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Joby Gorillatorch : Hands-Free Lighting

Every now and then I fall in love with a new gadget. This time, it's the Gorillatorch by Joby. For the record, I'm not fickle - I only fall when serious criteria have been met. For example, products that help me do what I want to do with ease and comfort are top of my list.

The Gorillatorch is the coolest flashlight I've ever had. It looks like a headlamp and has a built-in flexible tripod base. It also has magnets in its legs, so it's completely adjustable no matter how I want to use it. I can wrap it around a tent pole, wield it like a traditional flashlight, or hang it off of a filing cabinet.

Because I live in an old building with inconveniently located outlets, and because I'm feng shui challenged when it comes to where I place my furniture, I never have adequate light when I'm in bed with a book or sitting on the couch with my PowerBook. My Gorillatorch has become my only reading lamp. I can perch it on my night stand or end table, and direct the beam exactly where I need it to go. The rubber on the ends of the legs does an excellent job of keeping the torch in place, and I can adjust the legs to provide a very wide base of support. Both of these features are key because I often reach up to adjust or turn off the light, and so far, even when I'm clumsy, I haven't knocked the light off of any furniture.

The Gorillatorch has a tiny CREE LED bulb set in a deep reflective shell to cast a very bright, broad beam. The light is very easy to assemble - just drop in three AAA batteries (I use rechargeable batteries) - and turn it on. I can adjust the beam with a simple dimmer switch. The torch is water resistant, so it's useful in most situations. I might not take it on an intense backpacking trip since I'd want a waterproof light (and because I'm much more likely to take trips that involve staying at fancy hotels), but I can think of dozens of outdoor, in-home, and auto uses for this light. Need to change a tire? It would be able to position the Gorillatorch exactly where you'd want it. It's even more handy than a headlamp for repairs and home inspections because I can move freely and the beam stays put.

Available with grey or colored rubber bumpers on the legs. Joby makes a variety of tripods for phones, cameras, and more... See review of Joby Gorillamobile for iPhone.

Bottom Line: I love this versatile flashlight. It's fun, it's flexible, and best of all, it allows me to have light in places that are hard to illuminate. The Gorillatorch would be an ideal gift for anyone.--E.D. (May '10)

BUY ONLINE : $29.99, on sale at Amazon, only $21.99 at REI , shop for Joby gear at REI

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