Etón Raptor review

Rugged multifunction outdoor radio
Photo of Etón Raptor
£99.99

If you’re a lover of the outdoors, but you can’t bear to be cut off from your beloved gadgets, then along with your toughbook laptop and waterproof digital camera, we’d advise you to pack the extremely versatile Etón Raptor.

At its heart, the Etón Raptor is a radio – large, chunky, rubberised and solar-powered – but a radio nonetheless that allows up to ten stations to be stored on FM, AM and SW frequencies. Available in vibrant shades of green or orange, it measures a hefty 203x73x32mm and weighs in at 320g.

Clearly intended to be permanently accessible, even when scaling rock faces, it comes complete with an aluminium carabiner clip so it can be attached to a guy rope or rucksack. It also has an “IPX4” splashproof rating which means you can stand with it under a waterfall for five minutes without the device suffering any ill effects.

Multifunctional and practical
The Raptor’s large LED display not only displays radio settings but also functions as a barometer, thermometer, altimeter, compass and chronograph, as well as 24-hour clock and alarm. As if that weren’t enough, it has a punchy LED torch in the bottom, a bottle opener on the top – and on the side, under a protective rubber cover, you’ll find a USB port to charge your mobile phone plus an audio input for playing back music from an iPod or mobile phone via the speaker below the display.

If sunlight is in short supply, you can top up the Raptor’s lithium ion battery directly via the mini-USB power input to give you a maximum of 30 hours of radio listening. But while there’s a great deal to applaud about the Etón Raptor, we did find the controls a bit clunky to work through.

Company: Eton

Website: http://www.etoncorp.co.uk/

Contact: Nevada Radio on 023 92 313090

Positives
  • Solar-powered battery and rugged protection.
Negative
  • Controls can be awkward.

Verdict

It's not often you can say about a gadget that you shouldn't leave home without it - but the Etón Raptor has so many practical features (especially the solar-powered battery), and is so well protected, that it's bound to have many admirers among the adventuring crowd.