Without the vast riches of Wayne Enterprises at your disposal, building a utility belt with as much functionality as Batman's is out of the question. But did you realise you can get pretty close by properly accessorising your keychain?
We've put together a host of pocket-friendly accessories that will help you deal with any situation — except maybe criminally insane super-villains.
Gerber Artifact There's nothing more essential than keeping a good knife clipped to your keys, and we particularly like the minimal approach of Gerber's Artifact. Instead of a collection of fold-out implements, it uses its unique form factor to screw, strip, open, pry and even cut when you attach a hobby knife blade. Don't worry Gotham, your stuck paint can lids will soon be opened with ease. $US12.
Bushnell BackTrack Point-3 What's that you say? Your phone already has GPS built-in? Well if you happen to find yourself lacking mobile service, then good luck loading map data. Keeping a simple GPS unit easily at hand is a good idea, and the BackTrack Point-3 is as about as tiny as they get. You don't get fancy scrolling maps, but you can set waypoints which the unit will guide you back to with an easy-to-follow pointing arrow. It's even easier than using a compass, or trying to find moss on a tree to get your bearings. $US92.
Swiss+Tech 7-in-1 Emergency Tool While the documents are classified, I'm pretty sure the Batmobile has countless escape systems for when Batman gets in an accident. Your car probably doesn't, unless the BodyGard emergency tool is hanging from your keys in the ignition. Using a spring-loaded pin it can easily shatter windows, while a belt cutter makes it extra easy to quickly escape a damaged vehicle. The BodyGard also packs a torch that doubles as an emergency flasher, and a sonic alarm so that rescuers know where to find you. And since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, you can even use the tool to check your car's tyre pressure before you head out. $US30.
FireStash Waterproof Lighter Fire was an important tool for cavemen, and it still is today. Having a readily available source of light, heat and arson is important for any well-equipped keychain. This FireStash is like a miniature version of the Zippo, but thanks to a strategic neoprene 'O' ring, it's also waterproof. So even if you happen to find yourself in a downpour, or crawling out of a lake, you'll have the peace of mind knowing that you'll still be able to set something aflame. $US11.
Swiss+Tech Transformer Micro-Wrench I figured I should include at least one well-equipped fold-out microtool, and this one from Swiss+Tech gets the nod because it's the first I've seen that includes an adjustable wrench. It's not going to fit every nut and bolt out there, but for impromptu automotive repairs and adjustments, it looks downright handy. In addition to scissors, a ruler and a bottle opener, the Micro-Wrench also doubles as a miniature worklight since most emergency repairs seem to happen in the darkness of night. $US15.
Photon ReX Rechargeable LED Flashlight A dedicated torch is also a must-have addition to your now heavily weighted keychain, and Photon's ReX is my illumination of choice for many reasons. Instead of a single LED bulb, it uses four, providing far more illumination than your typical LED keychain light. But that also means it's more power-hungry, so Photon has made this model rechargeable, using cheap AA batteries instead of those expensive and rare cell types. It also comes with just about the most adorable little charger I've ever seen. Awwww. $US30.
Four Inch Keychain Gun I have no idea what something like this costs, or where you can buy it. And if I did, I probably wouldn't share that info. Apparently this four inch keychain gun has been popping up on the streets of Britain and eastern Europe over the past few years. It's actually a modified version of a pocket-sized emergency flare gun that now fires 6.35mm rounds. It's useless at anything but close range, but I suspect it's most definitely lethal if you happen to target it properly. Now I know Batman doesn't really use guns, but I also know the rest of us haven't been trained in the ninja arts at a far-off monastery. Price and availability unknown. Photo: Hot Toys