Gear Dump: The 5 Best EDC Valet Trays
Everyday carry gear was meant to live in our pockets, packs, kits, etc. That's really at the core of its purpose. But there are times when we don't want or need to have our stuff on us. For example, while you're at the office you might not want a carabiner of keys and tools weighing you down every time you get up from your desk. Similarly, in the comfort of our own homes, there's little need to have a hefty wristwatch strapped on. And that's why every EDC fan should own a valet tray.
Not only are worthwhile valet trays well-designed additions to any home or office, but they are an excellent way to keep your gear safe and organized while it isn't on your person. They keep our favorite devices in order when we don't absolutely need them. And they reduce the risk of, say, your hardened titanium flipper knife leaving scratches on your countertops. Whether you just need a place to unload your weighty tools after a long day or you need a safe storage space for your high-tech everyday carry gear while your pants go through the wash, the following are the best valet trays we have to offer.
Scout Leather Co. Mini Valet Tray
Whether you're a minimalist who has whittled their carry down to the smallest and most basic necessities or you just don't have a whole complement of gear to ditch, Scout Leather's Mini Valet Tray is the perfect option. This tiny depository is only 4 inches by 4 inches when snapped and collapses into an unimposing flat 6 by 6 inch sheet. The metal button snaps are affixed to a single piece of Chromexcel horse leather from the famed Horween Leather Company out of Chicago, Illinois. And the whole 1.8 ounce package is made right here in the USA.
Maxx & Unicorn Catch-All Tray
For something a little more modern contemporary in its design, yet still unobtrusive, consider this catchall from Maxx & Unicorn. As compact as it is beautiful, this USA made valet tray is constructed of a combination of cherrywood and maple - of which both are sustainably harvested. Weighing in at just 3.8 ounces and with a diameter of only 6 inches at its widest point, this receptacle is hardly an imposition even on the most crowded of desks. It also has the added benefit of a bit of clever design, as the dual notches act as a smartphone stand - giving your most important of electronics a smaller footprint while still keeping it accessible.
Defy Bags Snappy Valet Tray
Simple does not necessarily mean cheap, as evidenced by the Defy Bags Snappy Valet Tray. This gear depository features a basic construction, but only the most superb materials - a single piece of Horween Austin Calf leather paired with metal button snaps. It also features a clever play on the company's name as a center brand - "Defy Clutter" - which serves to represent their defiant-yet-dedicated attitude. When assembled, this tray measures up at a diameter of 6.25 inches, but the 3.6 ounce American made item also folds down flat for easy storage whenever it's not in use.
Graf & Lantz Valet Tray
If you're looking to place your gear on a surface that you want absolutely zero chance of scratching - like a vintage wooden desk that also happens to be a family heirloom - the Graf & Lantz Valet Tray is your best bet. Not only will all your gear be safe and sound, but it's construction of German Merino wool felt and genuine leather will ensure that no harm will come to any surface onto which it is placed. The largest button snap option on our list, this tray measures up at a diameter of 7 inches and a depth of 2, but can also be flattened for ease of storage or transport. And, as an added bonus, each of these trays are handmade right here in the USA.
Maxx & Unicorn Rectangle Valet Tray
The most capacious option on our list, this handsome option from Maxx & Unicorn is made in the USA from a single piece of sustainably harvested American Walnut. The design also features a dedicated section for a smartphone with a notch for a charge cable, so you can ensure that your phone gets the juice it needs while housed in this handsome desktop tray. With a 10 by 7 inch footprint, this depository is large enough for even the most comprehensive of pocket dumps. And its low-sheen varnish finish is scratch resistant - so it wont easily get dinged up by your metal EDC gear.