Small Gear Review: Meco Flashlight and Kaito KA210 Radio

Recently I acquired a few pieces of small gear and thought I might review them. I do like flashlights and radios!

The flashlight was sent to me for an honest review while the Kaito KA210 I purchased myself.

Meco Flashlight

This is a small LED emergency flashlight that features a solar panel on the side and a hand crank. There is no other way to charge this flashlight. I found it odd that it did not have a USB charging port since it seems like practically every small gadget or piece of gear has a USB option.

The built-in carabiner seems to have a strong hinge that is less likely to come loose than some of the really cheap metal carabiners that some companies include with their gear.

The hand-crank dynamo makes a bit of noise when you turn it as you might expect if you have ever used anything that features a dynamo charging mechanism. I do like that the knob you hold to turn the crank nestles in a notch in the flashlight very well so it stays out of the way and doesn’t catch on things when you are not using it.

The solar panel is small but it seems to keep the flashlight charged better than some small devices I have owned that have solar panels for “trickle charging”. The panel on this light is actually big enough to handle what it was intended for.

The light is bright for the amount of money this flashlight costs. It is enough for you to be able to make your way in a dark house or out in the woods if needed but I would not want to have to use it for anything but finding my way briefly.

Would I want this to be my only flashlight? Absolutely not. However, it is a neat little light that I could see having in addition to another light that you can change batteries in or charge via USB. I could see this being a fun gift or stocking stuffer during the holidays.

Kaito KA210

This is the third Kaito radio I have tested. They are one of the major emergency radio companies out there. A lot of people are not aware of just how many types of radio and electronics they actually make. This little radio costs less than you would imagine.

For those that want a very basic AM/FM and NOAA weather radio for a 72 Hr bag, this radio may be just what you need.

For starters, this doesn’t have any digital tuner. It is just an old fashioned radio. I like that it takes two standard AA batteries and not something weird. I try to stick to devices that run AA or AAA batteries whenever possible just to keep things simple in the battery department. Most rechargeables are AA or AAA.

This radio weighs next to nothing and it is small enough to fit in a pocket. Simple wheel style tuning and volume controls are features that are appealing to those that just want simplicity.

There is a switch on the side to select AM/FM or NOAA. On the back, the different NOAA frequencies are listed for quick reference during an emergency. The antenna telescopes up but cannot be adjusted to the side. A standard headphone jack allows for listening and not disturbing others or giving away your position if you are trying to be on the down-low.

Reception and volume are good!

The radio is louder than I expected for such a small device.

I live in a house with a metal roof and that tends to block out radio signals. I really didn’t have any luck tuning anything in well enough to hear when inside my house. When I took it outside it was a totally different story. I was able to find the NOAA band and hear the weather report very clearly.

The AM/FM reception was okay. The stations that are always powerful in my area came in clear and sharp. Just to be clear, I have a really big AM radio tower near my house so that can affect reception sometimes.

Overall I have no problem recommending this radio for basic emergency weather forecasts and listening to some music. It is lightweight and inexpensive so it is a good choice for a 72-hour bag or similar emergency bag. Kaito is a good company and I trust their products. At under $20, it was a good deal.

 

 

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Updated Oct 28, 2019

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