5.11 Orange EDC in Weathered Orange
We decided it was time to update our every day carry - our old set up of a Streamlight Microstream and Cold Steel Recon 1 knife has served us faithfully for several years of daily duty and are still working just fine. They show a little wear but we can't complain. Actually we recommended both if you are in the market for a compact flashlight that runs forever and a workhorse knife that is indestructible.
On the other hand, our choices in tactical pens have left us wanting for more. In fact, they have failed us twice to be exact. The first one we can take the blame for - we left the cap laying somewhere rendering it useless for carrying in a pocket. The second one broke in half when we went to change ink cartridges. It seems that the Smith and Wesson's are VERY sensitive to tightening torque.
So we went looking for a budget friendly every day carry knife, pen, and flashlight that could take a beating AND that matched. You know, part of edc is looking cool and we are guilty of wanting to flash a little style when we pull our gear out of our pocket. We searched high and low to find a matching set up and there are not a lot of choices unless you stay with the tried and true black. As much as we like the clean look of a black EDC set up, we wanted a little color. Titanium and bronze was out of our budget which didn't leave a lot to pick from. We settled on the 5.11 gear you see in the photos.
Orange is a love it or hate it color. As you can guess - we love it. You see the orange colorway in a lot of outdoor gear for a good reason: orange is high visibility which means that if something gets misplaced you have a better chance of finding it in the leaves. In our case, if our pen or flashlight rolls off the desk it's going to be a lot easier to find.
Orange has the added benefit that it doesn't scream tactical in a workplace. Sure, it's noticeable but no one is going to think your a wanna be ninja either. If you're looking to go with a greyman aesthetic, orange might be a better choice than say olive drab or coyote. As much as we love those colors - a casual observer might take a second look and wonder what you're up to.
5.11 Kubaton Tactical Pen
For our EDC pen we chose the 5.11 Kubaton Tactical pen. The price is in line with other tactical pens out there and is fairly well reviewed. We like that it's a one piece twist design, so no cap to lose. In the hand it is solid and somewhat heavy, but not cumbersome. The knurling allows for a positive grip and writing experience. It also comes pre-filled with a cartridge so it's ready to write out of the package.
The obvious advantage of a metal pen is the potential to use it as a defense weapon hence the Kubaton name. This pen is solid enough to let it be known that it can inflict some serious damage if called into action. If you need a last line of defense or your knife isn't handy, this tactical pen will guarantee you are prepared to defend yourself. 5.11 does offer the Kubaton Tactical pen in sandstone and black colorways as well.
5.11 PL 2AAA Penlight
The PL 2AAA Penlight is just like it sounds: a slim pen light that runs on 2 AAA batteries. That's good because AAA's are easy to find and you probably keep a few spares in your bag anyway. It features a push button end that offers two modes - a momentary on that is what we usually use, and a click on function to keep it running. An added bonus is that the flashlight is IP-X 4 water resistant. With over 100 lumens it's plenty bright for our needs - things like looking for wires under our desk or heading down into the basement when a bulb goes out. Sure, there are bigger and badder flashlights out there - but the size and cost defeat the budget friendly, grayman approach.
Finally, our EDC knife choice is the 5.11 Tactical DRT Spear Point Liner Lock Folding Knife. The DRT is a Mike Vellekamp design that features a 2.85 inch plain edge blade with a black oxide coating for durability. The handle is injection molded with a textured grip that feels a lot better in the hand than you would think by the looks of it. One thing we loved about our Cold Steel Recon 1 was that the G10 handle was almost like sandpaper and guaranteed to not slip. Even though the DRT isn't G10 we have no worries about keeping a positive grip.
Knife snobs will be sure to comment on the Aus 8 steel (heat treated to HRC 57-60 hardness), but it's fine for our purpose - every day use like cutting boxes and opening packages. We are not worried about corrosion resistance or fine tuning the edge from time to time. Sadly, the DRT is no longer available through 5.11 and we had to hunt one down from an online retailer who had one left in stock. We have seen the knife in gray, black, olive drab, and coyote with a few different blade shapes as well. If you hunt around you can still find them online. We are glad we were able to get it because the knife feels great in the hand and the blade design is just wicked. We already have had a few complements on the knife.
Comment below and tell us what you think of our 5.11 EDC knife, pen, and flashlight
Would you carry an orange set up like this one, or do you prefer the tried and true all black approach to your gear?
Items Mentioned in the Article. Purchase them through our Amazon links and we get a small commission.
Cold Steel Recon 1
5.11 Kubaton Tactical Pen
5.11 PL 2AAA Penlight Tactical Flashlight