Archive for Sunday, June 8, 2003

Hidden lockable storage box makes nice Father’s Day gift

June 8, 2003

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You have about a week's worth of shopping days until Father's Day. Here are some gift ideas for those sportsmen dads out there.

The only thing wrong with reviewing these products is that it means I already own everything I'm writing about, and my own shoppers will have to come up with different ideas:

Elkhart Plastics, Inc. of Middlebury, Ind., is the latest company to offer lockable storage compartments that fit into the cargo area of an SUV. The product is called SUV Cargo Caddy and it comes with a carpeted top in gray, beige or black to match the SUV interior. A prospective thief who glances through the tinted windows will see what looks like an empty cargo area.

What the thief doesn't know is that the SUV Cargo Caddy may hold a valuable stash of guns, cameras, or other equipment, out of sight and locked up tight.

The Cargo Caddy comes in a variety of sizes to fit just about any SUV.

I'm using the King-Size model, which measures 19.75 inches wide, 53.5 inches long and 7 inches deep. You can actually place two King-Size Cargo Caddies side by side in the cargo area of a Suburban without a third seat.

One unit has three long storage compartments in its pull-out drawer, plenty of room for two long guns, shells, binoculars and other gear you'd rather keep out of sight.

The unit is made of automotive-grade plastic and weighs about 65 pounds. The King-Size unit retails for about $275. Other units sell for as little as $240. Similar products cost $1,000 or more.

To locate the nearest dealer, call 1-800-762-3625 or view the products via the Internet at www.suvcargocaddy.com.

I've been using a Mangrove Neoprene Gear Bag for more than 10 years, and its showing no signs of wearing out. In fact, I have two of these waterproof bags, one in bright blue for fly-fishing tackle and the other in camouflage for hunting gear. They don't make the camo model anymore. It's been replaced by forest green.

A friend who was headed for Africa was shocked to learn he was restricted by the airline to a single carry-on bag. He had a considerable assortment of cameras and lenses (including a 300 mm lens), a laptop computer and a set of expensive binoculars.

It all fit into a Mangrove Neoprene Gear Bag with Remora detachable waist pack ($131.95). The 300 mm lens went in the Remora.

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