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Backpacker Magazine – January 2009

Field Notes: Earphones, Headlamp, Avalanche Probe

by: Berne Broudy, Jonathon Dorn, & Michael Lanza

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AirDrives Interactive Earphones (Courtesy Photos)
AirDrives Interactive Earphones (Courtesy Photos)
Petzl Ultra Headlamp (Courtesy Photos)
Petzl Ultra Headlamp (Courtesy Photos)
Pieps iProbe (Courtesy Photo)
Pieps iProbe (Courtesy Photo)

Ear Buds
AirDrives Interactive Earphones

No more music interruptus with these ear buds, which won't fall out even during scrambles and trail runs. Bendable "arms" on the low-profile earphones swoop around your ears, locking the buds in place just outside the ear canal. They always stayed put, and also allowed our tester to hear what was going on around him, a key safety factor on busy trails. Sound quality compares to iPod buds, but the AirDrives are more comfortable and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration deems them safer because they're not jammed inside your ear canal. One drawback: Loud background noise and wind interferes with the sound quality (they work fine for mountain biking, but not road biking). $80; 1 oz.; airdrives.com. Reader service #118


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