A crank light done right. A protective burrito for my camera.

I can go on and on about crappy products and failed designs. So it was a nice change last week when I came across two items that really popped design-wise.

First off is the Wrap by camera gear manufacturer LowePro. My wife bought me a cool Pentax point-and-shoot for Christmas to replace a Sony that used to be my casual-carry camera. I had been looking for a slim case to protect the lens cover and view screen while still keeping the profile small enough to fit in my pocket.

I was about to give up looking and head for the fabric store to sew my own fitted sleave when I came across LowePro’s Wrap (about $15 at Target).

The Wrap attaches to the camera’s tripod mount (the small threaded hole in the bottom) and the cover wraps around the camera’s body and fastens with a Velcro closure. It’s kind of like a protective burrito for your camera.

The Wrap also makes it easy to retrieve the camera and snap off a shot, and the design doesn’t interfere with the camera’s wrist strap or neck lanyard.

While I’m on the subject of cameras, hats off to Pentax for incorporating an actual latch into the battery/SD card door. My duty camera doesn’t have a latch, and I’m always worried it will pop open and dump the $70 battery.

The other cool design I saw last week was the Energizer Carabiner Crank Light.

I love crank lights. Their onboard power generator make them perfect for the stow-and-forget light to keep in the car or in the camping kit — or for kids who run down batteries by leaving regular flashlights on in their closet or under their bed.

The problem has been that all the other crank lights I’ve seen are bulky brick-sized contraptions that take up way too much room in the glovebox or backpack and are too clunky to wield while performing other tasks.

Enter the Engergizer Carabiner.

The thing fits perfectly in the hand and can be shoved into a pocket. And the clip keeps it handy or can be used  attach a lanyard.

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