The Kaito Voyager is a wind-up, crank radio capable of operation in three different radio modes: AM/FM, NOAA and shortwave. It will also light up your work area thanks to the three incorporated flashlights, which are great for camping or power outages.
A downside would be the size and weight of course; but given the features, I think the tradeoff is worthwhile.
Battery Life and Charging
I am willing to trade size for features on occasion and when it makes sense. The Voyager, for example, features extremely efficient charging technologies.
For instance, you can play the radio for about 20 minutes after charging the radio (which takes about a minute using the crank handle).
This is one of those “mileage may vary” statements, because signal strength, solar assistance and volume would all affect the charge, but you get the idea. However, the ability to charge it and walk away for a period of time while listening is handy.
The Voyager is more than a one-trick pony, though, and can be operated or charged via the AC adapter, built-in rechargeable batteries, solar panel or USB port. And, speaking of solar panels, the Voyager’s panel can easily be articulated.
This keeps the sun squarely on the panel for maximum collection of its rays while keeping the speaker pointed in the direction you prefer.
Uses and Run Time
For a weekend outing or in an emergency, the Kaito Voyager allows you to tune in AM/FM stations, all seven NOAA stations or shortwave frequencies. All three of these options can be critical in a survival situation of course.
There are also three lighting options. The first two are to be expected: a reading light and flashlight. The third is an emergency alert bulb. At first, I thought of the hearing impaired.
But it can also be beneficial in an emergency to keep the volume at a minimum, as it alerts you when you need to grab the included headphones or turn up the volume. This would not only increase the run time on a charge, but also has other the tactical advantages.
The various power options also mean you can use the Kaito Voyager to charge your other devices via the USB port. The Voyager comes standard with a cable that has a variety of connection tips for various phone/device models.
The user manual also gives detailed instructions about which devices the radio can charge.
The Voyager comes with some downsides—waterproofing is certainly one of them. I opted for a waterproof MTM .50 Cal container. It is big enough to hold the radio and a couple of other necessities.
Kaito Voyager Emergency Radio Specifications and Features
- Kaito Dynamo and solar-powered radio
- Includes high-quality AC brushless generator
- Tilting solar panel
- Solar panel powers radio and charges built-in batteries
- 5 LED reading lamp
- Multi-function LED flashlight
- Side-mounted white and red LED light for white light or signaling
- USB jack charges iPod and cell phones
- Six cell phone tips
- Seven band weather radio
- Weather alert feature
- Dyanmo cranking power: 120 turn-per-minute cranking will power the built-in NiMH battery pack
- Solar panel power
- Three AA batteries
- Built-in rechargeable battery pack
- Charge from a computer via USB port
- 5 LED reading lamp for camping and emergency use
- White LED flashlight
- Red LED blinking for emergency alert
- AM: 520-1717 kHz
- FM: 88.00-108.00 MHz
- SW1: 3.20-9.00 kHz
- SW2: 9.00-22.00 kHz
- Weather band (seven standard bands for all stations)
- PLL crystal control circuit (for stable reception)
- Weather alert (activated by weather alert signals)
Do you have any thoughts or tips about emergency radios? Give us your opinions and tips in the comment section.