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★★★★☆

“Now I tend to be a little bit of a worry-wart since...”

Written on: 08/09/2005 by Elephas Maximus (2 reviews written)

Good Points
Well built. The generator HAS TO be if it is to be reliable. Lots of forces at work making electricity. These batteries and the generator were designed and tested to last for thousands of cycles. AC adapter included, and can be left plugged in so it is at full charge and ready when needed. Two light levels - High = 3.5 hrs low = 20 hours (fully charged) wind vs shine - 30 sec = 20 min, 1 min = 40 min. etc. (light on low), 2 year warranty. 7 LEDs 100,000 hours life. Small green LED lights when you are turning the generator at the minimum speed. Can be charged while the light is on.

Bad Points
Not a small item at 13+ oz, but this is not a typical torch since it has a generator built in. The new Jonta model has a better 1 watt LED, but costs almost twice the price. Not waterproof.

General Comments
Now I tend to be a little bit of a worry-wart since 9/11 and more since Katrina. We take some very basic things for granted - food, water, light, heat etc... Bottom line is, every family / household needs to be able to survive at least 3 days before any outside help. In a MAJOR disruption, there can be no guarantees. The more independent we are the farther available resources can go to others. A flashlight is a standard item to have in any emergency kit. What a peace of mind it is to have something that you can depend on to be there if (when) needed. Even if it is a power failure from a storm or maybe something to take camping etc. I have a number of LED torches, but even as efficient as they are, NiMH batteries have a short shelf life so they are still undependable. The Freeplay Sherpa Wind Up and Rechargeable flashlights are THE best made, and the only ones I'd depend on in an emergency. I'm not talking 2 or three days.. but what if it's 10 or 20, or more days, and all your spare batteries are gone? These torches regenerate their power... I returned a cheap one ($20) a few weeks ago, and just got the Sherpa. X-ray LED for $40 with s+h. The difference in construction is like comparing a Yugo to a bulldozer. What a cheap investment for such a basic need, and the peace of mind. Others I've see are poorly made, and not too bright (smile). Freeplay has done their R+D on this and all their products. I have Freeplay's new foot powered generator the "Weza" on order, and it should be here in about three weeks. This is a revolutionary idea in power generation. I'll do a review as soon as I can.