How To Customize Your Trucker Hat


Mainstream fashion has seen the rise of the trucker hat once again, with celebrities and influencers casually adding it to their looks, leading to an increase in public demand for the hat. A type of baseball cap, a trucker hat is also known as mesh or netback cap due to the plastic mesh at the back.

In the 1970s, the trucker hat was called ‘feed cap’ or ‘gimme (give me) cap’ because animal feed manufacturers in the US used them as promotional giveaways to farmers, truck drivers, and other workers. The caps advertised these suppliers while providing relief and protection for blue-collar workers working in the heat of the sun. 

Trucker Hats Popularized In Later Years

In the following years, the trucker hat was used by more companies to promote their brand and by various groups to bear their logos. Hat companies also started selling these hats as protective headwear. 

In the fashion world, wearing a trucker hat was popularized as a casual look and later promoted by celebrities, especially in the 1990s. Aside from truckers and farmers, the trucker hat was also embraced by skaters and other youth subcultures well into the 2000s. By the late 2010s and early 2020s, trucker hats have remained popular and considered part of mainstream fashion.

Different Trucker Hat Styles To Choose From

The defining feature of a trucker hat is its foam front section along with the mesh at the back for breathability. Compared to baseball caps, trucker hats have a slightly curved bill with six triangular gores and a distinguishing button at the top. It’s also adjustable at the back, making it a one-size-fits-all headwear. 

There are numerous styles to choose from, and here are some of them:

    • Two Tone Trucker Hats: These trucker hats are composed of two colors. Usually, the front foam section’s color differs from that of the bill and mesh. It’s easier to pair two tone hats with any outfit, making it a good choice if you’re planning to elevate your look. 
    • Snapback Trucker Hat: The snapback trucker cap became popular in the 2010s, with the rise of modern hip-hop culture that incorporated the trucker cap as a fashion statement. It has a foam front and a mesh back but with a shorter, flat bill with a stitched design. By the mid-2010s, many celebrities, influencers, and those following the y2k trend on the internet sported this snapback trucker cap look. 
    • Curved Brim Snapback Hat: This is similar to the snapback trucker cap, with a curved longer bill at the front. The distinctive feature of these snapbacks is the plastic snapping straps located at the back that allow the user to easily adjust the cap according to head size. This type is donned casually in street-style fashion and can be seen worn by celebrities and influencers. 
    • Dad Trucker Hat: Trucker hats usually stand upright due to the foam in the front panel of the cap. One variation, the dad trucker hat, is similar in many aspects to the usual trucker hat but without the foam in the front supporting its structure. These hats have a more relaxed fit, usually worn casually by middle-aged men, thus earning the name dad hat. 


  • Paparazzi Cap: The innovative paparazzi trucker cap features a snap lock at the side of the hat where a detachable face mask can be placed both for protection and anonymity. This trucker hat got its name because it obscures the face, allowing celebrities to avoid the paparazzi.  
  • Leather Trucker Hat: If you’re going for a less casual, more stylish look for your trucker hat, you can opt for one made of genuine cowhide leather. It’s similar to the usual trucker hat but with leather as the material for the front section of the cap. This makes the casual trucker hat look more formal, and you can also match it with other leather apparel.


You may opt for any of the styles above to accessorize your outfit. 

Designs You Can Incorporate Into Your Trucker Hat

You can customize your trucker hat using the following:

  • Distressed Woven Badge: The most common addition to trucker hats is the distressed woven badge, a stylish design with a casual, rugged look. The woven badge usually has an illustration or a logo stitched in the foam front part of the hat. You can choose from various designs to customize your hat according to your personality. 
  • Woven Label: For a more stylish touch, a woven label can be attached to the front part of the hat. The chosen design is woven into the label itself, then glued or stitched onto the front of the trucker hat. Most apparel companies usually have this design for their trucker hats, making the logo subtle yet bold. 
  • Screen-Printed Logo: For many companies that still use trucker hats for advertising their products, a screen-printed logo is a better option. It results in a smoother finish because the design is printed flat on the front foam panel of the trucker hat. This option is also ideal for more intricate designs. Furthermore, this printing technique permits mass production and costs less.  
  • 3D Embroidery: If you’re looking for a design that’s more straightforward yet makes a bold statement, you may opt for 3D embroidery. This type of embroidery, also called foam or puff embroidery, is another interesting way to customize your trucker hat. The usual designs include single letters or initials in bold font, stitched onto the front panel of the trucker hat, making it the focal point of the headwear.

With these options, personalizing your trucker hat is a cinch.


The trucker hat, which became popular among rural workers in the 1970s, is undoubtedly part of mainstream fashion today. There are many styles to choose from, including snapback, curved brim snapback, dad hat, and paparazzi hat. In addition, there are two-tone trucker hats and those with leather front panels.

If you want to customize your trucker hat, you can add woven badges, screen-printed logos, or 3D embroidered designs. You may pair it with any outfit that matches the casual look of the trucker hat. You can wear it front-facing or backward if you’re going for a more street-style look. Either way, trucker hats with always be the casual cap that will never go out of style and looks good on practically everyone.

Goruck Weighted Sandbag Review – $145.00

Disclosure: We are a professional review site that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed are our own.

2020 has been a rough year, there were severe shortages in major areas such as medical masks, disinfectant and the almighty toilet paper roll. Another lesser known shortage was home fitness equipment. Gyms shut down and tens of thousands were scrambling for exercise machines, dumbbells- even a thigh master or shake weight were fetching hefty premiums. It was in this search I found a brilliant product, the Goruck Weighted Sandbag.


