Terrain 365 named its first slipjoint, the Otter, after the most famous member of the Mustelidae family; now they’re rolling out a new slippie, the Caiman, which shares a moniker with a scaly gator rather than a cute weasel. But even though it takes its name from very different fauna, the Caiman adheres closely to the Otter’s Barlow-inspired design.
“The Caiman Slipjoint is our follow up to the popular Otter Slipjoint,” says Terrain 365 co-founder Patrick Ma. Many of the key visual elements and dimensions are the same here, with the biggest difference being the blade shape. When it comes to traditional Barlow knives, the most common blade shapes are spear points and clips; Terrain 365 covered the former with the Otter, and now the Caiman provides a clip option for those who prefer it. In simple EDC terms, both are more than competent, and really it may come down to personal preference which you prefer.
Blade length on the Caiman aligns with the Otter at 3 inches even, and dual-side, groove-style nail marks provide the only method of opening. And, of course, the steel is once again Terravantium, the cobalt alloy that is central to both folder and fixed blade sides of Terrain 365’s product line. The Caiman does add some reptilian ridges in the form of jimping at the base of the blade, something that the original, slippie version of the Otter didn’t have.
The handle is where the Caiman’s real Barlow heritage comes through. It’s that almost portly, slightly tapered shape that’s comfortable, versatile, and good-looking. Once again it’s a handle shape that will be immediately familiar to anyone who has owned or ogled the Otter and, like that knife, there’s no Barlovian bolster, just clean, contoured scales on both sides, made from either CF or titanium (no G-10 option this time around). But the Caimain ditches the Otter’s lanyard bail for a more modern internal lanyard. “This is a modern Barlow of the 21st century with our premium, rustproof, edge holding Terravantium blade alloy and aerospace level handle materials,” Ma summarizes.
The Caiman caps off Terrain 365’s 2021 release schedule, and while it may be the new slipjoint on the block, their Otter model got a lot of love this year too, with locking and non-locking flipper variants rolled out throughout the year. Whether or not the Caiman gets the same treatment remains to be seen, but the standard version is available now.
Knife in Featured Image: Terrain 365 Caiman