The things we keep on us at all times — the essential stuff we grab right before we head out the door — has changed substantially over time. It wasn’t so long ago that a cigarette case was crucial. Then the pagers came and went, and now everyone keeps a cellphone in their pocket. Even the once-indispensable wallet is being encroached on by money clips, card cases and phone wallets as fewer people carry cash or even cards. But keys have stood the test time over literally thousands of years. So has the need to keep keys organized and close at hand.
One of the best ways to keep your keys organized is with a carabiner or belt loop clip, but that doesn’t work for everyone. Whether you don’t like the sound of jangling keys or you prefer a more dressed up look, it may make more sense to keep your keys in your pocket. The best way to do that without having the keys scratch your phone or make noise while you walk is with a smart keychain organizer.
The best smart keychains have frames that the keys fold into, similar in function and appearance to a Swiss Army Knife. You can flip out only the key you need when you need it, and the teeth of the keys are kept away from sensitive surfaces when not in use. And since the keys are held flush with one another, they won’t jingle while you walk. These organizers are also a great option if you have a lot of keys — some of them allow you to carry up to 20 keys. We’ve rounded up the best smart keychains below.
1. CARBOCAGE KEYCAGE
This smart keychain has screws on either end of the frame. That means you can keep keys on either side of the keychain, maximizing storage space and reducing the thickness. You can keep up to 14 keys on the keychain. The keychain has a unique cutout in the middle, which gives you quick access to your desired key by allowing you to see the teeth of the keys. The organizer is made in Germany from lightweight and durable carbon fiber.
Pros: Unique cutout allows you to see your keys. Keys can be kept on both ends of the keychain to maximize storage. Allows one-handed access to most used keys.
Cons: Can be time-consuming to assemble and disassemble, so it may not be ideal if you see yourself regularly swapping out keys.
2. Northwall Smart Key Organizer Keychain
This sleek option is a leather loop with a screw at one end for storing up to 10 keys. It’s made out of genuine vegetable-tanned leather, and there’s a D-ring at the bottom of the loop for attaching to a hook or car key. The leather keychain is available in black or brown. A stainless steel multitool is also included, which can be kept in the keychain. The multitool has a bottle opener, box opener and flathead screwdriver.
Pros: Stylish genuine leather organizer. Holds up to 10 keys. Comes with a bottle opener multi-tool.
Cons: Somewhat expensive.
3. Orbitkey – Key Organiser
This key organizer from Orbitkey is a stylish, minimalist option. It’s available in a variety of materials, including a rugged nylon fabric, sophisticated leather, and a rubber polymer material, which is the option shown. You can also choose between several colors like black, midnight blue and dusty pink. The organizer can carry between two and seven keys, and the hardware is made from sturdy stainless steel. The D-ring at the end of the loop allows you to attach the entire unit to a carabiner or attach a car key.
Pros: Sleek and stylish look. Stainless steel hardware. Body is long enough to accommodate longer keys, and bulky keys like car fobs can be attached to exterior D-ring.
Cons: Doesn’t hold as many keys as some other options. Screw can loosen over time and will need to be tightened.
4. Ikrill Smart Key Holder Keychain
This key organizer from Ikrill is the option for you if you like to carry a lot of keys. You can store up to 20 keys total using the screws on either end of the tool. It’s available in red, black or blue. In addition to keys, you can store bottle openers and other multi-tools. Multiple screw sizes are included so you can accommodate the number of keys you actually need. Plus, a carabiner clip, keyring and bottle opener are included.
Pros: Comes with handy accessories like a bottle opener, carabiner clip, and extenders. Holds up to 20 keys.
Cons: Somewhat time-consuming to put together, so not ideal if you swap out your keys on a regular basis.
5. KeySmart Classic
Keysmart, along with Orbitkey, is one of our favorite brands of smart keychain organizers. It has two screws at the ends, allowing you to attach keys to either end of the organizer. This means you can keep up to 14 keys on your keychain. The frame is slim in the middle, making it easy to pull out your keys as needed. The screw can be opened with a coin, so the keychain can be assembled and disassembled without the use of tools. The ring at the end can be attached to a belt clip or car key fob.
Pros: Can be opened without tools, making it easy to swap out keys as needed. Keys can be kept on either side of the organizer. Available in several colors.
Cons: Screws loosen somewhat easily. Loud branding is somewhat obtrusive.