The Goruck Sandbag is made of 1000D Cordura – That’s about twice as thick as the nylon on the old Jansport you had in 5th grade. For zippers we see heavy duty YKK zips with paracord pulls. All critical stress areas are double or triple stitched. This bag has a lifetime guarantee. If you somehow manage to break the bag, Goruck will fix it..and probably wonder how on earth you managed that. The sand (You must supply) is kept securely in a tough nylon bag with double folding velcro – Don’t worry, the sand does not escape at all.


This bag can do it all. There are multiple handles positioned on the tops, sides and ends of the bag. You can perform shrugs, squats, bicep curls, log lifts and the list goes on and on. I really enjoy the near instant transitions. I can go from body squats to bent over rows to shrugs without setting the bag down once.

Please note, you do have to get the sand at your local hardware store to fill the inner pocket. I strongly suggest “Play Sand” that has been washed and sifted – Anything else and you risk powder seeping through the nylon. See the below video on how to fill it. 


A cursory glance and the Goruck looks like a slender duffle bag. The tank like construction looks at home among the rubber mats, iron plates and dumbbells in my basement gym. At the end of the day it’s a tool and looks are nugatory. However, this tool happens to look pretty awesome. 


At $145, The Goruck Sandbag is a bit pricey considering other options on the market. When it comes to something as messy as sand, and the fact that the bag endures tremendous stress and abuse through training – I would only trust Goruck – Saving $50 bucks and having a bag rip at the seams would be no fun- Buy the best and cry once. This fitness tool offers endless uses and will be a staple in your home gym for years. 

Triple Aught Design Parallax Messenger Bag Review – $315.00

The backpack vs messenger bag debate has been going on for quite some time. Backpacks usually offer more capacity and utility, whereas messengers are more “grown up” and easier to access. In this installment, we take a look at the Triple Aught Design Parallax Messenger Bag, which I think does a great job at meshing the strong suits of both bag types into one cohesive carry option.


The Parallax is composed mainly of a proprietary ripstop nylon produced by Dimension-Polyant, a major manufacturer of professional grade sailcloth. You know those boats that are skimming halfway out of the water piloted by dudes with Rolex watches? Yeah, that kind of sailcloth. It’s essentially a combination 200 Denier Nylon with special X-Ply Polyester tafetta backing, a .25 mil PET Film, which is described as “BOPET (Biaxially Oriented Polyethylene Terephthalate) is a polyester film made from orientated polyethylene terephthalate (PET). BOPET is used because of its high tensile strength, chemical and dimensional stability, transparency, reflectivity, gas and aroma barrier properties and electrical insulation.” So, we’re talking about some serious hardware here. The material is inherently water and abrasion resistant.

Measurements come in at 18” (45.72cm) W X 12” (30.48cm) H X 5” (12.7cm) D and the Triple Aught Design Parallax weighs just over 2 lbs empty. TAD spared no expense with the YKK zippers, Fidlock/Duraflex buckles too, the feature list on this pack goes on and on.


Typically messenger style bags fall just out of my usage range, often being too narrow to carry bulkier items. The Parallax Messenger hits that sweet spot of being just big enough without being obtrusive. You can easily fit a water bottle, light sweater, laptop/tablet and bagged lunch in this pack. If you ride a motorcycle you’ll appreciate the underarm supplemental strapping that keeps the bag secure and stows away when not in use.

This bag has tons of pockets and ways to organize your things. It’s definitely fun tweaking it to your needs. The material used for the bag is somewhat loud when handling, vaguely comparable to opening a bag of fiery cheetos. The buckles utilize a magnet to snap into place, then must be slid out – this makes shutting your bag easy but opening it a little more involved, which is what you want – your gear secure.



Triple Aught Design has a very clean, signature aesthetic. No unnecessary  embellishments or gimmicky style ques. The bag is a purely functional tool, which happens to look great. This could work in a number of situations, allowing you to transition pretty seamlessly from casual to business. All of the quality components down to the stitching just give the bag a classic appeal that still manages to be under the radar.

Please TAD Responsibly

















Triple Aught Design is one of the few apparel and gear companies that keep American manufacturing ahead of the competition. Their designs are iconic and have been replicated, duplicated and sometimes downright ripped off by other brands. The real McCoy stands out. Triple Aught Design’s Parallax Messenger uses cutting edge materials and every facet of design has been meticulously thought out. All of this innovation commands a premium price, so it consider your budget and end uses carefully.

KeySmart CleanKey Brass Hand Tool Review – $24.99

As the Novel Coronavirus continues to infiltrate every aspect of our lives, we’ve come to realize the “New Normal” that surrounds us. Wash your hands, limit contact, wear a mask, etc – It’s can be overwhelming, and we’re seeing a lot of new products to help alleviate the common concerns of limiting chances of contracting Covid 19. One tool in particular is the KeySmart CleanKey Brass Hand Tool – 



The CleanKey is composed of 70% Brass and 30% Zinc this combination of metals produces the alloy Brass. One of the most pertinent properties of brass is that it’s antimicrobial. There are countless scientific studies backing this up, microbes just can’t sustain themselves on brass surfaces, so much so that Laboratory testing has shown that copper and its alloys, brass and bronze, kill more than 99.9 percent of bacteria, such as the superbug Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, within two hours.

The Cleankey measures about 3.5” long and weighs 1.8 ounces, or about as much as a pack of gum for all you metric folk. It has a large trigger for leverage and knurling along the top for grip. The machining is actually pretty decent and smooth.



