Monday, September 2, 2013

Every Day Carry: EDC Sept 2013 Update & Review: Pangea Designs Pickpocket Alpha

After making the inaugural EDC series post several weeks ago, I decided to follow my own advice and peruse the EDC Forums - something that I admittedly hadn't done in earnest before then.  In doing so I came across an interest keychain attachment that I thought might actually improve upon the Key-Bak system I've used since college.  The biggest drawback of the Key-Bak and its ilk is that the clip tends to wear hard on the belt, and may sit a little too prominently for it to be worn when wearing a suit.

I came across the Pickpocket Alpha from Pangea Designs in a thread discussing "Monroe Dangler" alternatives.  Essentially, this class of keychain accessories functions as a clip that hooks onto the lip of the front pocket of a pair of pants or a belt loop.  In the former configuration, it allows keys to be kept in a pocket without having them bunch up in a bulky tangle, as they are often wont to do when left to their own devices.  It also provides an extra layer of security by fastening to the pocket itself, so that your keychain is less likely to slip out of your pocket when you don't want it to.  But the other really useful aspect of the Pickpocket Alpha in particular is that the various holes bored into its shape allows for six possible fastening points, which allows you to keep the various items on your keychain better organized and separated.

When it comes to my preferred keychain loadout, separation is critical as my preferred keychain pen (the TEC Pen) uses a magnetic fastening system, while at least two other items on my keychain (a security fob and a USB flash drive) don't play well with magnets.  (My mechanical watch doesn't really appreciate magnetic fields all that much, either.)  I wasn't able to solve the separation problem with my Key-Bak system, so I'd reverted back to an older pen solution in the form of the Zebra Pen Pod.  But with the Pickpocket Alpha, I can keep the PicoPen and my sensitive electronics sequestered by attaching the former to the small hole at the curve (situated adjacent to the bottle opener) and keeping other keychain attachments on the bottom three holes.  In particular, I attached the USB drive so that it dangles on the clip side of the Pickpocket, which limits its range of mobility and makes it so that it and the magnetic portion of the PicoPen can never come into contact, regardless of the Pickpocket's orientation.  

The Pickpocket Alpha is currently sold out on Pangea Design's store, but it's still available at Illumination Supply.  It's $19.99 there, with an additional 5%-off coupon (code: CPFUser) making it a flat $19.  It seems a little pricey for what is essentially a small piece of machined titanium, but the utility it provides is, for me at least, well worth the investment.


My EDC Roster (as of September 2, 2013)

Cellphone:  HTC Thunderbolt (Verizon)

When it comes to technology, I tend to squeeze out as much utility as I can before giving in to the inevitable upgrade.  Which explains why my cellphone is going on 2.5 years.  With a much-delayed Android ICS 4.0 update, it's occasionally on the slow side, but still going strong.

Flashlight:  Titanium Innovations IlluminaTi CA1 LED Flashlight

I'm a firm believer in carrying a small flashlight on your keychain, as it can be a lifesaver whenever light suddenly becomes a precious commodity (which can happen more often and unexpectedly that you'd think).  This titanium LED light runs on a single AAA and has high and low settings.

Keychain:  Pickpocket Alpha, by Pangea Designs

An elegant solution to keeping your keychain secure yet easily accessible, as well as keeping its contents both organized and separated.

Pen:  PicoPen, by TEC Accessories

I always try to keep a pen at hand (even when paper or other writing surfaces may not be), and the most compact and efficient solution I've found is the PicoPen.  It's the perfect size for my (admittedly small) hand, and fits well on a keychain.  My only gripe is that the pen is attached by magnetic fastener, which can be a problem if you also keep sensitive electronics on your keychain, or if the notion of it sticking to other steel-based items on your chain irks you.  Pairing it with the titanium Pickpocket mentioned above, however, solves both problems.

USB Flash Drive:  SanDisk Cruzer Fit CZ33 32GB USB Flash Drive (SDCZ33-032G-B35)

Incredibly small and inexpensive, there's no reason not to keep vital files on a USB drive like this on your keychain as an extra layer of backup on top of whatever cloud service you might fancy.  Having a USB drive handy for file transfers is another thing that, once you've gotten used to it, you may find that you can't live without.

Wallet:  Koyono X Slimmy (Black w/ Electric Blue stitching)

I've used Slimmy wallets since replacing a worn slim bifold with an ID Slimmy in 2010, and I've become a huge fan of their design.  The X Slimmy is even slimmer than the regular model, and when your preferences are as minimalist as mine (a few bills, five cards), this is the perfect wallet.

Watch:  Omega Speedmaster Professional (Ref. 3573.50)

Actually one of five watches that I use in rotation, if I were forced to pare the collection down to one, this would be it.  Preeminently legible dial, rock-solid Lemania handwound chronograph movement, solid Omega fit and finish.

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