A Guide to Everyday Carry Gear
“It is not often that a man can make opportunities for himself. But he can put himself in such shape that when or if the opportunities come he is ready.”
- Teddy Roosevelt
Refining your everyday carry gear selection is one of the best investments you can make with your time and attention. Why? Because no matter what type of life you lead, the things that you have within arm’s reach can make or break your ability to respond to whatever life throws at you.
In this guide, we’d like to introduce you to gear that’s perfect for practical, tactical, and professional everyday carry. That way, you can pick and choose the perfect setup for your specific needs — and even have the flexibility to trade out pieces of EDC gear to customize your carry when times change. Because for every bit of extra consideration you give your EDC setup, you’ll reap much greater rewards that come from being well-prepared.
A really solid bag is often going to be the last thing that you buy for your EDC kit — because you need to know what and how much you’re going to fit into a bag before you can buy the best one, right?
But this same reasoning is why you should start thinking about your choice of EDC bag right from the start. What do you need out of one? How much space should it have? How durable does it need to be? Are you going to be carrying a laptop, a sidearm, or both? These are just a few of the questions that might inform your choice of bags for everyday carry.
For pure practical use, it doesn’t get much better than our Man-Bag, Dammit. We designed it to carry all your daily essentials (smartphone, keys, wallet, etc.) in a durable and handsome waxed canvas and leather shell.
Our entire TacSac line is made for tactical everyday carry. The modular design and rugged, guaranteed for life construction mean you can customize these bags to fit your exact kit. Add internal storage specific to your needs with our admin pouches, holsters, and caddies.
Professional folks who need plenty of room for their laptop and work documents will appreciate the luxurious spaciousness of our Jones bags. Their specially-processed Madone leather is rich and supple straight out of the box, adding a touch of class to everyday carry for the business-minded.
Wallet or Money Clip
The trend in carrying your cards and cash is to go as minimal as possible. And after years of carrying around a beefy bifold and then switching to a slim wallet, we’d have to agree that throwing out your receipts and ancient membership cards is a good way to go. Once you’ve narrowed down how much you really need to carry, consider these three wallets for your EDC:
We designed NutSac’s slim wallet with practical use in mind, giving it space for about eight cards in addition to a center pocket for cash. It’s made of the same rich Madone leather as our Jones bags — so after you break it in, this wallet will only continue to get softer and more beautifully patina’d with age.
Of course, if you’d rather clamp your money down tight our Clipster is a better choice. That same fine leather found in our slim wallet is paired with a minimalist spring for organizing your cash in a flash.
The Ridge Wallet is easily our favorite for tactical use, though they have a nice selection of colors and patterns that can add a little style to your EDC too. Go for flat black aluminum if you’re looking for the most low-profile tactical carry wallet, or carbon fiber for the lightest weight option you can get.
Professional wallets can usually handle being a little bit bigger, since you’ll probably be carrying them in your bag rather than your pants pocket. That’s a good reason to carry NutSac’s full-sized Billfold, with enough room to comfortably fit 12 cards plus cash.
A good pocket knife is worth its weight in EDC gold — so it’s no wonder that pocket knives have become one of the most-collected pieces of everyday carry gear. There’s a huge range of options out there, so we’ll just briefly touch on a few of our favorites that we’ve been passing around the office lately.
The James Brand has become one of our go-to sources for high quality, reasonably priced, and practical knives for everyday carry. They put a ton of attention to detail into each of their knives, like the durable VG-10 steel and smooth as butter slide lock in The Carter.
Our personal favorite tactical knife right now comes from Vero Engineering. The Impulse Mini is streamlined for easy carry and lightning-fast deployment, and the tanto-style flat grind blade is as versatile as they come.
Professional or “gentleman’s” pocket knives often sacrifice a bit of utility for stunning good looks. Chris Reeve Knives is one of the most recognizable names in this category; every one of his designs is breathtaking, all while being imminently usable for everyday carry.
Keyring or Carabiner
This one’s pretty straightforward: You have to carry your keys around with you anyway, so why not do it in the best way possible? A thoughtfully designed keyring or carabiner will keep your keys safe, secure, and organized.
