Trending Gear: December 2019

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Every day, readers like you proudly share photos of their everyday carry on the site.

Not only is looking through their pockets this way super interesting, but it’s also a great way to find really cool gear you never even knew existed (yet somehow, suddenly need…).

When you hover over an item you like and click on it in these photos, you’re also letting other EDCers know you find that gear interesting. Each click gets recorded to create a data-driven ranking of the most popular gear, which you can find in our Gear section of the site found in the top menu bar.

Gear with the most views and clicks climbs its way to the top of this feed and lets the EDC community know what’s trending right this second.

This past December you were keen on handy tech, classic watches, and useful ways to carry and protect your gear. Let’s take a look at all the gear you were most interested in…

10. Citizen BM8180-03E

The highlight feature of Citizen’s BM8180-03E is the Eco-Drive powered quartz movement. Instead of a mechanical movement, or even a battery, the watch is powered by ambient light. It doesn’t matter whether you’re indoors or out—the movement charges from both natural and artificial light. The stainless case, black dial, red seconds hand, and 100m of water resistance round out a solid set of specs. The BM8180-03E ships on an olive green canvas band, making it a perfect match to the rest of the military-inspired aesthetic.

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9. Garmin Foretrex 401

As amazing and as breathtaking it can be to go off the beaten path in search of an exciting adventure, nothing is as important as getting home safe. Last month’s 9th most popular item features on a key accessory when you’re on the trail: a GPS receiver. The Garmin Foretrex 401 is a wrist-worn hiking GPS, built with features designed to get you home. For starters, it’s waterproof, ensuring operation even during inclement weather. It comes with an array of sensors, including ABC (altimeter, barometer, and an electronic compass) data, and it keeps a “breadcrumb” trail of your path so you can easily retrace your steps. The Foretrex 401 is also smart on its own and fully-connected, meaning it’s able to track and save your routes and favorite places, and easily share it with your computer or with Garmin’s online services, as well as connect with other data devices like a heart rate monitor or cadence sensor.

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8. Spyderco Dog Tag Gen4

The Panchenko-designed Spyderco Dog Tag remains one of the most innovative knives for EDC, and the Gen4 keeps up its heritage of being one of the most useful compact folders you can carry. The Dog Tag‘s key feature, of course, it its compact sheepsfoot blade. The shape not only takes up a smaller footprint (making it ideal for this knife in particular), but also helps in strengthening the blade’s tip when the cutting gets tough. The 1.18” blade comes in USA-made CTS BD1 steel, with the trademark Spyderco round hole for easy deployment. New to the Gen4 is the double-beveled, saber-ground edge, giving it a symmetrical edge angle compared to its chisel-ground predecessors and allowing for better control during use. Since the Dog Tag isn’t designed to be a locking folder, an integral spring bar and ball-bearing detent secures the blade both in and out of use. This is built into the knife’s aluminum handles, which keeping it as light as possible when carried—or worn—just like its namesake.

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7. Zebra F-701

Last month’s 7th most popular item needs no introduction. Zebra’s F-701 is an all-metal clicky pen with a knurled grip, rigid steel body, and strong pocket clip. The click mechanism is nice and quiet to operate and demands a firm press – excellent if you don’t want it opening accidentally in your pocket. The stepped tip of the pen is designed to stay out of the way while you’re writing so you can get a clear view of what’s going onto the page. Inside, there’s a Zebra ballpoint refill that lays down a 0.8 mm line with ease. In the past, the F-701 was not made entirely of metal, so people would mod their pens with the click mechanism and hardware from the F-401 model. On our site, the F-701 is extremely popular and is carried by students, businessmen, EMTs, and more. It has universal appeal, and for good reason.

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6. Hill People Gear Heavy Recon Kit Bag

The Heavy Recon Kit Bag from Hill People Gear is a chest rig that takes its design from its military application, which makes use of the space right in front of you to stow the gear you need to get to the quickest. The made in the USA Kit Bag is built from 500D Cordura nylon, and packed to the brim both on its interior and exterior with PALS-compatible grid as well as hook-and-loop fields for complete customization. You also get plenty of organization and expansion thanks to internal pockets, attachment points, and Grimloc D-rings on the Kit Bag‘s straps.

