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Reviews Written by
Steve at Barton (Hampshire)
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

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Tactical Waist Pack, Sahara Sailor Compact MOLLE EDC Pouch Utility Gadget Pouch Waist Bag with Free Locking Carabiner for Outdoor Hiking Camping Cycling
Tactical Waist Pack, Sahara Sailor Compact MOLLE EDC Pouch Utility Gadget Pouch Waist Bag with Free Locking Carabiner for Outdoor Hiking Camping Cycling
Offered by Tomight
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Well made belt bag with versatile storage options, 28 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Disclosure: I received this product from the seller for an honest and unbiased review.

The bag is made from a stout looking canvas type material with contrasting white stitching, and the pocket linings are a fairly soft nylon with a little padding. The zips look reasonably robust and run freely. It all seems to be quite well made and neatly finished.

The overall size is about 180mm x 125mm x 30mm when empty, but it would probably expand to about 90mm thick if necessary, depending on what is put into it. There are two large belt loop son the back, with popper fastenings at the lower end, and there is also a loop to accept the carabiner clip that is supplied. It is also a convenient size to carry in the hand, although there is no handle or strap.

Starting at the front, there is a pocket that will hold a smartphone; this has elasticated sides and is secured by a clip/buckle. There is also a pen holder.

The main storage is in two zipped compartments, one behind the other, both of which have an open slip pocket inside to help keep the contents separate if required.

Finally, at the back, underneath the belt loops, are three webbing straps with central stitching to divide each of them into two. These are described as being compatible with the MOLLE system, which is used by the military for attaching various pouches and accessories. Because of the location of these straps, and their small size, I am unsure as to how useful or effective they would be. (The military versions are commonly used for things like ammunition, flares, grenades.........!)

I have included a few photos to give a better idea of how the bag is designed, which I hope will be helpful.
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Car Mount, KUMALL Universal Cell Phone Air Vent Car Mount Holder Cradle for iPhone 6 / 6 Plus / 5S / 5C / 4S, Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge / S5 / S4 / S3 / Note 4 / 3, Google Nexus 5 / 4, LG G4, Nokia, Xperia, Moto, HTC and More (KMCP1001)
Car Mount, KUMALL Universal Cell Phone Air Vent Car Mount Holder Cradle for iPhone 6 / 6 Plus / 5S / 5C / 4S, Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge / S5 / S4 / S3 / Note 4 / 3, Google Nexus 5 / 4, LG G4, Nokia, Xperia, Moto, HTC and More (KMCP1001)
Offered by L Wlill Limited
Price: £29.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Well designed, OK if it fits your car, 28 July 2016
Disclosure: I received this product from the seller for an honest and unbiased review.

My first impressions were good, the holder arrives in two parts, the clip/bracket that fixes to the car air vents, and the cradle that holds the phone. They slot together securely, and once in place the phone can be held vertically or horizontally, and the angle can be adjusted by about 15 degrees in any direction by means of a lockable ball and socket joint.

The cradle has a larger capacity than some, and can accommodate a phone with a width of anything from about 45mm up to 100mm. The gripping arms are well slightly angled to prevent the phone slipping out, and are padded to help protect the phone. There is also a fold out “foot” support which can be used if the phone is mounted vertically. The bracket that clips to the air vent has two spring loaded arms that are designed to slide in between the air vents and then hook over the back of one of the vanes, and there is an adjustable support bracket ay the bottom of the bracket to provide extra stability.

I tried the holder in a Peugeot; initially it seemed to attach fairly easily, and because of the design most of the phone was just below the airflow from the vents. However, as soon as I attempted to swivel the holder from vertical to horizontal, the whole assembly came out of the air vent. I tried to reattach it several times in various positions and each time the same thing happened, the hooks would just not fit securely enough over the back of the vanes. This was quite disappointing, as until then I had liked the holder.

