más picante - April 14, 2021
The Super Siege uses a built-in battery and requires a proprietary charger, just in case that wasn’t clear. Hopefully it gets updated to utilize something more universal like USB-C. Requiring its own special charger is a deal-breaker for me – one more thing to manage (or lose) in an emergency.
Gideon ParkerStaff - April 14, 2021
Thanks for the great feedback. That is something that I forgot to put in the article but will add it here shortly. Having a proprietary charger is a deterrent for many, especially if you don’t have a way to charge that lantern in a grid down scenario when you would likely need to use that lantern.
StoicSurvivalist WTFradio - April 28, 2021
Ledlenser’s ML4 (150lumen/76g) and ML6 (550lumen/260g) are great choices. Tough, compact, durable, light. The ML6 has a bluetooth control that allows for total adjustment and config from an smartphone, great for reading in the hammock before sleeping. It also works as power bank. Proprietary recharging cable (magnetic) though is a downside IMO.
Luminaid series are awesome too. Inflatable, 150 and 300 lumen options, with solar panel for recharging (it’s fast if there’s sun) and also works as power bank (USB-C type outlet). Very effective, clever design. Recharging is through common mini-USB much more versatile.
Popsicle - August 19, 2021
I appreciate the list of additional contenders; it was definitely useful to me in my recent shopping. I would be curious to see commentary on each of these in the future, including what keeps each from dethroning the current picks.
Myself, I recently ordered a few lanterns. I have not field tested these, so cannot comment on actual runtime, ruggedness, water resistance, etc.
The Fenix CL26R is impressively bright and surprisingly small (like a V8 can), and dual fuel (1x 18650 or 2x CR123A). Has a red mode, has a down light mode. Magnetic top side. Handle/hook is small and dinky compared to the Siege X. One-button interface is a bit tedious, and hold-to-turn-on/off always trips me up. Seems like a great go-bag candidate.
The Fenix CL30R is impressively bright, but not so small or lightweight. Not dual fuel.
The UCO Sprout rechargeable can take 3x AAA if you remove the rechargeable battery pack. It’s brighter than I expected, and casts light downward well. The magnetic lanyard is kinda neat, as you can secure it wherever but yank it away as needed.
The big surprise for me was one not mentioned here—Black Diamond Apollo, which REI carries. Very bright (if a bit cool). Dual fuel, but specifically the rechargeable is internal, so you can pre-install 3x AAAs for failover backup. Mfg. claims 24 hours total that way on high. I like that it is only occluded on the top, so if you hang it, it casts light down and not just around. I don’t like that its hold-to-ramp-brightness operation does not switch direction if you release the button; you have to go all the way bright (or dim) and “bounce,” which you’d rather not do if others are sleeping. Dinky handle/hook like the CL26R, but its split design increases your options, though how secure it is I’m not sure. Seems great for home or camping, maaaybe a touch big for a go-bag.
(Personal purchases with my own funds, absolutely zero connection to the makers and retailers.)
Gideon ParkerStaff - August 19, 2021
Glad to hear that the review was helpful in selecting some lanterns to buy.
Having the ability to use various forms of batteries such as rechargeable with backup AAA is great for a prepping lantern.
In the future I see more lanterns moving towards internal rechargeables or something like an 18650 as their power source and moving away from D’s and AAA’s. The BLF LT1 is a good example of this.
What lantern, of the ones you have purchased, do you think you will find yourself using the most?
Popsicle - August 19, 2021
Hard to pick one, but maybe the CL26R and/or Apollo. But I think of it more situationally, which is to say: I probably bought too many lights. OTOH, I can now make use of most any battery type I might scrounge up in a pinch. In my defense, sitting in the dim and dark for days during the Texas freeze—we had improvised insulation covering the windows—was super depressing.
I plan to put a CL26R in the BOB for sure. For a power-out emergency, I’d probably light the family room with a CL30R and an Apollo. I could stick a CL26R to the bottom of the microwave, over the stove, for cooking light. If I can figure out how to hang it, an Apollo seems good for doing dishes (soft, bright, downcast). For general task lighting, my Coast headlamp or Klein work light is probably more useful than any lantern, though the Klein is way too bright if the kiddos are nearby.
Forgot to mention the Goal Zero crush light. Seems good for the kiddos—not as bright, and kinda “fun.”
Gideon ParkerStaff - February 24, 2022
I wanted to expand on the review of the Streamlight Siege X.
Pictured here is the Siege X running red light mode and a white light on the low power setting.
The Siege X packs some very impressive lumens in such a small package. The low setting is plenty bright for many settings and the medium and high settings can fill a room. The red light is mildly disappointing though and isn’t very bright. I wish that had a higher setting as well. The red light could fill a small tent, but isn’t enough for bugging-in at home. The flashlight setting is also very impressive and almost takes away the need for another flashlight in your pack if you wanted to save some weight.
The included 18650 is easily removed with a 1/4 turn of the base. It has a small port in the side of the battery for a micro usb cable (also included). Having a common plug type is a very nice feature to be able to be charged by a small solar panel or battery pack.
Ostrich eggs - April 14, 2022
It’s not as fancy as some of the lanterns discussed on here, but I got a Pocket Juice collapsible lantern from TJ Maxx as a gift last year and am now just getting around to unboxing it.
Just like the main article says, the collapsible models are prone to crinkling. I had to pull it apart gently and already was feeling it being slightly crushed. This is the weakpoint of the lantern. It is quite bright though and could fill a tent with light or be enough to read by.
When you collapse it, it goes into flashlight mode, and this was pretty bright as well.
A neat feature is that this lantern can be charged off of the sun or by the USB cord. The cord can also be used to charge a cell phone, although I doubt you would be able to charge a phone completely with this unit, but might give you enough juice for a phone call or two.
I wouldn’t recommend this lantern for your main preps, but it isn’t too bad or expensive to give as a gift to someone who is not prepared to at least give them something.
Sir Henry - August 2, 2022
While at Costco this week I saw a 2 pack of Duracell 1000 lumen lanterns that looked like a good home based – leave on the shelf and forget about it prep. You can also charge your cell phone off of it.
They were being sold for $23 at Costco, but if you don’t have a membership, they are $31 on Amazon.
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