Magpul Every Day

Previously I’ve taken a look over the Magpul Industries Corp. DAKA Essential Wallet after carrying it daily for a few weeks and that was nice, but it lacked a little something. I had a word with a buddy of mine over at Magpul and they mentioned that a version was already in the works that featured exactly that little something I was after – a transparency for ID cards. So now I’ve been fortunate enough to have been provided a DAKA Everyday Wallet to review and unlike most types of military gear, this is an item of non-issued kit I can easily get days and weeks worth of carrying and use on before providing my thoughts.

Original manufacturer page here for reference:
https://www.magpul.com/products/magpul-daka-everyday-wallet

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Fortunately, making the change from the Magpul Essential to the new Everyday design was a lot easier than when I originally went from my old conventional wallet (which did also have a transparency) to the Magpul Essential. My initial thought was along the lines of “how the hell will I manage day to day with so little storage capacity” and all things considered I think Magpul do go a little too spartan with the original Essential; as we can probably surmise with the changes put in to the Everyday. Putting that concern aside however I did want to try out the concept of maybe slimming down my pocket book and not carrying around things I knew I hadn’t used for years and years, so I started using the Essential on a daily basis and ended up not going back to my old wallet. The biggest change is, as you might imagine, only having something that feels comparatively tiny in your pocket and when you sit in a car, hop on your bike or sit down to eat that is a genuine revelation that prompted me to forget about any capacity shortcomings of these types of designs. There are disadvantages but the size advantage alone has been entirely worth the swap in my mind.

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There are 3 key changes that have been made with the Everyday which are all highly beneficial in my opinion.

1 – It’s 10% larger overall compared to the Essential, meaning you’ve got room for any card, ID or currency note that is slightly larger than the norm. It’s also more difficult to lose this one out of your jacket pocket, which is exactly what I did with my Essential.

2 – The addition of a transparency is exactly what I personally needed for showing my ID to the gate guards 4-6+ times per day vs having to fiddle around actually removing my ID card each and every time for inspection. Anyone in the service will welcome this and I’m sure there’s other jobs out there which necessitate similar regular checks – especially in the public/security sector where we’re often still using humans instead of automated doors and check points. Just don’t ask me who that bloke is pictured on my MOD 90, not met him in over a decade.

3 – An extra storage slot has been created right in the middle with the goal of providing a better stash point for notes, rather than having to wedge your cash in to a credit card slot. Crucially this one addition provides a proportionally very large % increase in carrying capacity vs the older model while not falling back in the trap of making you carry tons of shit you don’t need and never use. For me this made the Everyday a truly perfect fit for exactly the cards and cash I wanted to carry every single day wherever I go.

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At this point I’ll mention the one failing point I have with any sort of slimline/essentials-only wallet and that’s carrying coins, it’s pretty much not an option. If you’re the sort to jam cash in a pocket you’ll be fine, but I’m not a fan of that myself and the one thing I miss is the coin pouch every other normal wallet that I’ve ever owned before featured. This design being made of a smooth plastic will lose metal coins, especially when they’re sandwiched against even smoother plastic cards. If you live in normal modern society I’d imagine your need for coins has pretty much been eliminated in 2017, parking meters and the like tend to advertise ways to pay on your phone even in some fairly rural places that I’ve come across. Maybe you work somewhere with an ancient vending machine but those are dying out or their contents being replaced with ‘Protein+’ versions of whatever snacks were in there before and I like to think nobody reading this page is blind enough to fall for that over-priced bullshit. In my job I do sometimes need coins to buy the odd snickers from the t-bar or bacon roll on a friday morning, because we still do some old school shiz like that, but if you live in a country with 1-unit notes or work for a company that’s not still kinda stuck in the 80s I reckon you’ll mostly be fine. I’d say even the need for any sort of cash including notes has been very much diminished at this point and potentially if you live in the centre of a large city you’d only carry notes in an ’emergency’ case of that one very unlikely occasion where folding money might be needed, but your contactless cards will be the go-to 99.9%.

