Gonex Tactical Backpack 900D 45L Backpack

 

One thing we’ve learned is that you can never have enough storage or carrying solutions in this house. We’ve been using backpacks for various uses for years, more than we ever did in school! Trips to Disneyland, the County Fair, Knott’s Scary Farm, you name it. We took a backpack and were always thankful to have it. Even our trips back and forth from Arizona, we had a backpack for everyday gear. We were intrigued when Gonex offered us their Tactical Backpack to try out, and I’m very glad we did, because man, have backpacks come a looong way!

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One of the big problems we always had with our packs was ergonomics. It would cause so much strain and fatigue just carrying it the way it was designed to be carried. Gonex (and all the better “tactical” pack makers) recognized this and designed their packs to reduce strain and pressure on the low back and upper shoulders, Packs are designed now to evenly distribute weight and pad the areas most likely to be injured from a “flapping” backpack with a breathable mesh padding. You know what I mean, when all the heaviest stuff has migrated to the bottom, and walking will cause the pack to “flap” against the small of your back. That can be damaging enough to cause permanent disc damage and chronic pain! But since this Gonex pack secures around the waist and at the chest, the pack stays securely put. In fact, the entire back is semi-rigid due to the density of the padding at the back, so even delicate electronics like a laptop are going to be safe in there. There’s storage solutions galore both in and out of the pack. Some of the interior pockets might not be the greatest, but there’s enough of them in there that the good outnumber the bad easily. Water beads up on the exterior, and the interior is lined as well. The 900d oxford construction is tear resistant, and is MOLLE compatible. You can configure this pack for just about any task, and it stores small when not in use. The braided nylon straps are strong and 95% hold and lock tight. A couple would slip a bit, but overall since this isn’t a “duty pack” for me, I’m not complaining. Some of the plastic clips feel a little on the flimsy side, which stand out because the rest of the pack is so sturdy, strong and well-built. The zippers all have pull straps as well, and a single carry strap on top should you want to carry it free handed.

There’s just so many possibilities with this Gonex Tactical Backpack. Camping, hiking, a range bag, a bug-out bag for the prepper in your life. I computer bag, a book bag. Hubby has loaded a package of water bottles for exercise and it took that abuse, laughed at him and asked for more. This is a rock solid, excellently built pack. The stitching held up to Hubby’s abuse, where other, lesser packs have completely failed in the past. And Gonex knows they’ve made a quality pack, because they stand behind it 100% with their “full love it or return it guarantee”. Don’t worry, Gonex, I love it. Sometimes, even when you expect something will be good, you’re still blown away by how good it actually is. This is one of those times where “5 stars” is till too low a rating. I defy you to find a better made pack at this price point. Because I don’t think you can.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from GoNex. 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.

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.

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.

Vodiy’s Ombir Pro 25-in-1 Compact Survival Multitool

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My Hubby loves him some tools. Little pocket tools, multi tools, power tools, hand tools, he’s got a place in his heart for all of them. But his love is not unconditional. They have to work, work well, every time, no problems. Or they get kicked to the curb with a quickness. Vodiy offered us a chance to take their Ombir Pro Multitool for a test drive, and anyone care to guess what Hubby’s response was? Let’s just say it was in the enthusiastically affirmative.

