Gadling Gear Review: Energizer Pop-Up Lantern

Energizer Pop-Up LanternNow that spring is officially here warmer weather can’t be far behind. That means it’s time to head back outside to enjoy our favorite activities. Few things reconnect us to the outdoors better than a spring camping trip and just in time for the start of the season, Energizer has introduced some great new lighting options for use around the campsite. One of the best of those new options is the Pop-Up Lantern, a compact and rugged light with an ingenious design.

True to its name, the Pop-Up Lantern features a bright, clear lamp that springs out from the base of the light. When it is in its most compact form, the lantern collapses down to just 4 inches in height, which is actually smaller than a can of soda. That makes in incredibly easy to pack and store, and since the entire thing weighs just a few ounces, you’ll barely know that you have it in your backpack. When you’re ready to use it, the light quickly and easily extends upwards, not quite doubling the overall size.

But don’t let its diminutive size fool you. This is an incredibly bright lamp, providing 150 lumens at its highest setting. That’s plenty to illuminate a fairly large campsite and it is actually far too bright for the interior of a tent. Fortunately, holding down the power button allows the user to dim the light to a custom setting, which makes it more useful in a variety of settings and can greatly extend battery life. Considering the lamp can get up to 100 hours of run time on the included AA batteries, you won’t have to worry about getting caught out in the backcountry without any light for quite some time.Energizer built the Pop-Up Lantern to be durable enough to survive in the outdoors, and while its case is made from plastic, it doesn’t feel fragile in any way. In fact, it has a surprisingly solid feel that will give you a sense of confidence when packing it for just about any outdoor excursion. The lantern is even water resistant, which makes it a great choice for use on a boat and will keep it from shorting out in an unexpected downpour. Energizer is so confident in the build quality of this light that they even ship it with a lifetime warranty. That should give you a sense of just how durable it truly is.

The Pop-Up Lantern has a simple and easy to use design so it is difficult to find much fault with it. The lamp does exactly what you would expect – provide super-bright light whereever you need it. The fact that it is also very efficient with battery life, built to withstand plenty of wear and tear and can collapse down to a very small, packable size is just icing on the cake.

Best of all, Energizer is selling them at an incredibly affordable price. The Pop-Up Lantern is just $19.99, which is a real bargain for a product of this quality. It is so good, in fact, you just might want two.

[Photo Credit: Energizer]

Gadling Gear Review: Eureka Warrior 230 IR Lantern

The Eureka Warrior 230 IR LanternOne of the great things about spring camping is that the warm days are perfect for being outside and the cool nights make for wonderful sleeping. There are few things better in life than hiking all day with friends only to return to the campsite to cook a wonderful meal and curl up in a warm sleeping bag with a good book. However, once you get comfortable in that sleeping bag, you don’t want to get out. Invariably, someone has to draw the short straw to see whose job it is to turn out the lights at the end of the night. Fortunately, Eureka has created the Warrior 230 IR lantern to prevent just those kinds of disputes from ever happening.

Anyone who camps regularly knows the value of good lighting while sitting around the campsite or in a tent at night. The natural darkness of the wilderness can be impenetrable at times and a good lantern is a must for those outings. The Warrior 230 IR emits plenty of light (230 lumens!), has great battery life and can illuminate a wide area, all of which makes it a perfect choice for family camping trips. But those are all features that you would expect out of just about any lantern you choose. What sets Eureka’s offering apart from the crowd is its remote control.

Yep! You read that right. This lantern includes an infrared remote control that allows campers to turn the light off and on from up to 25 feet away. This is a fantastic option for those times when you are snugly tucked away in your sleeping bag and just don’t want to climb out to shut off the light. The remote also allows you to dim the lantern from a distance. The LED lamp on the Warrior 230 can be adjusted to shine at any brightness level between 10% and 100% of its total rating, which makes it versatile enough to be used in just about any situation around the campsite. As if that wasn’t enough, the remote also includes its own built in LED light, making it act like a tiny flashlight, while an integrated carabineer ensures that it always stays close at hand.Powered by three D-cell batteries, the lantern has an impressive battery life. Eureka says that it can run for 48 hours straight on its highest setting and I’m inclined to believe them. While testing the Warrior 230 under typical circumstances, I never needed to replace the batteries. That includes using it on its highest and lowest brightness settings and a range of illumination levels in between.

Solid and rugged, Eureka built the Warrior 230 to withstand the rigors of camping and the outdoors. Not only is it water resistant, but also its plastic housing is largely encased in rubber, which helps to protect it from normal abuse around the campsite. Surprisingly small and lightweight, the lantern tips the scales at just 1.9 pounds with batteries. That means that it is light enough for children to comfortably carry around with them and the small, rubberized handle seems built to accommodate smaller hands. The lantern stands less than eight inches in height, which means it is compact and easy to pack as well.

Trekkers and backpackers will likely find the Warrior 230 a bit too heavy and bulky for their needs, and a good headlamp remains the best option for those types of travelers. But most campers will love having this lamp at their disposal. It is bright enough for working around the camp in the evening and can be turned down low enough to not disturb others when it is time for bed. The included hooks make it a breeze to hang either inside a tent or outside on a branch, and the choice of LED light makes it a much safer option than a gas lantern when used around children.

If you’re in the market for a new camping lantern, I highly recommend the Eureka Warrior 230 IR. Its combination of bright light, rugged construction and campsite versatility makes it a winner. The fact that you’ll never have to argue over whose turn it is to get out of their sleeping bag to turn it off is just icing on the cake. With an MSRP of $64.99 this is a very good value for families and car campers alike.

