Everyday Carry

15 Essentials to Finally Put Your Coin Pocket to Use

Everyday Carry

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Every pair of pants you’ve ever worn probably has one — that little pocket inside the right front pocket. As EDCers, we need to use our pocket space wisely. So it’s important to not overlook this little guy, the fifth pocket, as a valuable resource for carrying our essentials. In this installment of Carry Smarter, you’ll learn what that curious tiny pocket is all about, why you should make the most of this pocket, and our list of ideas of essentials that might be a great fit for both your fifth pocket and your everyday carry.

A Brief History of the Fifth Pocket

Originally one of the four pockets on Levi’s first jeans in 1873 (known to denimheads as the XX), the small pocket on the front right hip was called a watch pocket. It let cowboys, miners, and other workers safely carry and protect their pocket watches. At the turn of the 20th century, pocket watches fell out of style and became obsolete. As a result, the jeans were refreshed in 1901 with a few notable changes.

A second back pocket was added as the actual final fifth pocket (rather than the small pocket most people consider to be the defining pocket in your standard “five pocket jean”), and the watch pocket got downsized from about 3.5” to 3” now that bulky watch fobs were less commonly carried. To reflect the change in design and purpose, the watch pocket was renamed the “coin pocket” that you’re familiar with today.

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The Future of Pocket Change

But these days, in an ever-increasing cashless (and coin-less) world, the coin pocket might get the same treatment the watch pocket did in the future with modern and utilitarian clothing designs. Since phones can tell time, and more recently, be used to make payments, it’s no wonder the smartphone is such an important essential for so many people.

Even then, smartphones are physically outgrowing the standard pocket by design. Screens get bigger seemingly every year, but our pockets don’t keep up. There’s a chance we could see them getting slightly larger to be more accommodating, and that extra pocket space would be most welcome.

However, that shouldn’t discredit the nebulous functionality of the fifth pocket. Sometimes, less is more, and the smaller size of the fifth pocket can prove just as useful.

The Advantages of the Fifth Pocket for EDC

  • It keeps loose things organized: Because it’s smaller, there’s less wiggle room for things to bang around, and you’ll know exactly where everything in that pocket is. Coins and keys won’t scratch your phone and other kit in here.

  • It affords quick access: Its higher placement on the hip grants easier access than fishing for stuff in the bottom of your front pocket bag, making the fifth pocket an ideal home for your most frequently used items.

  • It frees up main pocket space besides just keeping small things out of the way of bigger items like your phone or wallet.

As a testament to its versatility, the fifth pocket goes by many names depending on its usage, such as the match pocket, condom pocket, and as mentioned before, watch pocket and coin pocket. Whatever you want to call it, it can be home to your next piece of kit. Here’s our list of ideas to get you started.

Smaller knives don't need to mean diminished utility nor quality. These knives perform as well as their bigger brethren, but are conveniently sized for ease of carry and discretion.

Modern emitter technology has enabled even the smallest flashlights to have excellent output and runtimes. Don't underestimate the power of these coin pocket rockets.

  • Fenix LD02: rare appearance of a rear clicky switch on an AAA light, with 100 lumens to boot. ($30)
  • Nitecore Tube: 45 variable lumens with convenient USB charging. ($10)
  • ThruNite Ti3: one of the most powerful (120 lumens) and compact AAA lights on the market. ($20)

Sometimes you need the right tool for the job but can't afford to give up valuable pocket space. These handy helpers tuck away with your coins until needed.

When you’re on the go, you won’t always be able to properly freshen up. These hygiene essentials keep you fresh and protected against harsh elements and long days.

For the modern digital commuter, storage and battery life are key. Don’t get caught with a dead battery or a full drive again.

Like the fifth pocket itself, our list is fairly small compared to the number of pocketable possibilities out there. Let us know in the comments below — what do you keep in your fifth pocket?

Words by Bernard Capulong and Mikey Bautista
Photos by Ed Jelley

#carry-smarter #leatherman-for-mining-worker #coin-pocket #edc-coins #coin-pocket-jeans #what-to-use-coin-pocket-for #coin-pocket-pen see all

Who Likes This (201)

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Discussion (63 total)

Johann Thormar ·
my airpod pro case lives there :-)
Texas DIY ·
I have been carrying the new 5PK (5th Pocket Knife) utility blade from Fifth Pocket Labs on Instagram. It is always with me!
Jason E Franzone ·
Most of my folding knives under 3.5" blade length fit in my 5th pocket. I prefer my knife there for all the reasons you mentioned.
schwiiing ·
I've been carrying the Gerber EAB Lite in my 5th pocket for a few years, now. Fits perfectly and easy to get to without having to fish around in any pocket.
Bruno ·
Nice article. I'm a big fan of pocket #5. Coins go in there after every visit to a cash register for a purchase. Damn coins! As soon as I can, I transfer them out. The main thing I use my #5 for is a quick pair of earplugs. No better place to carry such small, easily-lost items. New York City is a gol-danged assault on one's ears. Constant babble of fellow-pedestrians and commuters, sirens, loudspeaker announcements, bullhorns, squalling brats and babies-from-hell, car horns honking, and of course all the utter scumbags yapping away on their cellphones in public instead of at home. So, it's bedlam. Earplugs are a necessity and that pocket is where I store them! Yes, I can also put condos or my pager there sometimes too.

But an even better EDC trick is to simply take your coats and jackets to a local seamstress and have her add a few extra stash/secret pockets wherever you need 'em. Like on the inner collar or on the breast along the zippers. Probably only cost $15 to get that done wherever you live.

Drus ·
Mark chin, I as well use it to hold my watch, and sometimes my Swiss Spartan.
Scott Johnson ·
I never wear jeans so I don't have a fifth pocket. For me I found running a suspension clip low with heavier items - lighter, flashlight, nail clippers. My second suspension clip is up high in the same pocket with just a car key.
Grayson M ·
I use mine for a flip coin (in making choices, heads or tails) or Burt's Bees Hand Salve (3 Oz Tin Container).
Jacob Roy ·
I rarely used the coin pocket on my jeans until I started getting into EDC items. Now I wish I had one in each pocket.
Andreja ·
I use mine for mini Bic and lip balm, but I love how Benchmade Mini Grip look in coin pocket. I might consider buying one. Great article!
Chad Lovelace ·
use my coin pocket to carry 3 - $1.00 coins 79 susan b, a grant, and a jackson
Jacob Allen ·
I stow a NAA Companion in my fifth pocket.
i carrying there my alox pioneer or Leatherman Sidekick
David E ·
Sanrenmu GR5-605 is my favorite new coin pocket carry. Fits perfect, not too small but big enough for small to medium-small jobs.
Nixon Samuela ·
In my coin pocket I always carry my swiss army climber big and telepen in it. The pocket helps keep it upright and stop it from swinging around in larger pockets these coin pockets are a huge + if u edc tools so start using it everyone. it frees up pocket space by utilizing the coin pocket.
Nixon Samuela ·
Bic lighter*,( not big)
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