CooLanyard, retail $19.95 (
Manufactured by Playwrites (
Last updated 05-11-04

Ok, so it's not a flashlight or laser, but that doesn't mean I can't review the CooLanyard because it was meant to be attached to flashlights, cell phones, and other stuff you might want to have when you go to the woods.

The CooLanyard comes in a number of different color combinations; the version I'm testing has a garnet colored cord and a black & grey whistle clip. That's right, I said whistle clip. When you blow into it, a loud whistling sound comes out! There is also a small white LED flashlight affixed to the cord, and a folding, serrated-blade knife hanging from the end. There is a strain relief (break-away) socket on the lanyard's back end, so you can't become choked or strangulated by it if you get all hooked up in something. This break-away socket can be reset with a simple click, so you don't have to throw the lanyard away if you get tangled in something and it breaks away.

The CooLanyard is ready to use as soon as you receive it. It comes in a small drawstring bag that you can use to store the CooLanyard in when you're not using it.

Put the CooLanyard around your neck, so the attached knife hangs in front of you. If you don't want the knife in front (such as if you were going to the airport), it can easily be detached and stashed somewhere because it is affixed to the ring with a spring clip, so you don't need to fumble with it.

There is a large metal D ring at the bottom of the lanyard for you to hang other articles from. For the purposes of this page, assume everything you intend to carry on this lanyard already has a ring or a spring clip in or on them, so you can easily affix the item to the CooLanyard's D ring.

The flashlight is easy enough to use. Point it at something, and slide the white switch on it toward the front of the flashlight - away from you as the light is aimed forward. It "locks" into place with a click. Slide it backward (toward the tail end of the flashlight) to turn it back off.

I'm not a knife expert and I don't play one on TV, so don't take my word for gospel on this. But every little bit helps, right?
The knife has a 1.75" long serrated stainless steel blade, and locks in the open position. To open it, just swing the blade out until it's been swung 180. You'll hear a clicking sound when it's all the way open and locked. To close the knife, hold the handle with one hand, and press the metal top at the top center of the handle with the thumb on your other hand. While pressing on this piece, close the blade approximately 1/8 of the way - you can now release your thumb from the top of the handle and finish closing the blade. Don't get your fingers in between the blade and handle, or you'll be hurtin' for certain. :-)

This picture shows the knife opened up, showing the serrated blade.

The CooLanyard also comes with a very loud whistle built into its clip. To use the whistle, look for a semicircular opening on one side of the clip. Place this up to your mouth, and seal your lips around the edges. Blow (exhale) fairly hard into this opening, and a loud, shrill sound should issue from the clip. The sound is quite loud, and should attract attention if it's blown in a city center, fair, amusement park, or other location where people might be found.
I tried it in my apartment, and was surprised at how loud it was.

The CooLanyard itself doesn't need batteries, but the included LED flashlight does.

The flashlight has an output of 11,200mcd.
From what I've been told, a newer model of flashlight comes with the lanyard now, and it outputs 24,000mcd!

The flashlight uses two CR2016 lithium coin cells. Two are included, already installed inside.
Four small phillips screws hold it together, and will need to be unscrewed for a battery change.

Best way to disassemble and reassemble one of these lights:

1) Remove the four phillips screws with a #0 (2mm) phillips screwdriver; carefully flip light over on table.
2) Separate the halves while holding your finger on the slide switch to keep the light from flying apart.
3) Top shell half should lift off, keychain attachment may fall out. There is a receptacle for that black knobby piece on the bottom half of the light.
4) You can then lift off the switch thingie to get to the batteries. Remove the batteries, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

To reassemble:

1) Put led into bottom half of shell if it fell out. Long lead goes into the bottom of the flashlight.
2) Put the cells in, making sure to get polarity correct. With the light right-side up (bottom half of the shell is what you're working with here, just so ya know), the flat (+) side faces up.
3) Put the slide switch on top of the cells, so the crescent-shaped "armature" is toward the front of the light, rather than toward the back.
4) Put the top shell half on top of switch. Be sure the keyring attachment is in its receptacle on the bottom shell.
5) While holding the light together, carefully flip it over.
6) Put the screws back in.

The CooLanyard appears to be quite sturdy, but one of its components (the flashlight) doesn't appear to be too water resistant. So you'll want to avoid throwing it in pools, puddles of cat pee, snowbanks, piles of slush, creeks, ponds, lakes, rivers, oceans, shower stalls, tubs, toilets, sinks, fishtanks, or other places where water might be found.

The rest of the lanyard is waterproof, so you don't have to worry about getting it wet or sweaty. So don't worry if you get caught in a rainstorm or if you have to walk across a desert and get all yucky and sweaty. The lanyard itself will be just fine afterward. You should be able to wash the rope portion of the lanyard under the faucet if it becomes soiled.

This picture shows the "business end" of the CooLanyard, showing
the LED flashlight, the loud whistle clip, and the detachable knife.

Sample was received on 08-29-03.
The CooLanyard website just went up (as of 08-30-03), so it might take several days for it to propagate around the internet. Until then, be prepared to receive "page not found" errors.

UPDATE: 05-11-04
For an unknown period of time after this date, the CooLanyard also comes with the "EZ pen/sharpie connection points" free of charge.
The page where this accessory is described is right here if you're interested.

Durable construction
Washable if it becomes soiled
Whistle clip is loud; should be audible for hundreds, if not thousands of feet
Comes with a small drawstring pouch that will store the lanyard and all its accessories

Flashlight is NOT washable with the rest of the lanyard; please detach it first

    MANUFACTURER: Playwrites
    PRODUCT TYPE: Neck lanyard with whistle, LED flashlight, and knife
    No. OF LAMPS: N/A
    BEZEL: N/A
    ACCESSORIES: Flashlight, knife


    Star Rating


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