I just want to get possibly my biggest caveat out of the way, your hands will smell like pennies from handling this. It’s perfectly ok, but that’s just the price you pay for Brass. I’ve been using the KeySmart CleanKey almost non stop for a month now. I’m out and about quite a bit for my secular job, and this has been great for opening doors and punching buttons at gas stations. 

With a little finesse you can even get some turn knob doors to open. I find the stylus capabilities a little lacking. It sometimes takes a few tries for a touch screen to register a punch, but it does work. The included retractable carabiner makes it so accessible it becomes second nature using the CleanKey.


The CleanKey is actually pretty good looking. It’s simplistic design and solid brass construction really leave no kinks in the looks department. It doesn’t seem out of place and looks pretty slick hanging from your belt loops. I think it fits in with my EDC quite well. They say form follows function, but here we’re rarely treated to both in equal measures.



I am very pleased with the Keysmart CleanKey. It’s small footprint and ease of use really makes it a formidable weapon in the war on cooties. At just $24.99 I think it’s more than a bargain, considering it will last you for years. The natural properties of brass means this tool will also never lose its antimicrobial properties. They’ve been selling like hot cakes, so if you want one, I’d suggest visiting the site often. 


Trayvax Summit Wallet & Trek Field Knife Review – $34.99 & 169.99

I’ve been following Trayvax since the beginning when they offered just one extraordinary wallet. Since then they’ve grown and expanded their product line with tons of other cool gear. I wanted to spotlight on one of their original designs as well as one of their totally new offerings. We’re big on EDC here at Bestleather so taking a look at a couple core components was a rare treat. Read on for the full scoop!


The Summit Wallet is one of Trayvax marquee products. A no nonsense card and cash carry device in a radical design.  Constructed of solid steel with a mil-spec nylon strap, the Summit is a simple, durable wallet. The wallet is also treated with a melonite finish which hardens the metal without adding another layer to it.

The Trek Field Knife is a skeletonized frame composed of CPM S35VN Stainless Steel – This steel has a respectable 58-61 on the Rockwell Hardness Scale. CPM S35VN Stainless Steel also has superior edge retention and corrosion resistance. Blade length is 3.5”


The Summit is a minimalist wallet in function. The updated version now offers RFID blocking, a seeming must have feature in today’s technologically advancing society. You can fit about 5 or so cards comfortably and about 6 or so cash bills. If like me, you don’t handle cash that much, this isn’t an issue. However if you’re constantly in and out for cash, I’d consider it a little more closely. It works great as a front pocket carry.

The Trek Field Knife is definitely a unique knife and follows Trayvax’s signature line of innovative designs. It’s an ambidextrous design that allows several retrieval options from the supplied holster.

I’m a big fan of the steel used, but not a fan of the handle. I’m thinking of wrapping it with paracord to give it better grip and ergonomics. The slim profile is definitely unobtrusive and really blends in with your everyday attire. This knife can cut rope as well as it can peel an apple.


The great thing about Trayvax, is that their designs are almost instantly recognizable.  Even a knife and a wallet, two very unrelated objects and you can tell their kin. The skeletal structures are very industrial but polished as well. They’re so different from the norm, I find myself just fidgeting with my wallet sometimes – appreciating all that metalloid goodness.


Trayvax is a great American company. Their innovative products have spawned a legion of copycats. The design isn’t for everyone, but you can’t deny the unique angle of both the Trayvax Summit Wallet and Trek Field Knife.

Mujjo Double-Insulated Touchscreen Gloves – €49.50

Anyone who has lived in a cold climate in the 21st century knows the deal. It’s cold–really cold. You’re walking to your car or enjoying the big game at the stadium. You’re already having a hard time keeping your hands warm, and the last thing you want to do is take them out of your pockets, out of your gloves, and expose them to the weather. But you have to answer that call or text or check something on the internet. You either have to make your hands suffer, use your nose, or try those cheap thin gloves that claim to have touchscreen capability but never do and don’t keep your hands warm anyway. Or you could use the Mujjo Double-Insulated Touchscreen Gloves.

About Mujjo

Mujjo (pronounced ‘moo-joe’) is a Dutch designer label that began in 2011. Their attitude towards design is to take something simple and make it as perfect as possible. This has resulted in an impressive lineup of fine leather tech accessories. Each is made to look and feel luxurious while also fulfilling it’s intended function fully. In their own words:

We try to make our products as simple, striking and functional as possible. This is something that dates back to our early days and will continue as we challenge ourselves going forwards.

Materials & Construction

There’s clearly two focuses in the assembly of these gloves: keeping your hands warm and letting them use a touch screen. These gloves are assembled with several layers of warmth, including a 3M Thinsulate layer. The materials are enhanced to work with a touchscreen using a conductive treatment on the fabric. To make smart device use even better, grips are placed in strategic spots on the palms and fingers and the material is assembled to try to maximize flexibility in the thumb. 

These materials are very well assembled. Stitches are strong, and both from visual inspection and use I’m given the impression of longevity. In the few months I’ve been testing these gloves they’ve held up perfectly and show no signs of wear.


If you’re looking for slim, fashionable gloves that keep you warm in extremely cold weather, look no further. These gloves are incredibly warm. If I put them on before I step outside, my hands start to sweat! I was recently stuck in an arm immobilizing sling for 6 weeks. My sling hand wasn’t moving and I couldn’t put it in my pocket or protect it with a jacket. As a result, it was always cold and my skin would get really dry in the winter weather. These gloves were the solution. 

