A geeks EDC: With the hope of being in public again, these will be my essential carried items.

Paul Alvarez

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3xRjjD_0Yws3q9T00My current everday carry

We are far from out of the woods yet, but with vaccines rolling out and seeing my friends and family getting their shots, I am starting to get a glimpse of a future where I can begin to see people again — possibly even see their full faces too.

There is still a lot to do, and rushing things will not make it better, but even my workplace is starting to talk more about bringing us back to the office in waves. I am sure there will be days that I will still be working from home, but the days I do come in, I have been thinking a lot about the things I plan to keep with me when I leave the house.

Granted, I have not been a complete hermit during the pandemic; with the right safeguards like a mask and hand sanitizer, I have gone to plenty of stores and picked up plenty of food during the past year.

But since I am not going anywhere formal like a workplace, the items I carry have been random and not as important. If I forget my wallet, I will just use ApplePay at the store, if I can’t find my keys, I will just grab my wife’s, or if I forget to bring my mask, I will use one of my wife’s extras in the car.

These things were just fine when I was just going somewhere for a short period then coming home. If I am going to work though, and plan to be there for more extended periods, I like to make sure I have everything with me that I need, especially if my wife is going to be back at the office too and I can’t use her stuff to get me by.

I have a valet to keep all of my stuff together. I am not perfect, and that is why I use my wife’s keys when I forget to dump mine in the valet. Lately, I have started to take the valet more seriously and utilize it to keep me organized. I am inevitably going back in the office, and also, with a baby on the way, keeping things in specific places will be crucial for my sanity.

Some of the things described below are items that I just haven’t had the chance to write about on Techuisite, such as my Apple Watch Series 5. The other things are either new items I have not talked about before or something I have been using for a while, and I want to provide an update on how they are going.

iPhone 12 and MagSafe Wallet

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3DyD3p_0Yws3q9T00iPhone 12 in a MagSafe Case and Wallet.

I spoke in great detail about the iPhone 12 in my review and still have the same feelings now. The device is fantastic, and I never feel I am missing out on anything by not getting the Pro. Sometimes, I forget there is even a Pro model until I see one on a YouTube video or news article — the iPhone 12 is just that good.

The screen still feels perfect with the beautiful 6.1-inch OLED display. And even with the MagSafe case, the squared-off design feels excellent in hand, allowing for more grip.

I do think that if I had to choose to either go smaller or bigger next time, I would probably go bigger and get the iPhone 12 Pro Max since the mini just felt a bit too small for my hands. The 12 has that just-right-middle size, though, that I think many will appreciate more than the tiny or massive options.

The MagSafe Wallet has also been great. One thing that it has done over anything else was made me realize how I don’t need to carry much when I am out and about. We will see if this changes when I start to go to more places in the future, but for now, a credit card and Drivers License is all it holds for me.

All the other cards I can use with ApplePay, so there is no need for me to carry them. I also have apps for my car insurance and health insurance information, so the minimal MagSafe Wallet, so far, is just fine.

I have noticed that I tend to forget the wallet sometimes when I leave the house quickly. Since I don’t keep the wallet attached to my phone at all times, if I don’t remember to check and and sure it there before I leave, I will sometimes forget it.

Either way, I am still happy with the iPhone 12 and Wallet combo providing a bit of a more minimal carry for two essential items when I head out of the house. The magnets still feel just as strong, and the wear on the leather has not been bad at all.

Apple Watch Edition Series 5

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3VAoxT_0Yws3q9T00Apple Watch Series 5 Edition

If you have had any Apple Watch since its release, then the Series 5 will be very familiar. It is hard to write a review on something with very little change in each of its updates.

In saying all that, I got rid of my Apple Watch Series 4, which I loved dearly when I was decided to start from scratch on all of my tech. One of the biggest reasons for having an Apple Watch is its fitness features, but I hardly used any of them during the pandemic.

Having a watch on my wrist all day has become necessary, and I have gone through waves in using regular watches and the Apple Watch. When I decided that I did want to get another Apple Watch for the upcoming Fitness+ service being released, I knew I didn’t need the newest Series 6 version.

As I looked through the Apple Watches available on Swappa, I found a Series 5 Apple Watch Edition in Titanium for almost the same price as a Sport version of the new Series 6. So I jumped at the chance of having the most expensive version of the Apple Watch for a pretty good discount.

My first reaction to the Titanium finish is that it is not that flashy. Compared to my previous Stainless Steel Series 4, the Titanium is very subtle. The most significant difference, though, between Stainless Steel and Titanium is the weight.

