12 gadgets every guy needs in his pocket

Powerful tech in a compact form

You're a guy. You love gadgets. You have pockets. So what's the best kit out there for taking on the go with you? Provided your pockets are spacious enough, there's actually a lot of portable technology around that can make life more convenient or just plain cool.

Whether you want to capture some action footage or you need to open up a bottle of beer, we've got a range of gadgets here to tempt you into a purchase or two - no matter what your needs or current gadget line-up you should find something of interest here.

1. Victorinox Swiss Army Knife


We'll leave you to decide whether a Swiss Army knife actually counts as a gadget; in the meantime we'll be sawing, cutting, picking, corkscrewing and pinning with various degrees of effort thanks to all of the tools and features available on these Victorinox devices. There are dozens of models and designs available but we quite like the 15-function Huntsman option. [Prices vary, Victorinox]

2. Leatherman Tread Multi-Tool Bracelet


If not a Swiss Army knife what about a Leatherman bracelet? It features multiple stainless steel tools, from a screwdriver to a bottle opener, and it fits around your wrist if you want to free up some space in your pockets for all your other paraphernalia like wallets, keys and a smartphone. Useful in all kinds of situations but particularly when you're heading for the great outdoors. [£139.95/$220, Leatherman]

3. Clip-To-Go Bluetooth Speaker


Don't be that guy who plays music at top volume using his smartphone's tinny internal speakers - be that guy with the portable, pocketable speaker that works via Bluetooth and makes your tunes sound much better. It's cheap, easy to set up and can make your music (or podcasts or movies) that bit more enjoyable whether you're in a hotel room or a park. [£14.95 ($21), Red5]

4. Tile


Attach one of these tiny tags to your keys (or your smartphone or your wallet) and you should never lose these objects again. With the accompanying mobile app you can see the last known location of whatever you've tagged and even cause it to sound an audible alert so you don't have to turn your living room upside down to locate your house keys again. [$25 (£18), Tile]

5. Mophie Power Reserve 1X


You're going to need rather capacious pockets for the Mophie Power Reserve 1X, but you'll be glad of its backup battery juice if your phone should die while you're on your travels. It's available in five different colours (to match your pocket lining and/or phone) and provides 1.8A of output to anything that can utilise a USB charging port and cable. [£29.95/$34.95, Mophie]

6. Gerber GDC Money Clip


It keeps your cash notes carefully organised and conceals a 3.7-inch titanium nitride-coated steel blade as well - handy for those times you need to pay for something and then split open the packaging it comes in in extra-quick time. There are a number of variations on this theme from different companies, just don't take it on a plane with you. [$32 (£22), Gerber]

7. Maglite Solitaire LED


You might never know when you need some light, whether you're exploring a remote forest or the corners of your attic. There are several Maglite models to pick from but the single-cell Solitaire LED is the smallest and best value - despite its diminutive size, you should find its powers of illumination are more than adequate for all kinds of tasks. [£14.98/$20, Maglite]

8. Livescribe 3 Smartpen


Your mates have probably got standard pens hidden away in their pockets, but you can get one up on them with a smart Livescribe model. Essentially it creates digital copies of everything you write out in the real world, beaming your scribbles back to a smartphone app via Bluetooth so you can study them on your devices as well as in your physical notebooks. [£129.99/$149.99, Livescribe]

9. 3Doodler


Speaking of pens, which we were, this Kickstarter-funded 3D-printing pen lets you draw three-dimensional shapes with heated plastic: it's sure to give your creativity a boost and make you the centre of attention at dinner parties or boardroom meetings. You can 'draw' in more than 80 different colours and the technology is being refined all the time [$99 (£70), 3Doodler]

10. Fitbit Zip

Fitbit Zip

Want to track your steps and other activities without cluttering up your wrists with a wearable tracker? The Fitbit Zip is the obvious choice because you can discreetly clip it inside your pocket where it will go about its work quietly. The associated Fitbit app for smartphones and the web does a very good job of pulling all your logged data together too. [£49.99/$59.95, Fitbit]

11. Polaroid Cube+

Polaroid Cube+

You can think of the Polaroid Cube+ as a smaller, cheaper, more fun version of the GoPro action cameras. With this little camcorder in your pocket you can easily film video of anything that's going on whenever inspiration strikes - it's splashproof, shock-resistant and has a wide-angle lens to help you capture as much of the action as possible. [£129.99/$149.99, Polaroid]

12. NAT Professional 32GB USB Drive

USB drive

Who knows when you might need to steal some government secrets or just get a few photos off your cousin's computer? This sleek-looking drive comes in a variety of capacities and colours and includes a few extra security-related bells and whistles so you can ensure you don't accidentally overwrite important files or pick up a virus along the way. [£49.99/$75.99, Amazon]

David Nield

Dave has over 20 years' experience in the tech journalism industry, covering hardware and software across mobile, computing, smart home, home entertainment, wearables, gaming and the web – you can find his writing online, in print, and even in the occasional scientific paper, across major tech titles like T3, TechRadar, Gizmodo and Wired. Outside of work, he enjoys long walks in the countryside, skiing down mountains, watching football matches (as long as his team is winning) and keeping up with the latest movies.