99 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2011
I'm in Haiti, I've been here for 3 months and I've got another 2 months to go. I use the light every night as I'm sleeping in a tent while doing relief work.
The light works great - I like the switchable lantern-to-flashlight and I've discovered that if I turn the light part of the way I can direct the lantern light in one direction for reading but still keep the light out of my eyes. The amount of light is great - very bright and if you use a plastic grocery bag as a shroud it's great to light the tent for general soft lighting.
The problem with the unit is that the threads on the bottom are too fine/dainty. With the heavy use comes heavy traffic into the battery compartment. The threads are failing. Each time I r/r the batteries I wonder if I will get the bottom screwed back on of it this will be the time it fails completely leaving me with a useless and expensive paperweight in a place where paperweights are completely useless.
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2010
It's extremely bright for a compact lantern, and when flipping-over the (cree?) emitter to turn it into a flashlight, you get the widest (as well as extremely bright) 'flood area' I've ever seen in a 'flashlight'. The only drawback (and it's minor), is that it's a little 'wide' to be held comfortably as a flashlight for any length of time. That's due to the diameter needed to house 4 AA batteries. But for shorter durations, its fine. Also, unlike its earlier version that did not allow you to 'flip' the emitter (you unscrewed the top to make it into a flashlight), it's light has a few dark spots (when used as a lanten), because it has a support structure that marginally interferes with the light's uniformity in the lantern mode. But for this price (they were selling for twice as much when they first came out), this is a super, multi-functional device. [Follow-up: I wanted to check the drain on the batteries by the flashing LED. And after 4 months, using a digital voltmeter that applied a load, the batteries...never having been used to light the lantern...only the LED...dropped from 1.57 volts to 1.51 volts during that 4 month test. So, you can decide if it's a problem keeping batteries in the unit...based on the above drop in voltage during the 4 month storage test. BTW I did keep an unused comparison battery as a 'control', which by itself, dropped from 1.57 to 1.56 over the same period.]
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2011
First, this lantern also has a smaller brother (http://www.amazon.com/Small-Package-Bright-Camping-Lantern/dp/B002C5BXGQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1300380204&sr=8-1) that is also great, albeit with a lower lumens rating (110). I have both, and think they're both awesome.
This one has a whiter, and much brighter light than the 110 lumens model. The 110 model is also very bright, but with a light more like an incandescent bulb. This one takes 4AA batteries, the 110 takes 3AA. I use the Eneloop brand NiMH batteries and they last for months of regular use on a single charge. I've never tried standard alkaline batts, so I can't comment on their life.
I love how both these lanterns have a loop on the top that allow suspension in tents, cars, etc. The 185 also has a rotating lens that allows it to be used as a nice directional flashlight. Both these models have metal bodies, and seem very well built. They also have a little green LED light that flashes every 5 seconds - perfect for finding the unit in the middle of the night.
These lights are both money very well spent. I think I can finally stop looking for the perfect camp lights.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2012
This is a great light. Very bright and versatile but there is one flaw and one Lie. The FLAW is the bottom battery compartment cover. It is very fussy to get starter correctly. Be very careful to get it started correctly or you will cross thread it. Mine even when started correctly, will go about two turns then it comes to a catch that have to force it past then it closes all the way. The LIE is the 25 hour battery life. The REAL BATTERY LIFE 5 to 7 hours. I have done many tests using Daracells, EverReadys, and 2700 mah Powerex batteries. The light begins to dim significantly after 5 hours with the Duracells and EverReadys and after 7 hours with the Powerex batteries. I ask others to do some tests and post the results here. If you are going into the back country you will need a new set of batteries for every 5 to 7 Hrs of use.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2011
I bought both the Cree 185 and Coleman 3AA High-Tech LED lanterns.With fresh Duracell AA's installed I compared the two.Both have an even light pattern but the Cree is way brighter and with the swiveling light much more useful for different tasks.The Coleman has more glare.Both are built solid and have multiple light level settings that work well.There are many clones of the Cree 185-are they the same? better/worse? I don't know.I do know I would buy the Cree 185 again in a heart beat.Neither of these handy little lights will replace a full size lantern,but the Cree comes close.The price of these lanterns change fairly often so shop carefully.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2013
I had to review this little lantern because of how really excellent I first thought it was.
I had bought my first one ( I bought a couple more, sadly enough )
and that first lantern seemed like a really good product. I gave it a rave review, which I have now decided to delete completely.
Here are some of the reasons why. At first opening up the plastic packaging it feels very well built. I had a little trouble closing it up after putting in 4 very highly rated Maha 2400mAh rechargeable batteries. I see a lot of reviewers mention that the bottom is very difficult to screw on without cross threading it. Ha!
It is rather easy to learn how to screw that bottom on perfectly each time. This lantern burns through any and all of the batteries i have tried, in under 12 hours and that is on its on its lowest setting! Now you all know why I got so good at doing that threading perfectly each time. Through a major amount of practice!
Warning!! Do not buy this lantern! It Will Not Burn Anything But Every Battery You Own!! THEY ARE LYING ABOUT ITS BURN RATE!!!