I used to wear my Series 4 to a HIIT gym before this whole pandemic happened, and you could feel the heavy Stainless Steel on my wrist during a workout. I got used to it, but now that I have the Titanium and have been using it with Fitness+ workouts, I can tell a big weight difference.

Other than the finish, the biggest and other main reason I went with a Series 5 was the always-on display. Comparing the Series 5 to the Series 6, I know the latter has some cool features like checking your blood oxygen, but I feel I can live without that for now.

The straps that I currently use with Apple Watch are the Sport Band that came with the watch, a special Edition only strap that comes with the Titanium models, and the knock off Braided Solo Loop I got for only $20.

The Sport Band is fine, and I like that the metal buckle matches the watch correctly, but I feel like the Braided Solo Loop is starting to show why it is so much cheaper than Apple’s official one. I feel like the strap is no longer as tight on my wrist anymore and has been loosening more and more over time.

If it gets really bad, I may replace it with Apple’s $50 version, but it is still okay for now. I think it is the best-looking Apple Watch strap that I have ever owned, and it is comfortable even if it is a bit stretched.

The biggest concern is when I am working out and can feel the watch not as tight to my wrist to read my heart rate. For now, though, I can just wear my Sport Band when I work out and put the Braided one back on for the rest of the day.

The Apple Watch is a staple in my everyday carry. Since I want a watch always on my wrist, it makes sense to have one that works with my phone. I did install the iOS 4.5 Beta that allows the watch to unlock my phone with a mask on, and so far, it has been excellent. Another great reason to have an Apple Watch while masks are still mandatory and will be for a while.

AirPods

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1y2j8x_0Yws3q9T00Airpods.

Going back to the AirPods from the AirPods Pro has been a huge relief. Not only because my ears feel better, but the simplicity of the original AirPods speaks to me.

I wrote in detail my experience of going from the Pros to the Original AirPods in my post:

AirPods Pro’s Painful Truth
It hurts literally and figuratively to move on.techuisite.com

I also have a post that goes into more detail on how important AirPods have become in my life:

AirPods Have Changed My Life
Mostly for good, but in some ways, for bad.techuisite.com

So I have written a lot about AirPods and still have a lot of love for them. I can’t imagine not having these little headphones as part of my everyday carry. The size, battery life, and simple act of playing something literally with no wires is a small but substantial convenience that I take for granted daily.

I thought while working from home I would be using my Bose speaker more but have found that AirPods still works best for me. When listening to music, I prefer my Sony WHXB900N’s but do tend to listen to music quite a bit on the AirPods since they are usually already in my ears and connected to my phone.

The last thing I will touch on with the AirPods that keep me using them is their integration in the ecosystem. Changing the connection to my iPad and iPhone automatically has been huge when I am watching or listening to something on the iPad, and then a phone call comes on my iPhone.

Apple continues to make the AirPods more useful and full-featured. I know there are rumors of new AirPods coming out this year, and we will see if I will upgrade. The main difference, it seems, is the length of the stems on the O.G. AirPods may be shrinking. They are pretty big compared to the Pros, but I don’t really care when I have them in.

Distil KeyLoop Kit

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0yNHF2_0Yws3q9T00Distil KeyLoop Kit connected with my car key.

For years my friend and I both got the Orbit Key Organiser, and I used it for many years. It was small and fit my keys in a compact organizer that was easy to keep track of.

I was happy with the Orbit until I found the Distil KeyLoop Kit on the EXCESSORIZE ME YouTube channel last year. Similar to the Orbit, the Distil KeyLoop is the same concept but is bigger and has magnets. I will admit the Orbit feels a little more premium, but functionality of the Distil KeyLoop wins by a long shot.

The Distil is quite a bit bigger than the Orbit, and the leather is much thinner and floppy. I feel this was intentional, though, since the Distil has one signifying feature that the Orbit doesn’t offer. Distil is all about the magnets allowing your keys to be removed, put back, or reorganized whenever and however you want.

This feature alone is what got me interested in moving from the Orbit. The keys or items on my KeyLoop are a house key, backyard gate key, a bottle opener, and a YubiKey for work.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4839Aa_0Yws3q9T00Distil KeyLoop opened with my YubiKey detached.

The house key and bottle opener pretty much stay on the KeyLoop at all times. The only time the bottle opened comes off if someone needs one for a bottle but usually put it right back when I or someone else is done with it. The gate key and YubiKey are always removed, and it is so convenient to use these without the bulk of the KeyLoop hanging on.

