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Electronics - Products - Clocks & Clock Radios - Best Gadgets for the Rugged Traveler

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    Timex T326H Expedition AM/FM Alarm Clock
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
    list price: $39.99
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

    Editorial Review

    Travel anywhere and wake up on time with the Timex T326H ExpeditionAM/FM alarm clock. It folds to a compact size but features several alarmoptions. Wake up to bell sounds or your favorite AM/FM station. It also featuresa sleep option that allows you to choose from three nature sounds: babblingbrook, ocean surf, and forest spring.

    An analog clock face keeps time withluminescent minute and hour hands and an LCD display indicates alarm, PM, andbattery-low icons. ... Read more


    • Battery backup system
    • Wake to alarm bell sounds or fall asleep to relaxing nature sounds
    • LCD screen with alarm, PM, and low-battery indicators
    • Listen or wake to digital AM/FM radio
    • Folds to a compact size for travel
    Reviews (6)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    I've had this clock for two years, and I am now searching for a new alarm clock. Many of the listed features are in theory very helpful, but their application in this product is unsatisfactory. Frankly I am surprised that Timex continues to market this product.

    Positive features: I love the dual analog/digital time readouts. I also like that the clock functions off either batteries or the included A/C adapter, making it unnecessary to reset the clock each time the power goes out or the clock is moved.

    Nature Sounds: I thought this feature would be helpful to lull me to sleep, but it is not. The recorded nature sounds are approximately 6-7 seconds long and loop continuously when playing. The "forest" sound has the hooting of an owl in the background, and the "brook" has the chirping of a bird. The repetition of these sounds is not at all relaxing to me, rather it keeps me awake! The "ocean" sound is more tolerable, but with all of the nature sounds, every once in a while I hear a static or electric buzz or click, which is disruptive enough to wake me up.

    Radio Tuner: Some stations will not tune in clearly, no matter how careful I am with the dial. The dial is very sensitive, making it hard to make fine adjustments. Further, the volume dial is awkwardly placed behind the tuner on the side of the clock. I often bump the tuner while adjusting the volume.

    Volume Adjustment: The volume control was fine at first, but for the past few months the volume dial responds inadequately. I turn the dial all the way up to get normal volume, then a few minutes later the volume is blasting and I have to turn it down again. A few times I have slept through the radio alarm because of this variation.

    Alarm Buttons: The buttons worked fine at first, but have become very hard to press. I often push the alarm button 3 or 4 times to turn it off in the morning. Changing the alarm/time settings is an arduous task.

    Appearance: Don't be fooled by the picture! This clock is covered with a metallic colored plastic, not metal, giving it a cheap appearance.

    Because of these serious and varied flaws, I am retiring this clock and purchasing another. I recommend that this product be avoided.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Waste of "time"...and money.
    I purchased this clock about 2 years ago, and it has been a real let-down for me. I was actually surprised to see this clock still being produced/and or sold on the market. Where to begin?...The idea of a portable alarm clock-radio with both analog and digital displays, and nature sounds seemed like a great thing. However, I had problems with the clock the first week I had it, and now it barely functions. (Should have sent it back, I know, but I didn't) The amber display is somewhat appealing, but is always on when plugged in. The angle of the face of the clock is always slanted back a bit, making it difficult to see the digital read-out unless your bed sits higher than the clock. The radio is very difficult to tune, and reception is less than desireable. As far as the nature sounds go, you would think the idea is to provide a soothing soundscape of nature's best, but you immediately notice the overlapping of the sound sequences (which last only about 15 seconds and then repeat). One of the sounds is from "the forest", and you can hear a wolf or some animal howl in the distance, but 10 seconds later, you hear it again...and again...and it actually becomes very annoying!!
    The time-set/ alarm-set buttons on the clock's top side barely work now (I have to push as hard as I can to get them to work), and the radio/ nature sounds just stop working sometimes (until one day I figured out that if you close the face of the clock and then re-open it, they sometimes work again-as if being reset or something.)
    The snooze bar is one of the few, if any, positive aspects of this clock, as it is very big and easily allows you to silence the nature sounds or alarms with ease. There are three alarms, which gradually get louder after starting, and after each time you hit snooze, which is a positive thing about this clock. Timex has been around for a long time, but they really needed to spend more time at the drawing board on this one. It's really not worth the "time" or money.

