What will they think of next? How about a flashlight that morphs into a lantern, a notepad with pop-out (and in) pages, an umbrella that keeps the wet in, and a hammock made just for kids
Let there be light
A flashlight illuminates only what’s in front of the beam, but a lantern can cast a glow on everything around it. The new Nite Ize Radiant 200 Collapsible Lantern Plus Flashlight does both. The device, which weighs 7 ounces and runs on four AA batteries (not included), converts from a bright 200-lumen flashlight into a glowing lantern with a simple sliding motion. The lantern has a high and low mode too. A carabiner clip attached to the handle connects with any loop.
Cost, info: Nite Ize Radiant 200 Collapsible Lantern Plus Flashlight costs $29.99; lat.ms/lanternflashlight.
Write all about it
Keeping a journal seems like committing your thoughts for eternity, but here come Rekonect Magnetic Refillable Notebooks, letting us have our pages and chuck them too. The secret is in the powerful rare-earth magnets embedded in the spine of the 8-by-5½-inch faux leather covers and the magnetized 55-sheet notebook between those covers.
Each sheet is printed with a narrow strip of iron ink along the inside edge so each page connects to the magnetic spine and can be easily removed, reorganized, reattached, added to other Rekonects’ innards — or it can be ditched. The pages can be scanned, photocopied and printed, and the magnetic spine can hold onto any pen that contains metal attracted to magnets.
The notebook included with the Rekonect has lined pages, but refill pads come with interchangeable lined, blank, dotted or graph paper. The hard-shelled cover comes in five colors.
Cost, info: Rekonect Magnetic Refillable Notebook with magnetic-sheet pad, is $29.95. Refill pads of 55 magnetized sheets cost $8.95; lat.ms/refillablenotebook.
Totes, long a stalwart of small, no-frills umbrellas, has reversed itself — or rather its umbrella. The company’s new InBrella Reverse Close Umbrella collapses up instead of down.
The inside-out engineering means your wet umbrella closes with the moisture on the inside instead of dripping on and around you. That lets you decide where to flip the umbrella over and release the drips before setting it down.
The InBrella has a double-layer canopy and comes in a fully transparent model as well as styles with whimsical under-canopy prints of clouds, flowers, the zodiac or multicolor raindrops. Cutouts in the under canopy dispel condensation.
At 31 inches long, the InBrella isn’t as petite as Totes’ traditional telescoping models. But you won’t get the drippy mess either.
Cost, info: Totes InBrella Reverse Close Umbrella costs $25; lat.ms/totesinbrella.
Lazy days aloft
Now your small fry can nap outdoors in comfort. Grand Trunk has created a hammock for kids in the same featherweight parachute nylon as its popular adult travel models.
Patterns include safari-themed jungle animals; golden stars on a blue sky and a herd of elephants on a cherry-red savanna. The hammocks are 9 feet long by 4½ feet wide and come with nautical-grade carabiners and starter rope. An optional pair of 10-foot-long trunk straps makes stringing between trees, poles or even cars or campers a breeze. Or use your own sturdy rope.
It stashes into a matching stuff sack, weighs a pound and is machine washable. The hammock can hold up 150 pounds, so kids can share with a friend or two.
Cost, info: Grand Trunk Junior Hammock costs $44.95; optional trunk strap set costs $30; at lat.ms/juniorhammock.