What’s New From Industrial Revolution?

I could easily spend a whole week trying to cover all the interesting gear we saw at the Industrial Revolution booth last month, but for now, I’ll stick to three that caught my eye. Each of them fit into distinctly different categories, but all offer some innovative features that make them noteworthy.

ARKA LED Lantern, flashlight and USB charger

The big item for 2013 is the Arka, which manages to be a lantern, flashlight, and USB charger, all in one. In the collapsed position, it’s a handy LED flashlight with five steps of brightness, all the way up to 180 lumens. Pull the globe up, and the frosted sides provide a softer area light, turning the Arka into a lantern. There’s also a strobe setting and a universal S.O.S. strobe mode, plus three red LEDs for night vision. Run time is 6-8 hours on high, and up to 100 hours on low. The reason for that great run time is the 4000 mAh battery built in. That’s enough to power your light through a weekend of camping, plus the USB output lets you top up your phone, camera, or GPS unit, as well as similar USB-charged devices. If you’ve got a portable solar charger, you can charge it during the day while camping. Recharge it at home via a wall outlet or your computer’s USB port. At only 7.5 ounces, it’s not not the lightest flashlight, lantern, or battery, but considering that it could replace all three, there’s really no weight penalty. Expect it in stores (including REI) on March 1.

Esbit alcohol stove with heat exchanger

Esbit improves on their tried and true alcohol stove by adding a heat exchanger to the pot, cutting boil times by 30%. That means less fuel to pack, and less to burn. It also means that meals are ready that much sooner, something I can certainly appreciate after a hike. The 950ml pot, lid, and pot stand are all made from lightweight, hard-anodized aluminum, and the pot has folding stainless grips for easy lifting and pouring. A brass alcohol burner is included, and fits inside the pot, along with the stand. Total weight for the package is 10.9 ounces, and it comes with a mesh bag for storage. Look for a review of this stove coming soon.

UltraPod GO mini tripod



For those shutterbugs who recognize that their cell phone is no substitute for a real camera (I always carry at least a compact digital camera with me), the UltraPod GO may be of interest. Although it only supports cameras up to three pounds, the standard 1/4-20 threaded ball-mount allows 360 degrees of adjustability with a single knob. The legs fold out to form a tripod for those group photos, and they also make a handy pistol grip when folded in, perfect for panning. A clever PowerStrap mounting system consists of a 13″ hook and loop fastening strap stored in the bottom of the grip. This is ideal for for attaching the UltraPod GO to just about any round or even slightly irregular object, such as a tent pole, tree branch, or fence post. It really does a lot for only weighing two ounces, so there there’s no excuse not to have one. Available April 1st.

We’ve covered several other items from Industrial Revolution in the past, and they all offer the same qualities of clever design, useful features, and excellent value. Whether you’re shopping to fill your camping needs, or want to be better prepared for emergencies, their site is worth a look . industrialrev.com

– Brian


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