Gear­ing Up

The Denver Post - - TRAVEL - PikStik Te­le­scoPik 30- to 44-inch Ad­justable Reacher is $29.99; PikStik Mini Te­le­scoPik 20- to 26inch Reacher, $24.99 at

REACH OUT AND GRAB SOME THINGS: Over the years, I have had to travel as­sisted by a wheel­chair. Un­for­tu­nately, one of those times is now (missed a step, bro­ken leg, bleh). But what a fab­u­lous(ish) op­por­tu­nity to sleuth out the lat­est great­est mo­bil­ity aide. My hands down (and out) choice for most valu­able ad­junct helper (other than my wheel­chair) is the new PikStik Te­le­scoPik Reacher/Grab­ber — which I have fondly nick­named Fetch. Fetch (or rather Te­le­scoPik) isn’t the first pole with a hand-op­er­ated trig­ger that makes a jaw at the far end clamp onto an out-of-reach ob­ject. But it is the first to of­fer ad­justable length, an espe­cially use­ful fea­ture when trav­el­ing. Take your pick of The Te­le­scoPik 30- to 44-inch Ad­justable Reacher, or the Mini Te­le­scoPik 20- to 26-inch Reacher. Both are made of a strong but light­weight (less than a pound) alu­minum poly­car­bon­ate ma­te­rial and lock se­curely at your cho­sen length with a sim­ple turn of the lock­ing ring col­lar on the shaft. The 5.5-inch-wide jaws can ro­tate 90 de­grees to fit ver­ti­cally or hor­i­zon­tally into tight or awk­ward­shaped spa­ces. An in­te­grated foam rub­ber in­sert en­ables the jaws to grasp ob­jects as small as a dime (yes, re­ally, I tested that claim). I found the er­gonomic trig­ger grip easy to squeeze, yet it works so pow­er­fully with the jaws that the Te­le­scoPik can hoist ob­jects weigh­ing up to 5 pounds (yup, I tested that, too, though 5 pounds might be be­yond the strength of the per­son lift­ing the lifter). By any mea­sure, the PikStik Te­le­scoPik ranked way ahead of the dozen other reacher/grab­bers I tested for its com­bi­na­tion of dex­ter­ity, re­li­a­bil­ity and range of length. When I’m up and run­ning, Fetch will re­main a handy tool to ex­tend my reach.

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