I then tried it in a Renault, and did have more success, the hooks on the bracket did locate quite securely, but because of the layout of the car dashboard the phone got in the way of the heating controls, which were just below the vents. I was able to fit the holder higher up to overcome this, but that meant that the phone was directly in front of the air vent and so obstructed the air flow significantly. Also, in that position the phone would potentially be exposed to either heated air or cold air, neither of which would do it much good.

I am sure that if the holder is compatible with the car, then it is a very good product, but unfortunately based on my experiences it was not a success. I will be giving another go at fitting it later, and if I can get it to work I will update this review.

I have included a number of photos with this review to give a better idea of how the holder looks and hopefully how the bracket fixings are designed, which I hope may be helpful.
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Men Leather Wallet Designer Bifold Purse Wallet For Men With Coin Pocket Pabojoe
Men Leather Wallet Designer Bifold Purse Wallet For Men With Coin Pocket Pabojoe
Offered by Pabojoe Bag
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Classy wallet with lotsa slots, 26 July 2016
Disclosure: I received this product from the seller for an honest and unbiased review.

The wallet was delivered in a very nice blackpresentation box, which was in turn protected by a further slip type sleeve – it would make a great gift, if you can bear to part with it.

Open up the box, and the wallet is nestled neatly inside, with a matching belt clip/keyring in its own recess.

The wallet measures about 5 inches x 4 inches, and is around half an inch thick before you start stuffing it with your wad of notes and your plastic. It is really well made, the leather is subtly patterned and feels very soft, and the contrasting stitching is neat and tidy. There is a separate pull out card holder that fits into its own slot on the end of the wallet, and of course it comes with the belt clip already mentioned.

The wallet opens out to reveal a full width pocket for bank notes, with an internal divider. Inside this is a small extra pocket which is designed to hold a couple of SD cards or SIM cards. There are three credit card slots on either side, one of which incorporates a transparent window. The credit cards are inserted vertically, and the linings of the slots do seem to hold them in place fairly securely. There are a further two full height slip pockets on each side, behind the credit slots, making a total of ten slots/pockets inside the wallet in addition to the bank notes section.

Next, on the right hand end, is a separate zipped coin purse, whilst there is a separate slot on the left hand end which holds the aforementioned extra pull out card holder. This has three slots on one side, and on the other side a further single slot with a transparent window, suitable for a pass or ID card. This extra holder could be removed if not needed, or just used on its own if you only want to carry a few cards with you.

Finally, the belt clip/key ring incorporates a chrome swivel clip and housing on the top end – pull the clip out and turn it through 90 degrees to open it, clip it to a belt loop, then turn it back again and it clicks solidly back into the housing. On the lower end is a leather loop which matches the wallet, with a stylish chromed split ring fitted to it, to which you can attach your keys.

In summary, this is a classy looking wallet, well designed and well made from good quality materials, and worthy of five stars.

Thanks for reading this review; I hope it has been helpful.
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50FT Dark-green Expandable Hose, Flexible Garden Water Hose with Brass Connector, Super Lightweight for Gardening & Watering
50FT Dark-green Expandable Hose, Flexible Garden Water Hose with Brass Connector, Super Lightweight for Gardening & Watering
Offered by E-Garden & Home
Price: £22.21

4.0 out of 5 stars Works OK but does have some limitations, 23 July 2016
I have thought about getting one of these expandable hoses for some time, but I always had my doubts about whether they are as good as claimed, and I was also put off by the appearance, as many seem to be in quite gaudy colours. So when the seller of this hose offered me a sample for review, it was a good chance to put it to the test and see just how good it is. And I also liked the fact that it is dark green.

The idea is that the hose expands to about three times its “empty” length when connected to the tap, and then shrinks back again for storage when turned off.

The hose has a threaded brass screw fitting at each end, the female end screws on to a standard threaded garden tap, and the male end, which has an on/off valve incorporated in it, screws into the 7 mode spray gun that is supplied (mine also came with an extra spray gun, similar but slightly smaller). The spray gun has the usual trigger action. However, the hose is not compatible with the standard “Hozelock” style fittings which are commonly used in the UK.

