Kit & Caboodle: November 2018 Gear Reviews
Top up your camping essentials in readiness for next year's tours
All prices are RRPs. You may find significantly lower prices online or elsewhere
Yuasa YBX L36-100 Leisure Battery - WIN
Go touring without the anxiety of a blackout for your electrical gear and gadgets. This 12-volt, 100Ah battery has been engineered for repeated charging and discharging and should be good for 1200 watt-hours and 160 use-and-recharge cycles. It's a handy and reliable back-up whether you caravan on sites with an electric hook-up or camp off-grid.
GTech Air Ram 2 - WIN
Keep your caravan clean on tours without worrying about cables or tripping the electric hook-up. This neat GTech Air Ram 2 won't take up much space in your van, and at just 3.2kg it's of no consequence to your payload or elbow grease.
But it will vacuum up dust, sand, pet hair and the thousand other tiny bits and pieces that leave caravan carpets and upholstery looking jaded and unloved. LED lights even help illuminate the muck before the cleaning suction does its work.
The GTech's rechargeable lithium-ion battery delivers enough power for up to 40 minutes of cleaning, which should see you through a week-long tour without having to recharge it.
Maps of the United Kingdom by Rachel Dixon - WIN
Map-makers have recently been excited at the tiny details discovered in a restored 500-year old map Columbus used to cross the Atlantic.
The map, it turns out, was originally covered with dozens of legends and lines of descriptive text, including the mythical hippopodes, which apparently had human form but the feet of horses!
Bringing this illustrative tradition up to date, this fine-looking book illustrates each county with its architectural and archaeological highlights, as well as its heroes and history. The book is targeted at seven to nine-year-olds, but we found it remarkably difficult to put down.
Lifesystems Reusable Hand warmers - WIN
It's not until you're on site in autumn and winter that you realise how many times you have to take off your gloves to perform mundane camping tasks.
These reusable hand warmers mean each time you slip your gloves back on your fingers will be met with toasty warmth. The hand warmers activate by popping the metal disk and squeezing the gel pad.
This causes the gel to crystalise, releasing heat for up to 90 minutes; and then it's simply a case of popping them in your gloves or pockets. To restore them, put the pads in boiling water and simmer until the crystals have dissolved.
Ion8 Leakproof Steel Vacuum Flask - WIN
We were fans of Ion8's leakproof water bottles in the summer, and now that Jack Frost is nipping at our toes, our thoughts are turning to flasks for warmer refreshments.
This 500ml insulated flask should keep your tea, coffee or hot chocolate hot for up to 12 hours. A single twist undoes the cap, and the bottle is slender enough to fit in most car cup holders and bike bottle cages. But you do drink straight from the flask as if it were a water bottle (there's no beaker).
GP PowerBank Mobile Charger - WIN
Keep the kids happy and your own devices topped up, courtesy of this portable charger. Recharge it before you set off with the caravan, and when the batteries on your devices are running low, simply plug them into the GP PowerBank for an off-grid recharge.
There are three ports, including USB-A and C, so you can top up three gadgets together. It takes about 6½ hours to recharge this 15000 mAh PowerBank itself.
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Last month's winner is Andrew Bale, Worcester