LuminAid Packlite 16, an inflatable light that is designed to go with you anywhere, and provide plenty of light along the way.
In terms of what we typically look for in an outdoor gear product, the Packlite has it all. As its name implies, it is incredibly lightweight, tipping the scales at just 2.9 ounces. It also packs down to a small footprint, taking up very little room in your backpack, and it is powered by an integrated solar panel that allows it to produce up to 30 hours of light on a single charge.
Made from a surprisingly durable TPU material, the Packlite is essentially an inflatable bag that contains LED lights, a solar panel, and not much more. While not inflated it measures 8.5" x 12" in dimension, but can be easily folded up and stuffed in a pocket on your pack or even your pants. When fully inflated, it creates a lantern that can be easily carried around or hung from a guy line to provide illumination in your tent or around your campsite.
The light has four settings: low, high, extra bright, and flashing. On its highest brightness level it is capable of putting off 65 lumens, with a burn time of around 6 hours. On high it can achieve 10 hours or light, and on low it will reach the aforementioned 30 hours of burn time. Recharging takes just 7 hours of exposure to the sun using the built-in solar panel. A small light on the outside of the Packlite serves as a battery indicator, letting you know when it is time to make sure you power it up once again.
I'm impressed with the design and function of this light. It packs a lot of innovation into a small product, which is very affordable ($24.95), easy to carry, and very useful in the field. LuminAid says that the Packlite is capable of 10,000+ hours of light over the life of the product, and it can sit on your shelf for two years without losing its charge. That means that it should be ready to go when you are, and it makes it a good option for a lantern to keep around in case of emergency.
If you're looking for something that looks a bit more like a traditional lantern, LuminAid has you covered there too. Their Packlite 12 and Packlite Spectra models have much of the same functionality as the Packlite 16, but resemble a lantern, complete with square design and a handle to carry them around.
These make great products for camping trips, travel, or just for use in the backyard. It is tough to beat the versatility and price, and I have been pleasantly surprised with the overall design and performance. They'll even make great stocking stuffers for the outdoor enthusiasts in your life during the holiday season ahead. Pick one up for yourself while you're at it, as I think you'll find it to be as handy to have around as I do.