    2-0 out of 5 stars An okay Alarm Clock
    I had such great expectations for the alarm clock when I purchased it over a year ago. First of all it works fine. It sits nice and compact on my nightstand. However, it has too many little problems to make it worth the hassle.
    The alarm clock has too manybatteries to keep up with; one for the analog and one for digital clock and the nature sounds can be heard bleeding through when the radio is playing. Its just slight but its annoying to me.
    Its not worth the hassle or money. ... Read more

    Asin: B00004VXAG
    Subjects:  1. Clock Radio (Radios)    2. Accessories (Accessory)    3. Portable Clock (Clocks)   

    Panasonic SLSW505J Portable CD Player
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    list price: $169.95
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

    Editorial Review

    This is a high-quality portable CD player, offering sonic fidelity, ease of use, and a durable design. Its assortment of features includes bass boost, programming of up to 24 tracks, a dual-lock system for the disc lid, a built-in battery recharger, and long battery life. The SLSW505J is also water-resistant and sports a "hold" feature that prevents the user from unintentionally turning the unit on and draining the batteries or accidentally hitting Stop in the middle of a track.

    This player's most important feature is its antiskip function, which stores up to 40 seconds of data in its memory to fill in gaps caused by bumps and vibrations. This unit performs nicely during repeated running, jumping, and shaking; however, the belt must be securely fastened around your waist or it will skip or pause--even with the anti-skip technology.

    You can also hook up the SLSW505J to your home stereo or your car's cassette player with an accessory adapter (adapter not included).

    One drawback to this player is that its display is hard to read. Also, the included belt could use another slot for headphones to better position the player within the pouch.

    All in all, this portable CD player, designed with the jogger in mind, delivers the sonic goods and, during our testing, stayed firmly on track.


    • Effective antiskip technology
    • 24-track programming
    • Good sound with bass boost


    • Display is hard to read
    • Holding belt doesn't position player well
    ... Read more


    • Up to 20 hours of play
    • Built-in battery recharger
    • Anti-Shock Memory II antiskip function
    • Dual-lock system for CD lid
    • 24-track programming
    Reviews (28)

    4-0 out of 5 stars review for panasonic portable cd player
    I love this CD player. One thing I don't really use is the jogger belt because it doesn't have the support needed for the CD player. Also I've had my CD player since they year 2000, my headphones just started to go out so i can't use them anymore. But the antiskip is good.

    5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME durable player
    I got this CD player because it was advertised as very durable and I know myself to not exactly be too careful with things I should. Sure enough, the second day I had it, I dropped it on the hard wood floor and then it bounced all the way down the staircase. It was completely fine and uneffected by the crash. It is awesome in every aspect except for the headphone jack. When I push the headphone cord end all the way into the jack, the bass turns off and the sound is horrible. So I have to push it in about half way which makes it so it comes out sometimes. Also, the coupon for the "free car kit" that comes with it expired eight months ago.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfection at its best!!!
    When I recieved my portable cd player I couldnt wait to try it out. Ilisten to the sound quality it was crisp and clear. It didnt even skip wheni shook it very hard. I went jogging with it and I forgot I had theheadphones on they were so light. I am always showing off my new cd playerand everyone loves it. Batteries were a concern for me but it has a builtin battery charger! Another thing, I didnt find the display hard to read.And after a minute I just memorized were the buttons were. Its not thathard to figure out. It does have nice quality. Its not one of those cdplayers you have to be careful about that are flimsy. This is very sturdy.I think its a wonderful cd player. ... Read more

    Asin: B00000J4ER
    Subjects:  1. Electronic skip protection, antiskip system, anti-skip buffer    2. anti-shock memory, electric shock protection, antishock    3. Discman    4. SLSW505J, 505, J, SW, SL, SLSW, 505J    5. Portable Compact Disc Player (Personal CD)    6. cd player (cdplayer)    7. Compact Disc Players (CD) - Personal   

    Garmin eTrex Summit GPS with Electronic Compass and Altimeter
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    list price: $229.99 -- our price: $156.74
    (price subject to change: see help)
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