Next let’s look at the touch screen performance. I’d say these are a step above less expensive touch screen gloves, but not quite like using your bare hands. I was impressed to sometimes be able to even play mobile games with the gloves on, with near-perfect responsiveness. However, there were also frustrating times when it felt like I couldn’t get any touches to register without trying different fingers or swiping. I wasn’t able to figure out when this happened, so I asked Mujjo about it. Turns out, this can happen when it’s simply too warm! The way the conductive treatment works actually performs best in colder temperatures, so if you want to use a touchscreen, best to take them off indoors.

Other touchscreen features work really well. The silicone pads are in just the right spots to help you have a sure grip on your device. These are also definitely the warmest gloves I’ve worn that provide a fair amount of finger dexterity, allowing you to reach the far corners of your smart phone. These gloves seem to have been designed with real hand mechanics in mind, and the bit of stretch helps as well. 

A quick note on sizing for anyone looking to order: after measuring with their sizing tools, I was between a medium and large, and Mujjo suggested a large size to me. I think I probably could have gone either way here, as the gloves are just a hair big on me. This will probably come down to personal preference if, like me, you find yourself between sizes. 


Hard to go wrong with slim profile, black gloves. You’ll fit in just fine out playing in the snow or heading to a board meeting. The Mujjo gloves are both professional and discrete. They have a bit of a driver’s glove appearance to them and are very attractive.


I’d recommend the Mujjo Double-Insulated Touchscreen Gloves to anyone who is in need of a very, very warm set of gloves that aren’t bulky and come with some added touchscreen capabilities (if you don’t need bitter-freezing capable gloves, Mujjo have a standard insulated glove as well!). They’re reasonably priced and are far more functional than any other glove I’ve used that’s able to handle such low temperatures.

Loctote Flak Sack II Anti Theft Backpack Review – $129.00

It all started last week. My wife and daughter were at the community pool, it was a blistering 90 plus outside and the place was packed. We grabbed a patch of grass by the fences, about 30 feet from the water. We had brought our phones and wallets with us and obviously couldn’t take them in the water, so we took turns swimming with our daughter. It was ridiculous. It was after that ordeal that I started looking for a secure option to store our personal belongings when out and about. That’s how I found out about the Loctote Flak Sack II Anti Theft Backpack.


The Flak Sack is built like a traditional drawstring pack with some very interesting features. The fabric is made from Loctote’s proprietary Flaknit, a highly slash and abrasion resistant material. Loctote states this bag scored an impressive A9 cut level. I believe this is an actual ANSI based guideline, so this rates up there for safety equipment used in industrial applications where contact with dangerously sharp materials is performed frequently. The drawstrings are also made of slash resistant textiles. The bag has a large open compartment with a smaller RFID blocking fleece lined interior. We also see a steel reinforced locking strap to keep prying hands out.

The bag weighs about 2lbs empty (including lock) and measures in at 18”x14”


The Flak Sack II functions much like your standard drawstring bag. The material is a little rigid and less pliable than nylon, which is kind of expected given the security features. The main compartment makes stowing gear pretty easy, but this bag will fill up quick, and you can’t stuff it to the brim. I found out the hard way because you can’t cinch it completely shut and get the lock on if it’s packed. So definitely try to keep the bag about 75% loaded at most. 

The drawstrings are also slash resistant. I think it would have been great if they had steel cable running through them to add even more reinforcement. There’s video of guys making multiple attempts at slashing them though with little success though, but you’d have to be at it awhile and cause a scene to get this bag open. The locking function is pretty easy once you see it done on video. Once secured the bag is cinched so tight you can’t even get a finger inside the bag.

The major selling point for me is the ability to lock it to stationary objects like posts or fences. I wish I had this bag in college. You could leave your expensive electronics locked to your bedpost! The RFID blocking feature is a nice bonus, although I pity whomever wasted their time trying to get into my laughable finances in the first place.


Drawstring bags aren’t typically great looking, usually towing the line between teenager at soccer practice and gym bro man bag. However Loctote did a nice job “adulting” it up a bit. The material is inherently thicker, so the bag has a more quality look and feel to it. The leather accents really do a great job at adding a subtle flair to the bag. It comes in a few other colorways like heather and digital camo if you want something a little more conspicuous. 


I want to point out that no anti theft device is fail proof. However, Loctote’s Flak Sack II definitely adds peace of mind when storing your goods. The fact that the Flak Knit material is so resistant to cuts and punctures just adds to the “It” factor. I like the fact that I’m wearing a bag that could quite literally double as a shield against edged weapons. I wish it was a little bigger and cost a little less, but that’s the price of innovation. All in all, it’s definitely worth a look if you travel with a lot of expensive goodies and find yourself away from your pack at times.

Tuff Writer Retro-Click Executive Pen Review Kickstarter Special

In last week’s episode we watched Tuff Writer’s Mini Click and Operator take on the forces of evil and once again send Skeletor crying for his mommy. If you found yourself liking the build of the those pens, but wanted something a little less intimidating and more refined, they’re back with a Kickstarter Campaign that might interest you. Read on for details on the Retro-Click Executive Pen.


The Retro-Click will be available in a number of metals including Zirconium, Copper and Brass. The model I’m handling is Polished Titanium. This isn’t the David Guetta variety, this is real deal Grade 5 Titanium. With one of the highest strength to weight ratios among metals, this Titanium makes for a smart option for those who want a beefy, yet light pen. This pen features Tuff Writer’s signature 416SS Swiss-machined advancing mechanism. It’s their smoothest mechanism to date, they basically took R. Kelly’s voice, filtered out the creepiness and made a pen. My plebeian tongue can’t even begin to properly explain what that is, so I’ll quote directly from the site:

“What makes this 416SS mechanism so special?”