Gear suggestions for holiday weekend trips outdoors

patagonia lightweight travel pack outdoor gear gadlingSummer is in full-swing and with the Independence Day weekend right around the corner, people are planningfor trips to the great outdoors. From hiking to camping, getting into nature is a great way to enjoy the holiday and unplug from your everyday life. However, if you’re going to do it right, you need to have the proper gear. Last year, we set you up with the ultimate camping gear guide. All of those great products are still staples in our collections, but we’ve discovered some new accessories that will make your outdoor adventures more enjoyable. Whether you’re spending July 4th in a tent, on the trail or simply on a picnic in the park, you’ll want to check out our latest outdoor gear suggestions.Packs

If you’ve packed many of your supplies in your daypack, it makes it heavy when it comes time to use it on a hike. Rather than unpack all of your gear and risk losing or forgetting it, it’s easier to have a second pack with you that you can take with you out on the trail. The Patagonia Lightweight Travel Pack folds into itself when you’re not using it and carries plenty of provisions when you’re ready for a day away from camp. It’s a bit pricey at $79, but it’s durable, sturdier than other packable bags and holds 26L when you’re ready to attack the day.

If all you need is the bare essentials when you go for a hike or a mountain bike ride, then the Black Diamond Flash Pack is perfect for keeping things light. It holds only 9L but it’s hydration compatible, has enough pockets to keep you organized and its low profile will prevent you from snagging a strap on a tree as you barrel through the bush.

Tools

outdoor gear gerber metolius clip folder knife gadlingWhen you need a knife larger than anything on your multitool, you’ll want the Gerber Metolious Clip Folder. It’s big enough to handle tough jobs but small enough to fit in your pocket or clip to your belt while not scaring away anybody you might encounter in the wild. Whether you need to cut some rope or field dress a fresh kill, this knife is a reasonably-priced option for outdoorsmen of any experience level.

We mentioned the Black Diamond Apollo Lantern in last year’s gear guide, but they’ve supersized things with the new Titan Lantern. It’s 250-lumen LED system will illuminate your entire campsite, making cooking a breeze long after the sun has set. Never underestimate the importance of a strong, reliable light.

Apparel

Venturing outdoors requires you to pack layers. If you’re like me, you hate carrying that extra weight in your pack. Thankfully, when it comes to preparing for rain, at least, you can now pack a jacket and not even notice it. The Eddie Bauer First Ascent Sirocco Wind Shell Jacket is the lightest jacket we’ve ever encountered, yet still manages to be durable, well-made and have strong seals around all of the zippers. It might not pack into one of its own pockets like some other lightweight jackets, but it packs easily and does the job of coats five times its weight.

outdoor gear keen kanyon gadlingShould you pack hiking shoes or sandals? Why choose (or deal with lugging them both around) when you can have two in one with the Keen Kanyon? They dry quickly, are ultralight and provide a closed toe for optimal protection when you’re using them as hikers. The bungee lacing allows for an optimal fit without having laces dangling off of your shoes when you’re out on the trail.

If you prefer a more closed shoe, then the Teva Churn is a must. The breathable mesh still allows you to fully submerge them in water when dragging your canoe onto shore, but you can trust that they’ll dry quicker than most hiking shoes. The fold-down heel also allows you to wear the Churn as a slip-on when you’re back in camp.

No matter what you’re getting into this weekend – and the rest of the summer, for that matter – make sure that your gear is in good shape. If not, replace it with our suggestions and you’ll be set for a holiday away from work and immersed in nature.

What’s your favorite outdoor gear? Share your suggestions in the comments.

Photo of the Day – Korean festival lanterns


I love taking photographs at festivals. The riotous colors, local costumes and friendly demeanor of locals usually means you’ll have a chance to capture some truly great shots. Take today’s photo for instance, captured by Flickr user Trent Strohm at a Buddha’s Birthday celebration in Seoul, Korea. The rainbow colors of the lanterns create a visually arresting pattern, punctuated by the curvy black outline of a tree, rising from below.

Taken any great travel shots of your own recently? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of them as our Photo of the Day.

Joby Gorillatorch Switchback – lantern and headlamp in a single unit

Joby has been on a real roll this year. They entered the year with their existing lineup of popular bendy-tripods, and added flashlights, a video tripod (review coming soon) and a brilliant roadside emergency light.

Today, they announced their first LED flashlight specifically designed for the outdoor enthusiast – the Joby Switchback.

In a single product, the Switchback can transform from a lantern into a headlamp. The light unit is powered by five separate LED’s, including a massive 130-lumen CREE XP-G spotlight. The light offers six different brightness settings and is claimed to be “easy on the eyes.” The CREE LED bulb can shine up to 60 feet away, and red LED lights help in nighttime use.

What this means, is that you can use the super bright lantern to illuminate your tent or cabin, then switch over to a headlamp when you go hiking. And of course, the lantern comes with the award wining Joby flexible stand, which means you can either hang it from your tent, or find a tree branch to mount it to.

The battery pack holds two AA batteries, and is rated for up to 72 hours of use. Best of all – when you are not using the lantern, you can still use the flexible stand for your camera, just like any other Joby tripod.

The new Switchback launched today, and will be available from REI, L.L. Bean, Mountain Sports and Amazon.com. Priced at just $59.95, you get a very reasonable amount of light for your money – especially with so many features.

To learn more about the new Joby Switchback, and to find (online) retailers, head on over to the product page at Joby.com.