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Perpetual gear finds thread

I often come across cool gear and preps online, so I figured I’d make a thread to drop this stuff in vs. just putting it in the company Slack like I normally do.

I’ll kick it off with these small Knipex CoBolt S compact bolt cutters (71 31 160), which are a newly released variant on a set of cutters I already have in my BoB. I have the XL version of these cutters in my bag, but I’m hearing that the new compact ones are insanely capable for the size and weight. So I’m thinking of picking some up (with the recessed edge).

I tend to really go for the Knipex tools because they’re German made and extremely high quality. I use their pliers in my shop, and have a very compact set of their pliers in my wife’s BoB.

(Also, I’m thinking it may be cool to do a perpetual deals thread where we can post sales on preps that we come across.)

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  • Comments (21)

    • 2

      A techy friend of mine was on FB wearing one of these. Looks really slick. Does anyone have any experience with them?

      https://o2canada.com/

    • 2

      Has anyone tried airsoft goggles for eye protection? I’ve been using lab goggles, but am thinking of something like this:

      https://www.valken.com/Goggle-V-TAC-Zulu

      • 2

        That appears to be a 2x cost rebrand of the Pyramix I-Force

        which I have been considering; I mentioned it in a thread about ‘goggles for protesting’ a couple of weeks ago. Main disatvantage in my mind is that it’s probably not airtight enough to keep tear gas or other eye irritants out. 

      • 2

        Thanks, I’m going to buy these and see how they are.

      • 3

        Ordered via Amazon. They’ll get here in a day or two and I’ll try them out and update.

    • 2

      The Knipex bolt cutters look nice (and I love Knipex), but Felco C7’s are about the same size and can go through 7 mm diameter of mild steel (as the name implies). I could be wrong, but I suspect you would find that they offer a significantly better capability-to-weight ratio. 

      • 2

        I checked those out, and they look sweet. I’d love to do a bake-off on the blog, at some point.

    • 2

      I got this Schrade SCHF56L in for testing, and wow is it better than the Schrade SCHF36 that’s the main budget pick in our knife guide.

      It’s the same price and materials, but the ergos are way better. There is a small sharpening choil, so it’s easier to sharpen than the larger SCHF36. Plus, it’s lighter, better balanced, and the handle is more comfortable. The blade design is IMO a little more flexible, too.

      I really really love this knife as a budget survival/bushcraft pick. I may do a more extensive review, and it’s definitely going into the next update of our knife guide.

    • 2

      While I’m on the topic of things that I’ve recent found to be better than our guide pick, I’ve been using and carrying a Leatherman Free K4 for a few months now, and I think it’s better than the Skeletool CX as an EDC pick.

      It has the following things going for it vs. the CX:

      • It weighs the same (or a little less, I think). So it doesn’t fee bulkier in the pocket.
      • The clip is far better. I always had retention problems with the CX, and finally lost one and had to replace it. Not so with the Free.
      • It rides better in the pocket. There’s something about the CX that just gets in the way. Despite the fact that the Free K4 is thicker, it just stays out of the way far better than the CX.
      • I rarely used the CX’s pliers.
      • I constantly use the K4’s scissors.

      So as much as I adored the Skeletool CX for the years I carried it, I really love the K4 and consider it to be a major upgrade.

      • 3

        Has anyone ever tried out the LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger? It’s a solar charged light and cellphone charger. Looks pretty good to me, especially since it’s supposed to be waterproof and sandproof. 

        Solar Phone Chargers

        Here are some other specs:

        • 150 lumens of bright LED light on Turbo mode
        • Can run for up to 50 hours on Low mode
        • Recharges via solar power in 16-20 hours of sunlight
        • Recharges via USB input in 2 hours
        • The USB output port will recharge your phone in 2-4 hours depending on the type of phone
      • 3

        I haven’t, but that looks awesome! If you get it, it would be awesome to read a review in the forum if you can do it. 🙂

      • 3

        +1 on wondering about this one and if the phone charger is worth the weight vs. the light only version.  

      • 1

        This product hits a pet peeve of mine.

        Immediately (and with most other LED lights these days) we see how white the light is – a great recipe for completely knocking out your night vision and screwing up your melatonin production. I get it when a flashlight has it, because I’d expect the bright light to disorient other people and animals somewhat, but with a lantern like this everyone’s a casualty.

