The Buckshot Pro from Outdoor Tech is an all-in-one speaker, powerbank (aka charges your phone!), and flashlight. (Pro tip: the strobe + the jams = instant portable dance party.) Pretty sweet.

It’s still prime biking weather out there, and we’ve been riding around pumping the tunes with this thing for a few weeks now. The verdict is in: we love it. As you start thinking about gifting, keep the Buckshot Pro in mind, especially for those bike commuters you know.

buckshot

Sound:

On a scale from laptop to Dolby, the Buckshot Pro is somewhere right in the middle – well, closer to very loud laptop – plenty loud, pretty crisp, but not terribly deep or bass-y. For its size, definitely exceeds expectations – and the rear-facing directional speaker is great. That way I am the main beneficiary of my sweet sweet tunes. But I’m sure everyone else on the road is enjoying the Modern Lovers as much as I am. 4 stars.

Light:

Bright, which is generally what you want from a light. The visibility rivals my $50 bike light – but Buckshot wins because USB charging means it won’t dim. Different settings include “lamp” for the peripherally-minded, “torch” for the search-and-rescue-in-the-Everglades situations, and “flash” for visibility, also dance parties. 5 stars.

 Buckshot speaker bike light

Mount:

Exceedingly user friendly – just one piece of rubbery rubber and it’s attached to your handlebar. Good for versatility – mountable on the skinniest track bars to the beefiest mountain bike – but on attaching I was concerned about the wobbliness. Call me crazy, but bike accessories should be locked in place and bomb-proof – nobody likes fiddling with them to readjust on the go. Like, I’m sure it made sense to strap on a speaker – but now, with the flashlight addition, you want it to stay tip up. Despite my initial fears, turns out to be more stable than I expected. Only the roughest roads caused me to have trouble, er, keeping the tip up. But those roads exist (I’m looking at you, Somerville) and I’d rather not have to keep fiddling with the dang thing while dodging potholes [fist waggle!] Verdict: Easy, versatile, but sometimes flaccid. 3 stars.

Usability:

I’m a sucker for fades, and the Buckshot has really sexy fades – the music fades ins, then fades out when powered off, the light settings fade into each other. Just well produced, ya know? Grip-able, sturdy. Easy interface and volume adjusters that even the most mittened hands can handle. Bluetooth always worked with my iPhone. Didn’t test the shock absorption – knock on wood – but the device seems indestructible. One qualm – discreet entrances or exits are difficult with the (loud!) computer-voice narrating what the whole process. “Power up. Power on, pairing, successful.” Could easily be a beep-boop situation instead. But still.. 5 stars.

Overall4.5 stars. Could be a fantastic part of any non-bike camping trip as well – bring the tunes, the light, and the charger with you in one compact package.

Retail: $80

Playtime: 16 hours, USB charger