The hose itself does look and feel very strange, it is covered in a fabric sleeve which is very crinkly and crumpled, it looks like some sort of waterproof nylon and is certainly not flimsy. The hose itself cannot be seen as it is completely enclosed; it feels quite thin though, and seems to be made from some sort of rubber or soft plastic. At this stage it is about 18 feet in length.

It was easy to connect to my threaded garden tap, although I did use a pair of gas pliers to make sure it was reasonably tight. As soon as I turned on the water (with the valve at the other end turned to the off position) it started to expand both in length and girth, until it was fully 50 feet long, and the fabric cover was stretched out until it was almost smooth. Then it was just on with the valve, select the desired spray pattern, and spray away. There is a good selection of spray patterns ranging from a strong single jet through to a soaker for watering plants without blasting them out of the ground. It is also possible to use the on/off valve to adjust the flow rate without having to go back to the tap.

I initially tried it for watering pot plants, using the “shower” spray setting with the water flow turned down a bit via the on/off valve, and it was perfect for this task. So far, so good. However, I then tried it using the full jet setting, and with the valve turned to full on, which is what I would use for cleaning the car. It was fine for about 10 seconds, and then I realised that the hose was shrinking as I was using it, and the water flow was reducing at the same time, so much so that after about 30 seconds the water flow had reduced to roughly half the initial volume and the hose had shrunk back by about ten feet in length. Clearly, in order to retain its full size, the water pressure inside the hose needs to be maintained at a high level, which is fine when using it as I had done initially, but not at full blast; in theory, I guess that you need to allow it to expand fully, then balance the water output to match the water input, but this is difficult to achieve in practice, and in order to achieve a decent flow rate you would need quite a high mains pressure. After reading reviews of other similar products, it is clear that this is a common characteristic of this type of hose.

Once I had finished, I turned it off at the tap, and found that the hose continued to deliver a flow of water for about 10 seconds as it contracted back to its original size. It was then very easy to coil for storage, and it even comes with a large plastic hanging bracket that can be hung over the tap if required.

I did also experiment to see if the hose could be used to fill a watering can without uncoiling it, and the answer is yes, it can, you just need to ensure that the spray gun is turned on before opening the tap, to avoid the hose starting to expand. However, the water flow is restricted compared to just using the tap on its own

Conclusions? Well, I thought that for some tasks where a full flow of water is not required, such as watering pot plants, it is very good. However, if you want to use it for tasks requiring a decent jet of water then it is not very effective and in my opinion is not a substitute for my conventional hose.

Thanks for reading this review; I hope it has been helpful.
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Match Men's Regular Fit Chino Shorts #3693(3693 Black,36)
Match Men's Regular Fit Chino Shorts #3693(3693 Black,36)
Offered by Match_Garment
Price: £32.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable, well made, good sizing, 23 July 2016
Disclosure: I received this product from the seller for an honest and unbiased review.

These shorts look very smart, and are well made with neat stitching, good detailing, and no loose ends. They are a standard layout with two front slit pockets and two back pockets, with five belt loops which would accommodate a belt up to about 45mm in width. They also have a drawstring around the waist, which can be removed (permanently) if it is not required. The zip is metal, not plastic.

The material is quite soft to the touch and is a very fine weave, being 96% cotton and 4% spandex. It is actually quite deceptive, my initial impression was that they were fairly heavyweight, but I have now revised this to the lighter side of medium weight, if that makes sense. The pockets seem to be made from the same material, unlike some which use a thinner (cheaper?) fabric, so should be quite hard wearing. I have shown one of the pockets turned inside out in the final photo.

The sizing is accurate if you refer to the chart in one of the seller’s pictures on the Amazon listing, and don’t use the standard Amazon size chart.

