Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent

BioLite Preparedness Kits

Biolite contacted me to see if I’d check out some of their products and put the word out about their preparedness month kits (you did know September is Preparedness Month, didn’t you?).

So, they sent me a few things to review their Family Kit, as well as some information for you.

This kit contains the following:

  • [4] SunLights
  • [1] SolarHome 620
  • [1] SolarHome 620 AC Charger
  • [4] Grey HeadLamp 330s
  • [1] Lifestraw Family

The overall construction seems to be decent but with all the wires and the size of everything, it’s a bit clunky. It’s fine for keeping in the house in case of emergencies but won’t double easily for camping (which you should do to work out the bugs in your emergency preps) due to how much room it takes up. The whole package is somewhere between a bread box and a small microwave.

The heart of this system is the SolarHome 620. It’s essentially a battery pack with an FM radio. It’s powered by either an AC charger or a small solar panel. Both methods seem to work just fine. What I’m surprised about is that it only has FM. Why? In an emergency, you’re more likely to find information on AM or at least the weather channels. These should have been included in the radio.

The four lights with the SolarHome 620 seem to work ok and give off enough light but they’re a bit clunky with the wiring. You get three normal on/off lights and one that has a motion detector. If you’re camping with a car nearby, this could be pretty handy to have but the wires kind of limit things to just one room at home. I would’ve rather had each light be rechargeable, especially since there’s WAY enough room in each one to hold a battery. The necessity for the radio thing is a missed opportunity. Also, the controls aren’t very user-friendly but there aren’t a ton of options so you can figure it all out by just continuing to hit buttons until you find all the options.

I love the little headlamps. They recharge with a USB and because they have a separate power pack on the back of it instead of being built into the light in front, they balance quite comfortably.

The Sunlights are really confusing. They seem pretty simple since it’s just a light with a solar panel on it but they’re apparently not. You’d think that you’d just hit the button and they’d come on and maybe hit them again and they’d switch to another color, but that’s not what happens. When you hit the button to turn it on, it comes on white, then goes to red, then goes to another couple of colors and then shuts off. Holding it in for several seconds doesn’t change that. What I found out is that for some reason, my light came in ‘demo mode.’ To get out of that, you have to know somehow that you need to hold the power button in for a while. 10 seconds wasn’t enough but 15 did it, so it’s somewhere between those. After figuring that out, the light works just fine. No idea why you’d need a party mode but I guess the red light can be handy to use when other people are sleeping.

The LifeStraw Family kit is definitely something I think you should have in an emergency it. There are a few out there that will work but this one will work just fine. In an emergency situation or for just camping, having clean water is a necessity – much more than just having lights.

Here are some more details as well as other things BioLite has that you might be interested in…

2019 Prep Pack Overviews

*BioLite is offering 3 bundles this Prep Month (September)

Solo Kit I $129.75 [Save $20]

This kit is packable and best for 1-2 people. It can be easily stored in a kitchen drawer, cabinet, pack, or alongside other emergency kits. It includes:

  • [1] BioLite HeadLamp 330
  • [1] Light Diffusing Stuffsack
  • [1] SunLight
  • [1] Charge 20
  • [1] Lifestraw Classic

Apartment Kit I $309.60 [Save $50]

Our middle offering is perfect for apartments or homes and can provide light/power/water purification for 2-4 people.

  • [2] SunLights
  • [2] HeadLamp 330s
  • [2] Light Diffusing Stuffsack
  • [1] SolarHome 620
  • [1] SolarHome 620 AC Charger
  • [1] Lifestraw Classic

Family Kit I $459.45 [Save $75]

This is our largest kit available this year, packed with enough light and power to keep the whole family well lit/charged/connected. It’s best for larger groups and families of 4 or more.

  • [4] SunLights
  • [1] SolarHome 620
  • [1] SolarHome 620 AC Charger
  • [4] Grey HeadLamp 330s
  • [1] Lifestraw Family

DETAILED PRODUCT BREAKDOWN

HeadLamp + StuffSack

  • This 330 lumen handsfree light is super bright and can last for up to 40 hours on low mode. When your inside a home and have other light sources (such as the SunLight) you won’t need to use this on high brightness so it can last you for multiple days of use without a charge.
  • When the power goes out you need directional, hands free lighting to navigate your way around the house – to check the breaker in the dark basement, or place light sources, cook meals, gather supplies, etc.
  • Thanks to BioLite’s 3D Slimfit design it’s super comfortable – you’ll forget you’re wearing it. 
  • It can also be adjusted to fit kids!
  • At the same time, when you’re just hanging out around the home, you’ll want some ambient light (for enjoying meals, reading, playing games) Just use the stuff sack and turn your headlamp into an instant lantern by hanging it up in the middle of the room.
  • HeadLamp 330 also has a red mode which is great if you’re in a group so you don’t disrupt everyone’s vision when it gets dark out.

