Classic Safari’s 6-Piece Outdoor Kit

We like being out of doors, and we like exploring, so when the opportunity arose to try out some “outdoorsy” type stuff, I was very happy to give some of them a go. And while we’re not experienced, or even regular, outdoors folks, we found Classic Safari’s 6-Piece Outdoor Kit perfectly adequate for the occasional adventurer!

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When one is out on their own, one usually has to make due with whatever you happen to pack in your pockets or backpack. Rarely do we think about what could happen should venture too far astray or make a left at that fork instead of a right. With most of the gear packed into this kit, you could make due for a bit of time while you find your way back to where you meant to go. You get:

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-A small set of binoculars with a 8×21 magnification that fold up very compactly for easy carry, and are pretty clear. They have a rubberized no-slip grip, lanyard and rubberized eye relief as well, and they even thought to include a small cleaning cloth!

-Next you have a plastic liquid-filled lensatic compass. It held north pretty well, as evidenced by Hubby’s Casio Pro-Trek watch that was significantly more expensive than this set.

-You get a multi-tool also, with 11 tools (straight blade, file, awl, sawblade, can opener, scissors, flat and phillips screwdrivers, corkscrew and one that for the life of me I could not get to open!), with common tools one might need on a day-to-day basis.

-There’s also a 9-bulb LED flashlight that runs on 3 AAA  batteries and has a rubberized tailcap on/off switch. Sadly the batteries are not included, and the light from this flashlight is pretty anemic, even in total darkness, but it beats being stuck n pitch-black, right?

-Lastly there’s a magnesium flint firestarter that, while appreciated, gave us a heck of a time generating a spark. I wouldn’t want to depend on this in an emergency, but it’s better than nothing.

All in all, the kit is pretty basic and would be a superb gift for a Boy Scout, young child or tween, or even the occasional nature walker that might not think to grab more than a water bottle before leaving. And they are better than being stuck out there with nothing, and in a pinch might even save your life. The canvas pack and webbed-nylon belt hold everything well, except the side pouches that things can slip out if one were to move around jarringly. I think the pricing is fair for the quality you get, and while none of these tools are close to professional grade, they do let you know which ones you’d use and certainly want to upgrade. And I can’t say enough about Skivu, the company that sells this kit. My first kit came missing the 11-tool “Swiss Army” type knife, and they expedited a whole new kit to me. That’s a company that stands behind their products. There’s a lot to like in this kit and think if you give them a try you’ll find a lot you like too!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from SKIVU. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Last Man Survival Gear’s LED “Opti-Flood” Flashlight Set

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So, It’s been a while since I last reviewed a LED flashlight, mostly because after the OxyLED MD50 I reviewed here set the bar pretty high for overall quality and value, I was pretty well set. But the offer from Last Man Survival Gear was one I couldn’t refuse, and seemed tailor-made for mine and Hubby’s needs. And while there are some shortcomings, I can say with confidence that this set seems to be a decent value for the money!

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Let’s just get this out of the way right here, though: Last Man brazenly claims their Opti-Flood lamp puts out 1200 lumens. Unless they somehow hooked it up to a car battery, I don’t see how it’s possible, because the included 18650 lithium ion cell ran the lamp  just a shade brighter than the OxyLED M50 that claimed 500 lumens, and just slightly dimmer than Hubby’s Coast HP7 rated for 360 lumens. So, as long as you understand and accept that this Opti-Flood lamp will run at just under 360 lumens, you’ll be okay. The run time on a single charge is decent, and takes some time to notice any real dimming of the output. The color of the light is not the harsh, blue/purple color of the cheaper CREE knockoff LED’s, and is almost going into the “soft white” color range, even more so than the MD50. The focus is smooth and quick, but still goes into the square shape of the diode like so many of the budget lamps out there. Not a dealbreaker by any means. The throw is pretty good, with very minimal haloing or spill from the reflector. The Last Man Opti-Flood does tend to get a little warm fairly quickly, so I wouldn’t run it for very long periods of time. It will tail-stand easily, but lacks any deep knurling that would make the surface super grippy, and I would have liked something to keep the lamp from rolling when placed on it’s side, because it rolls quickly and easily. Lastly, there’s just off and on with the tail cap clicker, and while some might see that as a negative, I prefer it to the 3, 4, or 5 function lamps that require you to cycle through each setting every time.