I have added a few photos, although because the shorts I received are black it is difficult to see the detail, so I have used Photoshop to lighten the images a bit. This does make the shorts appear to be grey in some of the photos, but be assured that they are not, they are “proper” black!

Thanks for reading this review; I hope it has been helpful.
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KING DO WAY Stainless Steel Insulated Double-walled Vacuum Water Bottle , 500ml/18 oz Blue
KING DO WAY Stainless Steel Insulated Double-walled Vacuum Water Bottle , 500ml/18 oz Blue
Offered by Wosirl
Price: £17.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Well made and good looking flask, 21 July 2016
Disclosure: I received this product from the seller for an honest and unbiased review.

I often want to carry a cold drink around with me, but I do like it stay cold for a few hours, and also I want to be able to drink it straight from a bottle without having to use a cup of some sort.

The problem with conventional vacuum flasks is that they are designed to be used with the drinking cup that forms the lid, which means using two hands, and ending up with a wet cup afterwards. I have tried one with a drinking spout, but it had an air hole in the top so it leaked if not kept upright. And there are plenty of drinks bottles that you can drink from through a spout, but mostly I have found that they are not properly insulated so don’t keep the contents cold for very long.

This flask however meets all my requirements – it is a proper stainless steel twin wall vacuum flask, with a good leak proof screw lid, but with a small enough neck to be able to drink from without making a mess. It looks good too, in a cool looking blue design, and the body is non slip.

It is a good size, with a 500ml capacity (getting on for a pint), and at about 270mm high x 70mm wide it will not take up too much room in the fridge, so I can prepare my preferred drink in advance and leave it to get cold before I take it out. Perfect!

Thanks for reading this review; I hope it has been helpful.
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All-purpose Squeegee with 2 Extra Replacement Blades for Shower, Bath, Car, Glass Window
All-purpose Squeegee with 2 Extra Replacement Blades for Shower, Bath, Car, Glass Window
Offered by desired things™
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Works well, comfortable to hold, and comes with spare blades, 21 July 2016
Disclosure: I received this product from the seller for an honest and unbiased review.

This squeegee seems to be very well made, the main body is a good quality white plastic with no sharp edges, the grip is very comfortable, and the most important bit, the 200mm blade, is a very flexible silicone, with a groove running right along the leading edge, effectively giving it a dual edge for added efficiency. Unusually, it is supplied with two extra replacement blades.

It can be used to wipe excess water from virtually any smooth surface; so far I have tried it on a large mirror in the bathroom, and on my car (both on the windows and the bodywork), and it really does shift virtually all of the water leaving a clear streak free finish.

I have been using a large (300mm) silicone blade for over ten years now, to remove excess water when cleaning the car, and it does shift almost all of the water, but because of the shape of some of the body panels there are always a few areas where the blade is just too long, and this is where this squeegee will be very effective. It will also be useful when cleaning the house windows, particularly on some of the smaller panes – it might even make me clean the windows a bit more often (but probably not!).

Thanks for reading this review; I hope it has been helpful.
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4 Digit Combination Padlock - Lock for Gym, Employee, School Locker, Hasp, Fence and General Storage
4 Digit Combination Padlock - Lock for Gym, Employee, School Locker, Hasp, Fence and General Storage
Offered by desired things™
Price: £8.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Decent padlock, ideal for general use, 21 July 2016
Disclosure: I received this product from the seller for an honest and unbiased review.

This is a decent size padlock, and is a lot more substantial than the three digit ones commonly sold for use with luggage. It is about 80mm in length and weighs around 140 grams, the hasp is reasonably substantial and the metal body does look and feel quite solid.

The four digit combination is easy to reset without any tools (it is set to 0000 when delivered) and the numbers are lined up down the end of the body, which is more convenient than on one side. The markings are very clear and easy to read.

