Concealed Carry

Everyday Carry Gear: Best Accessories

everyday carry gear - best accessories

In this everyday carry gear series, we’ve covered where to begin, the best holsters and the best loads. Today, we turn our attention to other accessories.

If you’re carrying every day, here are the different accessories you need, as well as my suggestions for the best ones to consider.


The Buck/TOPS CSAR-T folding knife is among the finest all-around survival tools available. The knife is the result of brainstorming between Buck Knives and TOPS, two renowned makers.

The knife features ATS 34 steel. The blade is a solid 3.8 inches long and a stout 0.175 inches thick. Rockwell hardness is RC 60 on average. That is a hefty piece of steel for serious work. A warranty is good, but I want a knife unlikely to fail and one which holds its edge.

This is that knife. I like a go-anywhere, do-anything knife and the CSAR is a good camp knife and survival knife, as well as a personal defense knife. With an overall length of 8.32 inches, the knife has more reach than most.

Weight is 8.6 ounces. Sure, this is a heavier knife than what many are comfortable with, but it is by the same token a very rugged and sturdy knife that handles well in drawing, cutting and slashing. The knife may be used to prepare food or snip an errant thread.

It may be used to make a spear for spearing fish in a worst-case scenario. In everyday carry, accessories like knives may be used defensively. The knife may be used with the edge first, or the handle offers real utility as an impact weapon.

l admit the CSAR is a bit large, but if you need a good knife, you probably need a really good knife… and this is it. The tanto point is a good design for heavy work, and the blade is quite sharp. There is plenty of steel in the lock to ensure the blade doesn’t close on the hand.

The G10 scales offer a good balance of adhesion and abrasion. This is a tool for those that appreciate greatness! Anyone carrying a firearm should carry a readily accessible knife. The knife may be used as a retention tool.

Most gun grabs originate from behind. If the adversary has his hand on the holstered firearm, it is difficult to disengage. A fast stab to the offender’s hand will do the business. Carry the knife where it is accessible.

For those wishing to carry the best possible knife in the least weight penalty, the Cold Steel Swift folding knife is a good choice. With an assisted opening kicker than makes quickly opening the knife practically effortless, the Swift offers easy one-hand opening.

The knife features a safety securely locking the blade to ensure it will not be opened unless you want it open, and a super belt clip. The Swift is a good choice.

everyday carry gear - best accessories
The Buck/TOPS CSAR features a heavy tanto-point blade.

Spare Magazines

Spare magazines are not really an accessory, but an essential—just the same, you need to purchase these separately, so they are technically accessories. Many makers supply pistols with a single magazine these days. This allows them to sell the pistol for a few bucks less.

You need three magazines (minimum) for the pistol. That is one magazine in the pistol, one on the belt and one resting. I rotate magazines periodically and have done so for many years.

With a high-capacity magazine and frequent practice sessions, three magazines are fine, with a slimline nine or 1911 .45, I need six or more. Think about it: three GLOCK magazines in the GLOCK 19 carry a load of 45 rounds—that is almost a box of ammunition.

everyday carry gear - best accessories
A good supply of magazines is essential for training.

If you load a box of ammunition in eight-round magazines, you will load them six times. Do the math and you will find you need more magazines. A minimum of three is good you will need more as you progress in training.

For reliability, the magazine should be made by the maker of the pistol. There is no substitute for GLOCK magazines. Mec-Gar makes the magazines for most European companies, so Mec-Gar is first-class. When it comes to the 1911, Mec-Gar and Wilson Combat are the sure bet.

Don’t purchase cut-rate or gun show 1911 magazines!

Next, get a magazine carrier. Some are for inside the waistband carry, others for on the belt carry. The new N8 belt pouch is ideal for most uses. Galco offers a wide variety of magazine carriers offering a good mix of speed and security.

everyday carry gear - best accessories
For many uses, the Galco dual magazine carrier is ideal. It isn’t that obtrusive and is very secure.


If you deploy a revolver, you need a speedloader. Speedloader devices are sturdy and carry a full load of cartridges. Practice is demanding, but the speedloader may rival reloading an automatic pistol for those who practice.

Most revolver shooters carry a single speedloader. If the scenario would lead you to believe you need more than a single speedloader, then maybe a revolver isn’t what you really need!

HKS and Safariland speedloaders are proven in decades of use and may be dropped without losing their load. You need a speedloader pouch as well. Galco offers a well made and useful speedloader pouch. I often carry the Galco speedloader pouch along with the Phoenix holster.

When hiking or camping, I often carry a few rounds in an MTM Case-Gard carrier. They are useful for digging a few rounds out to reload and keep loose cartridges out of the pocket.

everyday carry gear - best accessories
A set of speedloaders and an MTM magazine case are essential for revolver shooters.


