Review of Eton FR160 emergency radio

Mystech: Another one of those things you regret you don’t have once you really need it. A detailed review of a very reasonable priced emergency flashlight and radio powered by crank or solar that’ll even charge your USB devices!


Everyone says you need a good radio in an emergency. Everyone, in this case, is right. I could go on about why communication is important in an emergency, and maybe I will later, but the short answer is that it keeps you informed. Information is something you can rarely have too much of, especially in an emergency. This applies to the big stuff like earthquakes and terrorism, but also the smaller scale events like power outages and getting stuck while driving in the snow.
So a while back I picked up a pair of these: Etón FR160B Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger. The price was good, they were well-reviewed and feature rich. While I haven’t had to put them to the real test (knock on wood), I did feel it was time to post a few thoughts about them. This kind of item is likely to represent the core of a good emergency kit and is something that deserves some real thought. 

First, let’s talk about what it is. The device is, as the name implies, a combination device. It combines, in a fairly small package, an FM/AM/NOAA weather radio, a pretty powerful LED flashlight, and a port suitable for charging most USB-powered devices like most cell phones. It uses an internal rechargeable power cell that’s powered by a combination of a solar cell on the top of the unit and a small hand-crank generator. The whole thing is physically about the size of a small paperback book, and not much heavier. All of this for a price that’s really very reasonable, about $30 at the time of this writing.

Full Story:  Things you need: The Eton FR160 emergency radio

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