SunLight

  • These 100 lumen lights great prep items because they basically just replace candles – they won’t tip over, no risk of starting a fire. They also won’t run out because you can charge them up via the included SolarPanel or via microusb
  • And if you pick up a 4 pack, you can place them around the house where you would a candle, one in the bathroom, one on your night stand, etc.
  • You can turn them on, navigate your way to where you’d like to place them and stand them up or hang them anywhere you need light and they are dimmable so you can control the energy you need
  • And the lights can change color which is a fun way to lighten the mood during a storm and also means you can put them into Red Night vision so you don’t disturb people’s eyesight in the pitch dark.

 

Charge 20

  • This packable battery is a piece of gear that you’ll probably find yourself keeping in a daypack. You never know when you’ll need a boost on your commute home, when you’re out after work or if the power’s out for multiple days.  
  • Use this 5200mAH battery to get multiple cell phone charges (also great for your headlamps) so you and your family can so you can stay in touch with family/friends and keep the home well-lit at night.

 

SolarHome 620 + Charger

  • SolarHome 620 is one of our most popular products in this category 
  • The AC adaptor for the SH620 that allows you to charge up the system’s battery from a wall port. I recommend using this to charge up your system before putting it into storage – that way it’s completely charged up when the power goes out.
    • Then you just place it back in the box (that’s the size of a shoe box and can easily be stored under a sink, inside your closet, etc).
  • Solar Panel – When you need more power and an outlet isn’t available, this 6W panel will charge up the entire system with just one full day of sun. Just place the panel outside on a roof or deck in direct sunlight
  • Control Box – This is your system’s hub where you control lighting and access your power.
    • It is super easy to set up, hang it on an existing picture hook or place it on a shelf in a central area where you know people will be spending time. The SolarPanel’s 21 feet of cord mean that this can stay central in the home while the SolarPanel is still outside charging it up.
    • There are 2 USB ports for charging phones/headlamps/etc so you can always stay connected to storm updates or with family members
    • The three hanging lights connect to this system allowing you to light up multiple rooms at one time (more on this in a second)
    • Control Display: Shows you how much power you have so you use it accordingly. You can also turn on the 4th light and control the FM radio

Lighting

    • This system has 3 hanging lights that can be strung throughout the house to provide overhead lighting around the home. For example, you can light the living room, hallway and kitchen depending on where each is located. 
      • Each light is super lightweight so you can hang from rafters, hooks, existing lights without any extra installation. 
    • Each has a switch that controls the brightness (low, medium, high) depending on your needs in each area. 
    • 3 hanging lights offer overhead lighting, meaning no harsh shadows like when you use a floodlight or flashlight as your primary lighting

LifeStraw Classic:

  • The original personal “straw” filter that you might know from outdoors – is actually great for emergencies too as it removes bacteria, parasites and microplastics
  • Durable and ultralight: weighs only 2 ounces (0.10 lbs)
  • Long-lasting: filters 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters), enough drinking water for an individual for over 5 years
  • Ultimate survival tool, no shelf life, easy to clean and store, used and tested all over the globe

LifeStraw Family 1.0:

  • This lightweight gravity purifier is great for large groups. You can hang it in your kitchen from a doorknob or hook and fill it up and you’re good to go.
  • You just turn this knob and can quickly fill up cups, waterbottles or kettles.
  • Easy to store and highly durable, designed for longevity and harsh conditions.
  • Lifetime of 4,755 gallons (18,000 liters), over 3 years of drinking water for a family of 5.  Unlimited shelf life. Weighs 18oz.
  • The hollow fiber membrane removes (please note that the number of 9s matter – include the exact number when listing):
    • 99.999999% of bacteria (E. coli)
    • 99.999% of parasites (Giardia, Cryptosporidium, etc.)
    • 99.999% of microplastics
    • 99.999% of viruses (Rotavirus, Hepatitis A, etc.)
  • Rigorous independent testing with WHO, US EPA, NSF and ASTM protocol

 

.
About graywolfsurvival.com

I am a former federal agent and military veteran who has deployed to combat theaters in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan and have almost three decades of military and military contracting experience.

My goal is to help families to understand how to intelligently protect their family and their way of life against real threats, without all the end-of-the-world doomsday crap.

Speak Your Mind

*

Search this site
Return to top of page

Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved. All content on this site is subject to copyright law and cannot be reproduced in part or in its entirety without express permission from the original author. In almost all cases, this will be me, Graywolf. Contact me at [email protected] for permission. If you would like to include a short snapshot of my article (the preview paragraph) by way of RSS feed with a link to the rest of the article, please feel free to do so, and I thank you if you do. Disclosure: This is a professional review site that sometimes receives free merchandise from the companies whose products we review and recommend. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

GraywolfSurvival.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to (Amazon.com, or endless.com, MYHABIT.com, SmallParts.com, or AmazonWireless.com).