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Yesterday, we started off our reviews of some FosPower products with their rugged and waterproof USB battery pack (you can see that here). Batteries are always good to have in an emergency (or camping), and another good thing to have available is a radio. FosPower offers a few different options, and today, we’re looking at the FosPower Emergency Weather Radio.

I can hear you thinking – why would you need a radio? I mean, you can play music from your phone, or even look up weather information on it. Well, what if you’re without power for a long time, or in a place where you don’t have good cell reception? That’s where something like the FosPower Emergency Weather Radio comes in pretty handy. On one hand, it’s like many compact radios you’ve no doubt seen and owned – small extendable antenna, and it can tune (with a knob) your favorite AM or FM station. But then there’s that “WB” setting.

On the FosPower Emergency Weather Radio, that stands for “Weather Band”. If you’re not familiar with that concept, there are NOAA broadcasts (that feature a somewhat robotic male voice) going out, telling you what is going on for weather in your area. On a sunny day, perhaps not so critical, but in severe weather (or if you’re out somewhere without cell reception) it’s a game changer. In fact, I used it the other week when we were under a tornado warning. While I was able to pull information up on a screen, I used the weather band information as well to hear what was going on out there. In the end, the worst of the storm missed us, and all was well.

Should we have lost power, the FosPower Emergency Weather Radio has a couple of different lighting options on it. Most obvious is the flashlight at the very end. You can cycle through three settings that adjust the amount of light you’ve got coming out. There’s also another light hiding under the solar panel on top (more on that in a moment). As soon as you rotate the panel up, the light kicks on. This is intended as a lower-intensity reading light, and you can set it to be always on, or to be motion activated.

Now, about that solar panel – the FosPower Emergency Weather Radio offers a few different ways to get juiced up. The simplest is that solar panel, and that’s what I’ve been using. I just leave the radio in the window, and let it charge it’s internal 4000 mAh cell. There’s a small LED that comes on next to the tuning indicator, and it tells you if it’s getting enough light. I will admit, it’s not going to be enough to totally fill the internal cell, so you may want to use the micro-USB plug to do that, and then let the solar top it off. And, should you run it down and need more juice, there’s also the small dynamo crank on the side that lets you generate power. Probably not enough to power your other devices, but good enough to get the radio reports and some lighting. And at least to get started, a charge via the micro-USB port is probably a good idea.

There’s also one other feature on the FosPower Emergency Weather Radio that could be handy when you’re out in the woods, get lost, or even in the event of a major disaster. It’s got a prominent SOS button. If you press and hold that for a few seconds, the speaker emits a siren sound, and the flashlight on the front starts strobing as well, giving rescuers an audio and visual clue as to where you are.

All of this wrapped around a 4000 mAh battery means not only can you charge your phone via the USB-A port, you should have plenty of juice to keep the radio and lights working for a good long time. The weather band portion makes the FosPower Emergency Weather Radio a good candidate for emergency preparedness at home, but I think it would also be a good one for when you’re off camping. Never hurts to be able to check the weather report, and then you could still use it to play some music while you’re sitting around the campfire.

The version of the FosPower Emergency Weather Radio that we reviewed goes for $59.99 directly from FosPower, but just as with yesterday’s power bank, it looks like Amazon has it for a price a good bit lower than that. Wherever you go looking for one, having some sort of radio – particularly one with a weather band on it – is a good idea for emergency preparedness. That this one packs in so many charging options, and lighting, is just icing on the cake. For us, it’ll likely be a permanent part of our camping gear. fospower.com

Tech Specs from FosPower

  • [4000mAh POWER BANK TO KEEP DEVICES POWERED] The FosPower FOSPWB-2402 solar crank radio is equipped with a 4000mAh power bank that is capable of supporting long-time radio operation. If you are in the outdoors or there is a power outage, the power bank will keep your USB devices charged in case of an emergency.
  • [3 POWER SOURCES WHENEVER YOU NEED IT] Use the emergency weather radio’s 3 power sources when you need a boost of power or need to recharge the radio. The radio’s crank lever and solar panel are both capable of regenerating enough power to keep the radio, lights, and SOS alarm ready to go when you need them most. The micro-USB cable provides you the most efficient way to recharge your radio.
  • [SOS ALARM AND 2 LIGHT SOURCES] In an emergency situation, the SOS function will allow you to call for help by making a loud siren sound and a flashing light, and the flashlight and reading light are capable of lighting your way to a safe place. The motion sensor will automatically turn off the reading light to save energy.
  • [NOAA EMERGENCY WEATHER BROADCAST ACCESS] The radio will dependably receive NOAA channels for local weather information and emergency hazard alerts. The AM/FM function provides full access to all AM and FM radio broadcasts.
  • [LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY] Join millions of satisfied customers with our limited lifetime warranty, backed by our experienced and dedicated USA based customer service.

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.