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The lantern is synonymous with camping. Along with the tent, campfire, and s’mores, the old fashioned lantern is a symbol that many are familiar with. When the sun goes down on the campsite, the fun isn’t over, as nighttime provides a chance to gather around and share a snack, drink, and a scary story. Although the old-fashioned gas lamp may be more of an antique these days, the concept of gathering the camping community after dark is still carried on in new ways. Technology has changed and advanced in great strides over the past few decades. Outdoor recreation and sports have exciting new tools and gear to offer its partakers. One such tool is the Etekcity Compact LED Lantern.
Highlighted Features of The Etekcity Compact LED Lantern
Brightness and Design
A 360-degree design makes this lantern a great choice for outdoor and camping use. What makes the Etekcity’s design unique from the other 360-degree camping lanterns is its 30 LED lights and 60+ lumens which emits incredibly bright light.
A benefit to the Etekcity Lantern is the strength of brightness it offers as well as the simplicity of turning on the lantern. Simply load the AA batteries, and lift the top of the lantern to reveal the bright lighting. If you want the lantern to be even brighter, change out the batteries provided to a higher quality brand that produces alkaline batteries such as Duracell. The lantern will last longer with high quality batteries and shine brighter. Though the lantern’s brightness is spot on, I was not completely satisfied with the fact that I could not change the setting of the lantern to a lower battery usage. I can easily close the lid slightly to dim the light, but it still uses the same amount of battery power. The lantern advertises a total of 12 hours of lighting, eight of which are full power and the last four hours the lantern naturally dims to save power and signal that the batteries need changed. I have not had an issue with the lantern running out of battery power, however I do not like to rely on caring extra batteries just in case the lantern dies while camping or backpacking.
While the price of the Etekcity lantern is already very affordable, and includes batteries as well as a manual and warranty, the brand offers a way to save even more. You can buy the lanterns in groups of two, three, or four for a reduced price on each individual lantern.
I am impressed with the durability of the Etekcity Lantern. The brand uses military-grade ABS plastic for the body of the product. Metal handles do not bend (with normal use) and are strong enough to carry the lantern around with no concerns of the lantern falling.
If you are trying to pack ultra-light for a backpacking trip this lantern is not for you. However, if you are casually camping and need a decent lantern that will be light, bright, and versatile, the 9 oz Etekcity Lantern will do the trick.
There is a compartment in the top of the lantern which can store small items such as matches, a safety pin, or an extra battery (only two batteries will fit). The lantern itself is not proven to be waterproof but this small compartment would most likely protect the interior items from water, though I have not tested this.
- There is a 360 degree field of light emitted from the lantern
- The LED lights are quite bright, although the amount of lumens is not specified. It does not heat up, and there is no danger of burning yourself on it.
- The lamp is activated by pulling the top half away from the bottom half. This allows for easy use in the dark; no fumbling for a switch or button.
- The amount of light emitted can be adjusted by only opening the lantern partly
- The lantern’s case is hard plastic, and the battery compartment is sealed with an o-ring.
- Although it was not tested, the lantern could likely hold up against a small amount of water such as a light drizzle.
- When the batteries begin to run low, the lantern switches to a dim setting, providing less light, but extending the life of the batteries.
- The lantern is very affordable. A viable option to place in an “emergency provisions kit” paired with heavy-duty batteries
- Metal handles allow for easy carrying and hanging
- The company states that they offer a 10 year warranty on the lantern, and will also give you 90 days from purchase to return it, for a money-back guarantee
- The lantern requires 3 AA batteries, which are purported to provide power for 12 hours of continuous light. In a world where internal rechargeable batteries are ubiquitous, it is a shame this lantern doesn’t utilize that system. The cost of batteries, both fiscally and ecologically, need to be factored into the overall value of the lamp.
- No true “settings”. Although you can limit the amount of light emitted by only opening the lamp part way, all 30 LED lights still are being used. A dedicated low power setting would allow for extended battery life
- The lantern creates a “blind spot” directly below it that receives no light.
- At 9 ounces, without batteries, the lantern is a heavier option. Backpackers may want to opt for a lighter choice such as a headlamp
Overall, I am happy with the Etekcity Portable LED Camping Lantern for my camping needs. As long as I am not backpacking or planning a lightweight trip, I bring my lantern along for more than sufficient light that is convenient and easy to access at the campsite. However, I usually bring a headlamp and another light source just in case the batteries in the lantern die and I cannot find spares. If you decide that you do not want to carry that much weight while camping, this light is also a great item to keep in the car for emergencies or general use at night. The lantern is advertised for camping as well as patio, backyard, emergencies, and other uses where you need a quick source of bright light. With the amazing value and warranty, the Etekcity Portable LRD Camping Lantern is a great tool to have around.