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As for the value, Last Man Survival Gear included a bonus lamp, the LT30, which is small and light, suitable for a purse, pocket, or key ring, and has a similar output to a single AA flashlight, only in a much larger, heavier package. It’s a nice addition, but I feel the 3.7v 18650 lithium ion battery is wasted here, not allowing either piece to shine (no pun intended) to it’s full potential. The included charger is also a nice bonus, but if you’re going to start investing in quality lithium ion rechargeable cells, you might want to consider a more, shall we say, robust, charger. This one is fine to get you started, and the LED indicator light on it changes from red, to yellow to green to let you know a charge cycle is complete. Last Man Survival Gear includes two of the aforementioned 3.7V 1800 mAh protected circuit batteries, as well as a AAA battery adapter, and a pretty decent hard plastic carry/storage case. Both lamps have water-resistant O-rings, which should provide some measure of light water resistance, as well as carry lanyards (but I’d expect to replace those shortly). All in all you get a fair amount of value for around the $35 they were charging when I ordered my set, although at the current $45.99, I’d say it’s a bit overpriced. It’s not quite the value of the venerable OxyLED MD50, but uses the same emitter setup, reflector and LED. So it’s up to you if this Last Man Survival Gear’s value added set is truly the LED flashlight for you.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Last Man Survival Gear.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

OxyLED’s MH20 LED Headlamp w/ Motion Sensor

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Hubby, as we have established, is a flashlight nut. Little did I know, though, that this would extend to headlamps, too. However, there are few things as helpful and handy as a good, well made headlamp. And while OxyLED has made some real quality (and handy) products, for us, this one is just a little lacking, and I’ll go over why right here.

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To start, it seems almost every smaller company fudges a little when it comes to reported lumen counts. Without professional equipment, you simply cannot accurately get an idea of how many lumens a particular light is. For instance, my husband’s 1st generation SureFire LED flashlight puts out about 80 lumens. SureFire is a pretty reliable brand, and their lumen outputs are also reliable. So it was a little surprising, then, that pointing both the SureFire and this OxyLED “200 lumen” headlamp at a bare wall, and finding the SureFire almost as bright. Now, to be fair, a great many things affect how much actual light is put out by an LED lamp. Quality of lens (this one is plastic, which doesn’t lend itself to longevity), quality of reflector (Again, more plastic), and quality of battery powering it (Alkaline batteries vs. lithium ion). So while the LED emitter in the headlamp might be rated for 200 lumens, it’s doubtful the output would be anywhere close to that. The throw of light is decent, and goes for about 120 feet before dissipating and becoming too diffuse to be useful. The beam isn’t that tight, either, and the headband mine came with had some little jagged bits that scratched Hubby’s head. The three AAA batteries used to power the headlamp are mounted in the rear, and the rubber-ish plastic case cover for the battery barely closes well and will do little to keep out serious rain or moisture. But, the upside is that it’s very affordable, light, and for the price puts out a decent amount of light that is useful in small, spaces, like a garage, or attic. It has a high, low, and strobe setting (ug, that strobe setting will make you nauseous after a while, too.). It doesn’t have any memory, so you must cycle through the settings with each use. It also has a motion sensing feature that turns the lamp on if it detects motion. I’m not sure how useful this feature would be to others, but for us, while being kind of neat, was also kind of useless.