Opening up my back gate is tricky, so being able to take out the tiny key from my KeyLoop and open the lock is nice. The same with my YubiKey, when I am connecting the Yubikey into USB-A on my work laptop. Taking it off the KeyLoop is very helpful since I don’t have to life the laptop to plug it in.

I plan to get a few more KeyFobs for my mailbox key and our key to the garage, but for now, these four keys/items have been most of what I need every day. What is also nice about the KeyLoop, and the Orbit too, is the FobRing that sits on the other side of the loop to clip my car keys.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2xzugA_0Yws3q9T00Close up of car key clip to the KeyLoop.

Since I use both the cars that my wife and I own interchangeably, I took my two sets of keys and put a single keyring and clip on each set so I can clip it onto the KeyLook when I leave the house. I have been doing this since the Orbit, and it has been a great little life hack. Instead of having both sets attached to my KeyLoop all the times making it very bulky, I can just attached the ones that I need that day.

RayBan New Wayfarers

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0el7ue_0Yws3q9T00Matte Black Polarized Ray-Ban New Wayfarers.

About ten years ago, when I was living in San Luis Obispo, I bought my first pair of Ray-Ban New Wayfarers. I got many compliments from them and grew to love the comfort and fit on my face. Since finding sunglasses that fit and feel comfortable can be such a challenge, I have stuck with the New Wayfarers and have been very happy.

I have probably lost 5 or 6 pairs of these RayBans over the years, but I continue to buy them since, as I said before, finding a new pair of sunglasses that are comfortable and look good is difficult.

I now own a single pair in matte black with polarized lenses. I have had these for over three years now, and they are the best Ray-Bans I have owned. The polarized lens is much better than the regular, and the matte black color goes with everything I wear.

I don’t wear them all day since I work in my house and soon to be back in the office all day. But I do take regular walks during the day to break up my workday, and it is nice to have the added protection for my eyes when I ride my bike from work to home.

Aer Face Mask

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3CCRdx_0Yws3q9T00Aer 3-Way Mark

I plan to carry a mask with me for the unseeable future. Even when I can get fully vaccinated I still see us needing to have a mask for a while. Wearing a mask into the office, a store, or a doctor’s office just seems inevitable for awhile.

I had a hard time finding a mask that fits me comfortably. For a while, I just used masks that we got for free from places or ones my wife bought but didn’t like. Until I stumbled on the Aer 3-Way Face Mask.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3edqqU_0Yws3q9T00Source: Aer Website

This mask not only fits my face much better than others, but the mask can also be worn in three different ways. The first is the standard way we have all been wearing a mask by having both loops around the ears and each loop has a piece of plastic that you can adjust for comfort.

You can also the two loops together behind your head using the two plastic pieces. You can either do this with your ears in the loop or below your ears, whatever is more comfortable. I like to wear the mask with my ears in the loops but clipped in the back I have a beanie since my ears are being covered. It is also nice to give your ears a break if you wear a mask for an extended period.

Overall the mask is nice, it is not as breathable as a surgical mask or other clothe mask, but it is okay. I like the size, comfort, and the fact that I can switch up how I wear it depending on what is comfortable or what I am wearing on my head.

So there is my everyday carry by a geek. It is not that full of gadgets or anything that some may find that surprising. Keys, phone, wallet, watch, sunglasses are all pretty usually items that people take with themselves daily. A mask is new and may or may not stay forever, but even if some of these items feel expected, they are mine.

Like setting up my office, configuring my MacBook, or organizing my home screen on my iPhone 12, creating and maintaining an everyday carry can be very important for our daily routines.

It is nice to know that I have the items that I need every day exactly how I want them. The biggest benefit is removing and worry or wondering if the things I carry will work when I need it. My keys will always be available, and my headphones will still work.

EDC trends can get carried away, but what we carry every day can benefit you in having what you need in a given moment. The one thing that I don’t carry is a knife since it is unneeded for my day job. I am thinking about getting one while working around the house but it won’t be something I carry every day.

My everyday carry has taken years to mature, and I am sure I will replace some items as they wear or find something better. For now, I have the staples that I think benefit me most when I leave the house. Now I just need to remember to put them all back in my valet, where they belong, so I can take them with me when I am rushing out the door.

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My passion is in technology. I write reviews about gadgets that interest me but also provide some kind of value in my toolset to achieve my goals. Most of my writing is surrounded by technology and how it plays a role as a tool, help with productivity, and also provide mindfulness for a more fulfilled life.

Turlock, CA
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