Everyday Carry

How to Make Your EDC More Lightweight

Mikey Bautista
How to Make Your EDC More Lightweight

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In the quest for the perfect EDC, you might've run into a familiar problem: carrying more and more useful gear until suddenly it becomes too much of a good thing. Sure, there's something to be said about backups and larger tools for bigger jobs. But for everyday tasks, keeping it light and simple is the key to an efficient loadout you wouldn't think twice about carrying.

Which begs the question…

How do you keep your EDC lighter and more effective?

It's not always about picking the smallest and the lightest gear, but rather streamlining your carry to cover all your bases without adding unnecessary bulk.

Today we're showcasing excellent examples from our readers of how they do it so you can get a few ideas to make your EDC lighter in the pocket while still keeping you prepared.


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This reader keeps his carry as light as possible by opting for lightweight but strong materials like carbon fiber and titanium.


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For the office, this reader keeps it light with a minimalist carbon fiber wallet, a knife with lightweight FRN scales, a compact flashlight, and a skeletonized multitool to cut down on the ounces.


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This submitter pairs a custom keychain with slim and light tools for a pocket-friendly and street-legal EDC.


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This reader keeps it simple by keeping his carry consolidated to a minimalist wallet and multi-tool.


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Nothing like sticking to the basics to get the job done while freeing up pocket space.

How do you lighten your loadout? Sound off in the comments below!

Header photo submitted by Felix.

#carry-smarter #lightweight-edc #how-much-edc-make #slim-down-your-edc #lightweight-edc-material see all

Who Likes This (113)

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Discussion (19 total)

I think synthetic materials are underrated. If you can get past looks, consider plastic scales on your knife, resin for your watch bands, and nylon wallets. Big Skinny and Magpul both make nice synthetic wallets.
Mikey Bautista ·
I'm a bit fan of synthetic materials myself--much easier to clean as well! Most times I'll trade off extra aesthetic (like patina or exotic materials) for that convenience.
Montana Actual ·
Recycled Firefighter! I found them and fell in love. No need to clean a recycled firehose. But I do enjoy black leather too.
Scott Johnson ·
I carry a full sized multi tool on my belt using a pocket clip. Most days I have to touch it at least once just to make sure it didn't fall off. It really is unnoticeable. Now if only the 3 tiny items on my keychain didn't jingle jangle and occasionally poke my leg.

As for lightning up the EDC I see several multi tools and single blade knives in the examples. I suppose with so many folks here carrying multiple blades and multi tools it probably is hard to find a truly lightweight none redundant setup.
Montana Actual ·
I minimized the keychain as much as possible by removing all tools from it, and keeping a key organizer (like the keybar). This has eliminated the janitorial key ring sound while walking.
Mike ·
Thanks for posting this Mike, it has given me pause to consider the junk that has accumulated in my pockets. I've found that as the summer progresses and the odd jobs around the house get tackled the pocket tools seem to pile up. Time to weed through the paraphernalia and toss the stuff I may only use once in a blue moon.
Montana Actual ·
I try this... Pockets still full. I just try to minimize the footprint and find smaller things to carry that provide the same punch as their full size counterparts. I always have a knife, flashlight, multi-tool, wallet, notepad, pen, keys (work and personal), my phone, my watch, and my gun/extra mag. This is not an easy thing to minimize and because I don't want it all in the same location, ie. pulling everything out at once when I need one thing, it usually takes up all my pockets. Not a big deal, that's what they are there for.
David Doheny ·
Try some sort of pocket organizer to consolidate some of your items so you don't go fishing through your pockets
Montana Actual ·
I like that idea, but I don't like the idea of taking everything out at once. I never have full pockets, or have to sort through them. It's usually a pocket for everything and some room to spare, without creating a bulge or footprint at all.
Bruno ·
Lightweight EDC is certainly an ongoing concern. But me, I choose not to skimp on anything where quality materials count most--like, the metal in knives or clips or keychains.

My daily commute is short and is surrounded by resources--I'm not in the woods. This is what figures into my thinking. In my sling-bag I carry food, water, medical kit, hygiene items, electronics, self-defense, and tools.

But as an example of 'thinking light', I don't carry a water bottle filled up with 20 oz of water. What for? Hydration every few minutes? Unnecessary unless jogging. In the city, I am always near a store to purchase water for leisure activities. But in my bag itself, my emergency water is a tiny, survivalist's small 8oz sealed pouch of water. That's enough to get me through any kind of overnight, 'trapped' situation.

What else. Electronics? Well, no heavy, bulky phone or tablet. That's for sure. Fuggetabout it. My cell-phone is no more than a pager. Merely a tiny burner phone. It can fit in the coin pocket of my Wranglers. How can one be a heads-up EDC'er when one is absorbed in one's phone all day long? Is that being prepared? My phone is for emergencies only. Long, gossipy phone chats can wait until I am either at my home or workplace. The mania for 'phone calls as entertainment' is preposterous to me. Bottom line: skimping on a knife while prioritizing an iPhone (and a charger) makes no sense to me. For entertainment, I'll carry a cheap paperback book which I can shed myself of any time without care.

Lightness in a med kit: again, pick-and-choose specifically for New York. Particulate mask --yes, disinfectant yes--but splints or tourniquets no. It's likely that no matter where you are in Manhattan, fully-fledged medical help will arrive in a fairly timely manner. So you don't need an entire field medical kit, just the minimums.

Food: one protein bar. That's it. Not likely to be trapped more than a few hours where more food would be needed. In the wilderness, yeah--carry a lot more protein. Not in the city.

Self-defense: not skimping in this area, definitely not. Lighten loadout anywhere else except this. Urban defense is a whole topic unto itself, really. Besides an EDC pocketknife, I favour a simple Stanley icepick. Throw it away unconcerned, when the cops arrive. Its not yours, nope. Never saw it before, sir. He must have stabbed himself with it when we tussled. No CS spray, (even though they DO work--they're illegal in NY. No stun-guns (utter waste of time). And really, there's nothing else which is reliable and legit. NYPD cops love to spot-frisk pedestrians and make you empty your pockets. You have to be within the laws or they will make you miserable.

Anyway these are just a few examples, but the principle is illustrated. Look at how much time you're likely to spend caught/depending on your EDC before other resources become available. Don't bring overnight supplies when you're merely travelling to your job and back.

Montana Actual ·
NY Cops and their frisky red coat habits. Such a shame. I will never live in a place like that.
Bruno ·
Yep. One has to have a plausible explanation ready at all times or they can tread all over you. Gotta stay on their good side. Even if it's just a sham and a veneer, in a police state that's what ya must stoop to.
ranithore ·
Big Skinny and Magpul both make nice beautysk.com synthetic wallets.
Michael Wu ·
Anyone know the pen featured in the first image next to the Victorinox?
Mikey Bautista ·
It's the same as in the last user-submitted carry, a Caran D'ache Original Ballpoint 849.
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