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Overall, while it could be useful, and is a great low-cost option for occasional use, there are better options out there that will last you longer and perform better, albeit for more money. While I liked the OxyLEd MH20 LED headlamp, I feel there’s some real drawbacks to it, enough so that if you plan on using it often or relying on it, you’re better served with another brand. However, keep in mind that OxyLED offers a 30-Day Money Back Guarantee, a 12 Month Replacement Warranty, as well as their Lifetime Support Guarantee.

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Connect with OxyLED/Hisgadget:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Hisgadget and OxyLED.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

OxyLED 12 LED Pet “Stain” UV BlackLight

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We recently had a minor issue with our little dog of 13 years, and she had to have surgery. Pets being the way pets are, we also kept her indoors and under constant supervision, because she refuse to wear the “cone of shame”. Which meant we had to make sure she didn’t lick and infect her incision. Which also mean it was of paramount importance that her bedding was clean. And as luck would have it, that’s exactly when OxyLED offered us their 12 LED pet stain “detector” light. I was thrilled and was eager to try it, with my past experience OxyLED’s stellar product line.

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And while this was a solid product was like every other one I’ve tried from them, it was a little lacking. It worked well on non-porous surfaces like the toilet bowl, or walls that were sink-adjacent. Water (and other) stains showed up perfectly. But, on fabric, we didn’t have as much luck. In fact, even when we saw a little yellow stain on her bed pillow, the OxyLED handheld lamp didn’t show it any differently that the surrounding fabric. Powered by 3 AAA batteries (Thankfully, included. I love that, I really do!), the light up to about 3-4 feet away is perfectly adequate, ambient lighting conditions being optimal. That’s one of the limitations of a multiple LED emitter, is that the light throw is usually very short. But, the aircraft-grade aluminum body is engineered well, with a deep enough knurl around the body to insure a no-slip grip, along with the body mounted on/off switch, as opposed to the now pretty standard tailcap clicker. And with a 50,000 hour lifetime rating, this OxyLED Lamp should last a very, very long time.

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In the end, this is a solid product with some limitations but should do everything you need it to do, and for just $8.99 you could do much, much worse. And OxyLED offers a 30-day money back guarantee, a one year replacement warranty, and pretty decent customer service, to boot. What have you got to lose?

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Connect with OxyLED/Hisgadget:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Hisgadget and OxyLED.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

OxyLED MD50 500 Lumen 5-Mode Flashlight Kit (battery & charger included)

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Hubby is a flashlight junkie. Has been for years. We’ve bought and tossed more cheap little flashlights than I’d care to mention. I even once broke down and bought him a nice SureFire LED flashlight. We’ve had MagLite, Ultrafire, Steamlight and Coast come through here. But still he collects all manner of flashlights from a variety of makers. So when Hisgadget offered us their OxyLED branded MD50, boasting 500 lumens, I knew I had to say yes.

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I’m very glad I did. Amazon and eBay are chock-full of LED flashlights, and while some are quality, a lot are just junk. And it’s very hard to tell the wheat from the chaff because they all boast similar construction and specs. When it comes down to the nuts and bolts, someone has to be the canary in the mineshaft and see if these torches are the goods. And I’m please to say the this OxyLED lamp is, in fact, the goods. By far, it is the brightest flashlight Hubby owns. It eclipses his SureFire LED that cost him 3 times as much! It is easily adjustable by sliding the reflector housing forward or back. Even at it’s widest setting, the light is still ridiculously bright, with no dead spots I could see. There’s some slight haloing around the outside edge of the beam, but it’s hardly worth mentioning. It fits comfortably in the hand, be it mine or Hubby’s girthier paw. It has a lanyard at the tailcap, and a bright green clicker there to cycle through the modes. You have high, medium and low, plus strobe and SOS for (heaven forbid) any emergency situations. The tailcap clicker is crisp, and to switch modes on the fly one only needs to lightly press on the tailcap. A full press will turn the unit off or on. The only thing I feel it’s lacking are a rubber ring near the base for easier one handed operation, or a pocket clip for easier carrying. Neither are major issues and I wouldn’t take off points for either, they’re just personal preference. OxyLED even includes a sturdy foam padded carry case, and as a bonus includes the one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery and charger, as well as the AAA battery holder if you choose to use those types of batteries. But the included Li-ion cell has held a charge well, and seems to show no sign of slowing down at all. For $19.99, you’re getting a lot of quality for very little money.

