Gear Guide: Black Crater Cord Lock Light
Let me sing the praises of the Black Crater Cord Lock Light. This little gadget attaches via spring lock to your jacket's drawstring cord or zipper tab and casts a surprisingly strong beam to light you through a pre-dawn or evening workout.
By Su Reid-St. John
Let me sing the praises of the Black Crater Cord Lock Light. This little gadget attaches via spring lock to your jacket's drawstring cord or zipper tab, and casts a surprisingly strong beam to light you through a pre-dawn or evening workout.
As the parent of a toddler, I have to squeeze in workout time when I can—which usually means getting up at 5:15 a.m. so I can do it while she's still asleep. I usually love being outside in the quiet morning (once I muster the will to pull myself out of bed), but hey, it's dark, and I like to be visible to the other people up and out at this crazy hour. I have to admit, though, I'm not a big fan of reflective vests or waist belts; I like to stay as unencumbered as possible.
Enter the Cord Lock.
I clipped this tiny, battery-operated light onto the zipper tab of my workout top and headed out for a pre-dawn Nordic walk. The Cord Lock has three light settings: bright, really bright, and flashing. Both of the steady lights lit up a couple of feet ahead on the ground—just enough to help me avoid twisting my ankle on sticks and pavement glitches. I noticed as I approached one stop sign that I could see the reflection of the light on the sign, even though I was still about 20 feet away—pretty powerful. As the sky began to lighten and I could see more of the road in front of me (and more cars started to appear), I switched the light over to the flash setting to be seen more easily by oncoming motorists. What could be simpler?
There are two minor drawbacks to this handy little guy: You can't direct the beam, and while you don't technically need a cord or zipper pull, it can be a little difficult to clip onto your clothing if you don't have one. (With patience, you can feed in a tiny bit of fabric; that's enough to hold it.)
Oh, and did I mention the Cord Lock is small? So small that I could easily see myself losing track of it between workouts. But hey, for a mere ten bucks, it's worth the risk.
Product: Black Crater Cord Lock Light
Pros: Small, with a surprisingly strong beam that offers three settings. No bulky vests or belts to deal with.
Cons: You can't direct the beam, and it's hard to clip onto your clothes if you don't have a cord or zipper.
Price: $10 at BlackCraterGear.com
Extra tip: Also great for hiking and camping, as it takes up next to no space and can be clipped onto any drawstring or cord (think sleeping bags, backpacks, etc.).