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Once it arrived, though, all that enthusiasm quickly dampered. See, I’ve bought him a few different multitools over the years. Gerber, Leatherman, and SOG to name a few. He takes his Leatherman everywhere, because damned if that thing isn’t handy to have around. I’ve even used some of his Leatherman tools when the need arose. But the Vodiy Ombir Pro just didn’t pass muster for a number of reasons. First, we thought we got a bad one, because try as he might, Hubby couldn’t get the various tools to rotate out from the handle. This is a guy that drives nails with his thumbs, and they couldn’t get the blades and file and screwdrivers out with those thumbs. When the replacement arrived from Vodiy, it was more of the same. There’s very few things more dangerous than trying to pry a sharp knife out of the handle it’s tucked into, and I’d just a s soon he didn’t try. It also doesn’t lock open when in use, so I would advise people be very careful if they use it for anything. The entire thing is painted with black paint, not a baked on or anodized finish to ensure it stays on and inhibits corrosion. We know this because Vodiy painted the files as well, and the first thing Hubby filed, the paint flaked off. Speaking of corrosion, the tool sports a socket screwdriver with interchangeable tips. And every single tip was rusted. And then fell out of the socket with minimal pressure or use. The Ombir Pro didn’t close properly on either the first or replacement tool. The handles when closed just don’t meet up. And then there’s the little spring beneath the plier head. It’s cute and makes the most adorable little “sproing” sound with each open and close action, and then broke on one and popped off the other. Not so cute. It’s also heavy, very heavy (Almost 50% moreso than the Sidekick), and I imagine would be very cumbersome in one’s back pocket, which is where Hubby carries his Leatherman.

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I may have expected too much from Vodiy’s Ombir Pro, comparing it so closely to Leatherman. But Leatherman is the industry leader in multitools and they make a damn fine product. And if you’re going to play in that arena, you need to be ready to compete with the big boys. And, not to kick a guy when he’s down, the Leatherman is cheaper. Hubby got his Leatherman Sidekick for under $20. It’s thinner, lighter, has better steel, works like a dream and the fit and finish of it is miles ahead of the Vodiy Ombir Pro, and it was also $5 cheaper. Plus the Leatherman 25 year warranty. It’s just lose-lose with Vodiy’s Ombir Pro, and I’m sorry, but I just can’t recommend it. It needs some work to be useful and everything it could (and should) be. Too bad, because I really wanted to have a multitool of my own. Looks like I’ll have to steal Hubby’s Leatherman Juice when he’s not looking.

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Vodify.  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.

Summit Survival’s Premium Paracord Bracelet & Keychain

Everyone should be prepared for the unexpected. And no one is saying you have to be an extreme prepper with a year’s worth of freeze dried food in your garage or basement. But keeping things handy never hurt anyone. “Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it” my Father-in-Law would always say. In that vein, it never hurts you to have something handy that looks pretty snazzy too. 
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That’s where Summit Survival’s Premium Paracord Bracelet and “Survival Grenade” comes in. You’ve probably seen folks wearing those neat little braided bracelets and wondered what they were about. Well, they’re usually made of paracord which is a lightweight, nylon, general purpose utility cord popular with the military for being extremely strong, durable and useful. Being all nylon makes it somewhat elastic as well. It can be used to tie, bind, dangle, affix and repair any number of things, and it comes in a near infinite number of patterns and colors. What separates Summit Survival’s bracelet from most others, though, is the Type III 550 paracord (550 refer’s to the “breaking strength” of the cord), and the Sharp Eye fire starter/clasp that secures it around your wrist. While most are content with just a simple plastic snap buckle, Summit Survival went the extra mile and added another indispensable tool on another already indispensable tool. I like multi tools. So does Hubby. He’s worn it nearly every day since we got it.
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Summit Survival didn’t stop there. The went and added a second bundle of Type III paracord, all wrapped around 10 of the most important survival tools you’ll ever hope you never need. On top of the length of 550 paracord is tin foil, fishing floats, weights, swivels, cotton, fishing hooks, fishing line, fire starter, a carabiner, and an eye knife. Everything you’d ever need to keep yourself going in an extreme survival situation. It’s small and light enough to carry everywhere, and compact enough to carry in your purse, pocket or keychain. All of this, plus the paracord bracelet, that also has it’s own fire starter, all for only $14.95? That’s a steal in my book. If you don’t think so, there’s a lifetime warranty and money-back guarantee to back it up. Con’t beat that with a stick. (stick not included in kit)
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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Summit Survival and DBS Publishing, LLC.  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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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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