Let Nite Ize illuminate your world with the Radiant 100 Mini Lantern.
As a Cub Scout leader, we encourage our scouts to have a minimum of six items with them at all times: first-aid Kit, water bottle, trail food, sun protection, whistle and, a flashlight. Like any good little preppers, our gear will improve with time and with increased budget allowances. When we talk about camping gear, we also encourage our scouts to pack thriftily (cost and weight). Since we have to carry in our own gear, we try to pack items that either serve multiple purposes, have multiple locations of use or are lightweight. When it comes to light sources, you can never have enough at your disposal. Flashlights are like toilet paper, as you never want to run out.
Returning to the Nashville Airport from CES 2018, in Las Vegas Nevada, we were not ready for the temperature shock. While away, our area was blanketed with snow and ice from a winter storm. Normally, we do not lose power during storms, but occasionally we will temporarily lose power. Having an entire electric home, save a single fireplace in the living room, power outages are not ideal in cool or hot weather. Luckily, I was given a Radiant 100 Mini-Lantern from Nite Ize to review. To test the device, my family decided to conserve power. We turned off all house lights for an entire night and used portable lights.
The Radiant 100 Mini-Lantern was packaged in an attractive shell, brilliantly displayed behind a clear blister pack. This method of packaging perfectly demonstrated the device and allowed me to directly visualize the new toy. The packaging promised three light modes, a white 100 max lumen lantern, 38-lumen low mode and a 6-lumen red LED mode. Using three AAA batteries (not included), Night-Ize has provided a lantern that will last you roughly 8.5 hours on high, 21 hours on low and 34 hours on red. The lantern shell should provide weather resistance, and the packaging stated that it should survive a three-foot drop. The rear of the packaging further detailed the functions of the lantern: multi-mode switch on the front, a soft silicone dome and a folding carabiner.
My biggest complaint/issue with the product was the clear blister pack. I would have preferred a corrugated plastic lining, to decrease the risk of cutting a finger. To remove the lantern from the plastic shell, I had to use a razor knife to cut the plastic along the cardboard layer. I luckily did not damage the device or my hands. Once out of the packaging, I was incredibly pleased with the device. The lantern weighed 3.8 ounces and produced more than adequate light. On high, it provided light to all corners of my living room, provided a good reading light and was incredibly portable. On low, I was able to provide light to all corners of my bedroom, to fully illuminate an average sized bathroom and it still provided good lighting for reading. My eight-year-old son has now commandeered the device, using it for a personal reading light.
The light dome was soft and squishy and the surrounding grey plastic was firm. The device measured 2.5 inches in diameter and was 2.5 inches tall. For a portable light, the weight to lumen ratio was ideal. The light grey base, with the included carabiner, may have been the most important/useful feature of the mini-lantern. Not only did the carabiner retract, for convenient storage, it could slide within the base. This allowed for additional customized placement options. You can pack the light in a bag or clip it to the outside. I found that by hanging the lantern, more of the light was directed outward and downward. This mode proved superior to resting the light on the ground.
I was pleased that Night-Ize chose to use AAA batteries to power this lantern. The batteries are common/ubiquitous and are light-weight. I typically carry extra AA and AAA batteries in my camping gear for my flashlights. I have purchased a few CR123 battery powered lights, but the batteries tended to be more expensive and harder to find. I thus have stuck with AA/AAA style lights. To test the duration of the light, I turned the light on high overnight. Starting at 10 pm, the light was still going strong at 6 am. Around 7 am, the light was very dim and nowhere near the same intensity. It finally stopped just at 8:30. I felt that eight hours on high level was quite reasonable. I did not test the claim of 21 hours for low nor the 34 hours for red light. The red light is perfect for a safety light and night light. Additionally, you can use this at night to decrease disruption of night vision and red light does not break down melatonin (sleep hormone).
In summary, I was very pleased with this little lantern, rating it at 5/5 stars. The LED system is weather resistant, so long as the base is intact. The light is very portable, lightweight and pocket-sized. If you are looking for a portable mini-lantern for camping, hiking, backpacking, or for emergency power loss situations, look no further than Night-Ize. I do wish that the device could utilize rechargeable batteries, but this is not a deal breaker. Perhaps I will test the larger brothers, the Radiant 200, 300, 400 and possibly the rechargeable Radiant 300 lantern. I will be buying at least two more of these mini-lanterns, one for my own Cubscout backpack and one for my six-year-old son’s backpack. All of the lights are illustrated on the Nite Ize website.
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