        I’d really like to see more low kelvin (2700k or softer) portable LEDs, but of course going daylight (5000-6500 kelvin) is a cheat code for getting more lumens out of your lights. Probably has to do with LED technology. At least you’d think they could include a less bright, more warm option as part of the various brightness settings on these things. From what I saw of the video, it doesn’t seem like the dimmer settings are a warmer color.

        I really enjoy my Philips Sceneswitch lights for this reason. Where’s my Sceneswitch version of this lantern? :p

        I’d also like to know how the plastic handles being expanded and scrunched up over time… Whatever I’m buying should be as close to “buy it for life” as possible.

      • 2

        Good thoughts.  I also think the daylight option also helps with color recognition (blood being a key one) .  My peeve is how many manufacturers don’t include the color temperature in the description.  This one did at least.  Their lantern version comes in 3 options:  5000K, 2700K and multicolor.  Odd they didn’t copy that model in their battery charger version.  I think the handles are more like silicone.   I’ve not gotten to play with one yet, though.   And at their site, a popup indicated that a new one with a larger solar panel is coming (based on the image).  

      • 2

        Yes, I see now that the $25 lantern-only version has different warmness options. Still, as we see here with the phone charger lantern, the first version of a new [insert thing here] with LED lighting is usually a daylight color. Often a second warmer version never comes… Though this brand may be an exception.

    • 2

      I just finally committed and purchased an Outdoor Vitals Atlas Hybrid 15F sleeping bag. https://outdoorvitals.com/collections/all-sleeping-bags/products/outdoor-vitals-atlas-hybrid-0-degree-lofttek-sleeping-bag I’ve been using a North Face Cat’s Meow 20F  in the last 30 years (like 10 times) and had planned to put it in the BOB, but it’s heavier, bulkier and in my recent late evening tests, isn’t as warm as it once was or in comparison to my husband’s Marmot Trestles 15deg XL.  I must say I’m impressed with the Atlas and I’ve not yet actually slept in it.  In the late evening comparison test, it was the warmest yet and most comfortable.  I really like the center zip as it made it more versatile (reading, using as a quilt in warmer temps) and was generally better for this squirmy side sleeper.  It also creates the spots for the shoulder baffles which are small attached blankets that fill in around your neck that are just plain genious. 

    • 4

      The ClampTite tool allows you to use stainless steel safety wire to make a super-strong low-profile hose clamp when the S has HTF and you need a durable critical repair done ASAP.  The size of the repair is limited to the length of the wire.  You’ll need to watch a video and practice a few times, like a lot things in the prepper space, but it will put a huge grin on your face the first time it comes in handy for you.

      Premium Marine* ClampTite Tool – CLT01L

      103957550_1958366210965174_4238596095852757117_n

      • 2

        This is great! I think these quick-fix repair type items — hose clamps, safety pins, even sewing kits — are underrated in prepper circles. When you need them they can make a major difference, but we often don’t even think about them until it’s too late.

        I wonder if there’s not a potential kit we could put together that’s like, “field repair things you probably didn’t think about but that could save your bacon,” with stuff like this in it.

      • 2

        I agree that repairs are really good to include in prepping.  My car kit includes hose clamps, zip ties and spare fuses.  I’ve also had a hose clamp with a bit of rubber tubing temporarily fix a leak in a copper pipe in my house until the plumber could fit us in.  I’ve got a gear aid repair kit with extra tenatious tape destined for my BOB as it will mend a variety of items – also very lightweight.

        https://www.rei.com/product/783048/gear-aid-seam-grip-field-repair-kit

        Recently having the need to fix a pair of glasses, an eyeglass repair kit is also on the list – lesson here:  one with long and short screws as the one I had luckily had a long enough one for the broken pair.  The one I purchased for the BOB did not.  And given that we have needles in the FAK, adding in some heavy duty thread is quite small/light that would help with mending a lot of things that duct tape would not.  Just need to ensure the needle’s hole is large enough for the thicker thread (don’t think mine is right now).  

      • 2

        Looks like it could beat the hell out of my old milspec wire twister.