The James Brand’s freshly-designed Mehlville Carabiner puts a new twist on an old practical EDC staple. It’s made from a single block of lightweight but sturdy aluminum, and offers two separate compartments to keep you organized.
The high-tech efficiency of carbon fiber makes The Ridge’s Carbon Keycase our top choice for tactical carry. It’ll keep your keys locked down tight and in line for quick deployment whenever you need them.
For a more professional looking key organizer, longtime crowd favorite OrbitKey is the way to go. Their Leather Key Organiser gives you space for your daily key carry, wrapped up in top grain leather that will develop a nice patina over time.
A well-organized bag is going to be a boon to your productivity and efficiency, no matter what type of everyday carry personality you have. And you’re in luck, because having a customized, organized everyday carry bag is kind of our speciality. Here are our top three bag organizers to keep everything in its place:
The Admin Pouch should be your first stop for organization. It has three internal stash pockets and external molle webbing to accommodate any EDC kit.
A Leather Caddy is a simple and elegant way to store your pens, knives, and multi-tools.
Cable Wraps to keep your charger cords in check.
If it’s important, you should write it down. That doesn’t just mean typing a note into your smartphone — if you really want to remember something, writing it out longhand with a pen and paper is the way to go.
It doesn’t get much more practical for everyday carry gear than the Fisher Space Pen, which can literally write on anything, anywhere, from any angle.
For a more tactical look and feel, the heavy duty machined titanium alloy BigiDesign Ti Click EDC Pen is outstanding. Aside from being basically indestructible, it’s also one of the most versatile and easy to reload refillable pens on the market today.
Appearing on executive’s desks since 1954 is a darned fine endorsement for the Parker Jotter as a professional pen for everyday carry. Their fountain pens’ stainless steel nibs give a real old-school look and feel.
Carrying all of your tools in one handy place has obvious utility for everyday carry. There’s a new wave of micro-multi-tools that make for excellent additions to your gear. But for the scope of this guide, we’d rather introduce you to the three Leatherman models that have been solid EDC standbys for decades.
The Leatherman Wave is about as practical as they come. Now in its 10th edition, it’s nearly indestructible and equipped with 18 essential tools. And with Leatherman’s 25-year warranty on all their tools, it’s a fine example of a heritage piece of everyday carry gear.
With its lower-profile design and military gear specific tools, the Leatherman MUT is their dedicated tactical multi-tool. It has enough tools to get you out of any jam, including replaceable wire cutters and cutting hooks.
Professional multi-tools don’t need as many heavy duty tools, so a pocket-sized tool like the Leatherman Micra is perfect. Its knife, tweezers, and spring-action scissors will let you take care of small repairs right at your desk.
If you’re not currently carrying one, you’d be surprised at how often a flashlight can come in handy. Dropped your keys under the fridge? A flashlight will help you find them. Headed home late after a night out on the town? A little extra light will go a long way towards keeping you on track.
For practical use it doesn’t get much better than the ultra-tiny, extra-power Slughas Bull3t. Clip it onto your keyring or carabiner and you’ll always have a high-lumen light source within easy reach.
Tactical flashlights need to be able to go the distance, with extra long battery lives that can also power high-light use. The EagleTac D25C is our choice here, with a huge 800 lumen max capacity and up to a 300 hour battery life.
And for professional use? Well, it doesn’t get much more convenient than the flashlight app on your smartphone. No need to mess with what’s already working there.
Smart Phone, Laptop, or Tablet
The world runs on internet-connected activity now, and there’s no getting around that. Far be it from us to tell you which internet-enabled devices you need, though — we’re not about to get into the Apple vs Android debate!
Instead, we’ll leave you with something to help decide exactly which type of NutSac bag is going to be best for your chosen tech. Go check out our sizing guide, where you can have a bag custom matched to the exact size of all the devices you’d like to carry.
We’re big believers in everyday carry gear’s ability to improve your day to day experience of life. Because it’s not just about having the fanciest, newest gadgets — it’s about embodying a philosophy of attention to detail and preparedness for whatever life has in store. And in that spirit, we hope that this guide has helped you narrow down exactly what you can carry to improve your everyday life.