The best everyday carry gear for dads

I can’t fully explain it, but there’s something deeply satisfying about having the right tool on hand exactly when you need it. And while you can’t anticipate every issue, having a good everyday carry kit can go a long way towards handling a huge percentage of situations. Now that said, I don’t consider myself an expert, just someone who appreciates a good tool. And with a number of notable events coming up, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve bought for myself because I think they will also make great gifts for Father’s Day, graduations or any other cause for celebration.

Quiet Carry Q3 Key Organizer

For a long time I was looking for a way to trim down my keychain while also adding utility, and with the Quiet Carry Q3, I think I found the answer. It’s capable of holding four keys (or up to eight with the included extension posts) in its extremely durable titanium housing, alongside your choice of either a small knife or multi-tool. For me, the utility blade is the perfect thing for quickly screwing down a tripod mount or opening a bottle, while the removable pocket clip makes it a cinch to snap the Q3 onto your pants or belt loop. All told, it’s a clean and compact way of storing your keys, and it helps prevent them from rattling around too, which is an extra bonus.

Leatherman Skeletool

There are an endless variety of multitools out there, but to me the Leatherman Skeletool offers the perfect balance of size, weight and functionality. In the 10 years I’ve had mine, it’s never let me down once. It’s available in a wide range of colors, while Leatherman’s strategic cutouts help keep the weight of its stainless steel frame to a minimum (just five ounces). And thanks to its needle nose pliers, combo knife, large bit driver and more, it’s got all the most important bases covered. So while it might not have as many bits and bobbles as larger rivals, its lightweight and compact size means it’s the one I grab first before I run out the door.

SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive

As we’re still in the midst of the transition from USB-A to USB-C, this simple gadget is not only the cheapest gift on this list, it’s also the one I use the most. SanDisk’s drive is available in capacities of up to 512GB and supports USB 3.1 for decent read speeds of up to 150 MB/s. But the best thing is that by simply rotating which end is sticking out, you can transfer data to basically any device with a USB port. Trying to transfer photos to an old desktop that only has USB-A? No problem. How about a tablet that only has a single USB-C connector? Easy. It can even help you offload media from a phone with OTG support so you can install that big software update (stop procrastinating, please). And with its tiny dimensions, you probably won’t even notice it dangling on your keychain, so you can always have it on you.

Distil Wally Sleeve

For people who prefer a lighter, more minimalist way of carrying their cards and cash, the $50 Wally Sleeve is a super compact and affordable option. It’s made from full-grain leather and can hold up to seven cards in its RFID-shielded main sleeve. On the outside, there’s another pocket for cash or transit cards so you can tap them on a sensor without needing to completely remove them from your wallet. But the Wally Sleeve’s best feature is its MagLock closure, which prevents your cards from spilling out. Combine that with a built-in pull tab and you get a slim sleeve that provides easy access to everything you need with zero fumbling.

Pioneer Division Billfold Wallet

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more traditional wallet, the Division Billfold is a slick choice that blends a classic design with new-school materials. Pioneer says the polyethylene yarn that makes up its 10XD fabric (available on the black, blue, forest and onyx colors) is ten times stronger than steel, so it should look great for years. It’s also dirt- and water-resistant, and thanks to a range of pockets and sleeves, it can hold a ton of cards and bills. And for those who want a bit of extra security, the onyx and forest color options also come with RFID shielding.

Peak Design 35L Travel Duffel

I don’t know what it is, but I have a thing for bags. And out of all of the ones I own, the Peak Design 35L Travel Duffel probably gets the most use because it can do it all. It’s the perfect thing for a weekend trip, but I’ve always used it for groceries, too. More recently, it’s become a baby bag for carrying everything I need to have on hand for a fussy toddler. Not only is it durable thanks to its weatherproof 600D nylon canvas shell, it has removable handles and tons of eyelets scattered around the duffle so you can rearrange the straps however you want. It can be set up like a backpack if you want. Or if you’re lugging some gear, you can stuff three of Peak Design’s packing cubes in there (or four cubes on the 65L duffel) so all your camera equipment is nice and protected. It’s really a do-everything bag.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro 2 / AirPods Pro

While some of the other devices on this list might get left at home on odd days, my Galaxy Buds 2 Pro never leave my side. Despite their small size, Samsung’s buds deliver great sound, active noise cancellation and between six and eight hours of battery life (depending on if you use ANC). They are also some of the most comfortable earbuds I’ve ever worn, to the point that I use them at night to help me fall asleep. And thanks to their IPX7 rating for water resistance, they were able to survive an accidental trip through the wash without issue. That said, if someone isn’t an Android user, Samsung’s buds don’t make a ton of sense. But for iOS users, there’s always the AirPods Pro 2.

Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones

When it comes to wireless over-the-ear headphones, Sony’s WH-1000XM5 are in a class of their own. After buying them for my wife six months ago and using them off and on (when she lets me), I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a pair of my own. They look good, they’re easy to setup, and their sound quality is unmatched, while Sony’s top-notch noise cancellation helps drown out unwanted disturbances. And with a battery that lasts about 30 hours (with ANC on), I typically only have to charge them about once a week. The one little annoyance I’ve found is that you can’t use them while charging, but since they have the ability to add three hours of juice in just 30 minutes, that’s hardly a deal breaker.

Valve Steam Deck

For people who want to take their PC games on the go, Valve’s Steam Deck is a present that will keep on giving. At just $400, it’s by far the cheapest of the latest breed of handheld gaming PCs, while still having more than enough oomph to play modern titles like Elden Ring at smooth frame rates and medium settings. Even though Valve’s Linux-basedSteam OS might be unfamiliar to some, Big Picture mode is super easy to use. And thanks to tons of software updates the number of Steam Deck-verified games sits at just shy of 10,000. Really, it’s just a great gift for any PC gamer who needs some extra alone time, regardless of whether they’re on the couch or on the road.

Hoto Precision Screwdriver set

Now I will admit I don’t carry this on my every day, but when it comes time to tinker or repair some electronics, this set is the first thing I grab. The included carrying case holds 25 steel bits that work with all the most common screw heads (Torx, pentalobe, tri-wing, and more) while the magnetic screwdriver chuck makes switching bits in and out a breeze. You also get one-touch controls for automatic screwing and unscrewing, while still having the flexibility to turn things in manually in more delicate situations. Finally, thanks to its built-in USB-C port, you’ll never need to worry about finding an annoying proprietary charging brick.

Sterling and Roark Solid Fragrance

About a year ago I was looking for an alternative to traditional liquid colognes when I stumbled on these: solid fragrances from Fulton and Roark. Not only do they smell great, they come in small metal tin that makes them very travel friendly and easy to refill. My favorite scent is Calle Ocho, which is a soothing mix of rum, tobacco and sandalwood. But if you don’t know which type of fragrance your loved one prefers, you can simply get a Discovery set and let them pick a favorite. That way they get the fun of trying out new scents while still getting what they want in the end, which makes it a win-win in my book.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at 

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