Mostly the material choice and time consuming manufacturing process refinements. Virtually all high-end pen mechanisms are made from brass and plated (easier and cheaper to manufacture but not as durable as ours), we decided to go nuts and machine it out of 416 stainless steel (a much harder and more durable material). This meant we had to have it Swiss-CNC’d which, while more costly, means we can hold much tighter tolerances (less than .0005″ all day long on the Citizen L-20). The G-Code programming done by our friend’s shop re-traces the race toolpaths to debur all edges, taking more time but it also means that the chrome steel bearing glides smoothly and the mechanism cycles like butter. It’s much more expensive and time consuming to make it this way but it really is pretty awesome. Plus, the 416SS and chrome steel will wear better and last much longer than plated brass. It’s complete overkill for a pen mechanism but hey… if you’re going to make one, might as well make the best.”

The pen also features a tensioned clip and comes with a Fisher Black Medium cartridge, but will accept any Parker style due to the adjustable internal spacer. These pens are all made from start to finish in the United States. The Retro-Click I’m using weighs, including ink,  1.6 oz (40g) and measures just over 5.25” – Expect heavier pens with the other metals.


People often think I can’t find a pen when I’m rummaging through my bag. Little do they know I’m experiencing a mild panic attack trying to choose which of these beauties to sign with.

The Retro-Click offers a much different feel than other Tuff Writer’s I’ve worked with. Where as the Mini-Click in Brass is like plowing a M1 Abrams through a Bloomingdale’s, the Retro-Click is more like cruising in a B29 on a really nice beaded cushion. I prefer this design over the o ring grips on my Mini-Click (2 of the o rings have since disappeared somehow) The circumference of this pen is great and makes gripping it easy. The Fisher cartridges are of course great. Just today my co worker needed a customer to sign off on an invoice and grabbed a cheap Bic that had been sitting in our work truck all night in freezing temps and it wouldn’t write, my Tuff Writer which had ALSO been sitting in the truck wrote like a charm. You know when you grab a pen and do the preliminary circular test doodles? Not anymore.


Much like Cap’n Crunch, this pen is part of a balanced EDC

The clean, uncluttered lines are just so easy on the eyes. This pen doesn’t get the, “Wow, this pen is solid, can you even take this on a plane?” retort. When customers use the Retro-Click, it’s more of a delayed response after they’ve signed. Something along the lines of, “Hmm…nice pen” And sometimes that’s what you want, understated quality. What I also enjoy is this pen isn’t a presumptions $800 Mont Blanc that you’ll fear taking out of your bag. In Goldeneye when Q gave 007 the grenade pen, I’m pretty sure if the explosive detonated inside of a Tuff Writer, only a wisp of smoke would have exited the barrel and Boris would have still remained invincible.

Had to pull a favor for this shot, Arnie and I go way back. He was my kindergarten sub one semester.


As I pretty much figured, Tuff Writer once again executed a brilliant pen. In a world of card trick Mages, they’re pretty much Alpha Wizards. You can tell they’re passionate to an almost inappropriate degree with writing instruments. If you already have a Tuff Writer, I’m not quite sure you’d need this pen, as it feels pretty similar to their Mini-Click in some respects. The retail on the Titanium Retro-Click is a hefty $150, however through the Kickstarter campaign you can get it for a steal at a $100 pledge, that is definitely worth it.

Triple Aught Design Fast Pack Litespeed Backpack Review – $255

I’ve been somewhat of a backpack (that’s a bookbag for you east coasters) connoisseur ever since I got my first leather bottom Jansport in the 5th grade. Ever since I’ve been experimenting with carry options. I had a bag for travel, school, work, etc. Having so many bags laying around was starting to become ridiculous however.  It was there that I started searching for the one bag to rule them all and in the darkness bind the- excuse me, what I meant to say was that I wanted a bag that could adapt and meet the needs of nearly any activity I could throw at it. In that search I discovered the FAST Pack Litespeed by Triple Aught Design.

We are currently running a giveaway for this backpack. Click here to check it out and enter for your chance to win this backpack + awesome gear from Triple Aught Design!


An almost unparalleled amount of detail is poured into this bag. The price tag seems justifiable when you realize it’s not only made in the US, but it probably took someone quite a while to build it.

The Fast Pack features several advanced textiles in its construction. The exterior shell is made from 1000 Denier Invista Cordura Fabric. In case you’re wondering, Denier refers to the fiber thickness of individual threads. Typically the higher the number, the more durable the fabric. For reference, most Jansport packs are 600D. This pack also sports YKK zippers with paracord pulls and pretty much all the plastic buckles are ITW GhillieTEX.

Padding in the shoulder straps and back are sourced from Evazote Closed Cell Cross-Linked Ethylene Copolymer Foam. I fell asleep during rocket scientist class but a bit of research reveals this product has many uses in products over a vast area from gym mats to industrial gaskets. If this stuff performs in a Mack truck then surely your tender shoulders will be in good hands.

The back padding utilizes DRI-LEX Aerospacer Moisture Management Mesh. This mesh is often used in shoes and is noted for its moisture redistribution system. Essentially soaking up the sweat off your back and transporting it elsewhere.

Hypalon is  Synthetic Rubber is used in specially reinforced areas. This is another high tech material with great resistance to chemicals, temperature extremes and UV light. If you’ve ever found yourself in a life raft, chances are it was made of Hypalon.