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There’s water resistant o-rings used in the assembly of this unit making it good for heavy rains, and the batteries reportedly have overcharge and over-discharge protection circuitry. It also boast a Cree XM-L2 diode, which is why it’s so bright and powerful. One complaint I did have is the flashlight gets quite warm in the hand after running it at full power for any significant time. I understand it’s putting out a lot of juice, so I’m willing to give it a pass, because it’s just been “warm” not uncomfortably so or even “hot”.

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Overall, this is a real winner and like I mentioned, you get a lot of quality for very little money. I recommend it highly!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Hisgadget.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

FlashBright LED Bike Light Kit, Review

I thought I’d reached the mountaintop with the previous bike light I tested. That is, until I tested out FlashBright’s version. Everything I liked about the previous light kit, has been improved upon here.

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FlashBright raised the bar a notch here. The quality of the primary lamp is better. It’s a cleaner, slightly more focused light, but uses the same high-quality Cree LED XP-E diode. The aircraft-grade aluminum body is just a little smaller, and the focus mechanism is just a little tighter. It’s a high-polished black gloss finish, versus the matte black of the last unit, which is easier to wipe down and keep clean. It uses the same 3 AAA batteries (again, not included. **sad face**), and is painfully bright. Just like the last unit, I’m not so sure it’s a 200 lumen light, but it’s bright. I can see a bright, solid beam of light at night for what looks like a mile. The mount for a bicycle is almost identical to the other version, but FlashBright uses the same high-impact ABS plastic, and the same easy to tighten thumb screw mechanism. And this unit is also water and dust resistant, so riding in the rain should not be an issue.

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Where FlashBright really separates itself from the previous unit is in the tail lamp portion of the kit. Instead of an awkward, big boxy tail lamp that needs two more (not included) batteries, it’s a simple 2 LED red clip-on with an included (YAY) easy to replace button cell battery. It has 3 simple modes, steady on, slow blink, and fast blink. It has an impact resistant silicone housing, also in red. The one downfall I see here is price. At $39.99 (at the time of this review), it is significantly more expensive than light kits of similar make and design.

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So while the box and packaging aren’t as snazzy, I don’t buy things for a fancy box. And the goods inside this box are legit. Quality, made to last. And, like all the best products I review, it comes with a 100%, Lifetime, Satisfaction Guarantee. In FlashBright’s own words: “No Questions asked, No Hassle, Money Back or Replacement”. That’s bold and speaks to the belief in the quality of their product. I think I’m a believer too.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from FlashBright.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Team Obsidian’s Bicycle Light Set Review

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We have sooooo many flashlights in this house. Hubby is a nut for them. So when I got a chance to test a couple to be used as bike lights, I wasn’t wild about that idea. But Team Obsidian won me over. They use a quality CREE Xp-E LED as their main light, in a sturdy aircraft-grade aluminum body. The main light sports 3 modes: High, battery saving Low, and Strobe. They claim of the light putting out 200 lumens of light is questionable, because Hubby’s old Surefire first generation LED lamp is as bright, or brighter, and it wasn’t rated at 200 lumens. But it was bright. Like, don’t shine it near anyone’s eyes bright. It also shines forever when using a tight beam. 100ft. tall palm trees? Shine one, little tree, shine on. The light is clean, white, and pretty well focused, with minimal haloing effect from the projection. No visible dead spots from the reflector either. With a rubberize tailcap clicker on the end, one handed operation is a breeze. You can also focus the beam narrow or wide, with a simple twist of the lens at the front. It runs on 3 standard AAA batteries (not included, unfortunately) and is fully removable from the bike mount. It’s even water and dust resistant (don’t submerge it, though. Water resistant is not water proof).

