Review of Etón Multi-Powered Emergency Weather Radio with Bluetooth®

frx5bt_img1Outdoor lovers will appreciate this item I am reviewing now- especially those who might need to charge their phones or tablets while outdoors. This would also be useful in case of a storm when the power has been knocked out. Today I’m talking about Etón’s FRX5-BT Emergency Weather Radio with Bluetooth®. 

In the past, we reviewed a similar radio from Etón- the SolarLink FR360.  I can’t find the review we did for that, but I’ll say that it worked okay for us, and we have taken it camping. The cell phone charger on it is not reliable unless you want to crank it for a while, and then you might only get a few minutes to call. This new FRX5, though, is a vast improvement.

For example, the FRX5 has a big solar panel that covers the whole back of the device, instead of the small panel on top of the handle. Where the solar panel was on the SolarLink handle, you now have an ambient light panel- in addition to the LED flashlight and emergency beacon on the side. After you turn off the flashlight or light panel, the strips around them will glow. The charging of cell phones/tablets seems to work much better on the FRX5.  I didn’t have to crank anything to charge my phone this time.

FRX5_lightSideThis product has Bluetooth capabilities in addition to being able to play tunes off the radio. In addition, you can get NOAA weather alerts and S.A.M.E. alerts.

There are a few ways of charging- with the solar panel on the back, by turning the crank, or charging through the included USB cable. The first two methods are going to come in really handy in situations where the power is out, or you are out camping. Cranking won’t give you much time for your effort, so hopefully you will have some sun to help out.  Or you can make sure it’s fully charged before you go. There is a handy little display on the front that will show you how much battery it has.

With this emergency radio being splashproof (not waterproof), and drop-proof from a height of 3.3 ft (depending on drop situations according to the website), I think this would make a great addition to camping supplies, and emergency prep kits.

You can buy it for $99.99 on

Our Review of Thermacell Mosquito Repellers and Lanterns

Thermacell Mosquito RepellentI had a chance to try out Thermacell Repellents, and the company is a leading manufacturer of area mosquito repellent products. I got to try out two products, and I will start with the Scout Camp Lantern.

The Thermacell uses a non-topical technology in order to create a 15 x 15 zone of protection that works like a shield. The Thermacell uses some kind of cartridge of a repellent that is a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemums, with no strong odor and requires no open flame.

The version that I reviewed has a 220 Lumen light, but there are models that are stronger like the Trailblazer Camp Lantern with 300 Lumens. The 220 Lumens costs about $39.99, and it has 4 light settings and up 10 hours of run time on High setting. By the way, it comes with a butane cartridge, but not included are the 4 AA batteries.

Thermacell ThingThis product is another Mosquito Repellent, but it doesn’t seem to have any batteries. It comes with a butane cartridge and like the lantern, it is good for camping, hunting, fishing, and other kinds of outdoor activities.

What I had a chance to try out with these two particular products along with the lantern and this repellent was this holster with clip. It is a way of transporting the Thermacell with a 360 swivel clip, and attaches to your belt as well.

You should be about to get the lantern as many other types here, and the repellers can be found here for a price of $24.99. The clip that I mentioned earlier costs about $12.99 and is available here.