UCO’s new Sprout+ rechargeable lantern: compact, flexible emergency lighting

UCO is best known for its fire-starting products — their matches dominated our big match review — but the company also makes a number of outdoor-oriented lighting products. New from the company for 2020 is the Sprout+, small, lightweight lantern that I’m really excited about as a top compact contender for our long-planned lantern review.

As a power nerd, what I like most about this little lantern is the fact that it can be powered by either three AAA batteries or a USB-rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack. The battery pack is included with the device, and can be recharged directly via built-in micro-USB charging port. So this would pair perfectly with a solar panel.

If something happens to that battery, you also have the option of using AAA. If I were camping with this, I’d use NiMH rechargeable AAAs in it. But if I’m storing the light away in a drawer or pack for years in case of an emergency, I’d probably put three high-capacity, long-lasting non-rechargeable lithium AAAs in it.

Other nice features:

  • The loop at the top attaches magnetically, so the lantern can easily be popped off the loop without untying it.
  • Standard output is 100 lumens
  • There’s a blue light mode, and a moonlight (10 lumen) mode for saving power.
  • It weights just 2.7oz without batteries.
  • It’s IPX4 water resistant
The Sprout’s lanyard loop on the top is attached with a magnet.

The MSRP for this new product is $25, which is a little bit high, but we’d expect the street price to bring it down quite a bit.

I have a Sprout+ and will post a full review when I can get it back to the house and test it properly.