    Editorial Review

    Palm-size, lightweight, and waterproof, Garmin's eTrex Summit is a 12-channel handheld global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver. The Summit's easy-to-use menu lets you create and view waypoints, save and view track logs, calibrate the compass and altimeter, and access setup features, among others. Its trip and elevation computers calculate a range of data including direction of movement; total and average ascent and descent; current, average and maximum speeds; trip odometer--and much more. The five user buttons located on the unit's sides allow for simple single-handed operation. The eTrex Summit offers a total of20 routes to be stored, an improvement over the single route that the eTrex base model stores, as well as almost 1500 more track log points more than the entry level eTrex. Additionally the Summit offers the super useful compass and altimeter built in making it perfect to aid in traditional map and compass reading. If you plan on keeping track of every tree in the forrest then the eTrex Legend with 8MB of memory and 1,000 waypoints might be right for you.

    Even in dense cloud cover or bad weather, the Summit maintains its lock on available satellites. Garmin's TracBack feature reverses your track log, helping you navigate your way back. Its graphical user interface quickly and easily identifies your marked waypoints--up to 500.

    During normal operation, the Summit runs for up to 16 hours on two AA batteries and up to 22 hours when in battery-save mode. It has a built-in antenna and an external power/data connector.

    The eTrex Summit comes with a one-year warranty, and Garmin's Web site offers numerous online informational resources and FAQs. ... Read more


    • Navigates up to 50 waypoints in sequence with animated graphical interface
    • Waterproof case; adjustable, backlit LCD; battery-save feature
    • Compatible with optional Garmin MapSource software for downloading trip and waypoint data (not map compatible)
    • Palm-size global positioning system (GPS) pinpoints location anytime, anywhere--regardless of cloud cover or weather
    • Automatic track log with two-way navigation; stores 10 custom tracks
    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great!
    I use it when I go sking, so I see how fast I can go, I use it for biking, so I can tell how far I have gone. I can be in the middle of my two story house and still get a signal (It takes about 10 minutes though) Outside it will pick up a signal in under 30secconds. Its Great!

    Pro-Easy to use
    -Lots of info
    -Can be used for rec/work
    -Very accurate

    Con-Sucks up batteries fast

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great GPS, less accurate than I would like
    This GPS is a great help for any kind of GPS work you would need to do that didn't require you to be any closer than about 20 feet. Within 20 feet is is inprecise.

    I've found that the altimeter needs regular calibration to be accurate as well.

    Too bad it doesn't come standard with an A/C adapter. You'd think with all the money you're paying the least you would get is an A/C adapter!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Altitude profile doesn't download
    I've checked this GPS out in the toughest test and I guess you get what you pay for, this model can display the profile for up to 25 miles on the screen , but when you download the data the profile is very hard to re create on the PC, I've tried using several kinds of download software and then Harvard Graphics or excel , with the same result, a horizontal scale problem.

    Every check I have made on its accuracy shows no problem , just this end of the line processing, perhaps I'm the only user trying to print off the profile ... Read more

    Asin: B00004UF7T
    Subjects:  1. GPS (Global Positioning System)    2. PDA    3. Laptop    4. map (mapping)    5. navigation   


    RhinoSkin Aluminum Hardcase for Palm V
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    list price: $49.99
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

    Editorial Review

    Made of 100 percent aircraft-grade aluminum, the RhinoSkin Palm V molded hard case offers solid protection for your Palm V, Palm Vx, or IBM WorkPad c3, while its padded interior protects your unit from damage if it is dropped. Its silo-integrated mounting system ensures that the Palm V remains secure and shields it from the elements. When open, there is a port for infrared transfer and the stylus is easily accessible. This product is covered by a 30-day warranty with a 10-day return policy. ... Read more


    • Stylus remains easily accessible
    • 100 percent aircraft-grade aluminum
    • Sleek ergonomic design
    • Padded interior for protection against drops and collisions
    • Silo-integrated mounting system
    Reviews (23)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good, attractive case
    I constantly receive compliments on the aesthetics of this case -- I haven't dropped it, so I'm not sure if the protection is great or not -- I assume, however, that it is; it looks and feels to be of high quality.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My RhinoSkin Hardcase success story
    Don't doubt the ability of this case to protect your Palm (despite another review you'll see here). I had my RhinoSkin Hardcase-protected Palm Vx in my back pocket last night. I had to jump off a retaining wall to a concrete sidewalk, and misjudged the height. I took a roll upon landing, and of course rolled right over my Palm. I'm 6'7" and weigh 265 pounds.

