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Vetta V5 Rear Blinkie

In the days of ever higher powered and more complicated (and expensive) lights out there, it’s refreshing to see an $18 blinkie light like the Vetta V5. None of those fancy high powered LEDs with erratic blinking modes here, just a 5 LED V-formation of lights with a single easy to find button and two modes—blink and off. The LEDs are bright enough to be seen but not painful to look at, these are not the new-school ultra bright LEDs that can be seen from 2 miles away. The V5 takes a pair of AAA batteries making rechargeable models for late night commuters a reality, and runs a reported 80 hours on a pair of alkaline batteries. In a nice design touch, the V5 acts as a reflector when off further adding to your night-time visibility even if you forget to turn it on or run out of juice unexpectedly.

The V5 ships with a thumbscrew seatpost mount and the shims to make it fit just about any bike out there, and the battery cover has a plastic clip if you prefer to mount it on your belt or bag. For those who prefer a steady mode on the light you’ll have to look elsewhere, but I find I never use anything but blink and off anyway and wish all of my lights had just the two choices. Even if I really like the higher powered super-blinkies out there, the V5 has its place. It seemingly lasts forever as compared to brighter versions, and you can’t argue with the price. Check your local shop—just about anyone can get Vetta products in for you if they don’t already carry them.

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Timbuk2 Light Brite Swig Backpack

Although the name Timbuk2 is virtually synonymous with messenger bag, these days they make a variety of bags including tote and travel bags, accessory holders, bicycle seat packs and backpacks.

This bag’s main design features are its highly reflective stripe, its water-resistance and its laptop compartment. As promised, the reflective material is industrial strength, and the bag’s water resistance is excellent. The main flap has gussets that help keep water from entering from the side. This works impressively well, as does the sealed side zipper.

At just 12” x 5” x 17” the Light Brite Swig isn’t a giant among backpacks. However it will hold a 17” laptop for point of reference. I’ve found it to be perfect for regular commuting and running errands. It’s a very comfortable bag, with just enough padding and ergonomically cut shoulder straps. It’s also got a nice big tab for attaching a blinkie light, and a built in bottle opener on the shoulder strap. The latter I could live without, but it seems to impress other people.

The Light Bright Swig Backpack comes in black with red or blue accents, retails for $120 and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

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