Yesterday’s post had a really great purpose, other that just sticking it to you for planning a boring old bird watching excursion and trying to drag your kids into your idea of fun. I promise.
It was really about leading up to the review of this great product!
First of all, I despise objects or appliances that only do one thing. Whether it’s outdoor gear or regular household items, I hate buying things that only serve one purpose. Looking at you, countertop apple peeler. So when this object crossed my radar, I was super excited. Not only is it something you can really use in the outdoors, it’s great to have in the house for emergency situations (I’m all about being prepared for emergencies). Heck, it’s great to use it in place of a wall outlet anytime you can since it will save on energy costs and usage, and will double as exercise!
What is this wonderful device? The K-Tor Power Box Pedal Generator. Yes, you plug your item into the outlet and pedal to make it run. There’s no internal battery, so yes, it’s all you. Or if you read yesterday’s post, it’s all on your kids to power their devices.
At the risk of sounding like I support lying and trickery, here’s what I envision happening when you put this generator in front of your kids: they’re going to be super excited…for about a minute and a half. I’m willing to bet they’ll get up and find something else to do if they don’t want to power their devices. You get to be the parent who said, “Sure you can bring your iPad!” while knowing that they’re probably going to find something else to do instead.
In all seriousness, this device does have important ramifications for other things besides making your kids pedal for their screen time. Like I said, I’m really excited that it’s sitting downstairs right now just because we’re expecting storms later on today. I still remember the images of people huddled over some Good Samaritan’s power strip outside of an apartment following Hurricane Sandy, waiting for their cell phones to charge so they could even speak to their loved ones. Of course, this would also be the ideal unit to keep under your desk at work to pedal while you ran a radio or charged your cell phone. It would provide some calorie burn and keep your legs and back from being in the same position for too long.
As for how it operates, there are a few things you should know. It folds up nicely into a unit that takes up less space than a normal shoe box, but since the generator is inside the unit, it’s a little hefty at just over five pounds. It’s very important that you understand the unit will work directly out of the box, but it will work more efficiently and with less frustration if you bolt it to a board to keep it from toppling over while you pedal. Finally, you need to get a real feel for how much effort it takes to use this generator to power a device: it’s no lazy picnic. It will take actual effort, and any slacking off will result in a loss of output. Luckily, you can easily switch to using it as a hand-crank generator by standing it up in front of you and pedaling with your hands.
Don’t let the $195-or-so price tag put a damper on your interest in this. It’s a small price to pay for this much functionality, and it can make itself useful in a wide variety of ways. All in all, it’s definitely worth having, even if it’s something you hope you never need.