The end of the Energizer bunny: SIX products that don't need batteries.
Since I became a father, my household's battery consumption has quadrupled. It seems like we're always running out of batteries, or batteries go "missing" from my tools, flashlights and other household items to make their way inside one of a dozen Fisher Price toys. I swear, Duracell and Energizer have some kind of secret deal going with the big toy companies.
Anyway, I decided to take a look at a few products that have replaced batteries with something else. Be it a dynamo or kinetic energy or solar power, these are my top SIX picks of the battery-free products out there. Let's all raise our glasses to lower proft margins for the drum-banging bunny this year.
Simply turn the handle for just one minute and get one hour of continuous light. Ideal for the car or the emergency flashlight in your home, and it's cheap at less than $12.
This one's a little harder work, giving you just 10 minutes of radio time for 1 minute of cranking. However, after reading over 100 reviews it seems as though people don't mind this fact because the thing is built like a bomb shelter. And if you consider when you need to use a gadget like this, maybe in something like a Katrina situation, I'll take some cranking work in exchange for a functioning connection to the outside world. Less than $40.
I'm still impressed by this piece of equipment. A six-person solar-powered tent that gives you beautiful light at night and also charges batteries for you. It's 11ft x 11ft, 6ft 6" tall and also has a window and 3 vents. It's also not much more expensive than regualr tents of the same size, coming in at $230.
As we're on the subject of camping, say goodbye to cold showers. This handy 5-gallon shower comes with solar panels to heat the water. Just hang it in the sun for around 2.5 hours and then enjoy a nice hot shower in less than favorable weather. At just $10, it's an affordable luxury away from home.
How many times has your phone gone dead on you? Well, if you're out and about this could be a handy thing to keep around. Using a dynamo it allows you to basically "wind up" your cell phone and start talking again. This one comes with adaptors for most phones and is under $25. I found others that also have lights and radios built in, but I say get something that is made for the job at hand.
I've never liked wind-up watches because my memory sucks. If I forget to wind, I could have a dead watch on me. And I hate that. Of course, batteries are more reliable but they die aswell. So for me, Kinetic watches are the way to go and Seiko is a great name to rely on. Most come in at around the $300 mark, but I found this beauty for $120 brand new. Fossil supposedly make a Kinetic line, too.
On my travel I also discovered items like the wireless battery-free optical mouse and even a clockwork vibrator, but alas I could find no-one who stocked either. But watch this space.
Main photo (yes, I know it's not an Energizer battery) by The Stock Exchange
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