High Gear Product Page.
Designed for and marketed to backpackers and outdoorsman this tool is also useful to the urban explorer. Available in Black or Off-White (although it appears only the Off-White is for sale at this time) this tool features the following implements:
- 5mm LED flashlight (white)
- Liquid-filled floating dial compass
- Digital thermometer display with both Celsius and Fahrenheit
- 5X Magnifying lens
- Safety mirror
- Safety whistle
- Dry storage compartment
The 5mm flashlight is typical in beam brightness and tint. It is activated by pressing the larger lined button. I find it problematic that the light cannot be turned on and left on, it only activates while the button is pressed. This is a disadvantage since one is limited to using one hand to accomplish whatever task they intend to do (of course the prudent tool user will rig up a constant on system, but still). Although I suppose if this light was limited to certain uses like map-reading this is not so much of an issue. The batteries are changed out by removing the two small philips-head screws on either side of the tool. The window and LED assembly pull out and the batteries are easily removed. Mod potential is high for this tool since the LED is not soldered in place. Be forewarned that a lot of small parts are involved in the battery change and it is not something one should attempt in the field.
Although small, the dial compass works as advertised. Who alone does not like to know where North is at all times?
The thermometer is easy to read and can be changed to Celsius by pressing the smaller orange button. The temperature is read through the silver nub above the display and is automatically updated every 25 seconds. I have read some comments that the thermometer battery is not readily user accessible, it is possible to change by gently prying off the entire assembly. High Gear is aware of this issue but no action is expected, poor design on their part.
At 16mm in diameter the Magnifying lens is fairly small but it does function well enough in finding splinters or reading fine print. The lens is made of plastic and scratches fairly easily but is protected well when folded into the tool.
The signal/safety/make-up mirror measures 20mm in diameter and is also made of plastic. It too scratches easily.
I am somewhat confounded by the dry-storage compartment. I was under the impression it was significantly larger, turns out it is barely wide enough for a few matches and perhaps some other assorted survival instruments. The opening is a scant 4mm wide but is 74mm deep. Items are removed purely by gravity so do not attempt to over-fill this compartment since stuck items are a real possibility.
The whistle does not seem loud enough for a primary safety feature but it does function and is loud enough to be heard at a few hundred feet.
The tool weighs in at a little over 2oz and measures 4-3/8" x 1-1/2" x 3/4" in dimension. It's small enough to be easily pocketable. This tool is more gadgety than pure function but would seem to be a worthwhile addition to one's kit as a secondary implement to the primary items. It doesn't do enough, well enough to warrant carry by itself if one were in the woods but is a fine tool for the urban trekker who likes to know the direction and temperature of their journey. Pricepoints range from 14.00$-25.00$, a decent price for all the features of this tool.
*The tool is also packaged with a nice lanyard, I seem to have misplaced mine at the moments. I will update with pictures when it is found.