At first glance, Chrome’s Bravo Night might not seem all too suited to the darkness considering its black-on-black design. Its massive 3M reflective panel says otherwise. Besides its spectacular nighttime visibility – provided a bit of headlight illumination – from up to 100 meters away, Chrome’s Bravo is built to last thanks to a Cordura outer shell, welded-waterproof military grade truck tarpaulin inner, roll-top main compartment, and weatherproof YKK zippers. Otherwise, it comfortably carries a 15-inch laptop in its front compartment and a ton of clothing/groceries/whatever in its main thanks to its vertical expandability, going from a 20-liter commuter to 40-liter monstrosity.
Find it at Chrome Industries – $180
Find it (where else?) on Kickstarter - $185+
If you’ve been following us for awhile you know how big we are on pocket pens, and we’re back today to sell you on another. The Move Mini Bolt Action Pen is amongst the smallest and lightest pocketable writing tools we’ve come across, weighing in at a paltry 0.36 ounces and measuring just 3.3 inches in length. Move is machined from 6061-T6 aluminum for an optimal strength-to-weight-to-cost ratio and otherwise features an ergonomic wider grip area, a simple reliable bolt action mechanism for exposing the tip of its LAMY M22 refill, an incorporated lanyard hole for mounting on your keychain, and choice of two colors – metallic silver or charcoal grey.
Go pledge at Kickstarter – $48+
Sure, belt clip carrying solutions are a dime a dozen, but how many carry more than one specific product they were designed for? Skinth’s pocket sheaths do, each specifically designed to carry various useful objects, including pens, multitools, flashlights, knives, and more, all depending on the unit in question. They’re also made to last thanks to the use of laser-cut 1000D Cordura fabric, employ industrial nylon thread to hold it all together, and keep each and every object in its place for simple one-handed access. Their offerings range from the relatively spartan Smartphone to full-featured outdoor solutions like the Trailblazer, so we suggest exploring their site to find the Skinth that’s right for your carry.
Learn more at Skinth Solutions – $12 to $70
If you’re not planning to go the minimal wallet route (for instance, a billfold made of Tyvek), might as well grab one that’s packed with plenty of room for your stuff. Bellroy’s vegetable tanned cow leather Hide & Seek Wallet features numerous thinning features to slim its profile as compared to traditional billfolds, yet still packs a full-length bank note section, four quick-access card slots, plus a protected section for carrying a few extra cards of the business of plastic variety. And, true to its name, it’s also got a hidden compartment under its leather flap to discretely hide a few more bank notes and cards, each in their own made-to-measure slots.
Available in three colors (black, cocoa, and java (shown)) at Bellroy – $90
You’re on tour with AC/DC and Angus has just finished using his whammy bar like a jackhammer. He throws his axe to you expecting it to be tuned and ready to go for the next set. What do you do (besides wonder how a guitar could be so out of tune playing just 3 chords)? You grab your Roadie Tuner. It pairs with your smartphone via a free app to tune any guitar, or any stringed instrument for that matter, in an instant. Just place this handheld device over each peg, pluck the string and let the Roadie adjust it to harmonic perfection. You can even choose an alternate tuning or create your own. Worried about ambient noise when tuning? Don’t be. Roadie cancels out noises from the surrounding environment so your guitar can be tuned anywhere. So rock on. Your guitar sounds great and who knows, maybe you do too.
Find it at Kickstarter – $80
Remember UNIVAC, not the all-in-one from Hoover, but the computer? Of course you don’t. Well here’s the great great great³ grandson of that 17,000lb monstrosity, the Kano. Touted as the computer that “anyone can make” and as simple as Lego, the smart design fits in your pocket, and allows the user to do a plethora of cool things. Powered by Raspberry Pi, you can use this able little computer to code, make games, use video and sound, hook up a speaker, use it as a wireless sever, plan a moon landing, and much more. Kano is open source, so if someone can dream it, you can do it too. The standard Kano kit comes with illustrated books, the Kano OS, a DIY speaker, Raspberry Pi board, keyboard, case, card modes, stencils and most importantly, stickers. At a fraction of the price of most computers, this little device is perfect for anyone who wants to quit consuming technology and create it.
Learn more at Kickstarter - $120
It’s usually pretty easy to tell when a pack is waterproof, and we don’t mean that in a good way. Modern Industry’s Drive backpack instead takes a more subtle approach to weatherproofing. Made in San Francisco of Martexin waxed canvas, Drive features a voluminous main compartment with expandable rolltop closure, waterproof YKK zippers, contoured padded straps, and a floating computer pocket that sits your 15-inch laptop comfortably away from your back.
Grab one at Modern Industry – $300
Most personal electronic devices won’t survive more than a few falls to a hardwood floor, let alone getting run over by a car. While the latter is unlikely, at least in our personal experience thus far, it’s nice to know Journova’s Waycharger has been designed with extreme durability in mind. This rugged backup battery boasts a 12,000 mAh capacity, good for charging most devices multiple times over, and can even charge up to two devices simultaneously. Its strength is largely due to a hardy powder-coated aluminum housing complemented by side leather accents, and comes in three colors: textured green, textured black, and glossy white.
Learn more at Kickstarter – $90+
Coming up with original gift ideas is hard enough; doing it on a budget, almost impossible. Fortunately for you and your ailing wallet, we gathered a variety of guy-worthy products that we’ve covered over the last year, each with a price tag that starts under $40, save one. Click on the name to read our take, or on buy to go directly to a shop.
1. Royal VKB Mitten Apron (28$) – Buy
2. Kaufmann Mercantile EDC Kit 2 ($4+ per piece) – Buy
3. Polar Bear Ice Cube Tray ($20) – Buy
4. Ass Savers (roughly $11) – Buy
5. Harry’s Fall & Winter Truman Kit ($15) – Buy
6. TGT Wallet ($16 to $34) – Buy
7. Beardski ($30) – Buy
8. ChargeKey ($25) – Buy
9. Bolt USB Charger & Backup Battery ($60) – Buy
10. GIR Bacon Spatula ($22) – Buy
11. Cars & Films Prints ($30) – Buy
12. Kukoyu Harinacs Stapleless Stapler ($13) – Buy
13. Dish Whiskey ($16) – Buy