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In terms of general capacity in the Everyday, I myself have 2 different debit cards that I regularly use, my military ID, driving licence in the middle and a couple of notes and that’s all I’ve ever needed in the past couple of months of carrying the thing. I’ve never felt the desire for any more capacity with the exception of pieces of pirate silver as mentioned above. There is room for plenty more credit/debit cards or any sort of membership or loyalty card if you want to put them in there and on the occasion you need to chuck in a business card or any other thin item that comes in to your possession the fabric will grow to accommodate. There is also just about room for 1 item of contraception, and I’m sure we all want to be grown up and responsible in that area. I never need such things because I write a tactical blog, but I know a few of you folks are more tanned and lift more weight than I do.

Construction wise I don’t have a name of the exact fabric used, but if you’ve got any gear that uses Hypalon you’ll have a rough idea. Essentially this is a fabric in the sense that it looks to be ‘weaved’ from strands at some point in its’ creation, rather than just being liquid plastic that’s cooled in to a solid sheet and cut. Fortunately it is proving to be infinitely more abrasion resistant than Hypalon, it also turns away sweat and oils from your skin like a champ. There are 5 layers of this fabric (which is incredibly thin I should add) and they’re all welded together at the edges which Magpul claim are both permanent and impenetrable. I’ve seen nothing so far to suggest those claims aren’t true. Also much like a really well made magazine pouch, the fabric does grip the smooth plastic of any ID/money card well during carry, yet relinquishes that grip when you begin to pull out a card and break the friction bond.

The rounded corners make it fast and snag-free going in out and out of bags and pockets which is something I’ve certainly found I appreciate on a daily basis. It also keeps everything inside cinched tightly together and that means it’s nearly impossible for anyone else to see which pocket your wallet is in, a very big change from your old type wallet that’s got 2 years of receipts and a Blockbuster member card collecting lint inside.

The Everyday comes in the same colour options as most of Magpul’s plastic firearms parts and accessories and it’s actually made in the US, whereas most of the EDC-culture gear you’ll find out there which isn’t firearm related will most likely come from the same country as most of everything else. At $25 the Everyday is a bit of a price hike vs the $17 Essential when you look at the percentage, but based on carrying this fabric around for a few months now I’m confident in saying you’ll get many years use out of one of these. In fact I’d say it’ll last a lot longer than it takes any leather wallet to reach that point where the external smooth hide surface of said leather has gotten ratty and chipped and exposed the grey suede underneath.

What I’d do myself is keep a leather wallet in a drawer ready for any type of ‘going out’ that might involve a touch of class or just generally wanting to come across as not being any type of prepper or EDC/CCW type (for any reason you may personally happen to have). What I do myself for example is have a horrendously bight Magpul phone case that provides protection and easy spotting to use every day, then a slim, plain black phone case to take to nice bars and restaurants and the like where I might be wearing chinos or a suit and want to trick normal people in to thinking I’m a standard adult human. Same kind of story with my wallet and watch.

I’m really glad I took the figurative leap of faith over to this style of wallet and I’m going to continue to keep the Magpul Everyday as my primary day-to-day until it either breaks or I find something better. However at this current moment it quite literally carries exactly what I need it to carry and nothing more so unless the cards/cash I need to carry change then my wallet isn’t going to.

iFly

I’ve done a couple of dozen parachute jumps so far (struggling to organise the next course) but never the indoor sky diving, so pretty hyped to get to try it on a little trip out with work I have to say.

It’s definitely a whole lot easier to try than actual parachuting, none of the fear, far less money. So if you’d like to get an idea of what freefall actually feels like, then I wouldn’t have any hesitation recommending iFLYiFLY Basingstoke. Really good facility, equipment and instructors all around.

