extremade Auto-Lock Air Vent Phone Mount

I have tried plenty of air vent smartphone mounts and most of them work but often getting them in place or using them can be a fiddly and annoying business. Unlike many rivals this new car Air-vent phone holder from extremade has an auto-lock and quick release system that actually works, just press the phone down onto the mount and the two retaining arms click into place. To release just pinch the two rear mount buttons and the jaws spring open.

Aside from the phone mount inside the box are an excellent three in one 3 in 1 charging cable, and a car vent cleaning tool – both of which alone are probably worth the asking price here.

As with most things at the end of the day it comes down to price, there are plenty of rival mounts that are pretty much as good as this one, but not at the same price or with two genuinely useful freebies bundled in.

Right now there is a 50% discount available at the Amazon checkout to bring the price down from an already bargain £7.99 to a crazy £4. So move quick.

No real downsides other than to check that your car vent is suitable for fitting, not all are.

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AGPTEK Protective Voice Recorder Case

This simple protective case is reasonably priced at £5.99 and should provide all the protection you need for your voice recorder in day to day use. Take note of the internal dimensions to be sure your device will fit.

Build quality seems fine with the semi-rigid case being well capable of protecting against knocks, bumps and water spills – although no actual IP rating is given for the water resistance. The zip sticks a little on my case but seems robust enough and soon freed up.

The case has an elastic retaining band to hold the recorder in place and three small mesh pockets for cables and other accessories. It is the sort of case that should have been supplied with the voice recorder. Take note that the storage space inside is fine but be sure to use a short thin charging cable only, you will not get a heavy-duty or longer cable in there without a struggle.

This is a pretty standard case with many almost identical rivals available for around the same price. That said,I doubt the others would be a better buy than this one.
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GearTOP Full Face Mask Balaclava

Many of us wear Balaclavas in the winter most of us just to keep warm or as a fashion item but some people need to wear balaclavas to stay safe or even to stay alive, I am talking now about bikers, climbers, skiers and others that take part in cold weather or high-speed sports. It is to them perhaps that this balaclava was designed. Of course, anyone can wear and in any conditions too but it comes into its own when worn under a helmet where it offers additional protection, warmth and protection to the face from loose hair and moisture.

Available in three colours this new balaclava mask from GearTOP is designed first and foremost to keep you warm, dry and comfortable when on a bike, skiing or in extreme conditions. The lightweight Super Roubaix Fabric is stretchable, very warm and also wicks moisture away from the skin. It stretches to fit the contours of the head both for warmth and to keep loose hair in check and away from the eyes. I have to say this is not the most attractive garment I have worn but it is most certainly one of the most practical.

A major selling point is that the balaclava can be worn in no less than 5 styles: Skull cap, Closed Mask, Open MNask, Neck Gaiter, Dust Mask. Fitting it correctly to the head can take some time at first but a tight fit is needed for a comfortable under helmet fit.

I was surprised when I noticed the rather modest £15.99 price tag, I was expecting a professional piece of kit like this to be considerably dearer and that makes it all the more attractive to me as a hiker and biker to add it to my kitbag.

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RUCACIO Puzzle Feeder Dog Treat Toy

]Keeping your dog stimulated and alert can be a problem but usually, food, or the prospect of food, is a sure-fire way to get your dog’s attention and to get him alert and on the move. This is where this clever toy and slow feeder from RUCACIO comes in.

This simple toy can give your dog hours of fun as well as stimulating his mind and satisfying his appetite. Treats are stuffed inside through the openings on either end and by pushing and pulling at the toy and turning it over gradually the treats inside will fall out rewarding his patience and stimulating his mind. Soft foods or meat paste can also be rubbed into the grooves on the outside for additional fun and nutrition. Making your dog work for his food not only keeps him stimulated and on the move but can also prevent the dog from bolting the food all at once, which can be bad for the digestion. Be aware that the opening on the two sides of the toy are small so take care to use treats small enough to easily fall out.

The toy is made of 100& natural food grade rubber and is robust enough to resist all the but the very largest of canine teeth. It can be used outside just as a toy where it can be thrown and used in general play like a ball. It can then be easily be rinsed off if it gets dirty.

This is a fun toy for any small to medium-sized dogs and is well made and robust enough to give years of pleasure and at £11.99 not inexpensive but worth the price for the build quality and design, as I am sure your four-legged friend will agree.

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Tintec 300 LED Curtain Lights Set

This is more than just a simple curtain light of the type I have reviewed several times in the past. In the surprisingly small plain brown box were the curtains lights, remote control, 3 bags of white feathers, hooks, and two mini colour LED strings.

Build quality is good but lightweight, as to be expected with this sort of product and at this sort of price. The curtain lights themselves take the form of ten warm white 300cm LED strings attached to a 300cm central wire and powered by a standard USB plug. This plug has a simple switch on it to turn the 300 LED string set On and off and flash. The included credit card-sized remote control allows for further control over the lights with eight flashing modes, but I am always pleased to see an old fashioned manual switch as these little remotes have a habit of getting lost in our house. The modes are: Combination, Waveform, Continuous, Slow lighting, Chase/Flash, Slow Fade, Flash/Flash, Steady. The strings are rated as being IP44 water-resistant, which means they will be fine in a shower but sustained heavy rain or water immersion should be avoided.

