Hurricane Irene is a reminder to us all that a good emergency radio like the Eton Rover is something that should be in our arsenal. Living through a hurricane or earthquake is scary, and worse so if you are not prepared. Something as simple as a quality self powered AM/FM/NOAA weather radio with flashlight could save your life, or at least keep you informed and safe.
The Eton Rover (branded as American Red Cross) is one of the best built hand crank radio/flashlights I have found. Read on for a full review of the American Red Cross Eton Rover.
I can't count the times I have reached for a radio or flashlight in a time of need to find the batteries dead. If the power goes out and you are without batteries, you will literally be uninformed and in the dark. With that said, the most important part of this emergency radio is that you can hand crank it for power.
At first glance the Eton Rover box (pictured below) is pretty small, perfectly fitting the size of the radio. No wasted packaging here. Inside the box you will find the Eton Rover Emergency Radio, a Mini USB charging cable, a wrist strap, a quick guide, an owners manual, and a warranty card.
The radio has AM/FM, 7 channels from the NOAA (weather radio), a 3-LED flashlight, a headphone jack, external speaker, large tuning dial, a USB charging port, a USB out port (for charging most USB gadgets like your cell phone), a self powered hand crank, and a built-in lithium-ion battery.
Every minute of hand cranking creates about 15 minutes of battery life. The hand crank feels incredibly well built and strong. The crank is made of metal and seems like it will out last many of my other cheaper crank radios. Good job Eton. If you aren't in the mood to use the hand crank, and still have power, plug the Rover in to a powered USB port and your radio will charge in about 5 hours and will run for about 8 hours.
The Rover tunes in AM/FM and NOAA weather stations perfectly with no tuning float. The two red dials control the volume and AM/FM tuning. The red rubberized button on top of the Eton Rover is used to turn the 3-LED flashlight off and on. I wish there was an option for the flashlight to flash or pulse. Underneath the rubber cover on the bottom of the radio you will find your 3.5mm audio out jack, a miniUSB port (for charging the Rover), and a full sized USB port (for charging your gadgets). Imagine being able to charge your cell phone during a power outage via a hand crank. Too cool.
All-in-all I am a big fan of the American Red Cross Eton Rover self-powered emergency flashlight radio. It is well built, small but packed full of features, can charge my other gadgets, and priced right at around $49.