The Gadget: The HydroStar SUB flashlight is billed as an ideal emergency tool or a handy device to take on your outdoor adventures. The dynamo-powered flashlight features single, dual and strobe LED modes along with a "snake eyes" laser pointer (it can even charge your USB gadgets). Plus, the SUB is shock resistant and submersible up to 10 metres—so it should be rugged enough to handle the elements.
The Price: $US40
The Verdict: The HydroStar SUB is one of the most supremely useful flashlights I have ever seen. The hand-crank means that it will never need batteries, and it can hold a charge surprisingly well despite having several modes. About a minute of cranking at a forearm-busting pace will generate about 45 minutes to an hour of usable light from the 1/2 watt centre LED, and nearly two hours from the side LEDs and the strobe. The laser pointer, on the other hand, will only get about 5 to 10 minutes. Still, I would not recommend detaching the hand crank because every once in a while you will need to give it another hit to keep it functionally bright.
The USB charging option is also a handy feature, although your arm would probably fall off before you fully charged an iPod. In an emergency though, you could probably stand the pain long enough to juice up a basic mobile phone to make a quick call. The whole package is fairly rugged too, so you don't have to worry about dropping it or getting it wet. Under most situations, the SUB should come away unscathed.
The bottom line is that if you are looking for a solid, utility or emergency flashlight, the HydroStar SUB would be a great choice. It packs in far more functionality than standard flashlights, and it is maintenance-free to boot. [Seattle Sports]