tight spot or made your 2019 that much easier, too. Read on to hear our picks and let us know your most useful item from this year in the comments!

Suunto Clipper

Jonathan: From navigating huge sprawling underground subway stations in Japan to finding my bearings in the California wilderness, the Suunto Clipper has been a great EDC companion over the past year. It features a highly-legible and reliable compass that fits easily on the NATO strap on my watch, allowing at-a-glance readings. With its orienting arrow and degree dial, I’m able to plot a quick course as well. The best part is that it works in random places where a cell phone doesn’t because it doesn’t rely on GPS signals or having battery power and it doesn’t need time to calibrate to get things right. It just works, and that’s why I like it.

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LEUCHTTURM1917 Weekly Planner and Notebook

Mags: Like most people I find it difficult to keep too many little details in my head, and in my college years I discovered the joys of using a physical planner. The LEUCHTTURM1917 Weekly Planner and Notebook has been indispensable in keeping the pieces of my life in one convenient spot–it’s to see upcoming occasions and meetings on the weekly format on one side of the spread, and the lined page opposite is great for planning the week’s meals and shopping list. The physical act of writing down memos seems to make it easier to commit them to memory, and affords a much needed break from screens. Blank pages in the back of the notebook is handy for the occasional sketch, and a folding pocket for corralling miscellaneous bits such as coupons etc. I find it’s been great for keeping track of goals, projects, and daily itinerary, and cracking open a new notebook in January seems to be a tangible starting point to get working on the year’s resolutions. I never leave home without it.

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Tombow AirPress

Mon: I got this late in the year when it went on sale at a local bookstore, but I’ve always wanted an alternative to the Fisher Space pen I lost years ago — that is, a pressurized pen that could write anywhere, in any condition, including the rain. I usually carry a fountain pen for note-taking, but for when I need something to write on slippery receipts, or when I’m out in the rain, the Tombow AirPress takes over. One cool thing about it is the ink cartridge gets pressurized as you click the pen, and this produces a distinct, crisp sound, making it fun to fidget. It has actually replaced my Pilot Prera as my pocket EDC pen, and thanks to its form factor and sturdy clip, it fits perfectly into my front shirt pocket while having enough retention for pants pocket carry. Since I got it on sale, a lot of my friends got gifted one for the holidays this year as well. Functional, fidgety and fits in my pockets well, the Tombow AirPress was my favorite carry this year.

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Atlas Sling

Bernard: I spent a lot of time this year bouncing between Los Angeles and New York City. Needless to say, it’s not an easy trip. My EDC would change quite often, from one city, to the airport and plane ride, then again once I reached my destination. One constant I could rely on was the Atlas Sling I was testing before its holiday launch—having whatever I needed easily accessible or neatly stowed away in my carry-on made traveling and urban EDCing that much easier. In New York I’d use it to carry a beanie or gloves, a Kindle to read on the train, or a charger and cables for those times I’d know I’d be out all day. In LA I could switch things up with a legal pocketknife, sunglasses, and car keys. On the plane, I could have all my essentials in one place without needing to rummage through my backpack under the seat or needing to grab my carry-on from the overhead compartment. Last but not least, it came in handy as a holiday gift!

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Leatherman FREE P4

Mikey: For the longest time, I only owned compact or single multi-tools. They generally got the job done, so I never thought to upgrade to a “serious” full-sized multi-tool like a Leatherman. But earlier this year when we got to work with them and they revealed the next generation of their tools with the FREE collection, I knew I’d found the right time to get one at last. I made a beeline for the flagship model, the P4, which comes with every tool I already had and many more that I didn’t know I needed. It was an easy sell: 21 solid tools, a magnetic locking system that made multi-tool tech leap a generation forward, and a sleek new design that was a joy to look at, carry, and especially use.

It’s a great tool to have on hand “just because.” It may have been just coincidence sometimes, but after owning the P4 for a while I suddenly needed pliers to fix something in the sink, or our can openers all self-destructed for some reason, and I had a lot more packages coming in that made the P4‘s box cutter invaluable. Regardless, it’s been a constant companion that I don’t see leaving my reaching distance anytime soon, or even well into the next decade.

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Now that you’ve read our favorite gear for the year, what was your most useful tool in 2019?

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