    Results: the case was bent a little, but the Palm Vx survived unscathed. My case has more than paid for itself!

    5-0 out of 5 stars fabulous
    Have now been using this case daily for over a year and a half.Works perfectly.Strong, lightweight, and attractive.One of my all time best purchases. ... Read more

    Asin: B00004S7T7
    Subjects:  1. Personal Digital Assistant (PDA, Electronic Organizer)    2. Palm v (5)    3. Cases Covers    4. handheld (hand held)   

    RhinoSkin Titanium Slider Hardcase for Handspring Visor Deluxe & Platinum
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    list price: $69.99
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France


    • Neoprene cutout in the base for credit cards
    • Slider action allows you to open the case and slide the cover under the base
    • Ultralight and easy to use
    • Accommodates left-handers
    • Made of 100 percent grade-1 titanium, with a bead-blasted finish and neoprene inner lining
    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Moneysaver
    After cracking the screen on my first hangspring Visor, I decided to try the Rhinoskin Ti slider case for my second visor.Despite the added bulk that the case adds, it is very workable overall.But my love for the case came one day at work when I was up on a 15' tall tower and accidentally knocked the case off my belt (I have rhinoskin's matching belt case for the Ti-slider).The case enclode handspring dropped about 18 feet to the concrete floor.I climbed down and pulled the cse out of the belt pouch, then opened the case.Not a mark on the handspring.Still works perfectly.The case has already payed for itself...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product
    My first thought when I received the product was that it was cheap. The metal was very thin, and opening and closing was very metallic sounding and somewhat unrefined feeling. But once I put the visor into the case, everything seemed to come together nicely. The visor fits PERFECTLY. No movement whatsoever, and even though it is only sitting in place, and isn't held in in any way, I have no fear that it will fall out. The fit is quite snug. I really like the case, the titanium is thin, but it won't bend. I don't think many women would like this case, but I have no regrets. The only downside is that in my opinion, the stylus is a bit difficult to remove; I have gotten used to it, but a little more space around the stylus would have been nice. EXCELLENT PRODUCT; WELL WORTH THE PRICE!
    Wouldn't have any other case after using this one.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Impressively Durable
    I drop my PDA an average of once per week while it is in this case (I am a professional klutz. Do not try this at home).It has never suffered any damage, despite the apparent skimpiness of the neoprene inside the case. There's enough in there to do the job.

    The only reason I docked this item one star, despite its stellar performance in saving my PDA, is that it is impossible to open with one hand, and is designed for right-handed users. This is a nuisance when you are looking up a phone number to dial a cell phone. I think the slider could have been designed for one-handed use, and to slide in a direction more comfortable for left-handers.

    Over time the case ages to a handsome graphite color. Titanium is way cool. ... Read more

    Asin: B00004TIJB
    Sales Rank: 54716
    Subjects:  1. Personal Digital Assistant (PDA, Electronic Organizer)    2. Handspring Visor (Hand spring handspringvisor)    3. Storage Cases    4. Handheld (Hand Held)   

    Leatherman 61010103Original Leatherman Pocket Survival Tool with Leather Belt Sheath
    Tools & Hardware
    list price: $46.07
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

    Editorial Review

    This is the tool that started the Leatherman revolution. Despite the introduction of new and more elaborate models from Leatherman, the Original remains a popular tool. We like the tough, compact design of the Original, as well as the high quality of the blades and tools. The jaws of the pliers are extremely tough. The Original packs a pretty impressive assortment of tools, including wire cutters, a knife, a metal/wood file, a can/bottle opener, an awl/punch, a nice assortment of Phillips screwdrivers, and more--all perfect for quick, on-the-spot jobs. It's true that the big knife blade would be more effective if it faced the other way, and that having to open the whole thing to get at any of the tools is less than ideal (both issues have been addressed in Leatherman's Wave). But it wasn't so long ago that the Original Leatherman was the only choice, and it's still a great addition to any toolbox, remaining just as handy as when it first came out. --Brian Trinen ... Read more


