Best List 2021 and The Only Items You Need

A quick explainer on this year’s ‘Best List’.

I now maintain a yearly “Best” list. but the more I got to thinking about it, the more that list can be overwhelming for some. I write it mostly for myself and a few close friends, and I try to pick a few items with a similar utility, but which differ widely in either price or use. So the pocket knives section takes you from the backwoods, to luxury EDC.

Jump to the list here.

The upside to all of this is that if you are as into this stuff as I am, there’s plenty of interesting stuff to read about. But the downside is that if you are less interested, and more “just tell me what to buy” this list clocks in at 11,000 words or so, which makes it a little overwhelming. To that end, there’s some new additions to the list this year.

New This Year

The first thing you might notice is that at the top of each list is this:

Confidence level: Solid.

There are three levels: ongoing, solid, and high. I explain them at the beginning of the list, so be sure to check that out. This is my signal to you, on how much I might expect these picks to change come next year.

I started to whittle down the picks more this year. Last year I tried for a nice three item list for each category. This year I really wanted to push that down to just two items. I did not succeed on this for the most part, but I think I can get closer next year. So on the lists where I list my confidence as high, the change next year might be that the list is even smaller as I home in on a singular best item.

I’d really love to overlay this list on last years, but they don’t match one to one. I wrote 2021 completely fresh. In areas where I do know there was a large change, I tried to explain why. If you are really curious though, please do reach out to me.

The last new feature is “just tell me what to fucking buy” section. So in addition to the normal best listing, I’ve added a section up front which is simple: buy this one and it will likely be great all around for you. I call it the ‘only items you need’ list, and from a pure everyday carry gear mindset, I think it is all someone would need — certainly it reflects what I carry most days. But, also, spendy.

That list has a best item with budget not considered, and then something you could argue is almost as good, but which costs less (significantly so in some cases). I really like this listing/section, and I hope you do as well.

Sign Up and Read

As always, the 2021 list is only for members, so get at it and enjoy! And if you have not already, now is a great time to sign up.

Oh yeah, and since the 2021 list is out, it means the Best List of 2020 is now free for everyone as well. Win-win.

Note: This site makes use of affiliate links where and when possible. These links may earn this site money when utilized. 


Join Today, for Exclusive Access.