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Let’s be clear:
Keeping an “everyday carry” with you is not a new hobby or trend that Millennials invented.
In fact, the best EDC kits (EDC stands for “Everyday Carry”) are those that have been around for decades. They are a great means of someone having the tools they need to take on whatever the day decides to throw at them.
What’s an EDC kit for? Plenty of things:
- fixing a punctured tire,
- treating an injury,
- defending against an attacker,
- taking down notes and recording thoughts,
- opening a cold beer with the boys, or
- just simply managing your keys, wallet and other possessions
Because of these and other uses, an EDC kit is something that everyone in our modern world should invest in.
The problem is, however, is the fact that there is a huge discrepancy between the good EDC kits and the bad ones.
Luckily for you, I’ve got recommendations for building one from scratch and recommendations of EDC kits that are perfect if you are looking for one that is pre-built and ready to go.
Let’s start with putting one together from scratch.
Build Your Own EDC Kit – Best Products for Sale
Here’s the deal:
Looking to build up an EDC Kit, but don’t know what to buy?
I’ve got you covered. This is the list, if you want to click over to Amazon to pick up each item.
Carrying Case: the Maxpedition Fatty Pocket Organizer
You need something to carry your EDC equipment. This great case from Maxpedition should fit the bill.
It’s got an easy-opening clamshell design and has the capacity to hold all of your everyday carry stuff. The exterior is rugged and manufactured with quality, while still having tons of functionality inside.
There are a number of straps with different sizes on the interior, which will hold down your EDC gear and keep it ready to use when you need it.
For me, this is the perfect starting point for a home-made EDC kit. Check it out on Amazon by clicking this link.
Chronograph: the Timex Weekender
Time to talk watches. For a great looking, low cost watch to make your everyday carry timepiece, you can’t beat the Timex Weekender chronograph.
In particular, I love the version with the olive-colored nylon strap.
It’s also got the great Indiglo feature that allows you to check the time in the dark.
The one potential downside is that the ticking can be a little loud sometimes. When I sleep, I keep it in another room, but otherwise I don’t really notice it.
You may even enjoy the ticking to lull you to sleep!
Pen: The Fischer Space Pen
First invented in 1948, Fischer says it’s the most popular pen of the 20th century.
It’s made of all brass and chrome, and writes anywhere, any way due to having a pressurized ink compartment. You can’t go wrong with this one – grab one for your EDC on Amazon here.
I’ll also take this opportunity to post my favorite super relevant Seinfeld clip about space pens:
Notebook: The Classic Moleskine Pocket Notebook
To go along with the space pen above, you’re going to need a notebook. Might as well go with another classic, the Moleskine Pocket Notebook in black hardcover.
This is just a perfect little notebook – it’s the same one I keep in my EDC.
Dimensions are 3.5″ x 5.5″, enough for you to take notes on anything that comes up:
- To-do lists
- Recording your thoughts
- Take notes where it wouldn’t be polite to be typing on your phone
- Leave notes for others in emergency situations
- Look more professional at work, particularly when meeting with older people and executives
No EDC should be without a great notebook, and the Moleskine looks very classy. Add one to your EDC by clicking here.
Multitool: The Leatherman Skeletool
Another vital piece of kit for your everyday carry is a great multi-tool, and the Leatherman Skeletool is another high quality classic.
No matter what job pops up during your day, you’ll be prepared for everything. This multi-tool includes 7 vital tools:
- Regular pliers
- Needlenose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Hard-wire cutters
- Large bit driver
- Carabiner/bottle opener
- A knife
It’s lightweight and not too complicated; perfect for carrying on you every day. You can read more about the Leatherman Skeletool and pick one up on Amazon here.
Knife: The Benchmade Griptilian 551
For my EDC money, I go with Benchmade for my knife maker, and the Griptilian model in particular. It’s a beautiful blade that’s easy to open and is an absolute workhorse performer. Few knives are as well-reviewed as this one (check out this Griptilian EDC review by Defensive Planet, for instance).
You can get the Griptilian in straight or serrated, and various colors. Check it out on Amazon here.
Flashlight: The Atactical A1S
Every EDC needs a tactical flashlight. When choosing one, you want to get the best bang for your buck.
That’s where the very affordable, very bright Atactical A1S comes in.
It fires a beam up to 550 lumens that reaches over 600 feet. This is great for seeing your way in the dark, or shining into the eyes of a would-be nighttime attacker.
It’s also water resistant, has 5 modes (including a strobe light), and is rechargeable by USB. Check out the excellent reviews for this one on Amazon and add one to your EDC.
Wallet: The Bellroy Note Sleeve
Great leather, perfect form factor, and an option for RFID protection for your important stuff. You can’t go wrong with Bellroy.
Comes in nearly a dozen colors, though I love either the brown or navy versions. It’s also got a slim, minimal profile with a surprisingly large amount of room to hold all of your stuff.
High Capacity Charger: The Anker PowerCore Elite 20000
You need to keep your phone charged, in case of an emergency. If there’s a power outage or you’re out in the woods, a portable charger is extremely important.
This portable power bank from Anker is lightweight, but will charge an iPhone completely 7 times with its super high capacity 20000mAh battery. Tablets can be charged twice, as well.
Want more info and reviews? Check it out here on Amazon.
