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Best/most durable hand crank and solar radio out there

We posted on our Facebook page:

Christopher Cromwell asked below: “What is the best/most durable hand crank and solar radio out there? I want to buy one and have not been too impressed with what I have found so far.”

Some comments we received:

Comment #1: Eton FR360. Works great and unlike most iv tried it actually charges my phone. The solar panel and crank charges a internal battery, then dumps directly to the phone.

Comment #2: I’ve found similar situations. I like the Eton and Grundig Varieties. But another thing you need to consider is shelf life of the rechargeable battery in the radio.

From all the “experts” I’ve spoken with, you will want to replace those batteries every couple years, even if you never charge them with the dynamo. They will slowly degenerate until they become useless.

I learned this from attempting to charge up my 6 year old Grundig emergency radio. I recently pulled it from it’s unopened box to crank it up. I cranked and cranked and cranked and couldn’t get more than a couple minutes use out of it. Took the batteries down to Batteries Plus where they tested it and said it sat too long. They set me up with a set of replacement batteries at just under $12.

So along with rotating your MREs and emergency food supplies, you need to replace your chargeable radio batteries as well!! Word to the wise!

Comment #3: I’m not too impressed with any I’ve seen. I just used what good outdoor boom box I already had and bought a roll-up solar charger and rechargeable batteries. The charger powers up my laptop, cell phone, and rechargeable spotlight too. I’ve got several hand-crank flashlights. I found a Radio Shack multi-band radio at a yard sale and I use rechargeable batteries in it. Most “survival” radios I’ve seen are gimmicks. Most of the ones I’ve seen the tuners are at best weak or not reliable, and like some other posts, the antennae are flimsy. I have an old “truckers” TV, an AC/DC black and white with a multi-band receiver. I use the radio on it now as there are so few analog TV signals out there. It still plays video from a VCR.

Comment #4: Ambient Weather adventurer. Solar, crank. Can’t be beat for the price and functionality. When you look at radio reviews don’t look at the good ones, look at the one and two star ones. Those are the ones that will let you know what the problems are.

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