I have a varied small collection of smaller sized lanterns for when I am camping. So I am pretty savvy when it comes to rechargeable high capacity batteries, refresh and recharge cycles, etc. and as a test I have used the highest rated capacity batteries available. I failed. this Lantern...It burned out my 2700mah PowerEx batteries in 12 hours on low. I bought two more of these before I had realized that there is nothing that works any better, so the three of them are all burning through any batteries I have tried. Duracells, Procells, PowerExs Mahas EneloopXXs.
If you buy a Coleman 3AA High-Tech LED Mini Lantern that one lasts an incredible 25 to 35 hours on low on three of these high end batteries that the Cree 185 burns out in 10 maybe 12 hours.
Another good lantern is the Rayovac SP1W3AALN-BA Sportsman 65-Lumens LED Mini Lantern With Batteries. It will last about 2-12 hour nights on low.
But buyers beware this Cree!! How are you going to recharge your batteries when you are in the woods?
But to be fair, after all, it does give off an amazing amount of light. Best light I have seen probably. You cannot look straight at it when it's on because it is so brilliant. And that's on low. It is a spectacular light. But it cannot be called a lantern. It is not usable as a Lantern.
But If you need to have a very brilliant light around when you are out camping that you will use just for an hour here or there, for when you are cooking, or looking for more firewood in the dark, ( I have been there and back. :-) ) then if you have the room for this then throw one in to your pack. But if you take it hiking with you and you think you have a lantern, and you are going to be out for a five day trip or more, you better also throw in your pack hmmm.... About a minimum of 24 to 48 high capacity AA batteries.
My thoughts on this product is that they over designed the light and it just is not useable with AA batteries. Not four. It is just too powerful for their energy design. So stay away from this one and check out the ones I liked the most.
I also bought the warm light Cree, CREE 40426 110 Lumens Bright Light CREE XLamp Warm White Camping LED Lantern
and this one also burns out my batteries quickly. But at least it goes for 16 hours on low and takes only 3 AA's. Lol!!
Anyway, all those other reviews that say it runs for ever or for a very long time, I don't agree with.... I mean I have tried 3 of them. So As another reviewer pointed out, on high you get only 5-7 hours of light! And he's RIGHT.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2012
I bought this light, along with the Coleman high tech 4D light, and the Rayovac Sportsman LED light that takes 3 D cells.
This light seems to be the brightest, but that is probably due to the last of any "frosting" on the "glass"(plastic). This will make the light fairly harsh in your direct line of sight, it is best to put it lower or higher than that level you'll be at(think of it like the sun, helpful, but don't stare at it!). It says camping lantern on it, and I can't help but think it would be great hanging from the inside top of the tent.
Using 4 AA batteries, it makes it very light and compact for the amount of light it gives off, and would probably be great for a short trip where you can take some extra batteries with you, as it would still be lighter than the 3 or 4 D with one set of batteries.
As long as you except its fault and can adjust(keep it out of the line of sight), this is a very nice, very bright light.
Another reviewer hates the battery compartment lid. It is more complicated than it needs to be, but if you match the arrows on the lid and case it isn't hard, in my opinion.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2012
I was expecting this to be the size of a regular old camping lantern, but I should have read the dimensions, which clearly state it is only 6.5 inches by 2.5 inches.
I like that it allows me to rotate the bulb housing with a swivel knob, which changes the light from flashlight to focused lantern to wide lantern.
I would like it much more if it had a dimmer function. The super-bright white light is too much for my intended purpose, which was to keep it right next to me outside at night to read books.
I can imagine this item would work better when used camping, where the bright light would illuminate a big tent, and the tiny size would be great for packing and carrying.
To me, this item's price is a bit high, especially considering the additional cost of future batteries (it did come with four Duracells).
Overall, this will work for me, but I would prefer a larger lantern that runs on solar, with regular batteries for backup, that has a more warm yellow light and a dimmer.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2012
I got this as a brighter than normal night light for my 3 year old daughter who needs it because she is too short to reach the bathroom light at night.
I am using 4 rechargeable batteries (Tenergy) and using the "low" setting every night. I turn it on and leave it on the sink in the bathroom and it is more than enough light to get the job done.
The battery cover is a bit tricky. You have to line up two "v" shaped notches, one on the lid and the other on the lantern. It took some getting used to, but I got it eventually. Putting batteries in this thing would be a bit of a problem in an emergency, but for things like camp fires or super bright night lights, it is good stuff. LED is very bright. I cant say I am too excited about the flashlight mode, in which you turn the LED emitter around so it shines out the top of the lantern. As a flashlight, it is unimpressive at best.
As a lantern, this thing puts out quite a light for such a small package.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A small, smaller than you probably expect, lantern that doubles as a flashlight. Battery life seems excellent. I have switched to using my own rechargeable AA's after the included set died. The function to switch from a lantern to flashlight is definitely useful as it allows you to carry one device instead of two.
If I had to give a complaint, it would be the color of the light. It's bright white and is definitely on the harsh side. No different than other high-powered LED lights on the market though, whether it be a stronger flashlight or high powered bike light.
I don't regret the purchase though, and would pick up another one if this one was lost. Despite the comments criticizing price, I feel that it a good value at the current Amazon selling price. Yes, there are cheaper options, but they are either larger, less functional, or put out less light.