I've been carrying keys in one capacity or another since about the 4th grade when I started riding the bus home in the afternoons and letting myself into the house, where I'd diligently get started on my homework before my parents got home (yeah, right). That means that a.) I have about 20 years of experience carrying keys, and b.) I never got my homework done anyway.
In school, I usually had some kind of lanyard or some such thing for my school I.D. and, being the dork that I was, used it to carry my key(s). But as I got older and started driving, carrying my keys on a bouncing neck lanyard just got weird. And then my interest in girls set in and there was no way on God's green earth that I was going to do anything even remotely dorky... Right. Add a cell phone in the mix to take up tons of space in my pocket (Nokia 5110, anybody?) and I needed an alternative key-carrying solution.
Enter the carabiner. Sold by the millions at every dollar store, Walmart and gas station nationwide and constructed (usually poorly) of brightly-anodized aluminum with a spring-loaded gate. I usually bought them in multi-packs because the gates would bend, the springs would fail, the aluminum would crack... For years, I played the carabiner game. Searching and buying in hopes that I'd find a carabiner that would last. I've owned carabiners in aluminum, stainless and titanium. And they all have one fatal flaw: the gate. It always fails. ALWAYS. Whether it be a broken gate, a spring losing tension or misalignment, resulting in the gate over-closing and ending up outside of the frame, they always fail. I tried some springless carabiners, but those ended up getting caught on things and pinched my fingers. And the lack of a spring was made up for, usually, by a thin strip of metal that would just bend and lose shape, resulting in a carabiner that closed, albeit with a small gap.
What was a guy to do? Would I be destined to a life of carabiner replacement? Would I return to my 4th grade days with a lanyard looped around my neck, keys bouncing on my belly? Maybe I could just turn in my iPhone for an old Nokia with a clear faceplate and some bright, tacky LEDs.
Mr. Bruckwicki over at H.L. Human (and co-founder of Nock Co.) says, "Do not dismay lover of the carabiner, hater of the gate! For I have created... THE PELICAN CLIP!" What is the Pelican clip, you ask? Well, my friends, it is the lightweight, superbly-designed, comfortable-to-carry, American-made be all, end all to the Carabiner Carousel. No more shall we go 'round and 'round searching for the perfect key clip, for it has arrived and I LOVE IT!
The Pelican Clip gets its name from its unique pelican shape. It's fashioned from a single piece of stainless steel or brass and features a rather generous hole at the lower end for a split ring of your choice. This seems like such a simple item, but it's something I've been carrying everyday for about 8 months and I have yet to seek out a replacement. In fact, I've repurposed all of my old carabiners (or thrown them out if they were messed up) and haven't looked back. Carabiners? We don't need no stinkin' carabiners!
When I first got my Pelican Clip, it was a little too tight, but, being that the brass is fairly soft, I was able to buy myself a little bit of space to make getting it on and off of my belt loop a little easier. I've yet to have my keys drop off or get lost. A few times, I've had them push their way up and off my belt loop while sitting at my desk at work, but squeezing the Pelican Clip closed a little to tighten the gap has stopped that completely. I think bending it to open it up, created an issue as I may have bent it too far. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
As with most things Jeff designs, I think he did an exquisite job creating a no-nonsense solution to an EDC challenge. Would I recommend the Pelican? Heck yes. Head over to H.L. Human and pick one up. He even has a nifty bundle with a FourSevens flashlight that is just about the perfect addition to your keys.
And, as a prize for reading this far, I'm giving away one of these in Stainless Steel. Yep! If you were kind enough to give this a full read, you can have a shot at winning your very own brand new Pelican Clip. All you gotta do is drop a comment down below anytime between now and 11:59PM EST on Thursday, August 13, 2015. I'll pick a name at random on Friday, August 14th at 8AM EST and contact the winner via email.
Thanks a million to Jeff for sending over an extra one of these for me to give away. If you don't win your own, still be sure and check out his stuff and pick one up. Trust me, your keys need this as much as you do.
Thanks for reading,