Review – AA 3-in-1 Emergency Flashing Beacon Torch Glass Hammer Seatbelt Cutter Rescue Tool

I am sure most of us have been in a suboptimal situation while driving somewhere after dark – our 4-wheeled darling has a fit and stubbornly refuses to move, and it is a really good idea to make yourself visible to other drivers or the tow truck beyond the double-blinkers. Or kids have lost their glove when getting into the car, and you need to backtrack with cursing obout your mobile’s small light. Fortunately, fewer of us have been in a situation where we needed to cut the seatbelt or smash the window to get out of the car – neither of which is really easy or even possible without a tool. What I am trying to say is there is an infinite number of sticky situations where you need “something”, and the more of these potential situations this “something” can cover, the better.

Today we are testing a 3-in-1 emergency beacon from AA.

Ordered from Amazon, it was with us swiftly so we could put it through its paces.

What is in the box?

The beacon arrives in an AA-branded box; nothing special there – not very light, but not heavy either. After opening the box, you are left with the following:

  • The box
  • The 3-in-1 beacon
  • Pack of 2 AA batteries

 

Build

Size

The beacon is 19.7cm/under 8” long, at the tip 3.5 cm and at the base 4cm wide. In the picture below, you can see how it compares to a pen or a standard card.

It is 186 grams (with batteries in)

Exterior

The body of the beacon is made of sturdy grey plastic; the beacon itself has 4 columns of red LEDs covered in the semi see-through light-dispersing hard body that allows the light visibility in 360 degrees.  The sturdiness of this is particularly important as this effectively doubles as a handle when the window breaker/glass hammer or the seatbelt cutter is used.

Here you might wonder why it is not branded “4 in 1” as what you effectively have the following functional parts:

  • Light torch
  • Beacon
  • Seatbelt cutter
  • Window breaker/glass hammer

There are 2 rubber-covered buttons allowing you to switch on/off the beacon and the torch, respectively. Forget about different modes, signals, etc. – these are just simple on/off switches but do the job well. The good thing is that the rubber cover protects them from elements like dust, mud, rain or whatever you throw at it. While on the topic of water resistance, there is a rubber seal protecting the torch bulb and also a rubber seal protecting the battery casing.

Something that is not visible at first sight is that the beacon has magnets in its base so you can “stick” it on your car – the magnets are not super-strong but hold the unit on the door, roof, or inside or the outside of the boots (anything metal, really) just fine. We would not recommend driving with it though, as you might lose it.  

How to use it?

The beacon red lights are visible from afar – we have tested it on a beach and got about 300 metres easily, but this will obviously depend on the conditions (rain, fog, bushes, etc.).

The torch is quite strong, and the beam is decent in spread/diameter.

The window breaker – it has a soft plastic cap so you or stuff you store with it won’t get scratched. Small detail but handy; we would suggest making the flap to open it larger as in an emergency, you need to be able to open it quickly.

The seatbelt cutter – the blade is well covered, so the risk of any accidental cuts is minimal.

What doesn't it have?

Different light modes – some beacons have the option of “light signals”, such as SOS.

Pouch – it would be nice to have the unit protected but on the other hand, in the situation when you need to use the seatbelt cutter or the window breaker, you can’t really be fumbling with pouches or cases.

Charging – you can’t charge it through the car’s 12V socket, nor would it alert you when the batteries are low, so we recommend occasionally checking – especially after cold or hot weather, which batteries don’t usually like much.

Gallery

Verdict

There are a lot of tools out there that you should have in your vehicle “just in case” – window breaker, seatbelt cutter and a torch are some of them, and this tool ticks all the boxes really well.

The AA 3 in 1 is for us, one of the best “optional must-haves” to have in the car as it works really well, is small enough to fit a glove box or the middle console and has already found its spot in my car. Either paired with some other car products or even on its own, it would make a perfect gift to literally any car owner.  

Where to buy

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

AA 3-in-1 Emergency Flashing Beacon Torch Glass Hammer Seatbelt Cutter Rescue Tool...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: September 1, 2023 7:53 am

FAQ

Yes, it comes with 2x AA batteries

I will deal well with rain and probably a bit even more water/mud/dust. 

No, both the flashlight and the beacon are switch ON/OFF

Yes, it has a magnet in the base so you can stick it on your car.

No, there is no hook, just a magnet. 

Martin Shaw
Martin Shaw

Martin is an automotive enthusiast with a deep passion for all things cars. He has spent the last decade immersing himself in the industry, reading up on the latest models, attending car shows, and tinkering with his own vehicles. Loves: family, all things cars (apart from selling them), pizza.

The Car Stuff
Logo