Review: Coghlan’s LED Micro Lantern

Back in the day, about 20 years ago when I was in Boy Scouts, options for a lightweight lantern were rare;  you either took along a big fluorescent lantern or a propane lantern. Lanterns are better than flashlights because they provide a circle of light around your entire work area instead of just one spot. When car camping, this isn’t a huge issue, but if you’re a backpack-style camper, you’ve probably had to live with a flashlight only…not any more.

Coghlan\'s LED Micro Lantern

Coghlan’s, founded in 1959 has been making camping products for as long as I can remember, and I have always bought their products. When they offered to send me this Micro Lantern, I couldn’t pass the offer up.

About the size of a key chain, the LED Micro Lantern is a very small item that you can throw into your pack without even feeling it – it’s that small.  It’s small size is complimented by its ability to throw light.  When you’re out backpacking, this lantern throws more than enough light to illuminate your tent or your workspace when prepping s’more at the campfire.  This is something very handy to have even when you are car camping, as you can never have too many lights. When you’re with the Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts, someone invariably always forgets their flashlight; at $7.99, this is a cheap enough item to give as a prize at your den meeting or roundtable.

The lantern is powered by two button cell lithium batteries, and the LED is a Nichia 5mm.  This combination will stay lit for 25 hours in solid mode and 50 hours in the emergency flashing mode.  So if you’re just going on a week camping trip, you should be able to last the whole trip without carrying an extra set of button batteries.  For weekend trips, you should be able to get through an entire summer trips and then some.

The lantern has a clip on the top so you can attach it to a backpack’s D ring or on an inside tent loop – which makes it very convenient for playing cards at night or just read before bedding down for the night.

This also would be a good item to have in your suitcase when you go on business trips, as it would be an excellent emergency light in the event of a hotel room power outage.  It’s light enough you won’t feel any extra weight when dragging your stuff through a crowded airport.

Coghlan\'s LED Micro Lantern in the Leaves

Coghlan’s LED Micro Lantern is available for as low as $5.00 at Walmart and other stores, as well as online.

What I like: It’s very small and very pocketable plus lights up your entire tent.  The clip allows you to hang it from a loop in your tent.

What needs improvement: Nothing.  It does what it does very well and for a long time.  I don’t think it can get any better then that!

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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.