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Product Review: Dynamo Flashlight

What Is it: Coghlan’s Dynamo Flashlight, a tiny travel light powered by a hand crank rather than batteries.

Price and Where to Buy: Between $4 and $6 at various camping and department stores, as well as online at Amazon.

Pros: No batteries required! Just crank the flashlight’s lever for one minute and you’ll be rewarded with 30 minutes of power (which can be stored for later use—you can crank it ahead of time, turn it off, and have light ready for you later). The flashlight uses two bright LEDs which are more than enough to light a tent or illuminate your suitcase in a dark hostel room. The Dynamo is small and lightweight, and can be clipped on to your key-chain for easy access. 

Cons: None. We love this little light!

How it Rates:

  • Usefulness: 10/10. Whether you’re camping and need to light your way to the bathroom, or you’re staying in a hotel and want to read or find something in your bag without disturbing your roommate, the Coghlan’s Dynamo Flashlight will come in handy.
  • Portability: 10/10. It’s small, lightweight, and you’ll never have to worry about finding replacement batteries for it (since it doesn’t use batteries). Clip it on your bag or keys, and bring it with you on every trip.
  • Value: 10/10. For just $5, this is a great deal—you usually can’t even buy batteries at that price, let alone a flashlight.
  • Durability: 8/10. It’s constructed to be lightweight, so we wouldn’t drop it from great heights, but it seems like the Dynamo is well built. The hand winder that powers it seems very secure, as does the key-chain attachment.
  • Cool Factor: 8/10. The crank makes a bit of a noise as you wind it, which may gain you a few weird looks, but you’ll look pretty cool being the only one with power during an unexpected blackout!

Final Verdict:

Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at

(Photo Credit: Coghlan’s)

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