January is usually marked by resolutions and reflections. And even though 2021 wasn’t the best year, these past 12 months have seen some pretty cool developments in the world of EDC accessories. From the explosion of MagSafe products to more versatile tracking technologies, these cool new advances have been a bright spot in an otherwise cloudy time. So instead of focusing on the negative let’s take a look back at what we think are the best EDC trends of 2021 and share our product predictions for 2022.
The Best EDC Trends of 2021
2021 has seen enhancements in products that we've come to love and new technologies that we never saw coming. Let’s take a look at the standout EDC trends in 2021, why they matter and what they mean for the future.
Trackers, Trackers, Everywhere
Location services for phones, laptops, and tablets have been around for a long time thanks to features like “Find My” from Apple. But 2021 saw an explosion of trackers for just about any accessory you can think of. Small, rechargeable trackers such as Tile, AirTag, or Ekster’s Wallet Tracker (pictured above) are giving us accurate GPS map tracking for everything from wallets to keychains.
And while many brands are coming out with some sort of tracker, Ekster’s Tracker Cards for wallets and keychains are the only solar powered option out there. We love using solar power because it gives consistent and long battery life without the need for yet another cable or environmentally-harmful batteries. And unlike country specific outlet chargers or the right kind of watch battery, the sun is the same everywhere you go and never costs a penny.
Better Sustainability Across the Board
EDC enthusiasts everywhere have come together to help push the industry towards more sustainable practices. 2021 has seen a massive increase in sustainability awareness and finding new ways to produce the products we love in a way that doesn’t harm people or the environment.
On Earth Day 2021 Ekster became officially climate neutral. This means we are now able to successfully off-balance 100% of our carbon emissions through the use of carbon credits and more sustainable practices like reducing paper usage and optimizing shipping routes. This also includes turning away from fast fashion and brands that sell too many low-quality products and turning towards brands that focus on perfecting a few high-quality products.
Higher Performance Materials
2021 was all about saying no to cheap, polluting materials like plastics and saying yes to durable, environmentally-friendly materials like vegan leather and high-performance metals. As awareness of the environmental impact of different materials increases we are getting more comfortable paying a larger price for eco-friendly products that are built to last longer.
Last year Ekster helped fuel this trend with innovative and durable materials. Our vegan leather wallet is the first to be made from recycled car windshields, a process that has only recently become possible. We also introduced new high-performance metals like 3K carbon fiber which is 10 times stronger than steel but incredibly lightweight, making it perfect for small EDC items like wallets.
Our Product Predictions for 2022
We predict 2022 will be all about perfecting new EDC features that have popped up in the past years such as the battery life of powerbanks and the performance of magnetic add-ons.
Function Specific Backpacks
Over the last couple of years, minimalist, ‘carry-everything’, travel bags have been cropping up from behemoths like Target as well as crowdfunded start-ups like Montage. These bags focus on organizing a huge carry into a small space for easy travel, think compression cubes. However, they mainly cater to the everyday traveler with dedicated spots for clothes, cables, and toiletries. This year, we predict the trends of smarter carry backpacks to continue but with more function specific designs.
When we say function specific, we mean designed for a particular purpose instead of casual travel. Rumor has it you can expect to see a minimalist backpack made for the amateur to professional photographer. Most photography bags are one-shoulder messenger style or huge suitcases, with little room in-between. The photography backpack will walk the line between stylish accessory and functional case for expensive equipment.
More Powerful PowerBanks
Powerbanks have been around for a while now, offering portable charging for almost any device. How well they work and how much charge they actually provide however varies massively depending on what generation and brand you’re working with. Some can recharge your phone 3 to 4 times while others hardly seem to retain any charge.
But just like with many technologies, these handy EDC accessories have improved massively over the past year and they’re only just getting started. In 2022 we predict to see more powerful powerbanks than ever seen before, with longer battery life in even smaller sizes.
A New Generation of Multitool
In 2021, outdoor activities saw a resurgence in popularity as folks figured out how to have fun when indoor locations were all but prohibited. Many people who would never have considered themselves outdoorsy are crossing over to different types of activities, opening up a whole new market for accessories that offer the functionality of high-performance gear but are attractive to recently reformed city-slickers.
So, our prediction for 2022 is a new generation of multitool - one that is as functional in a city as it is in the wilderness. Picture all the classics like bottle opener, knife blade, and pliers, but with modern new additions like LED flashlights and trackers.
Better Magnetic Add-ons
MagSafe add-ons have blown up this year as one of Apple's newest integrations and this functionality is popping up across all manner of tech and tech accessories. This has revolutionized the way we can personalized and configure our EDC. Powerbanks, phone wallets and cardholders, even pop sockets now attach magnetically. Our prediction is to see MagSafe compatibility as a new across-the-board feature that will become expected of brands.
In 2022 you can expect to see a whole slew of new magnetically attachable accessories. Because minimalist tech is all about reducing bulk, we predict these accessories will continue to stay on the sleek side, pushing brands to create high-functioning tech that doesn’t take up much space.
Here at Ekster, we're in the business of making your life easier.
We started with upgrading the traditional leather wallet, making it easier to use and harder to lose. Now, we're taking on the rest of your essentials to make each day easier for you.
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