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Oh, yeah…did I mention? It comes with a sturdy, strong ABS plastic mount suitable for just about any bike on the planet. With a simple screw-down fastener for the lamp and the bar, it’s a cinch to set up and get going. So while this is a bike light, the mounting hardware is fully removable from the lamp. But wait, there’s more!

The Team Obsidian bike light is a kit. You get a tail lamp as well, also with a dedicated attached mount all it’s own. It also runs on 2 AAA batteries (again, not included), and while I appreciate the necessity of a tail lamp and appreciate it’s inclusion in the set, I’m not as big a fan of this piece of the pie. It’s not as sturdy, it’s hard to open, and instead of a high quality single LED cell, it’s got 5 LED’s, and 7 modes. Now, it is backed by a 100% no-hassle lifetime guarantee, so you should be golden as far as longevity for either piece.

Safety should be paramount, whether you’re riding your bike or just out for a stroll. This Team Obsidian Bicycle Light Set takes care of you regardless of whether you’re walking or riding. It’s bright, well made, and backed 100% by Team Obsidian. It even comes in a neat, padded little storage and presentation box, with installation instructions printed right on the lid, that keeps everything stowed safely when not in use. The value-added features here means that I highly recommend this set if you’re a regular rider. Score one for Team Obsidian!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Team Obsidian.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Aennon Headlamp Review #Headlamp

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One thing you can never have enough of is flashlights, or so hubby says. Good ones are great, not great ones still have their uses, but bad ones can give you fits. Aennon asked me if I’d like to give one of their products a test drive, and I said sure, because flashlight, right?

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For starters it’s LED, which makes it fairly impact resistant and bright. Unfortunately it is a multiple LED emitter, not a single diode. Aennon says it’s good for 30 lumens up to over 160 feet at it’s brightest setting. While I may admit it’s bright enough that it looks like about 30 lumens, at best I’d say the light goes about 40 feet, maybe 50. A far cry from 164 feet. While I don’t doubt you could be seen from that far away, it’s doubtful you’d have any meaningful vision in the dark at that range. It has 4 settings, low, mid, and high, with a red “night vision” setting as well. It uses a single button for all 4, so one must cycle through them to get to one’s desired brightness level. It runs on 3 (included, kudos to Aennon!) AAA batteries, which does make it a little front-heavy, but unlike the rear battery predecessor we own, no wires or pokey clips to power the unit running the length of the head straps.

It is adequate for small, dark spaces, and with it being LED it should be very energy efficient and impact resistant. Aennon’s claims it is good for around 16 hours of continuous use at it’s lowest setting. Depending on the battery type you use, that could be possible. Aennon also claims the front lens is shock-resistant glass with a anti-reflective coating. It is not. It’s plastic. Aennon further claimed to not having a “bobbing effect” with no brain squeeze. Unfortunately, it does bob, and in fact slides down the front of your face over time. It has a 90° swivel, but the bevel on the plastic lens means it’s going to start shining into your eyes range fairly quickly. Aennon also claims the headlamp’s lowest setting is suitable for nighttime reading. I would not recommend it. LED’s use a bright, harsh, blue-ish light that reflects very sharply off the page and hurts your eyes pretty quickly.

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Overall, this is a simple light for simple, household tasks, like depositing old tax records into the attic storage box, or taking out the trash. But I wouldn’t consider it for camping or hiking. I’ll be glad it’s around during a power outrage, though! It is more comfortable than our previous headlamp, but not nearly as bright, focused or useful. Sadly, it is more expensive, too. At $17.50 (at time of review), there are better values to be had out there. I would say it’s decent, but I’ve had better, and for less. And the dubious claims (to outright non-truths!) are very troubling. Aennon does back the headlamp with a “What if something breaks-100 % satisfaction-or-money-back-guarantee”. So there’s that.

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Connect with Aennon:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Aennon.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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