The TAD Fast Pack Litespeed is designed to be a light, relatively compact bag for minimal carry…with the modular potential to do so much more. One could write a lengthy tome on the functionality of this bag. Out of the box it has a large main compartment with a clamshell design that opens up to two mesh zippered pockets. The outside has a small zippered pocket right above the velcro patch area. If you’re unfamiliar with the MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) system, it might be confusing seeing all the webbing on this bag. Those are basically attachment points for aftermarket MOLLE bags, pouches, etc. Bummed there’s no water bottle pouch on this bag? Simple get a MOLLE water bottle holder, don’t need the water bottle holder? Take it off. That’s where the brilliance of this bag shines. You can customize it for whatever you need.

Thanks to the numerous tie down options, I was easily able to stow my rod onto my pack. This bag is like a faithful wing man in that it literally and metaphorically has your back.

I was working on a deck located on a hill side, carrying a tool box was kind of a pain and I’m not really a tool belt kind of guy, so I stashed my drills and bits into the Lite Speed and was able to traverse the slope with my tools.

The webbing works great for MOLLE packs and adds so much more to the feature set of this pack. Here I have a water bottle holder and small accessory pack securely attached to the bag, I can remove them when I don’t need them, and that’s damn near priceless.

The rear flap can flip down and has a pocket for stowing a tripod, engineering blueprints or even a Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle. Oooooooh!


There seems to be a division in tastes when it comes to “tactical” backpacks. Some feel all the velco, patches and webbing is overkill relegated to mall ninjas or doomsday preppers. With the TAD Litespeed you can deck it out aesthetically almost as much as you can functionally. If you want to put a Punisher skull morale patch, magazine molle pouches and a paracord fob on the zippers, go for it. I personally feel the bag in black has a more sophisticated appeal. I like to keep the exterior streamlined and with the prevalent selection of velcro patches available you can personalize the bag endlessly, and it’s pretty fun to do so. The quality materials make this bag stand out among similar bags, almost like a good paint job on a car. I definitely would have preferred an internal pouch on the sides as opposed to so much Pals webbing, but it does come in handy when swapping between a water bottle pouch, or a tripod sling.

I consider this bag first and foremost a tool, and like pointing out the aesthetics of a screwdriver, I find it a somewhat moot point. I think this bag looks awkward when it’s decked out in camo and molle attachments at the airport, however at the range or on the trail it suddenly becomes not just a pack, but a serious piece of indispensable armor.


At the end of the day, I’m convinced the TAD Fast Pack Litespeed can raise to almost any occasion thrown at it, although it will cost you a fair ransom to tweak the pack to your needs. The overbuilt construction present an extreme value that will definitely alleviate the cost of ownership for a bag that can easily replace several bags in your closet. The styling isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a quality, versatile pack I can say this bag warrants a second and third look.

Don’t forget about the giveaway we are running RIGHT NOW for this backpack! If you liked what you saw in this review make sure to go check out the giveaway here.

Tuff Writer Operator & Mini Click Pen Review – $95.00 & $115.00

We all know the adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” While this saying alludes to the power of the written word over the literal power and durability of a steel blade, I definitely wouldn’t mind possessing a writing instrument that could draft poetry as well as survive an earthquake. In my search for such a writing utensil, I came across the Tuff Writer Operator and Mini Click Pens.

                                                                                  Roll that beautiful bean footage


Let’s start with the guts of the Tuff Writer Operator (Shown in Blue) 6061-T6 Aerospace Grade Aluminum houses the Fisher SPR4 Pen. The 6061-T6 metal is extremely corrosion resistant, as well as very hard. This a great metal that performs will in areas where rust can be a hindrance. The exterior also employs a proprietary non marking/non reflective finish as well as being anodized for further durability. We see a cold pressed spring steel clip fastened by 2 hex bolts. The cap unscrews from the tip and pressure snaps onto the back for writing. The pen weighs 1.6 ounces and measures 6 inches.

All pens are personally crafted by Jack Roman, head of Tuff Writer. He describes them as “Living Designs” in that he never stops looking for ways to improve the pens, going so far as to rework already good mechanisms for even smoother operation.

The Mini Click is composed of brass, the model reviewed features a highly polished finish. We enjoy the same cold pressed steel clip. The Mini Click is you guessed it, a clicky pen. The cam mechanism is a Tuff Writer designed exclusive. The Mini Click measures in at 5.13 inches and weighs a robust 2.5 ounces. A Fisher SPR4 cartridge is housed as well.

The machining on these pens is superb. Notice how the line just disappears when the cap is screwed on.


Since both of these pens utilize an after market ink cartridge, I won’t focus too much on the actual ink. Although I will say we enjoy all the benefits of a pressurized Fisher cartridge including writing underwater, upside down in 400 degree temperatures. If, although you find yourself in those conditions with a pen, I suggest you stop reading this at once and consult a life coach.

As for the pens in hand, well I find both have their strengths. The Operator’s light weight is really nice, especially considering it’s built like a tank – although the constant need to unscrew the cap makes it better suited for a desk pen in my situation. Both of these pens are built tough, not just for durability in the field but for last ditch self defense applications, I’ll leave it to the reader’s imagination though. The knurling provides decent grip without discomfort.

The tension on the mini clip is great, a very secure clip even on thin fabrics. The upward flare on the end means you can usually clip it one handed depending on the rigidity of the material. I’m digging the O Ring grips but am worried about their overall lifespan and replacements. This pen feels good in the hand, a very substantial feel. I’ve been using it to collect signatures at work and it almost never fails to solicit a, “Wow, nice pen!” remark.


