I rarely pull my keys out of my bag. My car has a push button ignition, and by the time I am home from work someone is already there. Despite this, I seem to have accumulated a lot of keys, and so I jumped at the chance to take a look at Orbitkey, which reimagines how to carry your keys.
Orbitkey is ridiculously simple; it’s a strap of elastomer (soft plastic) or leather that screws together at the ends and holds your keys in the middle. This way your keys don’t flop all over the place, they consistently stay in the same order, and it’s easy to flip just the key you need out of the mix. With my keys and the optional accessories provided by Orbitkey, the whole package is about the same size as a full size Swiss Army Knife, but lighter, so it fits compactly in your pants pocket as well as in a bag. As an added bonus, unlike with a Swiss Army Knife, if you pull out the wrong key you aren’t accidentally brandishing a big blade when you meant to pull out a screwdriver. There’s a large, sturdy metal ring on the opposite side to the screws for you to hook car keys and other oversized items to the Orbitkey. It fits my Prius key as well as the RSA tag I need for work nicely, and still leaves the whole package quite compact. I shook, spun, and generally gyrated the Orbitkey around with all my keys on it, and the best I could do was budge the entire mass of keys just out of the Orbitkey by a few centimeters. Basically, once you assemble your keys and screw the whole thing together, it will stay tight until you need to pull a key out.
Assembly was quite easy. I grabbed a screwdriver (actually the Swiss Army Knife I used for size reference) and unscrewed the pins holding the Orbitkey together. It wasn’t difficult to unscrew, and from there I laid out the keys I wanted to add to the system. I quickly learned that six keys/accessories seemed to be the comfortable limit for the Orbitkey, as any more made the stack too thick for the screws. As a result, I ditched a few keys I don’t need to carry regularly (I haven’t used the spare key to my parents’ home in the 16 years they lived there, so it probably doesn’t need to be on my everyday keyring!), leaving me with my house key, office key, shed key, desk key, a USB key, and a bottle opener (the latter two were provided as part of the review by Orbitkey). I have to admit, aesthetically as well as practically, this does make my everyday carry items far more streamlined than they were.
The real question, though, is how much that’s worth to you. An elastomer Orbitkey is $29.95, while the leather is $39.95. The optional bottle opener is $7.95, and the USB key ranges from $19.95 to $34.95 depending on whether you choose the 8GB or 32GB capacity. On the upside, once you buy into the system the replacement bands are cheaper, at $14.95 for elastomer and $24.95 for leather, so you could choose to swap back and forth with different materials and colors. It’s a little pricey, but it’s excellent quality as well. I’d say this falls into the heading of “gifts you would use, but might not buy yourself”. It’s a great stocking stuffer, or a gift for a colleague or friend who has a handful of keys and would love to be more organized. It may be more expensive than a cheap keyring, but it looks and feels premium!
Source: Manufacturer provided review sample
What I Liked: Holds keys securely; makes for a much more compact everyday carry; has a separate ring for bulkier items; helps prevent key scratches; comes in multiple colors and materials.
What Needs Improvement: Feels a touch pricey, at $10 less per design it would be a home run.