Everyday Carry

The Most Popular Gear in 2018

Authored by:
Mikey Bautista
Reviewed by:
Bernard Capulong
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
14+ Years Reviewing EDC Products
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.

The Most Popular EDC Gear in 2018

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.

Mikey Bautista

Director of Everyday Carry Operations

About the Author
Mikey Bautista is an everyday carry (EDC) expert who has been working with the EverydayCarry.com team for nearly a decade, starting with an interest in EDC as a hobby and ending up as a writer for the site in 2014. Through the years, he’s led the site in editorial content and writing about products across every category, from knives to bags to flashlights and everything in between, as well as discovering, bringing exposure, and building bridges with many brands in the industry. Today, he is the site's Director of Everyday Carry Operations, leading the editorial team and managing day-to-day operations.

He has lived through many personal and professional lives, spending nearly a decade in the workforce management industry, a minor career in gaming, and has lent a hand with entrepreneurial efforts back home in the Philippines. He has also been an active participant and helped build a number of significant social communities online, both for EDC and his other hobbies.

Mikey has been at the cusp of gaming, technology, and the internet since the ‘90s and continues to lend his experience, expertise, and authority to all his pursuits. When not online, in a game, or watching movies, you'll find him in the gym, speedrunning his next hobby, or talking at length about EDC with anyone willing to listen.

Bernard Capulong

Founder and Editor-in-Chief

About the Reviewer
Bernard Capulong is an everyday carry (EDC) gear expert, entrepreneur, all-around nerd, and the founder and editor-in-chief of EverydayCarry.com—the largest online community for EDC gear enthusiasts. Since founding Everyday Carry in 2009, he’s built over a decade of experience in the industry, reviewing and highlighting brands and products, including pocket knives, flashlights, wallets, watches, bags, pens, and much more.

Bernard is known for bringing everyday carry out of obscurity and into the mainstream, having been published or featured in various publications such as GQ, TIME Magazine, The New York Times, VICE, HYPEBEAST, Outside, and many others. He has also played a part in curating, designing, and developing digital and physical products, resulting in successful crowdfunding projects or limited edition collaboration products with established softgoods brands. He stays on the pulse of the EDC industry by attending trade shows, participating in online interest communities, and actively engaging with fellow gear enthusiasts on social media.

In addition to being the editor-in-chief and main social media personality for EverydayCarry.com, Bernard is an avid gearhead and collector in general. His personal collections span technical bags, fountain pens, digital cameras, retro gaming hardware, personal hi-fi audio gear, and mechanical wristwatches, to name a few. Bernard Capulong is a prominent figure and trusted authority in the everyday carry industry with a career dedicated to helping people discover this hobby and stay prepared with quality gear.

Discussion (17 total)

Goldthunder ·
Solid list!
Franklion ·
The Zebra F-701 is next on my list. Was going to get another Space Pen in Chrome.
Festus ·
“The problem with Bluetooth headphones is that it's not just recharging your iPod, you have to recharge your headphones too. People hate it. There are quality issues - the bandwidth isn't high enough, and even if it does get there some day, people don't want to recharge their headphones.“
Festus ·
That was Steve Jobs, 2005
James R. ·
I remember when he said they'd never make a big screen phone, too. haha
Nice list. What is the tool underneath The Spyderco Para Military? Looks like a pry bar and driver.
Andrei ·
4 of 10 are already here. 3-4 more are on buying list/
Thanks for the post, Mikey.
Billy ·
Love the classic on the list! Also Multigrip multitool was one of my favs in the year!
Edgar Morales ·
Thanks, happy New year !!
David Fairbrother ·
Anyone else have issue with the quality of the Dime? I purchased a black one in the fall, and I am disappointed with it. The file is pretty much smooth, the scissors have a weird reversed bevel on the cutting edges and the small blade took forever to sharpen. I do like the size of it and the pliers are great, just not impressed with the sharp bits. The Evo knife that came with paired with it, is nice and sharp. Am I expecting too much out of a $20.00 tool, or did I just get a bad one?
Yep, I've broken two and decided they're best reserved for very light duty usage. Sticking with my Leatherman these days...
Trousers ·
For a keychain tool it does what I need. I wouldn’t count on it to full-size work, at least not more than once.
1 more comments
Andriy ·
Is this stone wash blade cover on paramilitary? What is this model?

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