By Ross Werland, Tribune Newspapers
8:47 PM EST, February 5, 2013
Name: Monoprice 3-in-1 LED Light, Hand Warmer and Battery Backup
What it is: One of those multipurpose travel gizmos that is small but can serve a few useful purposes, as the name says. What makes it unique are the two aluminum hand-warmer plates on the top and bottom. It also has four LED lights for a bright flashlight that can blink, in case you need to signal someone that you've fallen off a cliff. And lastly, it's a backup power source for your tech goodies that charge via USB port. Fully charging the device itself takes about three hours.
The good: I have plenty of packable flashlights and power backups, but I don't have a hand warmer. Combining all three into one device makes this a winner for anyone traveling in cold-weather climes or who simply wants something to ward off a chill. The thing puts out so much heat that you would think it would suck out all the stored power in a matter of minutes, but I used it for about 40 minutes a day for a few days and still had power for the flashlight and battery backup. It's also so small, at 31/2 by 21/2 inches, that it's not going to rob you of packing space. As a camper, I could see dropping this into the bottom of a sleeping bag on a cold night, just to make my feet toasty.
The bad: The high heat setting can be uncomfortably hot if the device is against skin, so I just kept it on the lower setting. It comes with a carrying bag that you can use to temper the heat, if need be. Better to have the high heat capability than not.
Available from: monoprice.com
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC