Go Gadgets

True Utility Key Tool If you’re something of an addict for the multi-tool or you know someone with the gadget habit, this is…

True Utility Key ToolIf you're something of an addict for the multi-tool or you know someone with the gadget habit, this is a great little stocking filler from True Utility, who make a whole toolbox of pocket gizmology.

For a guy who has had several mini Leatherman tools confiscated off his key ring by airport security (I know, once bitten, twice shy and all that), this is an ingenious little gadget. Not saying they won’t try and prise it off you, of course, but it’s damn neat.

In essence, the Key Tool is a toughened steel sleeve that sits over a standard key and has eight different tools built into its shape.

Oh yes, eight! Bottle opener; eye glass screwdriver; medium screwdriver; large screwdriver; nail file; finger nail cleaner; thread cutter; and tweezers. All in 420 stainless steel with a clip to attach to a key ring. As I say, ingenious.


Cost€4.95 at Great Outdoors, 53 Degrees North, Johnson's Naas

JCB Tradesman Floating MobileYes, it is that JCB, the one that is almost a generic name for an excavator, certainly here. So you're wondering why you might even vaguely consider buying a mobile phone made by a company famous for diggers, albeit that it's pretty cheap.

In fact, JCB has pulled off something of a coup here: not only is the Tradesman very tough, it’s waterproof. In fact, it’s certified to be able to stay under a metre of water for 30 minutes. But won’t. Because it floats. Really floats.

And it’s really tough. Military spec they claim. Suffice to say, you could safely leave it with your kids for them to “benchmark” thoroughly.

JCB tested it with a stunt where it was dragged around at 120mph, buried under two tons of rubble and left inside a working cement mixer for two minutes – and it still worked apparently. Anyone who has had the misfortune to drop their iPhone from a couple of feet would welcome this toughie.

But it is not a smartphone, of course. It’s got a basic feature set. However, it could be a smart buy for when you’re away somewhere inhospitable. Moreover, because it doesn’t have all the antennae and other fancy stuff stuck in it for GPS and Wi-Fi, it’s got a good strong old school signal. Not quite the legendary Nokia 6310, but much better than the average so-called smarts.

Not sure the name is doing it any favours here, as suitable as it might be for a builder, because this Tradesman is a great option anywhere there’s phone jeopardy.

Cost€99.99 plus credit deal from Just Mobile through Spar, Mace XL

Pro-Tec Audio Force HelmetThe Pro-Tec Classic has been something of an iconic product amongst the skaterati thanks to its classic shape and no-fuss styling. Now it's been upspecced for snow use too. And they've added in sounds.

Made from high-density, moulded ABS with an EPS impact liner, it’s always been a great bit of kit to keep your brain safe.

They’re made to take the rough and tumble (particularly tumble) with steel fittings, soft webbing strap – oh, and removable interior pads for washing. As if that’s ever going to happen. Now Pro-Tec has added a set of Audio Force ear pads for your MP3 player of choice. Louder. Faster. Harder. That’s the idea.

So with helmets increasingly becoming de rigueur on the slopes, this Classic could be just the way to keep some cred. Before the off, at least.

Cost€58.99 from chain reactions.com