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Keychains have been around for ages, providing people a convenient way to keep track of their keys. However, the keychains nowadays aren’t only meant for keys – they can be incorporated with other tools like flashlights, trackers, etc. to make life more efficient.


Keychains are no longer decorative, but convenient add-ons to one’s everyday carry (EDC). These pocket-sized tools don’t only accessorize, but they keep your essentials organized. They’ve evolved into versatile items that you can’t live without.


In this article, we’ll take a look at the reasons why you should use a keychain, as well as list some of our top picks of clip-on keychains for 2022.

What is a Keychain?

A keychain (or a keyring) is a tiny accessory that consolidates your things. It lets you connect your everyday carry (EDC) so you can carry it with convenience. A keychain, as its name suggests, is designed to keep your keys together, and it consists of a metal ring, metal chain, and sometimes, a decoration. While keychains often fit in one’s pocket, some keychains come with long chains that allow you to use them in a wide range of ways.

What’s the Difference Between a Key Fob and a Keychain?

What makes a key fob different from a keychain? Are the two terms interchangeable? The short answer is no, they’re completely distinct.


If you take the word ‘keychain’ literally, it points to the metal chain that’s attached to the key ring. However, ‘keychain’ is a general term for the keyring together with the key chain. A keychain is an accessory that keeps keys and other things together, featuring a loop that can be pried open on one end. It’s also worth mentioning that keychains aren’t only for your keys, but that they’ve become fashionable, as well.


A key fob, on the other hand, is an electronic gadget that’s attached to a key ring. A key fob is meant to unlock doors like your car door. It contains a button that, when triggered, signals the reader to initiate a command, which is to lock or unlock the door. A key fob is essential to the keyless entry system that’s been around since the eighties.


A key fob can also be the decorative items that people have on their keychains. People often attach a trinket to their keychain to get an easier grip, or simply to make their keychain look more personal.


Why Do You Need a Clip-On Keychain?

A keychain is the kind of thing that people don’t go out of their way to get. When it comes to what a person needs, a keychain typically isn’t at the top of their list. However, what people don’t understand is that a keychain does more than keep its keys. Here are a few reasons why you need to keep a keychain in your pocket:

#1 To Consolidate Your Keys

A keychain is designed to keep your keys together so that you don’t need to search the entire house. Imagine how hard it would be to search for a single key whenever you have to leave? Not only is this tedious, but also time-consuming. If you keep your keys in one keychain, you can easily find the key you currently need, and the keys you’ll need later in the day.

#2 To Keep Your Credit Card Scratch-Free

Your credit cards aren’t scratch-resistant, which is why you shouldn’t keep your keys in your front pocket wallet. Some people keep their keys in their wallets to save space, but what they don’t know is that their keys are scratching their cards with every move that they make. Instead, consolidate your EDC, including your car keys, house keys, and front pocket wallet on one keychain.

#3 To Consolidate Your EDC

Do you often do a “pat down” to see if you’ve got everything you need as you leave the house? Instead of checking your pockets to find out if your phone, keys, and wallet are in there, why don’t you consolidate your EDC? By keeping your EDC on a keychain, you can make sure that you have everything you need. You don’t have to feel around your pocket to check if every single thing is there.

#4 To Keep Your Wallet Safe

There’s always a risk of keeping your wallet in your pocket. Pickpockets are pros at spotting the chunky outline of your bulky bi-fold. To keep your wallet safe from pickpockets, clip it to your belt loop with a carabiner clip keychain. When a pickpocket tries to steal your wallet, it won’t be able to get away because it’s hooked to your belt.

#5 To Stand Out

People tend to add trinkets to their keychains to make them look more stylish. These decorations come in a wide range of designs, however, what ties them together is that they’re meant to show who the owner is. For instance, people that want to let people know (or to show off) where they’re working can attach an accessory with their company’s logo.

What Accessories Do People Put on Their Keychains?