It is essential that you carry some type of light for illumination of the threat in a dim lighting scenario. I seldom use a weapon-mounted light—most of my firearms to do not accept a light, though some do.

I use a mounted light primarily for home defense in the handgun at the ready. A light may be used to check the back seat of a vehicle, just in case someone may have entered while you were shopping. You may scan an area without drawing the gun.

A parking lot may be swept by the light just in case you hear something scuffling along. It is most often a cat or dog, not a threat. But the light is useful. I use the SureFire Stiletto. It features three settings: five, 250 and 650 lumens. The light weighs but 2.8 ounces.

The light also has a strobe features. It is rechargeable, rather than relying on batteries. For a combat light, the affordable TRUGLO offers not only a light, but a built-in laser. This is as good as it gets.

everyday carry gear - best accessories
A TRUGLO combat light and SureFire Silhouette covers many options.

Survival Tools

I think a good impact tool suitable for use on pressure points and joints is good to have. After all, every situation doesn’t require lethal force. A good old-fashioned Kubotan is a good thing to have. A strong and effective Kubotan is useful.

The modern tactical pen is a handy item similar to the Kubotan, perhaps even more useful in day-to-day life. I keep a Kubotan on the key ring. The tactical pen may be carried in a pocket. The bottom line is that you should train with the tool and learn to use it well.

A Kubotan or tactical pen offers real defense against a non-lethal threat.

everyday carry gear - best accessories
Accessories like a tactical pen, Kubotan and Cold Steel Swift make for an excellent personal defense array.


Clothing is important. Many of my students complain about concealing a handgun in the heat of summer, yet do not want to be unarmed or half armed with a tiny pistol. While a pulled out polo shirtt, an inside-the-waistband holster is one solution.

A concealed carry vest is another. By wearing a long-draping vest, you may effectively conceal a GLOCK 19, Commander pistol or even a four-inch barrel .357 in a proper holster. The trick is to make the vest look like a photographer’s vest or fishing vest.

Hanging a fishing lure in the front pocket works wonders. I almost feel devious when folks in the store ask if I am going fishing! I usually reply, “Just dreaming about it.”

everyday carry gear - best accessories
A good concealed carry vest carries a lot of gear, some mundane, some serious.

Belts and Gloves

Don’t forget a proper belt to keep it all lashed together. A gunbelt is a far different item than a man’s dress belt. The belt includes a strong strap of thick leather. The buckle and loop must be of sturdy metal to cinch the belt up tight, with a prong that will not bend or warp.

Belt types including stitched-on frames, screw holds, clamps, press studs and anchor types. As long as they are high-quality, all work well. Gloves are important. Cold-numbed hands don’t operate very well and most gloves are not designed for use with a handgun.

BLACKHAWK! tactical gloves offer a good option for the handgunner. They are designed for use with firearms and offer good purchase.

everyday carry gear - best accessories
A gun belt, such as this one from BigFoot Belts, is essential as a weight-bearing device and should be one of your go-to accessories for everyday carry.

Conclusion: Everyday Carry Gear Accessories

These are just a few of the essential items that make life easier—and may even save your life.

What accessories are part of your everyday carry gear? Let us know in the comments below.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (4)

  1. Good list.. I would add 2-3 mags (as they do fail).. Individual First Aid Kit,, Mulititool, Water small Stainless bottle (Flask) If you do not carry a small ruck.,,as far as the folder goes..fine as a tool..not as a fighting knife.. It just is not.. a small fixed blade takes little space is not cumbersome when properly placed and a vastly superior choice if it comes down to that. Oh and a BUG.

    If you think this is too much to carry it is not.. especially with these micro machine Pistols out there today… Figure it out..

  2. While the Surefire Stiletto is excellent, a less expensive alternative is the Nitecore TINI 380 Lumens USB Rechargeable Keychain Flashlight in antibacterial copper for just $30. ASIN B07D7G1LKH

  3. As a conceal garment, I think a vest is pretty cliché and pretty much a dead giveaway. Maybe in other parts of the country where that attire is more commonplace it could work. Down here in West Texas untucked shirts are the norm.

  4. Excellent suggestions!

    I find cordage very comforting. Titan 620 LB SurvivorCord (ASIN B01DAPFRZY) is the obvious choice but Kevlar kite string (ASIN B07283VX4D) is less bulky and TOUGH-GRID Genuine MIl-C-5040-H Type IV 750lb Paracord (ASIN B00CJICDT2) is ideal for wrapping your “survival shillelagh”.

    Copper wire (ASIN B001PCYJF4) could come in handy too.

    ASR Outdoor 60ft Rapid Deployment (ASIN B00ZV9TCEU) is convenient since it’s pre-wound on a thread bobbin (ASIN B00C1FKLBA).

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