First Aid: The CAT Combat Tourniquet
A tourniquet is extremely useful for first aid purposes, and could keep you alive in the event of an emergency.
The CAT Combat Tourniquet is the official tourniquet of the US Army, and has some great features that make it a great EDC addition, like:
- A security tab you can write on to note the time of application
- A reinforced clip
- Free-moving internal band keeps the pressure on
- Stabilization plate for patient comfort
- Usable with only one hand
If you’re looking for a good first aid add to your kit, check out the CAT on Amazon here.
The Best Pre-made EDC Kits
Best Overall for Survival: XuanLan 11-in-1 Emergency Survival Kit
The next pre-made EDC kit on our list is this great 11-in-1 Emergency Survival Kit from XuanLan.
This one is super useful for EDC survival purposes.
Why? Because it provides you with everything that you think you need, and more. Many of the other pre-build EDCs are starter kits, but the XuanLan could easily surprise the experienced and more advanced survivalists.
- 5-in-1 Survival Bracelet
- Military knife
- Thermal Blanket
- Flash light
- Tactical Pen
- Saber Card
- Size: 6.7” x 4.1” x 2”
- Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Extra survival bracelet with 5 built in functions
- Waterproof carry case
- The 5-in-1 survival bracelet is comfortable, easy-to-use and provides you with access to 5 essential tools in an instant.
- The tactical pen is designed to break glass and the whistle can produce sounds up to 120db to create distress signals.
- It’s lightweight and compact. Can fit into almost any backpack.
- The flashlight isn’t the best quality. It’s usable, but not what you would expect for this price.
Flashlight aside, the XuanLan survival kit is one of the best EDC survival kits for sale on the market right now.
It has everything that you need to survive your outdoor pursuits, and the 5-in-1 survival bracelet is unique, comfortable and perfect for those who expect to find themselves in some dangerous situations.
If you are looking for the best, you will find it with this one. You can pick up one for yourself on Amazon by clicking here.
Budget Outdoor EDC Kit: the XinHe Survival Kit
If you are a fan of outdoor pursuits such as hiking, camping or even just long road trips that expose you to the risks that the world can offer, the XinHe Survival Kit has everyone that you need to survive.
It’s cost-effective, the box is lightweight and waterproof, and it contains 9 different pieces of kit to help you combat every situation.
- Fire starter
- Flash light and pliers multi-tool
- Key-ring flash light
- Tungsten steel pen
- Thermal Blanket
- Size: 4” x 4.5” x 6.5”
- Weighs: 0.88lbs
- Hard, portable flip-lock case
- 1-year warranty
- It’s extremely compact and lightweight, but still provides everything you need.
- The tools are durable, well-made and work better than expected.
- Can fit into your pocket, backpack, glove box or any other small compartment.
- The outer case is waterproof.
- It’s a lot cheaper than you would expect for this quality.
- There is no battery included with the flashlight.
- The case isn’t as well-made as the actual tools.
The XinHe Survival kit is an ideal EDC kit for those who are new to the hobby and want something that is cheap, effective and built-to-last. You wouldn’t want to explore the Amazon with this thing, obviously.
But for a camping trip, a long hike, or even a road trip, it’s a great little box of tools that will absolutely come in handy at some point.
Compact Carry: the Stealth Angel Compact 8-in-1 EDC Kit
As the name suggests, the stealth angel is small enough to fit in all of the tight places you expect an EDC kit to fit into, but the stainless steel, rust-resistant tools are strong enough to get you out of any sticky situation if you ever find yourself in one.
This one is an 8-in-1 kit and the contents include:
- Professional tact flash light (350 lumen)
- Steel pen
- Aluminum whistle
- 11-in-1 pocket card
- Fire starting flint
- Compass with built in ruler
- Keychain LED flash light
- Hard, durable waterproof carry case
- Size: 6.5” x 4” x2”
- Weight: 15 ounces
- Color: Black
- 1-year warranty
- The flat multi-tool has everything you need (Screwdriver, can-opener, bottle-opener, wrench, ruler, saw blade etc)
- Great starter kit for beginner survivalists.
- All of the tools are made from a high-quality stainless steel that is rust-resistant.
- It’s small and lightweight. Perfect for on-the-go people.
- It’s cheap
- It doesn’t contain a knife (so you need to bring your own)
The Stealth Angel is the perfect starter kit for EDC, particularly if you want to modify later.
It contains all the basics you need to survive, except for a folding knife. I recommend a Benchmade Griptilian as an add-on.
The 11-in-1 pocket card is one of the best that we have ever seen. The tools aren’t the strongest, as you would expect, but they do the job. Not bad for a small, flat pocket card.
Overall, the Stealth Angel is a brilliant starter kit that gets the job done. Click here to check it out on Amazon.
EDC kits are an essential (in our opinion) for every car, household and backpack.
Building kits for yourself can be a great idea if you know what you want, but the process can be expensive and time consuming. Choosing to purchase a pre-built kit will save you time and energy, allowing you to focus more on the things that you need to be focusing on.
You can be safe in the knowledge that each one of these kits will provide you with everything you need to survive, but if you truly want the best of the best, we would highly recommend the XuanLan.
Check out this EDC kit building video, using the same base kit I recommended above:
updated May 2018