When it comes to what you can do with your keychain, the list is endless. Here are a couple of bits and bobs you can attach to your keychain, so you can find what you’re looking for when you need it:

#1 Keys

Your keychain can keep your keys together so you no longer need to fumble about. Obviously, your keys form part of your everyday carry, because how else would you be able to enter your house? Since keys are tiny, it would be best to attach them to something that you can easily spot, like a keychain. By keeping your keys on a keychain, you can find your keys fast, and make sure that you never leave your house without your keys.

#2 Flashlight

Keep a flashlight on your keyring – who knows when you’ll need it. A flashlight is the kind of thing that you don’t need every day, but you’ll be glad to have in the event of a blackout. Plus, in case you’re struggling to unlock the doorknob in the dark, you can count on your flashlight to “shed light” on the situation.

#3 Multi-Tool

Another item to add to your keychain is a multi-tool or pocket knife. A multi-tool, like a Swiss Army Knife, is an all-in-one tool that comes with attachments such as a screwdriver, awl, wire cutters, and more. Having a multi-tool on your keychain can be helpful if you ever find yourself in a sticky situation. You could also put a pocket knife on your keychain in case the situation calls for self-defense.

#4 Carabiner Clip

A carabiner clip keychain is an accessory that’s perfect for the outdoorsy types. Not only does it let you clip your keychain to your belt loop, but it also doubles as another keychain. Be sure to buy durable carabiner clips, like the ones that are designed for rock climbing, so you don’t risk dropping your keyring on the ground.

#5 Flash Drive

How many times have you lost your flash drive? One way to keep the work files on your flash drive safe is by clipping them onto a clip-on keychain. Ideally, you should opt for a one-of-a-kind keychain accessory so that you can easily find it from afar. By keeping your flash drive on a keychain, you’ll never have a hard time looking for it, even when it’s deep within your bag.

#6 GPS Tracker

Want to make sure you never lose your keys? Invest in a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker like the Apple AirTag to keep tabs on it at all times. Connect it to your smartphone, and then clip it onto your keychain to know where it is 24/7. That way, you won’t have to retrace your steps every time you lose your essentials.

#7 Cable Lock

Make sure your valuables stay where they are with a cable lock. If you’ve ever wanted to secure your laptop to your desk, or your bike to a bike stand, consider keeping a cable lock on your keychain. For instance, if you need to go to the toilet, you can lock your laptop to the desk, and not worry about someone snatching away your things while you do your thing. But remember to take off the keychain from the cable lock!

#8 Pen

Have you ever had to sign something but you didn’t have a ballpoint pen on you? Make sure your pen is with you at all times by keeping it on your keychain, along with your keys and other EDC. That way, you will always be able to write whenever you need to. Stick to a retractable pen that locks in place so you won’t need to worry about its cap uncapping in your bag.

What are the Different Kinds of Keychain Accessories?

Whether you keep a multi-tool or a trinket of the Eiffel Tower on your keychain, your keychain accessory can add a personal touch to your look. However, it’s worth mentioning that keychain accessories come in a wide variety of materials that may or may not work for you.

#1 Metal Keychains

Metal keychains are the most common kind of keychains. What makes metal keychains so popular is that they complement the shine of car keys thanks to their construction. While metal keys aren’t the most silent, people actually like how it helps them keep track of where their keys are.

#2 Plastic or PVC Keychains

Plastic or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) keychains are the second most popular kind of keychains. Unlink metal keychains, they don’t make a sound when they’re kept with your keys. In addition, plastic keychains are often colorful, making them easy to spot from afar.

#3 Rubber Keychains

Rubber keychains look like plastic keychains, but what makes them different is that they’re softer. Keeping a rubber keychain in your pocket can be comfortable because it won’t poke through your pants. It’s also lightweight, making it comfortable to carry in the front pocket. However, the downside is that rubber keychains are at risk of tearing due to the constant rubbing against the keys.

#4 Wooden Keychains

If you want to be eco-friendly, you will like wooden keychains. This kind of keychain is often crafted from leftover wood so that the wood scraps don’t go to waste. The downside is that they’re bulkier but this shouldn’t be a deal breaker if you do not plan to keep your keys in your pocket.

