As we approach the holiday season, we at the Loadout Room would like to make your shopping a little easier for you. In this article, we are going to cover everyday carry items that would make great stocking stuffers for Christmas. We have reviewed many products over the past year and would like to highlight a few that stand out from the crowd. We’re going to consolidate those choices so you don’t have to waste your time sifting through the hundreds of options on Amazon.
What can I tell you about the flashlight during the five years of daily use? Well, I could not kill it. In a daily use, daily carry lifestyle, I beat this little light with no reservation. I used it as a light hammer, I dropped it, I had it on my boat, I navigated at night in dark channels using it to light up channel markers, I used it to find my keys, along with any other thing a flashlight can be used for. I traveled with it. I traveled with it a lot. For its size, TSA does not even look twice at it.
The M20SX JAVELOT is a new generation of a two-tail-switch tactical flashlight. The maximum output has been improved to 820 lumens. Now, I have no way of actually testing the output of this light to make sure that it’s 820 and not 819, but I can assure you it is plenty bright for its size. One of the things I really like is it is powered by either two commonly found CR123A or you can use one 18650 battery. I personally have several 18650 batteries that I keep charged and rotate through the various lights I have.
If you are looking for a very hard use pocket light, that is designed and marketed as a “duty” flashlight, give the M20SX Javelot a close look. There are several accessories that can be used with it such as filters, diffusers, weapon mount options, remote tail caps, etc. The Javelot series also comes in different sizes and the price is definitely reasonable for what it is. Mine has become as much a part of my everyday carry as my cell phone and car keys have.
I’m one of those guys that always have a flashlight on me. No matter what light I pick out to carry for the day, I can say that I have had the Surefire Sidekick with me at ALL times since I purchased it on Black Friday last year (2017). It sits on my keychain waiting to be used. I can go days without employing this great little light, but when I need, it is within arms reach. All too often though, when I use my Surefire Sidekick, I don’t give a second thought about how it was used.
The idea to share what is becoming one of my favorite ways to use the Surefire Sidekick came to me the other day when I was working my second job. I’m a glorified paramedic that starts IV’s for CT and MRI contrast studies. One thing that you should understand, is that when patients come in for these studies and need an IV, it is WAY different than what would be considered “acceptable” while working on the rescue at the FD. When you get a patient that is a “hard stick”, there is no bone drilling that you can do, no external jugulars… So, I do what any other fireman would do; get creative. Read the rest of this story.
Streamlight Protac Series
I’ve carried a Streamlight flashlight for the better part of 4 years now as part of my everyday carry. For a long time, it was the popular ProTac 1AA that ran off a single AA battery and was the perfect size for carrying inside my pocket. I’ve also switched between the ProTac 2L and the newer ProTac 1L-1AA. Streamlight, in my opinion, is the best deal out there for what you’re getting. Their lights are just as rugged as other higher end manufacturers, but at a price point, everyone can afford. Kyle Defoor, former Navy SEAL and now firearms instructor, swears by Streamlight and carries one daily for both his job and personal EDC.
If you’re an aspiring minimalist with regards to your everyday carry, then the Streamlight Protac 1AAA light may be the ticket for you. Granted it’s not some super lumen light putting out 1000 lumens, it will get the job done in low light and complete darkness. You don’t think 115 lumens is enough to disorient a threat? Go into a dark room or outside at night and face the light towards your face and turn it on. I guarantee you’re going to be seeing spots for several minutes.
I love my minimalist wallets and only carrying what I need. I’ve tried others in the past similar to this design and was not a fan; mostly because accessing the cards and cash was not ideal, but that is just my personal opinion. When I saw the new Gerber Barbill on their site, I had to give it a try. To my surprise, I’m really liking this wallet and plan on using this for the foreseeable future. Accessing the cards and cash is easy, as is using the integrated bottle opener. Great for a night out on the town or vacations when you want to reduce what you’re carrying in your pockets. For only $20, you really can’t go wrong with this product.
The Magpul DAKA Everyday Wallet is a great option for a great price. It is constructed of a reinforced polymer fabric that is flexible and strong. It is coated with an anti-slip texture that ensures you can easily retain it. The wallet holds up to 7 cards comfortably and features an ID pocket on the front with a transparent window to display your driver’s license, business card, or library card. The edges of the wallet are made using a welding process of the materials, so there is no chance of it separating under normal to heavy use.
The divider pocket in the center for bills and other items is easily accessible and functional, unlike some wallets that don’t flex enough for your fingers to be able to catch what you are trying to retrieve. No chance for wallet-hoarding or the uncomfortable experience of sitting on a wallet with too much stuff in it. This wallet is no-frills, discrete, and EDC approved. The only thing missing is RFID blocking capability. If you are interested in picking one up, head over to the Magpul website and choose between four colors – black, FDE, stealth gray, and olive drab green. MSRP is $24.95.
The ZT 0350TS is not nearly as large and bulky as the 0300 series, but it has that familiar feeling to me. I have heard from some people that they believe the 0350 to be rather large for every day carry. I have larger than average hands so the physical size difference between the 0300 and the 0350 is not lost on me.
The ZT 0350 is an assisted-opening, folding knife that has a liner lock and a 3 ¼” blade. ZT calls the assisted-opening “Speedsafe” and it can be actuated by hitting the “flipper” with your finger, or using the two blade stops on the spine of the blade, with your thumb. The spring assist deploys the blade quickly, with almost zero effort and the blade locks in place with a very detectible “click”. Even though this knife is ambidextrous, if you are a left-handed person, the blade stop on the left side of the knife does come down lower to the micarta, due to the liner lock. This may pose a problem if you use the blade stop as the primary way to open the knife. You can mitigate this issue by using the “flipper” with your index finger.
Based on Rick Hinderer’s Maximus blade, Kershaw has created the Decimus; a single-edge spear point folder with the classic BlackWash™ finish. The blade is presented quickly via the flipper with SpeedSafe® assisted opening. The flipper is mirrored by a symmetrical protrusion, providing a short cross guard for finger safety and giving this EDC blade the appearance of a tiny sword.
The steel handle is stonewashed with a glass filled overlay inspired by the custom zigzag pattern of the original Maximus. Open construction and steel tube spacers, a reversible pocket clip, and frame lock round out the top features. As an additional detail, the handle also has a Hinderer-style filler tab with a stonewashed finish. Kershaw has found its market with those who need a functional blade that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Affordable at $52.49, it seems to be a solid folder at a good price. Gladiators weren’t exactly the high class of Rome, but they were effective with their weapons.
I’ve been a long time fan of Emerson Knives and own several of them. The one model I never had my hands on was their CQC-7BW Flipper models. I went with the CQC-7 for a few reasons; first, it’s a proven blade design that was originally developed with input from the SEAL Teams. Second, the size of the knife is damn near perfect for EDC. The third and final reason, well it just works! Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.
When I’m evaluating a knife for daily carry, the blade to handle ratio is very important to me. Ideally, I prefer the overall length to be around 7.5″, with a 3 to 3.5″ blade. That gives me plenty of handle surface area to maintain a positive grip in almost any condition. Couple that with the G10 scales Emerson uses on their knives and you got yourself a bomb proof knife.
NFW Watch Company Regulator
The NFW Regulator. One of my favorites. Impact forged 44mm stainless steel case and Gunmetal Gray Ionic Plated. Rated to 200 Meters with a hardened mineral crystal. Under the hood is a rugged Citizen Precision Quartz movement. For the price, you really cannot go wrong with this timepiece.