The thing I enjoy most about these pens, is they’re a different sort of breed. They’re sleek without being gaudy and stylish without pretension. While forms follows function, these pens still retain a quality aesthetic. Tuff Writer offers both of these models in a wide array of finishes too, so finding one that suits your personal style shouldn’t be difficult.

Not sure if I want to write a limerick with this baby or load it into a Howitzer!

The Operator works great on any PALS system, and stays put as well. It perfectly compliments my EDC


I had a good time working with these pens. Tuff Writer did a great job transmuting the concept of a pen as merely a writing device into an essential tool. The machining is flawless as much as I can tell and the price points are fair. Again I stress you consider your end use as the screw cap on the Operator can be a hindrance if you’re using the pen constantly in the field or require one hand operation. All said, if you’re in the market for a non disposable writing instrument that might just outlast you, I’d consider a Tuff Writer.

MecArmy FL10 Titanium EDC Flashlight Carabiner Review – $129.90

I’ve always struggled with carrying my keys. They bunch up in my pockets, poke my fingers during retrieval and just plain get in the way. While browsing some EDC blogs, I came across the carabiner carry and haven’t looked back. I was using a simple metal carabiner from the hardware store, but have been looking for something with a little more utility. Enter the MecArmy FL10 Titanium Flashlight Carabiner. 


Altun (Corporation behind MecArmy) is a Chinese based manufacturer of various lighted instruments and EDC gear. The name was inspired by the adventure oriented team who frequent the Altun mountain range in China. They also are a contracted supplier of military and law enforcement gear for the government.


The FL10 is CNC machined from solid Titanium. It features a CREE XP-G2 S4 LED housed behind an anti reflective/anti scratch coated lens. Juice is supplied by a 100mAh lithium polymer rechargeable battery. 5 precision star screws keep the battery sealed in, which gives the FL10 an IPX5 water resistant rating which probably equates to using it in moderate rain.


The FL10 functions as a handy light source. LED technology has made leaps and bounds in the portable flashlight arena. The FL10 can hit 360 lumens on high, plenty for midrange use (scoping out your campsite at night or lighting up a large tree) and the low range is great for finding the keyhole to your house or reading. There’s also a strobe that is actually quite disorienting, appropriate for self defense situations. The clip can also be hung to use as a lantern, really handy in select circumstances or stood on end like a candle.

As a carabiner for keys, I find it works somewhat well. The thick case makes it a little hard on your belt loops, and some pants have special loops stitched in for carabiners which this won’t fit. Paired with an Exotac keyring, the FL10 holds keys securely. I really appreciate the lightness of the piece, the titanium is probably one of the best EDC metals as the weight savings are noticeable. Charging the FL10 with the same micro usb I charge my phone with is a huge plus.

That shed is about 30 feet from where I’m standing, with no light, you couldn’t make it out, so not bad at all.

The FL10 has a wedged edge that could probably act as a pry tool and flat head bit. It’s really too wide to drive a screw down since the blade is wider than most screw heads. I would like to see it less wide to allow for more screw applications. It works decently as a pry tool or to break the tape on packages.


I was a bit skeptical while waiting for the FL10 to come in the mail. The price seemed too…affordable. Usually anything made of titanium commands a premium. I was pleasantly surprised however. The machining is clean, the led is bright. I opted for the black, and the pre distressed finish looks great, and any scratches will just enhance the look in my opinion.  


After handling a carabiner light for the past few weeks, I can’t say I’m going back to my old one. The MecArmy FL10 provides great lighting and functions great as a key carrier. With the clip and stand on end capability this light can be used in a wide range of scenarios. The price seems decent, especially for the premium materials. If you do decide to try out a FL10, just click on either product link at the beginning or end of the article for 10% off your purchase.

CountyComm Brass Embassy Pen Review – $98

I’ve been into the EDC (Everyday Carry) scene for quite some time. Essentially, EDC comprises of the items you have on your person at all times. Be it your keys, wallet or even a pocket knife. It has become somewhat of a practiced discipline in terms of preparedness on a practical, daily level. One of the widely recognized foundation pieces of a proper EDC kit is a pen. Do a quick search and you’ll likely find the CountyComm Brass Embassy Pen mentioned more than once. I’m here today with one and eagerly look forward to sharing my findings.


CountyComm is a California based supplier to federal, state and local government agencies. They are responsible for the design, manufacture and sales of these products. The surplus products from these transactions are only available through their site in limited quantities. Their specialty lies in high quality quartz and automatic watches, but they offer an array of EDC related items and other tools.


The construction on the Embassy is pretty clear cut, it’s machined from a solid round of brass. C360 Free Pass to be exact. Brass is kind of like the Maple of woodworking in terms of crafting. It’s malleable yet maintains structural strength and integrity during the machining process (Which is done in CountyComms own private machine lab) and the use of brass also presents a few more benefits worthy to note; The bacteriostatic properties of the brass inhibit germs growing on your pen, especially relevant with an object used exclusively by hand. It’s also very long wearing, corrosive resistant and can handle high heat which is great for writing an apology note to your wife for forgetting your anniversary.

The letters U,S and A look good on just about everything

The Embassy body comprises of the barrel, pen shaft and the cap. A stonewashed stainless steel clip is attached to the lid. Aggressive diamond pattern knurling is featured on the barrel and shaft. Measurements are 5.25″ inches by .50″ diameter and the weight is 4 oz.


The Embassy uses a black ink pressurized Fisher Space Refill, so it can write in extreme heats as well as upside down. Ink flow is smooth as long as even, consistent pressure is applied when writing. Speaking of writing, this pen is heavy. Clocking in at  4oz it weighs almost as much a  modern smartphone, so keep that in mind. While I wouldn’t want to write an essay on the socioemotional differences between Nick’s Dough and Disney’s, filling out brief forms or jotting notes is a pleasure.

