First Impressions

A few months ago, we had the chance to check out the RuggedTec RoqBloq. Nice product that scored 7.3 on our GearGuide scale. Recently the company introduced a complementary product called the FlashBang. It combines the functions of a flashlight and a BlueTooth speaker into a single, cylindrical package. Heck of an idea especially for those interested in a bike-mountable option for carrying around your tunes. Our sample arrived the other day in a basic black rubberized finish. Nice.


You can see the family resemblance between the RuggedTec FlashBang and RoqBloq. They share the same gridded rubber finish and the similar water and dust resistance feature set. The FlashBang is tightly packaged with exterior dimensions of 6.25 inches long and 1.75 inches across, about the size of a small Maglite.

Inside that little package, RuggedTec incorporates both a flashlight and 4 ohm speaker. There’s no official brightness rating for the flashlight. Our best estimate puts it around 100 lumens or about mid-scale for a headlamp and at the lower end for bike lights. Not bad and definitely something that can get you out of a pinch. But also not something you should put a lot of stock in for your after-hours rides. RuggedTec includes a bike mount for the FlashBang and it worked well on our Marin mountain bike, although a touch undersized for our handle bar.

The speaker is small but sound reproduction was pretty reasonable in our tests. Volume was sufficient to overcome most traffic noise and didn’t pose any safety hazards by blowing out the ambient. It felt more like a complement to the ride instead of taking it over like an old-school boombox.

Dimensions: 6.25 in x 1.75 in
Weight: 5.6 oz
Range: 10-15 ft

The FlashBang is water and dust resistant. Splashes and drops in the dust don’t seem to impair the product’s performance.

Pairing was simple and the FlashBang worked well with our Bluetooth-enabled iPod. We did find that re-pairing after shutting down the FlashBang a little problematic. Several times it had difficulty rediscovering the iPod, but a manual selection of the FlashBang seemed to solve the issue every time.

Controls are more straightforward than the RoqBloq. RuggedTec included a dedicated power button on the FlashBang (thank you, RuggedTec). There’s Play/Pause button which works as you’d expect. Fast Forward and Reverse play dual functions. Press and hold increases/decreases volume. Quick clicks allow you to move forward or backward across tracks. The final button turns on the flashlight. Press once for full power, a second time for fast strobe, a third time for slow strobe. A final press turns off the light.


The RuggedTec FlashBang does a nice job at sound reproduction as mentioned above. Not overwhelming mind you, but pretty decent especially when you consider the miniscule size of the speaker. Bluetooth range was improved over the RoqBloq. We were able to move our Apple devices out to 10-15 feet and still maintain a decent connection. But the controls left a little to be desired. They work fine without gloves. But put on a pair of full-fingered cycling gloves and hit the trail and you’re in trouble. The buttons are just too close together to be completely usable. I found myself having to stop during my rides to get the FlashBang to do what I wanted.

Final Verdict

Despite a few shortcomings, we really like the RuggedTec FlashBang. It provides decent sound quality and a fair share of utility. The flashlight isn’t one to rely on for a daily commute, but for the occasional evening or early morning ride, it’ll do the trick.

Thanks for reading another outdoor gear review from GearGuide. And thanks to RuggedTec for providing product for this review.