Dad’s not immune to the lure of flashing LEDs, voice-activated anything or shiny objects for home, car and travel. Active Junky’s done both giver and getter right with these three products, ranging from under $10 up to $70.
This one gets promoted as a backpacking light. With the patented mounting system, anchored in a perky shock cord loop and on-body hook, Leschi wins for home repair, dog walking and campground duty for starters. Emergency use on the road adds to the wonderment that comes with three lighting modes (including strobe) and IPX5 water resistance. Seasoned lighting testers rated 2.5oz Leschi’s easy – and reliable – recessed push switch as superior. UCO squeezes four hours out of a single AA, over two at max output of a respectable 110 lumens. Telescope the body tube and slide from flashlight to lantern mode in under 1sec.
Tester Comments: “Use a rechargeable battery at home to keep Leschi in service for all conceivable chores, attaching to objects up to 1” in diameter. Switch to standard cells on the road with an extra AA at the ready. This is no gimmick or poor substitute for a higher-powered flashlight. UCO gets it all done for well under $20.”
Best For: Utility lighting at home and away, all-around camp and backpacking chores including viable on-trail navigation
How many more app icons can fit on your smartphone? Dog & Bone makes it worth bumping a few to control the real-deal padlock connected to their technology. Testers channeled their enthusiasm into the “sharing is caring” functionality to allow others access to a die-cast zinc lock on any basis desired. Give, take and change passcodes instantly – and remotely -- with up to 3,000 opens on a single charge of the lock. Once granted (and noted in an electronic log), the 7mm hardened steel shackle opens with a reassuring pop that even the cushioned, weatherproof body can’t muffle. Taking nothing for granted, Locksmart prompts the owner when a micro-USB cable is needed to keep the internal lithium-ion cell energized.
Tester Comments: “My gear shed (the one that’s supposed to be for gardening stuff) is Locksmart Mini’s new home. Even when I’m away for the weekend, that extra backpack or camping stove is available to friends who want to borrow it and go at the last minute. No more playing the “key under rock” (which rock?) game.”
Best For: Gear storage access, bike sharing and home improvement projects where contractor access needs to be controlled – and monitored
Never short of ideas nor quick to run out of innovative products, Nite Ize turns a thin stainless steel rectangle into an urban survival tool. With their Cash Wrap stretch strap, folding money isn’t molding money as it remains intact and instantly accessible. And the same for ID and credit cards. Behind it is a 7-in-1 multi tool with more than the now-requisite bottle opener. Testers centered on the flathead screwdriver as an everyday essential along with the scraper’s value to wedge, pry, open – and even scrape. Wrench cut-outs come into play when needed with common ¼”, 5/16” and 3/8” sizes included.
Tester Comments: “Buy it for the tools, make use of the wallet functionality particularly when traveling light. And to look less conspicuous in crowded urban or tourist settings. Day hiking is an ideal setting as well so you’ll be prepared without adding weight.”
Best For: Perennial use, everyday carry, gift-giving for any occasion