This pen has a commanding presence, no doubt. The substantial feel of it gives off an almost detectable aura of significance when in use. Writing down my grocery lists seems to take on a very serious tone when I write with the Embassy, contracts signed with the Embassy are never broken and sweepstakes filled out with the Embassy always win.  

The textured knurling provides a secure, somewhat uncomfortable grip. It’s not overly aggressive, but some may find it a little abrasive. I also notice my hand has a faint brass odor when I’ve been using the pen for an extended time, this may fade with use but I still notice it. The stainless steel clip has excellent tension and will keep the pen secure in a pants pocket no problem. Given the weight and size of the pen it could come in handy in self defense situations if need be and you could probably bust a window open if you had to.


The Embassy is a handsome tool. Definitely the type of pen Arnold Schwarzenegger probably keeps in his pocket when signing autographs. It adds great character to my somewhat tame EDC, and never fails to provoke a “Wow, nice pen!” when used by someone. The clean, masculine lines and expert machining really make for a flawless aesthetic on this piece. I would love to have more options on colors and metals, but the Brass does look oh so good.


At just under a hundred dollars, the Embassy actually finds it’s pricing at the lower end of the spectrum for high quality writing instruments. The weight of this pen may be a put off for some, but if you want a heavy, solid pen that will last forever, the CountyComm Brass Embassy is a solid choice.

White Wing by Mission Mercantile Small Duffel Review – $250-280

When I got word of Mission Mercantile’s acquiring of White Wing Label, I had to check out their incoming product line. I had heard of White Wing Label (WWL) having great canvas bags as well as solid choices in leather and hardware. I got a chance to interview the CEO of Mission Mercantile/WWL Chuck Bowen and they provided an opportunity to have a bag reviewed. For this review, I chose the White Wing Small Duffel. Being a frequent short-trip traveler, I got plenty of use with this bag over the last few months once putting it in my rotation.

While walking, I typically left the front zipper open to quickly access small items.


Construction of this bag is quite hard to beat. They have purposely chosen some of the best materials, namely brass YKK zippers and solid brass hardware to outfit the bag. Each zipper is equipped with a sturdy tab of riveted bridle leather, the same thickness as seen throughout the bag. The 18oz duck canvas is also very thick and sturdy to support the bag along with the inner nylon lining. This model is also available a variety of colors as well as a cordura camo and a waxed duck canvas. The dimensions of the bag are 15.6’’ L x 9.8’’ W x 9.8’’ D. This is about the same length as some larger briefcases, but with sizable more depth and width.

Very durable brass hardware with YKK zippers.


One ability I believe is understated among duffel bags is their ability to fit into multiple situations. Due to the size and lining, this could easily transform from a luggage back to a gym/sports bag. I had no problem wiping clean the inside of the bag throughout my use and the material does not keep smells, favorable or otherwise, in.

Packed well for an extended weekend trip.

Capacity is one aspect that one can expect slightly decreased limits over a medium sized duffel. I’ve found the bag can easily handle an overnight trip, but also an extended weekend trip with a little bit of room to spare. Aiming to over pack, I was able to fit in the following items:

  • Two pairs of pants (one khaki, one jeans), rolled up
  • 4 shirts, rolled
  • Three pairs of socks,
  • 4 pairs of undergarments
  • Two pairs of shorts, rolled
  • 1 light rain jacket, folded
  • Dopp kit with men’s toiletries
  • One pair of size 8.5 shoes in a duster bag (not in photo above)
  • Belt
  • Shampoo and body wash in a 1 quart Ziploc

Packing with this setup enabled me a little bit of extra space at the top in order to ensure an easy zipper closure, but I could also add an extra item if needed, such as swapping the light rain jacket out for a hooded sweatshirt I was wearing. The shoulder strap has a black cushioned pad that is a little rough but did break in upon use. The black finish on the underside is textured enough to stay in place.

Reverse side of shoulder pad shown that is on the shoulder strap.

The side pockets and front zippered pockets are there for quick access items. On one side, I placed a field notes journal, small flashlight, and pen. The zippers remain just as sturdy and durable as the bag opening. One criticism I’ve had throughout the use of the bag however is the brass loops that connect the leather tab to the zipper. I have had to pinch them closed twice during my use as the stress of opening and closing the bag tends to bend the metal slightly. It is by no means broken, but I’d like to see a sturdier reinforced loop to make sure the leather tabs do not fall off.

Details of the zipper loops and leather tabs.


This duffel bag fits in comfortably in outdoor settings as well as in gyms and fulfilling traveling roles. The pairing of thick duck canvas and bridle leather has held its beauty throughout many trips in the last couple of months for me. Due to its small size, I usually did not use the shoulder strap and was able to comfortably carry it via the handles. The duffel also easily accomplishes carry-on size requirements and the canvas and leather combination gives it a formal look. Mission Mercantile offers this duffel in many different canvas and leather colors as well as medium, a wheel-equipped version, and large sizes.

Showcasing the top of the bag, the two carry handles are easily connected via two buttons, while the shoulder strap sports a subtle White Wing logo.


Overall, the White Wing Small Duffel is a great all-around duffel given its capacity and aesthetics. With the price ranging between $250-285 depending on color and material, I would say that is a fair price to pay for such a high quality bag and also being backed by Mission Mercantile’s handshake warranty.  I anticipate continuing to use this through out the many short trips life takes me on.

Ready for the next trip.