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Adventure Lights

Posted by Stephen Regenold Feb 20, 2008


Adventure Lights of Beaconsfield, Quebec, (

makes lights for all type of flashing, signaling, attention-getting

needs, including lights and L.E.D. models for law enforcement,

search-and-rescue, the military, and public safety. This is a quick

look at three outdoors-oriented models I’ve been testing as of late. . .






The VIP Signal Light

is the company’s pinnacle product, an emergency L.E.D. that has been

tested “in deserts, the Arctic, in the stratosphere and hundreds of

feet below the sea,” according to the company’s press material. The

result is an emergency beacon light that holds up in almost any extreme

environmental condition, including 330 feet under water and in temps

ranging from 120 to minus-40 F.



The product (pictured above) can be used as a

flashlight, an emergency flasher and an SOS beacon. Twist the face dial

to toggle between these functions. I tested the VIP Standard Yellow Case

model, an $81 light that has a focused amber/orange L.E.D.—a color

optimized to enhance visibility and help penetrate smoke and fog,

according to Adventure Lights. Seemed to do the trick when I tried it,

pulsing bright and strong. The product is strangely shaped but

functional, with a belt clip and included zip-ties to secure the light

permanently to a backpack, life preserver, or other object. It runs on

a lithium battery (included) for a quoted 350 hours. Measures about 3×2

x 1.25 inches. Weight is 4 ounces.



Made to use in lieu of chemical glow sticks, the Lazer Stik Powergrip AA

looks like a children’s toy at first glance. But these steady-on light

sticks have a million uses—dangle them from a pack while biking, tether

to your PFD, keep them in the car for road beacons in an emergency.







company says the red light—which measure about 1 inch around by 6

inches long—can be seen from more than 2 kilometers away. They are

quoted to provide more than 50 hours of light using common AA

batteries. They are waterproof and fairly rugged. Attach them via

zip-ties to just about anything. Weight is 1.2 ounces apiece. Price:




The all-purpose Guardian L.E.D. is a simple white

flasher for signal and visibility use. It weighs less than 1 ounce and

can attach to anything via its integrated clip. The company quotes the

light for visibility up to 1 mile, and a single battery lasts for about

250 hours. Dual function of flashing and steady-on mode. Waterproof to

300 feet. Price: $14.






Company contact: Adventure Lights,



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Kelty Packs, 2008

Posted by Stephen Regenold Feb 20, 2008


It’s been 55 years since Dick Kelty first put a backpack on the

market, welding aluminum tubes together in his garage while his wife,

Nena, sewed and fit the fabric onto the frame. The result was an

innovation for its time, and at $24 each Kelty’s packs sold like proverbial hotcakes.






Fast forward to 2008 and Dick Kelty’s eponymous company

is still going strong, this spring debuting a new line of backcountry

packs that promise “a blend of new materials, innovative ventilation,

and unique suspension systems” never before seen from Kelty. Here’s a quick run-through of the new wares. Warning: They now do cost more than $24 a pop. . .



The Radii 27 model (pictured above) is a

1,650-cubic-inch pack with Kelty’s “AeroFly suspension system,” which

keeps your body ventilated with a breathable waist-belt, shoulder

straps, and a mesh backpanel that allows air to circulate freely. It

will cost $120. Zippered waist-belt pockets and a 2 lb. 7 oz. weight

make the Radii nice for fast-and-light feats, though with enough

support to carry loads up to 30 pounds.






Kelty’s Locus 40 (pictured below)

is a supportive 2,500-cubic-inch model I have in testing right now.

Like the other models, the Locus 40 incorporates a light internal frame

and a meshy back panel area—the “four-way ventilated AeroFly suspension

system”—to keep your mid-spinal region in contact not with nylon but

mostly with air. The top-loading pack has an adjustable torso length to

accommodate different size hikers, an easily-accessible “shove-it”

pocket for on-the-move stowage, hydration-system compatibility, and

highly water-resistant construction. Weight is 3 lb., 5 oz. Available

in a men’s and women’s model for $150.



For overnight trips with a bit more gear, the Span 60 (not pictured)

has 3,650 cubic inches of storage and a separate sleeping bag

compartment. A secondary low-profile hood provides volume-changing

versatility, and the AeroFly suspension system (again) can help keep

you cool. Adjustable torso length. Available in men’s and women’s

models for $180.






The men’s Slider 65 and women’s Arch 65 (pictured below)

are 4,000-cubic-inch packs made for long trips into the backcountry.

They have a ventilated back, torso adjustment, and meshy three-layer

shoulder straps to add padding. Constructed with stretchy PU laminate

panels, these packs can expand to accommodate larger loads. The side

pockets are waterproof. MSRP: $230



Finally, the biggest of the big (pictured below) are Kelty’s men’s Beam 82 and women’s Course 82,

packs with a cavernous 5,000 cubic inches of storage space. As with the

Span 60, these models have a low-profile hood configuration for

reducing volume when all that space is overkill. Stretch fabric in the

front and side pockets accommodates bulky items while still keeping

them handy on the go. MSRP: $250



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