#5 Nylon Webbing Keychains

Keychains made from nylon webbing are incredibly durable. If this is your first time hearing about nylon webbing, a good sample would be seatbelt straps which are manufactured from the same material. Nylon webbing is also lightweight, making it a great material for keychains that can be clipped onto belts.

#6 Leather Keychains

If you’re looking for a keychain that looks rugged, go for a top-grain keychain. Like a leather wallet, a leather keychain will eventually develop a patina, giving it a “raw” and natural look. And although it will look different in a few years, a leather keychain is designed to last a very long time – it can even be passed down the generations.

#7 Key-Carry System

A key-carry system isn’t really a keychain, but it works like one. Key-carry systems still keep your keys together, but without a key chain or a key ring. It works like a Swiss Army Knife wherein the keys are retractable and hidden within the tool at all times. The advantage of using a key-carry system is that, unlike the average keychain, it stops the keys from making a sound. 

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Keychain?

There are multiple things to consider when picking out a keyring. For one, if you’re planning on keeping a lot of keys on one keyring, you should go for a larger ring. That way, you can make sure that your keychain won’t be too packed. The downside to this, however, is that keeping too many keys on a single keychain can make it difficult to find the key you’re looking for.


That’s why you keep similar keys together in a single key ring. For instance, the keys that you need daily (e.g. car keys, garage keys, etc.) could go on one keyring, while the keys for the office could go on another keyring.


You should also consider the material. Metal keychains are common but know that you can also purchase plastic keychains. They aren’t as strong as metal keychains, but they do the trick of keeping your keys together. Remember to be careful when handling a plastic keychain because it can break.

What are the Best Keychains to Buy in 2022?

The ‘best’ keychain should be able to assist you throughout the day or in case of emergencies. It should also fit your style and lifestyle. Take a look at these keychains to find the perfect EDC accessory for your day-to-day needs:

#1 Trayvax Link Stretch Lanyard

When going climbing, a carabiner-clip keychain can keep your EDC secure. When hooked to your belt loop, the Trayvax Link Lanyard offers maximum security with its bungee nylon webbing that extends to 28 inches.

link stretch lanyard

This carabiner keychain can also secure other items like a water bottle so you can be completely hands-free during your climb. Weighing 1.8 ounces, the Link Lanyard is the kind of keychain that won’t hold you back.

#2 Trayvax Link EDC Lanyard

For an everyday keychain that can secure your everyday carry, take a look at the Trayvax Link EDC Lanyard. Like the Link Stretch Lanyard, it comes with a stainless steel carabiner clip to secure your items, such as your car keys and house keys. The Link EDC Lanyard boasts a double nylon webbing, guaranteeing to always be by your side.  If nylon isn’t your style, you can get the Link EDC Lanyard in top-grain leather.

#3 Trayvax Keyton Clip

If you’re looking for a carabiner-clip keychain that’s less tactical, choose the Trayvax Keyton Clip. Like the Trayvax Link EDC Lanyard, it’s a versatile everyday keychain that can keep your EDC secure. Crafted from top-grain leather, it’s designed to complement your classic leather wallet and leather belt. Its strap features a loop construction so you can wear it around your wrist.


#4 Trayvax Carabiner

A carabiner merges the two parts of the keychain, the key chain and the keyring, into a single tool. While the Trayvax Carabiner isn’t weight-bearing, it is stronger than the carabiner-clip keychains in the market. That’s because the carabiners are manufactured from premium materials such as brass and titanium.

Summing Up

With a pocket-sized tool like a keychain, you can organize your keys and functionally accessorize your outfit. If you don’t own a keychain (or if you do own one that you don’t use), it’s time to tweak how you keep your keys. Not only will a keychain allow you to keep track of where your keys are, but it will also keep your EDC secure and far away from pickpockets.


There’s really no reason not to own a keychain!

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