Power Bank Camping Light Review
So I recently got my hands on this little lantern from Planet Camping in the UK. It’s the first lantern I have bought in the last 15-20 years since my wind up lantern eventually gave in so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I figured It would be large and heavy and only last a few hours on some giant battery but I was hugely mistaken. It’s fist sized, and rather light, which makes it great for keeping in my pack. It’s probably about half the height of a fizzy drinks can and a little bit wider. I have camped a few times and taken this with me now and I usually forget that I have it because it’s so compact. It also comes with a hook to hang in a tent or from a branch and as for the rest of the construction it feels very well made, which it has to be to get the IP65 rating. That IP rating means it can withstand particles as fine as dust and is protected against jets of water. Now by jets, they probably mean something like a super soaker rather than a fire hose, but it does mean that for general use you have pretty good protection. You could easily wander around by some waterfalls at night time knowing this will keep running without issue.
The light will last up to 100 hours on low mode and I had about 15 hours out of it on high although, that was strait out of the box so you probably can get more if fully charged. The low light setting is fine while you are in a tent or just moving back and forth short distances. I like the strobe function though as I often go for a wander when it’s dark, and its a handy beacon for locating your camp. There is also an SOS function which is quite common on torches these days but always a handy feature. Honestly the only problem I had with the brightness of the lantern was that it was difficult to capture on my camera. I have recently acquired a new camera and I probably just haven’t figured out how to use it yet. It will easily light up a 5msq area and you will see its effects up to 15-20 meters away, which is perfect for most camping needs.
I was camping a few weeks ago with this lantern and one of my friends had a similarly sized device that he’s used for a few years but, this seemed to outperform it in basically every aspect. It had a nice range and coverage thanks to its shape and design. It also had plenty of light for the internal part of our camp which is pretty large. It wasn’t as bright as his lantern at first, but after an hour his had clearly started to dim, while this one carried on for 8 hours or so without appearing to diminish. It may not have been on the brightest setting (it was probably on the middle setting but I cant be sure) while we where out so that may explain why it held up for so long without any difference in output but it definitely held up with plenty of light for over 8 hours and it only dropped by about 20% of its power according to the LED indicator on the top.
There is one other handy feature that this lantern offers, although I haven’t been able to test it myself and that’s the charge bank option. It has a 5v output for charging portable devices such as mobile phones or a SATNAV device. It has a dedicated output slot which is a standard USB and as the lead you are provided with is USB-MicroUSB you can use it to charge your phone or other portable devices. It’s a great little feature that you shouldn’t need to use all to often but, it’s there for when you need to prioritise one item over your lantern.
So that’s all the good points, but there is one downside despite it being a necessity for this particular lantern. You cant change batteries. For a lot of people this can be a problem if, like me, you forget to charge it before you leave the house. You would need some sort of portable solar charger or some other form of power bank to keep it going if you are out for long periods of time, but generally as long as you remember to charge it you should be fine. When I say necessity what I mean is you cant protect this device to the IP65 rating if you had a battery port available as it would compromise the dust and water protection.
Over all this is a pretty good camping lantern. It has a good run time and some nice features such as the charging and water protection but, most importantly, it is very compact and light. It will accompany on all of my overnight outings from now on and I even have a solar panel on its way to extend my time out in the wild. It’s really a top notch piece of kit and definitely worth carrying if you want a compact lantern which performs well and has the ability to charge other devices if needed.
Get yours from Planet Camping here.