The Eton Mini Compact Radio is one of my favorite things to bring along on a bike ride, especially if it’s going to be longer than a few hours. It’s powered by a pair of AAA batteries, is lightweight, compact, and loud enough to hear even on a windy day. In the past several months it’s been put through quite a lot, including a few major spills, but it’s working just as good as the day I got it.
Cost: $50.00 CAD
Where to Buy: https://www.amazon.ca
What is the Eton Mini Compact Radio?
The Eton Mini Compact Radio is exactly what it sounds like – a small radio, powered by a pair of AAA batteries. It has an internal AM antenna, an extendable FM antenna, and can even pick up Shortwave if a proper length antenna is connected to the FM antenna.
Some features that I like in particular about this radio are:
- Tough little carrying / storage case
- Tactile knobs for volume and station scanning
- Auto channel scanning feature
- Convenient key lock
- Good volume for two or three people to hear on a bike tour
Typically, I will put this radio in the side pocket of my medium-size Topeak handlebar bag. It’s actually fallen out of this pocket on several occasions while hitting some abnormally big potholes at high speed. On my last big trip from Ottawa to Kingston, I was going 70km/h and hit a bridge expansion joint at the bottom of the Westport hill (A huge hill) – the radio flew out of the pocket and went scrambling across the road, knocking off the battery cover and sending the batteries flying as well.
Suffice to say – once I recovered the cover and batteries, it continued to operate just like before. I have been very impressed with the durability of this radio given the number of spills it’s been in.
For my upcoming trip, I’ve stuck on a piece of velcro so it can stick to my larger Topeak handlebar bag. I am hoping that it will prevent any possible spills no matter what the speed or size of pothole.
This has been a surprisingly durable radio. I get well over 20 hours of FM radio with the volume close to full on a pair of AAA batteries, and reception has been fantastic on the road.
If you are looking for a compact travel radio, I can highly recommend this unit.