Apologies to William Manchester for appropriating his title but, in this case, it applies, and it is my favorite of his works.
While we normally stick to guns and related items, when this trio of camping lights showed up from Industrial Revolution we just had to test them out. Lightweight, sturdier than they appear, we put them through hard times. And all the pics included here were taken after those hard times so you can see they stood up well.
Let’s work our way from big to small.
The UCO Sitka+ Lift Lantern
This one out of the box felt a little delicate. Now, I want to explain that. It is solid, durable plastic, with a weighted base, and well constructed. We just wondered how it would do bouncing around in the back bed of our Hummer, or a pickup, with other stuffed piled on and going off-road fast. It took the beatings without a mark and everything continued to work, much better than expected.
Before bouncing it around we gave it a single full charge from the USB Port on my laptop and let it run. The extendable dome light lasted 19 hours in our test and the “mood light”, called the Northern Lights Mode in honor of the Aurores Boreales, which lights the base, and not the extendable dome light, surpassed 136 continuous hours of operation, impressive.
This model’s Northern Lights Mode alternates between blue, green and red and was actually great at marking a campsite without really broadcasting it’s location. Just enough of a glow to make it visible to someone who knew to look for it and, if you have kids, a great night light for the encampment.
This one can also do so much more. It can charge your small electronic devices – GPS, location transponders, cell phones, etc. with a universal jack – UCB and phone jack. So this one acts as an impressive power cell, as well as a multi-function lantern. Easy to switch on and off.
The UCO Rhody+ Hang-Out Lantern
Meant to be hung upside down with the orange looped cord, and built of the same materials is a perfect tent light. Durable, long lasting – 29 hours on a single charge, again, from my laptop.
In the picture above it appears brighter than it’s larger cousin. I suspect they both use the same lamp and the smaller surface, closer to the lamp, produces this effect. Also easy to switch on and off. Great to hang inside a tent.
UCO Original Candle Lantern
This one is a candle, your unscrew the bottom, light it, return it to the holder and pull up the cage. This also hangs and provides good light. Beware though that after only a moment in the closed position, as shown in the picture above, this one can cook a quails egg, still in the shell, or make you sorry you decided to close it barehanded from it’s open position. Ouch. I am impressed them all and think they should be something you consider when upgrading your SHTF lights.
Back to a really cool gun in the next post.