Saturday, July 20, 2024
CampingReviewsTravel light

LuminAID PackLite Max USB solar lantern review

Great for camping and campervan-ing, this solar-powered lantern is a must-have for eco-friendly travelers

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The best thing about being outdoors at night is a dark sky, but sometimes you need some illumination. Cooking, eating, reading, finding your socks … there’s always a need for light when you’re camping, but who wants to run down a torch or flashlight that might be needed for a hike or in an emergency?

LuminAID USB solar lantern: design and features

The LuminAID solar lantern was not invented for the average Western traveler, but for the billions of people who live in off-grid locations – and for anyone in an emergency situation (those who live in hurricane-prone areas, take note). The distribution of lanterns like these – which charge up during the day and supply as much as 50 hours of light on a 12-hour charge – has changed how some remote village communities live. For example, village kids can now do homework after dark for the very first time.

LuminAID USB solar lantern: performance

And yet this little solar lantern proved an absolute boon on a recent campervan trip around the southwest U.S. You put it on the dashboard by day, then use it when it gets dark. TravGear tended to get to campsites late in the day and begin cooking in the dark, so it proved really useful. We also used it for reading while camping. It’s inflatable, so easy to collapse and store it on a backpack or vehicle dashboard by day, and it has a popper handle for securing it to the top of a tent or in a tree.

LuminAID USB solar lantern: verdict

If you’re looking for evidence of longevity and durability, TravGear first used this lamp in early 2017, it gets used on every trip we go on and just this month (October 2023) it completed another tour in the US providing us light all the way. We honestly forgot it had a USB for charging, we’ve always just used its solar capabilities. It’s super lightweight, folds up tiny and it’s got five brightness settings – and it’s just always there and charged up ready to go when you need it – an absolute bargain. Who needs disposable batteries?