Sunday, November 4, 2007

An occasional look at products the travel industry insists we need.

WHAT: Cap with built-in LED brim.

AIMED AT: Travelers who want to light -- and lighten -- up their trips.

HOW MUCH: $12.98.

BUT DO THEY WORK? We started out with flashlights, then shifted to head lamps and are now ready to move on . . . to a sporty cap that lights up like a small Christmas tree. Unlike the torch, which leaves you one-handed, and the head lamp, which can bob around like a bulky headband, the LED hat frees up fingers without weighing down your noggin. The water-resistant topper is made of vented nylon (no more sweat head) and features a row of LED bulbs on the tip. The lights switch on with an easy press of a button positioned inside the brim: Click once for two lights, again for all four.

When we entered a dark room, our trusty hat illuminated our path, lighting whichever object or trail we swung our head toward. (From an observer's perspective, we looked as if we had four tiny blue eyes peering out from our forehead.) The glow was strong and wide, and stretched up to 30 feet -- so we didn't bang into a wall, or had we been hiking, fall off a cliff.

-- Andrea Sachs

The N29 LED cap is available through, 916-967-5135,

© 2007 The Washington Post Company