I am planning to use it on a garden shed, and hopefully it will be reasonably weatherproof – time will tell.
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Soldering Iron Kit, Blusmart 60W 230V Adjustable Temperature Welding Soldering Iron with 5pcs Soldering Iron Tips, Desoldering vacuum pump, Holder, Solder Wire(Blue)
Soldering Iron Kit, Blusmart 60W 230V Adjustable Temperature Welding Soldering Iron with 5pcs Soldering Iron Tips, Desoldering vacuum pump, Holder, Solder Wire(Blue)
Offered by efsuk
Price: £25.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Decent soldering kit, but wrong fuse fitted, and no CE certification, 20 July 2016
Disclosure: I received this product from the seller for an honest and unbiased review.

The kit comprises the soldering iron itself, a cooling stand with sponge recess, a metal solder removal vacuum pump, and a coil of general purpose solder; there are six interchangeable solder heads supplied. What is missing is any form of manual or instruction leaflet, which is disappointing.

The soldering iron has a very small dial on the side to change the temperature; there is a sticker on the dial which gives the actual temperatures but this is so tiny that it is virtually unreadable without a magnifying glass, and it does not appear to be very well stuck so might well become detached anyway.

What is more worrying is that when I opened the plug to check the wiring I found that it had been fitted with a 13 amp fuse, for a 60 watt appliance. Wrong, and potentially dangerous, it should be a 3 amp fuse. There is also no rating label to disclose the voltage and power rating, and more importantly there is no CE mark, to signify that the product has been certified as meeting EC directive requirements. As far as I can find out, this is not actually mandatory, but it is extremely unusual to find an electrical product without this mark.

Once I had changed the fuse, I checked out the operation of the soldering iron, and it did heat up fairly quickly on the highest setting, reaching a decent working temperature within a minute or two. The choice of soldering heads is useful, meaning that a variety of tasks can be undertaken. After it was switched off I left it in the cooling stand and after about 10 minutes it was cold to the touch.

Thanks for reading this review; I hope it has been helpful.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 21, 2016 12:06 PM BST


Solar LED Lights (2 Pack) [3rd Generation] Siensync(TM) 2-in-1 Solar Powered Outdoor Spotlight (Warm White LEDs) for Landscape Lighting Waterproof Wall Light Bulb Driveway Yard Lawn Pathway Garden
Solar LED Lights (2 Pack) [3rd Generation] Siensync(TM) 2-in-1 Solar Powered Outdoor Spotlight (Warm White LEDs) for Landscape Lighting Waterproof Wall Light Bulb Driveway Yard Lawn Pathway Garden
Offered by Siensync Europe
Price: £59.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good light output, and well made, 20 July 2016
Disclosure: I received this product from the seller for an honest and unbiased review.

The lights appeared to be completely discharged when they were delivered at about 1pm, so I placed them in a very bright sunny spot and left them to charge for about 4 hours, then checked that they were working OK by taking them into a dark garage. I then placed them in the ground, using the optional spikes, so that they were directed upwards into a 12 foot tall palm tree, and waited for it to get dark. There is a choice of two light levels, selected via the waterproofed button on the back of the solar panel; I set them to the brightest level.

It was about 9.30 before they lit up, and I had to wait another half hour or so before it was really dark enough to get the full effect, and it was worth the wait. They give out a very nice soft light, which I would describe as yellow, and they lit up the trunk of the tree as well as the foliage at the crown, producing a very pleasing effect. The final photo gives (I hope) a good idea of this.

I left them on the brightest level, and they were still shining brightly about 6 hours later, so do seem to have a good working time, although as with any solar lights what you get out depends on what you put in, so they would probably not perform to this level in the winter. Time will tell.

The lights do appear to be well made and quite solid, and the solar panel is a decent size. The light unit and the solar panel can both be adjusted but only in one plane, so you do have to position the light carefully to take account of where you want it to point, and which direction the maximum sunlight comes from. This is a common design with most solar spotlights, unless you go for one with a separate solar panel.

Thanks for reading this review; I hope it has been helpful.
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