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 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.