Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hygear SmartDynamo Crank Radio and Flashlight

I've been out traveling instead of sitting on my butt, but for a recent Christmas gift I got Sis this handy little crank radio and flashlight she's been eyeing for her frequent camping trips. It's not the most fantastic item ever bestowed upon mankind, but for around $30 from REI it's a good value, especially considering that it will charge up your cell phone in a pinch. That feature alone would make it worth carrying around whenever you've got room in your bag.

Many of these crank radios (including most of them made by Eton) are not very portable. They're kind of big and unwieldy and are meant more for storing in the basement or car trunk than traveling. This Hygear SmartDynamo crank radio is a different story. It's less than the size of two packs of cards put end-to-end and weighs very little. We cranked it up the requisite 10 minutes at first to charge the battery initially than gave it a whirl.

The flashlight isn't all that bright, but is good enough to get you where you need to go on a dark night. The radio isn't high fidelity, but it does the job. We didn't try the cell phone charger since none of the six adapters included fitted the two phone brandss we have on hand. (Blame the damn cell phone manufacturers for purposely making their products create more garbage and waste.) If you have a standard phone from one of the largest manufacturers, you should be okay, but you might want to research this if not.

All in all, for a mere 30 bucks this is a worthwhile purchase for yourself or someone else, especially if the phone charger function works. It's a nice way to use muscle power to provide power instead of burning more fossil fuels to do it. Why isn't this concept more widespread?

Buy it at Amazon


Elson said...

Where is this sold online?

Tim said...

REI seems to have dropped it, but I added an Amazon link above. Campmor has it too.