Nothing quite complements a crackling campfire like rich melody. And if you're as musically disinclined as I am, pounding a bongo or strumming a uke' is pretty much out of the question. Luckily, MP3 players have made it easy to bring all your favorite music anywhere. All you need is a good speaker system or boombox. Here are a couple of the latest options from the Outdoor Retailer show floor.
Not quite as bass-thumping as the Soulra XL but definitely more portable, the Rukus is Eton's latest portable music solution. The Rukus is a flat, Bluetooth-enabled speaker system with an integrated handle. It features dual drivers and an E-Ink display that Eton says saves energy over an LCD. For those that are a little more old fashioned, the Rukus also has an auxiliary input. A USB port allows you to charge your mobile device. The Rukus will retail for $100 or $150 with 40 square-inch solar panel when it hits the market by mid-year.
Kelty Lumaspot Rhythm
More than just a speaker, the Kelty Lunaspot Rhythm is a full-on multifunctional workhorse. It is a 160-lumen lantern that doubles as a spotlight/reading lamp. The integrated cable lets you connect your MP3 player and put your music to work, while the "Disco Feature" with alternating colored LEDs sets the mood. You need a lantern, so why not get a speaker along with it? The Rhythm will launch in the fall for $65.
Grace Digital Eco Terra
The Eco Terra is a gnarly boombox designed to hold up to the most hostile outdoor conditions. This box is waterproof to the IPX7 standard and can even float on water, so don't worry if you accidentally knock it into the lake or river. Even the speakers are waterproof. It includes an adjustable carry handle for easy transport and a slot for the music device to slide in. It even has a storage compartment for keys, credit cards, etc. The Eco Terra comes up backordered at the moment, but you can find out more information at Grace Digital's website. And for those looking for something a little smaller and lighter, Grace also makes the single-speaker Eco Extreme.