About a year ago, I ditched my key ring and went to Keyport V01. Since then I’ve been using it religiously, my only change being the addition of the swivel cap which became available a few months after my original purchase, which made Keyport a bit easier to use with a key fob. Keyport V01 was so awesome I purchased one as father’s day present (and it’s still in use) and sold a few friends on them as well, to say nothing of its conversation starter abilities.

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So when I heard Keyport was making a 2.0 version on Kickstarter, I couldn’t jump on the project fast enough. Keyport 2.0 remains compatible with the exact same set of blades (keys) as the first version, making it an easy upgrade from the V01 edition. What’s different is pretty simple: Keyport 2.0 is manufactured from plastic instead of metal, making it lighter and hopefully more resistant to denting when dropped, cheaper, has a new mechanism locking the top cap on, offers smoother sliding action, and comes with a swivel by default. It has slightly different dimensions but retains the same thickness.

The change in width is a noticeable at first, but it’s there to accommodate the removable sliding side plates which come in a few different colors. What’s really evident is the big change in weight, which is perhaps the biggest improvement for those looking to upgrade from the V01 to 2.0. The change in width might make it difficult to use in some vehicles with clearance issues already, but it’s minimal.

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Initially I was a bit surprised that Keyport would want to ditch metal in favor of plastic (or polymer, if you’re sugar coating things) but the difference allows Keyport 2.0 to be so much less noticeable in the pocket. Likewise the change from metal to polymer seems to make the slider action much smoother. Previously my only gripe with Keyport V01 was that after you got a bit of pocket lint in the action, sliding out the lesser often used blades resulted in a gritty feeling and some sticking and chattering. With 2.0 it seems that the plastic on plastic interface results in much smoother movement, and there’s a bit more play instead of the somewhat tight fit of the previous model. The cap on 2.0 also locks in place while blade number one is fully retracted, making it less likely that dropping Keyport will result in the cap popping off and dumping your blades out.

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While the 2.0 model doesn’t fundamentally change anything about the system (it’s still 6 keys total), the improvements made to fit, finish, weight, and of course the slider are arguably worth the difference. Either way I definitely can’t go back to a normal set of keys.