    • 13 tools, including awl/punch and clip-point knife
    • Stainless-steel finish
    • Weighs 5 ounces
    • Closes to 4 inches
    • 25-year guarantee

    Asin: B0000224UB
    Subjects:  1. (Knife)    2. (Multitools)    3. (Swiss Army Knives)    4. Hand Tools    5. Multi-tools    6. Camping Accessories   

    Sangean SG-622 AM/FM 12 Band Shortwave World Band Receiver
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    list price: $59.95 -- our price: $28.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

    Editorial Review

    For those who have a burgeoning interest in shortwave radio or who don't like to be without news and music when traveling, the Sangean SG-622 10-band portable receiver makes an ideal travel companion. Small enough to slip into a jacket pocket but powerful enough so you can stay in touch with the world, you'll barely need to glance at the operating instructions before you'll be up and running with this nifty little device.

    Solid and compact, the SG-622 includes just the essentials: a retractable antenna, volume and tuning knobs, and a wide face displaying the bands and frequencies. Tuning is accomplished by clicking a switch to the appropriate band, then dialing up or down, refining the tuning by hand as you go. The all-inclusive frequency display results in imprecise indications, so it is not possible to determine exactly which frequency you are tuning in. But our reception in all bands on any strong signal was excellent.

    Overall, we found this a sensitive radio with great portability that would make great introductory piece for anyone interested in shortwave radio listening. The Sangean SG-622 is powered by 3 AA batteries, but consider adding an AC adapter to reduce your battery expense.

    It comes with a one-year warranty on parts and labor.


    • Excellent reception
    • Great portability
    • Extremely easy to use, great for the novice
    • Does not include adapter
    • Antenna does not have 360-degree rotation for improving reception
    • Ambiguous frequency display
    ... Read more


    • Uses 3 AA batteries
    • 10 frequency ranges
    • 2.5-inch speaker
    • Rotary tuning dial
    • Compact and portable
    Reviews (55)

    4-0 out of 5 stars One of the best of its class
    This is a coat-pocket sized portable with a very basic design. It can tune 10 shortwave broadcast bands but none of the ham or utility frequencies between.

    Its performance on all bands is decent, especially compared to other small portables.It covers more shortwave bands than many.Sound is not great, but again, it's good compared to others in this class.

    I would recommend it as a radio to pack along on trips.It works fairly well and can be had cheaply enough that if it were lost or stolen it wouldn't ruin your life.It would also be good for those, including the visually impaired, who have difficulty running a general coverage set with a digital display.Or for those who just don't want to.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tough reception area...
    I bought this radio hoping that it would improve reception in an interior bathroom where I take my morning shower. I like to listen to a local news station, traffic, weather etc, but we live in a very tough reception area near a tower that broadcasts many foreign language (mostly Korean and Spanish, I think) local stations that seem to overwhelm cheap a cheap radios' tuning ability. I have rarely been able to pull in our (WTOP, Washington, DC) local AM news station, but this radio does a fine job. Yes, it does indeed have an AM band (labeled as MW), contrary to some reviews, and does a great job. Sound is quite good, and the unit is small, though not tiny, and surpringsly heavy for its size (i.e. SOLID).

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Sangean Fan
    If you have read all the user reviews, you may think two different radios were being discussed.My experience with Radio Shack's version of the Sangean SG-622 may explain this discrepancy.
    This Sangean has truly excellent sound quality for a radio with such a small speaker.I also found its sensitivity excellent on the AM, FM, and Shortwave bands here in the Midwest.
    After several weeks, the sound became distorted, and I returned it to Radio Shack to be repaired within the warranty period.The repairman replaced a faulty integrated circuit and the speaker.
    It worked fine for several months, and then the connection between the tuning dial and the tuner came loose, and it was impossible to tune it.The earlier repair work may have loosened it.
    In my opinion, the SG-622 is a very good little radio, but the quality control at the factory may be lax.The year-long warranty may help solve this problem. ... Read more

    Asin: B0000228GF
    Subjects:  1. Personal    2. Portable Stereos    3. Radios (Radio) - Shortwave    4. Portable Shortwave Radio (Personal)    5. Portable AMFM Radio (Personal AM-FM)   


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