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As it happened by some strange coincidence my group was being looked after by an American bloke, 10 year vet US Army, hadn’t been long out. Had a pretty strong accent still, not sure how he ended up doing indoor skydiving over here but a lot of the spams do love it over here. “Infantry then special operations” apparently which I could believe to look at him, I guessed Ranger then saw he had the relevant tattoo so I gave myself an internet cookie. Probably done a load of airborne ops in his time then taken those freefall skills to the indoor circuit, there’s a big business and sport/competition around wind tunnel stuff.

Hot Shots 2018

A video I like to share once each year when it drops. Definitely tell they’ve got some prior service ladies on the shooting team.

Was rather lucky to have the chance to buy my 2018 edition at DSEI, hung up ready and waiting here in the block for January 1st. Not sure whether it’s the finalised edition since the general sales aren’t open yet, but there’s an e-mail sign up for notification available on both the US and UK/ROW websites.

Committed folks, I guess you’ll just have to find the inside of a cupboard your other half never goes in to..?

DToM

I find it surprising that a lot of the ‘swag’ and other random stuff that gear companies make is often amongst the highest quality clothing you might find in general. You do have to be careful what you pick or you risk ending up looking like the guy with the Ferrari jacket and cap who drives a Ford. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a Ford or a VW or whatever, far from it, but you possibly shouldn’t be a walking advert for a company that you’ve got no link to.

My ideal criteria for this sort of thing are simple:

-High quality in design and materials
-Actually own a flagship product from the company in question or have some other association
-If at all possible, the design should be something original, not just the normal logo plastered in huge font

I have a couple of standard logo t-shirts for manufacturers that I’m particularly interested in, but those are reserved for filming videos, maybe attending expos or going to games (driving not public transport), rather than general wear out and about. Some I’ve bought, mostly I’ve been given them at the last couple of Shot Shows.

I presume FirstSpear buys these t-shirts raw and print them, because looking at American Apparel’s website I don’t think they’re aimed at the shooting and outdoor market. More the man bun, organically-sourced-wool male romper and gluten free douche-frappelatte kinda market. Not that I understand social dynamics in America all that well I just get all my information from Mat Best MBest11x.

Billfold

The whole ‘EDC’ trend isn’t something I’ve massively been in to when it comes to little pocket tools/widgets, knives, carbon fibre wallets etc etc. If concealed carry were a thing in this country I’d jump on that in a heartbeat but that’s not a discussion for this moment.

A friend of mine within Magpul’s apparel/equipment division kindly supplied me one of these Daka wallets to take a look at and I’d say it’s an option worth considering if it fits your needs. I’m sort of on the fence on this type of wallet, having tried it I have found that I really don’t need a lot of the junk I carry around in my normal wallet, but I also do need coins sometimes (as I’d imagine many people do) and personally I can’t stand just having a pocket full of loose change. People who just shove bank notes in to a pocket make me feel a bit sick; those are to be neatly stored with no dog-ears and looked after to my mind, but I digress.

The Daka pouches are made of an all synthetic fabric that I’m a fan of and this wallet makes good use of that with the same sort of construction methods. The pouches are still overkill price wise to replace sandwich/freezer bags when waterproofing lots of gear in a bergan, but if you get a couple for organising random bits when travelling or doing outdoor stuff they make sense. This wallet holds on to what you put in it due to the high friction nature of the material and if you’re only really using a few cards on a daily basis it’s a strong option. Feather light, as simply constructed as it could possibly be and resilient to hanging about in your sweaty pocket for years on end.

Proper Shiny

Spent some time sweating in my No1s this morning to get handed my proper medal. As I said over on IG, my feeling is there should be 2 types of medal, one for support guys like me who had a real chill time (by comparison) and one for the blokes who actually did proper dangerous shit. But it is what it is, not something I can change.

The NATO one on the left is well known for being made of chocolate, pretty trinket but that’s it. The one I earnt is on the right and made of cardboard and some really terrible MS Paint artwork. But every time a group left, the ‘characters’ got a special citation from the lads for meritorious service in the face of boredom and the enemy (the drinking ban). There was a certain chain of events involving an American general and some pictures and some things happened and I won’t say any more than that. True story.