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mini-lifejacket_blue_rightangleLong-time Racket readers know that we can be pretty harsh when it comes to reviews, but the Altec Lansing Mini Life Jacket 2 is amazing (even if the name is kind of a mouthful). Altec Lansing were kind enough to ship this over to see what it could do to enhance an upcoming camping trip I took for my wife’s birthday. As it’s waterproof, sand proof, and even floats, I was planning on punting it into June Lake to freak out my fellow fishermen, but I found a use for it even before I could do that. See, I have a 1999 Ford E-150 that the wife and I turned into a campervan, complete with a sweet platform for our bed. What’s not so sweet, though, is the shitty stereo. Driving through the hellhole of the high desert, we got didn’t get shit for radio, and the CD player on the stereo seems to double as an oven, and keeps spitting CDs out when they get too hot. Enter the MLJ2. With Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB charging port, we were able to through on the thousands of jams we had on our phones. No longer held to 80 minutes of an album, our roadtrip mixes grew and grew. And even better yet, the damned thing is louder and has better bass than whatever Ford passed off as speakers in ’99.

Sure, I ended up using it while camping, but that was mellow folk music, not kick-you-in-the-dick road tunes. See, sure it’s great for camping, but it’s gone beyond sitting there, all unassuming on a bear box. I knew it could be used as a speakerphone, but I found out first hand and was pleasantly surprised how much better it was than putting my phone on speaker to avoid getting roughed up by the police. Now, whenever I drive the van, I can rest assured that I’ll be able to play any song on my phone at will or try to convince the wife to pick up In N Out on the way home.