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5. Seiko SNK793

As useful as they are, sometimes a rugged tool watch isn’t the most appropriate timepiece for the task. A more subtle, formal watch would fit better for social situations requiring a sleeker profile from both watch and wearer. And though Seiko are best known for their incredibly bold and robust dive watches, they also have svelte, formal watches up their sleeve. The SNK793 marriages the Seiko 5 functionality and classic silver watch design into a compact 37mm formal performer. Carrying the 5 key attributes of the line–automatic winding, a day/date window, water resistance, a recessed crown at the 4 o’clock position, and a durable case and bracelet–the SNK793 performs as well as it looks. And look good it does, making use of the classic blue dial to offset the silver case and bracelet. Under the hardlex glass beats a 21-jewel 7S26C movement, with a power reserve of up to 41 hours, with the SNK793 rated up to 30 meters of water resistance.

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4. Incase Sling Pack

Protecting your essentials is your bag’s most important job, but that doesn’t mean it has to be unwieldy. Speed and versatility are the hallmarks of an everyday sling, and the Incase Sling Pack offers a compelling and resistant option to protect your gear. Built from weather-resistant 700D diamond wire ripstop nylon and making use of sealing zippers, your tech is safe from the elements. Which is a good thing, since there’s plenty of room in the pack’s compartments, including space for a tablet or up to a 13″ laptop. Two strap positions let you adjust the sling for comfort depending on its contents, and there’s even a hidden space on the strap to stow sensitive essentials.

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3. TEC Accessories Titanium Isotope Triode Fob

Since the early days of EDC, tritium fobs have always been a neat accessory attached to keychains, lanyard holes, and even zipper pulls, functioning as both aesthetic addition as well as functional feature. The tritium tubes used in fobs is a self-powered light source, thanks to the beta particles emitted by the (harmless) radioactive decay of tritium that cause phosphors to glow. Unlike luminescent coatings like those seen on watches, tritium doesn’t need to be “charged” to emit light, making it an ideal locator or illumination for gear in any situation. TEC Accessories’ take on the trit fob is a compact, yet eye-catching skeletonized vial able to hold up to 3 tritium vials within its bores (one 3mm x 23mm vial or two 3mm x 11mm vials per bore). The fob itself is machined from 6AL-4V titanium, letting it keep a light weight at 0.48 ounces without sacrificing durability. A simple lanyard hole at its tail handles its EDC attachment needs.

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2. Unihertz Atom

Smartphones are amazing technical marvels, but not many of them are built to handle rough conditions. At best, you get the latest in glass technology to protect the screen, and tried-and-true aluminum to build the phone’s body. So there’s a niche to be filled for a modern phone that can also keep performing come hell or high water. Last month’s 2nd most popular item is the Unihertz Atom, a compact Android 9.0 Pie platform built from the ground up to be an ultra-rugged backup smartphone. And don’t let its size fool you: even at 3.77″ long, it comes with IP68 water and dustproofing, dual cameras, an octa-core processor, fingerprint and face ID, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, and USB Type-C, among many other standard features. You also get plenty of US carrier support, with the Atom compatible with T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. Needless to say, it’s a fully-loaded smartphone built to be a tough backup for your outdoors or go bag EDC.

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1. Thyrm DarkVault

In the toughest situations, some of your essentials need all the protection they can get. Whether it’s mission-critical first aid or lifesaving tech and equipment, overprotection is underrated. With battlefield-grade construction and thoughtful features built into its crush-resistant design, Thyrm’s DarkVault is last month’s most popular item. And yes, attachment points on the back of the DarkVault allows it to attach to a tactical vest or bag so your protected essentials are always within reach. A gasket seal keeps out water, dust, and dirt from its contents, while–for this Comms version of the DarkVault–allowing GPS and cellular signals to pass through. Adhesive-backed hook and loop panels on both the interior and exterior allow ID and additional organization.

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What stood out to you most in this monthly round-up? Let us know in the comments below.

To keep up with past trending gear, be sure to check out our round-up archives.

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