Tuesday, July 29, 2014         


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A hand warmer plus

By McClatchy News Services


» 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 last, 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: Packable flashlights and power backups are travelers' staples, but not hand warmers. 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 it was tested 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 3 1⁄2 by 2 1⁄2 inches, that it's not going to rob you of packing space. A camper could drop this into the bottom of a sleeping bag on a cold night, just to make his or her feet toasty.

» The bad: The high heat setting can be uncomfortably hot if the device is against skin, so just use it on a 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.

» Cost: $22

» Available from: monoprice.com

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com.

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