Having at least one emergency crank flashlight that does not require batteries is essential to have in your 72-hour emergency kit. A good hand crank flashlight or emergency solar flashlight can go a long way if you find yourself without any spare batteries. Also having an emergency crank or solar radio is essential. In this article, we will give you the top pick of our favorite emergency flashlight that requires no batteries, and on top of that, it has a built-in emergency radio!
First off, I almost sent this solar hand crank emergency flashlight back. The reason, after charging the flashlight until full power I set it aside for a couple of days until I did a proper test of its capabilities. I picked it up after a few days, and it was DEAD! After complaining to myself, I noticed I left the radio on. My bad. Turn the radio off until you feel the click.
When looking for our favorite emergency flashlight radio combo, we had four primary considerations we were looking for.
- The brightness of the Solar and hand crank powered flashlight.
- The Battery life and how long you need to solar or hand crank the flashlight to have a sufficient run time.
- The Quality of the radio reception, sound, and runtime.
- Efficiency and ease of use of the flashlight.
Solar Crank Flashlight Brightness Level and Duration of Peak Brightness
The LED is pretty bright, it won’t help you see too far down a path, but it will help you watch your step while walking. The best part is the LEDs; they use hardly any energy, and just a few cranks will power the flashlight for minutes. This is certainly not the solar flashlight I would bring with me as my primary camping flashlight, but it serves as an excellent backup that you can depend on.
I did try the solar flashlight in a completely dark room, and it did illuminate the place enough that I had no problem. The actual focus point of the solar flashlight could be more prominent but its more than adequate when facing a survival situation.
- Light Runtime Test – I hand cranked the flashlight for 15 seconds at a rate of 1 rotation per second, and I was able to power the LED for 8 minutes. Remember, this is an LED light and not your parent’s hand crank emergency flashlight with conventional bulbs. LED will last a long time since it uses practically no energy. One thing I was pleased about is the fact that the owners manual says that after 30 seconds of hand crank you would have about 5 minutes of light.
Battery Life while on Solar Power Only
I would call the solar feature of this emergency survival flashlight more of a “solar assist.”. What I mean by that is the small solar panel would take ages to bring the battery from dead to 100%. That doesn’t say the solar panel is entirely useless; it’s great when you’re outdoors and listening to the radio with the sun beaming on the solar panel. It might not be charging as much as your spending the energy, but it does help and its free, effortless power. The solar panel is there for emergency survival purposes only.
Emergency Survival Hand Crank Solar Radio Effectiveness
I will begin by saying that I was surprised as to how much time I could listen to the radio with just a few hand crank rotations.
- Solar Radio Runtime Test; During my test, I concluded that a 30-minute solar charge from dead battery allowed me over 2 hours of radio. That is far better than I expected considering my skepticism of the small solar panel. A 1-minute hand crank charge from dead battery also allowed more than 2 hours of radio. I figured anything over 2 hours made the test more than sufficient for most uses.
One feature I like and one of the reasons I keep calling it an emergency survival flashlight is that you can set it to WB (for weather reports). This feature is excellent If you live in an area where you might be out of power and have a hurricane heading your way. It also, of course, has FM, or AM.
Tuning and changing the volume is easy enough and what makes it better is that there’s even a little green light that comes on when the station is fully engaged. I like the inclusion of the green light because it makes it easy for me to tell when I’ve got the dial placed in the optimal spot for radio frequency. If you need better reception, you can extend the antenna. The sound is decent, even though I’m testing the flashlight I’m in an area that is known to have trouble with reception.
One Reason This Is Truly A Survival Flashlight Is It Turns Into a Hand Crank USB Charger
One of the main features of this being the ultimate survival hand crank flashlight is the ability to charge your phone! Yes, it’s also a hand crank USB charger for your phone. Of course, this is not as ideal as a portable power bank; but in times of crisis, this could be the thing that saves your life. Even if I might sound a bit dramatic, you still have to admit that its right!
I did read a few reviews, and some were complaining that they had trouble charging their phones with this survival flashlight. My advice if you have problems charging your phones using this flashlight would be that it’s best to turn off Wireless, Bluetooth and location service. It also helps a great deal to completely turn off your phone while charging in emergency situations. This will help it charge faster since the phone is consuming less energy.
After following my advice, I turned off my phone at 27% capacity. I cranked for 60 seconds at 60 rotations per minute to charge the battery. Then I plugged it into my iPhone 6s. I got the phone to 28% power after waiting a few minutes of letting it charge. You might be thinking “WOW 1% WOOPY DOO!!!” My response to all of your “woopy dooz” is you only need 1% to make a phone call that could save your life. The cell phone charging feature is for emergencies and should not be used as a conventional power bank.
Is This the Best Emergency Survival Solar Crank Flashlight / Radio?
I will be sincere, If you look through my website, you will notice that there is a lack of product reviews. Out of 40 articles, while writing this one, there might be 4 or 5 product reviews. I only want to review products that I love and that I would recommend to my friends and family.
So do I think this is the best emergency survival solar crank flashlight of 2018? Yes, and No, the reason I say no is because I have not tried them all; and If you spent a lot more money you might get a better product. The reason I say yes is that I’ve tried a handful of these emergency solar crank radio flashlight and most of them are complete crap. The fact that this radio/flashlight is under $20 at most times, and because it works as described and intended, I have to give this product a big thumbs up.
Questions That You Might Ask Yourself About This Emergency Solar Crank Flashlight Radio Combo
Will The Ironsnow Emergency Solar Crank Radio Work If I Charge It with Solar and Use it in the evening?
Can it be charged with a plug-in USB charger instead of a computer?
This emergency flashlight does not come with a power block, it only comes with a USB charger, but you can certainly use one of your cell phone power blocks to charge this flashlight. That’s how I charge mine, I never charge it from my computer USB ports.
Does the rechargeable battery ever need to be replaced and can you use AA or AAA as a replacement?
No and No. The rechargeable batteries in the emergency radio are hard-wired into the device so changing them is not recommended. You also can’t use AA or AAA batteries to run this device. I figure that if you can get a few years out of this radio, at the price you pay you came out ahead. Plus, as I said before, this is more for your 72-hour emergency kit than for an everyday radio and flashlight.
Does this radio have a Tornado, hurricanes and other natural disaster warnings?
What is the Lumen Output of this Emergency Solar Crank Flashlight?
Can this Emergency Survival Flashlight radio combo also work in a Zombie Apocalypse?