3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Nice backup for a blackout,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Athena Brands Soladyne 7-Inch Mini Solar Lantern (Sports)
I think this is a perfect lantern for a home emergency kit and would also work well for backpacking. Having a light that does not require batteries or flame and that can be charged with just a minute of winding means you never have to worry about being without light because you are out of batteries or matches. The lantern seems to be of decent construction, though it is just plastic so it probably would not endure a lot of rough handling. There is a high and low setting for the light so you can stretch the charge out for awhile longer if you decide you don't need the full brightness.
The charging handle is easy to turn and I don't think most people would have any problem winding this for a few minutes. I did find if I put much horizontal pressure on the handle(in toward the lantern)it would hit the globe. This is because the handle is plastic and so is not absolutely rigid. This isn't a big deal as long as you just pay attention as you wind, but I would guess over time it might scratch up the globe if you are not careful.
It should be noted that in order to charge this using AC power or if you want to use this to charge a cell phone you will have to buy additional accessories. I tested the AC power charging using a universal adapter I already had and it worked fine. I have not tested the cell phone charging feature, but I have read in several places that while most phones will charge with this, many iPhone users cannot get it to work. So if you have an iPhone and the cell charge feature is a make or break feature for you then you might want to reconsider.
**UPDATE 6/16/2012** - After putting this thing away in my home emergency kit for a few months I took it out and it turned on right away so it apparently will hold a charge.