The internet abounds with questions about unique or unusual pieces of peoples EDC kit. Well today, I’m going to give you a little insight into why an EDC tape measure is part of my everyday carry loadout. Throughout my life, there have been many times that I’ve wondered about fitment, and until I started carrying a tape measure in my backpack I was always left frustrated. Often times, measurements were crucial and I would need to fetch a tape measure anyways. So, to save myself the time and frustration, I now carry a tape measure with me everywhere I go.

I’m going to outline some everyday scenarios I’ve encountered where a tape measure was crucial. Furthermore, I’ll provide you with some of the best choices for EDC tape measures to complete any kit. Whether you carry a backpack or believe in minimalist EDC philosophy I’ve got some picks for you.

Finding the right tape measure for your EDC loadout is a very personal thing. Striking a balance between your needs, and the space you allocate in your kit is a consideration. However, it really comes down to personal preference. But, below are some items for your consideration when selecting your EDC tape measure.

Overall Size

Alright, I’m not advocating that you carry around a full size contractor tape measure as part of your EDC kit. Those types of tape measures can get super bulky. I recommend that you keep the height and width of the tape measure to between 2-2.5 inches. Anything more, and you’re taking up valuable space in your kit.


This is a big ask from the mini tape measures that are out there. But there are a handful that provide a more rugged case. However, finding a tape measure with sturdy internal components is essential. When the spring that retracts the tape wears out, the tape measure is usually done for and you’ll need to buy another.

Adequate Length

Another important feature for your tape measure is ensuring appropriate length. I’ve found that a good length for an EDC tape measure is between 10-16 feet. You’ll still be able to easily measure small items with a tape measure of this length, but it is also sufficient for many common household items you’ll need to load up in your truck.

Tape Measure Rigidity

Some of you may be considering a seamstress tape measure as part of your kit. After all, this type of tape measure will definitely save space and weight in your kit. However, using this type of tape measure in your EDC kit usually means you’ll need another person to help operate. One of the key elements to a useful EDC tape measure is being able to operate the tool and measure by yourself.

Mini Tape Measure vs. Full Size Tape Measure

Alright, so now you’re familiar with the key elements of a good tape measure. But, is there a difference between a full size tape measure over their miniature counterparts? Because full size tape measures are usually more durable and a more rigid tape, I highly recommend these for your kit. However, if you’re a minimalist EDC practitioner, then a mini tape measure is better than none at all. While more prone to breaking, they are easier to carry around and take up less space. But, finding a mini tape measure with a long enough tape can be problematic.

Why Carry An EDC Tape Measure

Fantastic, you’ve told me all about the features I should be looking for in my EDC tape measure, but why the heck do I need one? Well, I’m going to lay out some scenarios, and you decide if any sound familiar. Even better, try to recall a time when you were out and needed an accurate (or even ballpark) measurement to make your life easier.

1. Furniture Fitment and Pick Up

If you’re the only friend or family member in your circle with a truck, then welcome to the club. How often has someone asked to borrow your truck for one reason or another. Generally, I get requests to help move or pick up a piece of furniture, like a couch. When I ask about the dimensions, the response is usually “I don’t know.”

Well before you try and navigate that dresser through the doorway, or load that new gun safe into your truck, you can use your EDC tape measure to take some rough measurements. It will help you formulate a plan of attack for getting the piece outside and whether the tailgate needs to be down. You have ratchet straps in your vehicle kit, right?

2. Appliance and Large Item Shopping

So, your power went out this weekend, and the surge killed your refrigerator. Or maybe you’re in the market for a washer and dryer and refuse to pay delivery fees. Well you may want to measure some dimensions first, in case you need to Tetris that washer and dryer into your truck bed. Without a tape measure, you’ll be lifting and turning those heavy appliances around in your truck bed. Working smarter not harder, is much more efficient.

In my case, I was trying to find a couch for my office. Alright, it was a chaise lounge. Anyways, I had a set amount of space in my cube to fit whatever piece I picked out. Well, I wanted to get a visual of how much space I was going to have for walkways once I picked something out. I was able to determine the maximum dimensions, without flipping a ruler over end to end.

3. Measuring For DIY Projects

Obviously, one of the key tools for any DIY dad or craft mom is measurements. Sometimes you need to figure out actual materials required for a job. Did you know that 2X4’s aren’t actually 2 inches by 4 inches? Of course you did.

Or, perhaps you’re at Michael’s and need to figure out how many pieces of foam core you need to mount all those pictures you’ve been saving. Whatever the case may be, DIYers should definitely keep a tape measure on hand.

4. Sports Field Layout

Here’s a shout out to the little league soccer dads, and pee wee football coaches. Ever shown up to a practice for the little ones with just an open field as the venue? Well with a tape measure you can mark the field lines with some grass paint in no time. Obviously, the longer your tape measure the better for a project of this magnitude. In any case, even marking the width of the goal to or goalpost can be helpful when drilling young players.

Best EDC Tape Measures

Alright, so now you’re beginning to realize that maybe a tape measure isn’t such a bad thing to have on hand. And you know generally what you should look for. Well, if you don’t want to scour your local hardware store or the internet for the best EDC tape measures out there then check out the list below:

Komelon 16′ Powerblade Tape Measure

If you’re looking for a full size tape measure, then this is the one I recommend. I carry this little guy in my backpack (that’s why it’s in the image up top), and it takes up very little space. With a durable case, and adequate tape length, I can measure just about anything I may need to haul or move. Also, the metal clip is handy for easy access, just clip the tape measure onto your belt and be on your way. Also, you can’t beat the price point. You can check out my model on Amazon by using this link.

Komelon Keychain Tape Measure

Need a mini tape measure to throw on your keychain? Well, give this version from Komelon a try. I guess I’m brand loyal when it comes to tape measures, who knew? It’s tough to find a tape measure that’s longer than 3 feet in the world of mini tape measures. However, the Komelon provides just this in a sturdy case that you can attach to your key ring. It even comes with a handy carabiner for easy detachment when in use. Looking for good functionality in a small package then check this tape measure out on Amazon, at a fair price point.

Parting Shots

Look, I’m not saying an EDC tape measure is going to save any lives. However, it can make your life a whole lot easier. Having a tape measure on hand when you need it is priceless. This is one of those tools in your kit that when you have one it’s great, and when you don’t you forget it’s there. Do you have any preferences about EDC tape measures? Do you prefer a mini or full size model? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.