The two mini strings have twinkling coloured lights with a simple on/off switch on their small control units which also house the button type batteries which power them. The feathers, the first I have ever seen with this sort of kit, are designed to be woven into the LED strings for additional atmospheric effect. The five hooks have tiny pins on the reverse so they can be temporarily fixed to the wall.

Take care and do not rush when putting the strings in place. The wires come wound in the loops but will tie themselves into impenetrable knots at the slightest opportunity. Try fixing the main wire, from which the others are suspended, in place first and then slowly and careful unfurl and position each hanging wire. If you are patient about it and resist the temptation to rush then you may complete the task whilst retaining your sanity, but no promises there. Once in place, however, the final effect can be stunning. Given the time and effort needed to put the lights up you may well feel inclined to leave them in place all year. If you do take them down again then be sure do so just as carefully. These lights can last for years if treated properly and the sight of a large display such as this can be eye-catching at any time of year.

Christmas will be here soon and this £14.99 set may be just what is needed to bring some festive cheer to your home.


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TAGVO USB Rechargeable LED Beanie Cap

Having recently taken up running again I needed to add a few safety items to my running kit to allow me to undertake some early morning runs in the dark. Part of my daily 10K run is on an unlit main road and so I need to be able to see the pavement in front of me as well as be seen by oncoming traffic. This £7.49 beanie hat from TAGVOseemed to answer the bill.

The hat arrived packed in a plastic vacuum bag containing just the beanie hat, no instructions were included or required.

Build quality seems fine. The beanie hat is medium weight – thicker than most simple beanie hats but not up to ski hat standard. The hat is unlined but is thick enough for winter runs and indeed for me, I would find it uncomfortable to run in anything thicker. It has a fold-up brim which has a reinforced opening for the LED light to be slotted. Once in the place, the light can be easily popped out but is well seated enough not to run the risk of falling out when running. The light unit is quite large with a single button on the front which cycles through the two lighting options: white and blue/red strobe. There is no option to dim the light. There is a pull-off cover for the rubberised USB plug built into the light unit and this can be used in any USB port and takes about two hours to fully charge with the LED showing charging is taking place. One charge should give around four hours of use.

In use, I found it works very well and is brighter than I expected. Operating it when on the move can be a bit tricky as the button needs a good positive click which can be difficult if the hat is too high on the head, pull it down so the light is against the forehead to use the switch more easily. I use it now as my regular running hat for daytime use as I find it comfortable to wear and can be pulled down over my ears to help keep my earbuds in place. For daytime runs, I usually remove the LED light before heading out as the hat looks fine without it and there is no point carrying extra weight.

If you need a headlight for running, fishing or other nocturnal activities then this is an excellent choice. It works well, is well made and comfortable and will not break the bank to buy it.

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Horcol 26800mAh Power Bank

The main features of this new 26800mAh Power Bank from Horcol are the above-average power capacity, USB-C/Micro-USB dual inputs and the unusual form factor, like that of an extra fat smartphone. The form factor makes it easy to slip[ into the pocket despite the larger than average power of the battery.

The power bank arrived nicely packaged in an eco-friendly cardboard box robust enough to store the unit in if needed. Supplied with the power bank was a short USB to micro-USB charging cable and a small but well written and easy to read User Guide, not that you are likely to need it. I enclose a scan of it at the end of my unboxing video just in case you do.

Although smaller than I expected the power bank is quite chunky. It seems very robust and well made and capable of surviving a knock or two. It has the look and feel of a high-end premium device with an attractive gloss black skin which is something of a fingerprint magnet.

All the ports are on the front face, and consist of the micro-USB and USB-C inputs (which both input power at the same rate 5v/2.1A), and two standard USB power out ports for power out, which again both output at 5v/2.1A each. A recessed power switch is on one side and the small LED power screen is within the black front panel.

I tested it with my OnePlus 5T phone and my Tablet and found the charging times to be fast with no sign of overheating either from the power bank or connected device. The device is equipped with the appropriate circuit to protect against overheating and overcharging.

It is a pity that there is no USB-C power outport as most high-end modern smartphones now feature this interface. It also lacks some of the other whistles and bells that some other chargers have but the lack of them does not bother me as I am looking for a Powerbank, not a flashlight or a device to get stones out of horses hooves. It is certainly a powerful charger capable of charging an iPhone 8 about 9 times, the Galaxy S8 6 times, the iPad Air 2 times and most android devices several times.

This is a powerful and attractive power bank, free from distracting and unneeded features but focused on charging attached devices, which it does remarkably well. The price, currently at £24.99, is good for the features and capacity as is the robust high-end build quality. This is a good Power Bank and a worthwhile buy.

The Good
Great price
Two 2.1A Output ports
Robust design
Great Build Quality
Attractive Design
Good User Guide
LCD Display
Dual Power in Ports

The Bad
No USB C output port
No Carry bag
Fingerprint magnet.

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