Customer Review

723 of 742 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall Great, With a Few Quibbles, March 7, 2009
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This review is from: Rayovac SE3DLNACOM Sportsman 240 Lumen 3D LED Lantern, Green (Tools & Home Improvement)
Basically in agreement with the positive reviews, with a few quibbles.

(1) Changing the batteries is a clumsy operation. The base twists off to load the batteries. Putting back the base however requires a tricky alignment of the contacts. The base has two sections. The section with the contacts rotate freely about the section that you grip. Maybe I'm just clumsy, took me six tries. [[Update 5/18/2012. See notes below for hints on battery installation.]]

(2) Overall rugged materials and construction, with the exception of the tent hook. Cheap plastic, probably would break if dropped. Folds flat into the base. But held in place only by friction fit. If you use it enough, it will probably wear and no longer stay folded in place. If you don't fold and unfold the hook often, not a problem.

(3) Even when the power is off, one LED flashes every couple of seconds (like a smoke detector). This is a "finder beacon" to allow you to locate the lantern in a dark tent or room. I keep it around for emergencies. I don't know whether this causes any significant drain on the battery. When I have time, I'll check with the manufacturer. [[Update 4/30/2012. Battery drainage by the finder LED is negligible. See notes below. New reviewers continue to believe that battery drainage is a problem. It is definitely not.]]

(4) Still, it's one of the few units that run on a few (3) D-Cells. Many run on AA cells or then jump to 8-D-Cells. AA cells don't last as long, of course, but 8 D-Cells by themselves weigh a ton. Good unit for the price. Another example of Amazon's quirky pricing,though. Seems to vary from $26 - $30 on a daily basis. Still, Amazon's shipping and customer service is amazing.

Note added 9/13/09: There are differing opinions about ease of battery installation. As I originally reported, the problem is that the bottom cap consists of two pieces that are joined by a pivot. The inside piece, with the notches that lines up with the tabs in the battery compartment, is free to swivel about the outer piece that you actually grip. So you first line up the notches with the tabs, but when you try to seat the cap, the inside piece can swing out of alignment. I bought two units. One is easy to assemble because the pivot is tight, and the inside piece doesn't swing too freely. The other is a pain because the pivot is loose, and the inside piece swings easily. I think that's why some people say it's frustrating and others have no problem...depends on how tight the pivot in their unit is. This is difficult to explain without a diagram. Still, I think the configuration is poorly engineered. However, this is an operation you don't need to do often, unless you use it constantly.

Note added 4/27/10: I've had a unit with the same set of batteries for a year now (infrequent use), so current drain by the beacon LED is minimal. No need to disable it or remove the batteries. But I do agree with others that the beacon LED is useless because its emission field is so narrow that you can't see it unless you're staring at it straight on.

Note added 11/6/2011: Here's a comment I posted in response to another review concerning the battery installation issue. I thought others might find it helpful, so I'm reposting it here.

Look at the first two photos posted by SirMontego. The first shot shows a close-up of aligning the groove on the top contact plate (which is mounted on the cover and is free to pivot) with the tongue on the bottom contact plate (which is fixed to the body of the lantern). The second shot shows a wider angle view of the contact assembly. The problem comes about at the next step (not shown). You now need to swing the cover over the body of the lantern in order to seat it. In so doing, the tongue can slip out of the groove since the top contact plate is free to pivot about the cover. If the pivot is snug, then the tongue tends to stay in the groove, and seating the cover is easy. If the pivot is loose, then the tongue can easily slip out of the groove. I have three of these units. One pivot is snug, one is slightly loose, and one is very loose. Customers who get units with loose pivots cuss about the idiotic contact assembly; customers who get units with snug pivots can't understand why others are such klutzes. I have seen many designs of battery installations in flashlights. Streamlight gets it right consistently. The most idiotic is on the Eveready Hardcase Pro 4-D lantern. The one on this lantern is on the clumsy side, but would be fine if the pivots were consistently snug.

Note added 11/6/2011: I notice that recent reviews are still concerned about current drain from the beacon light. Here's another data point. I've had one lantern now for ~2-1/2 yrs, still with its original set of batteries. Until this past week it was used only intermittently. I was caught up in the pre-Halloween snowstorm and had no power for 4 days. I ran this lantern on low for ~20 hrs total (not continuous). I still have not had to change out the batteries.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 7, 2010 10:37:10 PM PDT
David M. Ray says:
A note about the finder light that flashes periodically... To eliminate this if it is a problem for you, just turn the bottom like you are going to replace the batteries and break the contact. Replace the cover and do not turn on the light and the small finder indicator will not operate..... I think that this will be a very useful light.............

Posted on Dec 24, 2010 7:34:52 AM PST
J&K says:
I would not worry at all about the LED finder light. The draw is extremely minimal and will not affect the life of the batteries in the light in any meaningful way. I live in Houston and have several lights with this type of finder beacon. Some of them since 2008 and the batteries are still showing close to a full charge.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2011 1:58:46 PM PDT
slimpc says:
consider removal of batteries between uses. this is added work, especially when you have to put them back. this will save some life on the batteries but moreover prevent the risk of battery leakage while in storage damaging the unit. also, if the unit has been used alot, you may want to put in fresh batteries if there is a blackout, or before a camping trip.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011 6:28:23 AM PST
Mark P. says:
Thanks to this and other reviews I was able to figure out how to insert the batteries. Getting into the sealed packaging, the kind that will give you a nasty cut if you're not careful, had one other consequence: a mangling of the instructions within. Not that it mattered because there was absolutely no instructions on how to remove the bottom plate so you could insert the batteries. Thanks to these reviews I realized I needed to rotate the bottom plate which allowed access to the battery chamber where there are minimal battery guides. Before that I almost twisted off the hook on the bottom thinking that was a latch for the battery chamber. But aside from that I would agree with other reviewers as to the excellence of this lantern.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2012 5:02:51 PM PDT
Slimpc is correct. LED lights have brought on one very important flaw. The LED lights draw so little power, so the batteries in them will leak and destroy the light before it ever goes dead.
I'm not guessing this will happen, I am sure it will. I have had it happen on more than one LED light. I no longer buy cheap batteries, and I no longer leave them in anything that does not get daily use.
I have a few Cree LED flashlights that use two D cells. They put out a super bright beam of light that can blind a person. They last for many days of nearly continuous use on two D cells.

Posted on Sep 18, 2012 2:46:33 PM PDT
Dusty says:
Thanks for the great pictures of the battery compartment. I saw a great comparison on between this, the Energizer Weather Ready LED, and the Sylvania 4 AA Mini LED Lantern, the last two I own. I think I need this also, the comparison was well done.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 8:30:37 AM PDT
rkay48 says:
I used to have problems with batteries left in lights for many years also. Rather than removing the batteries, however, I simply insert a piece of paper to break the contact (e.g., between the batteries and the light, usually). How one does this varies with the light, but this has worked for many years for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 1, 2012 8:46:48 AM PDT
. As far as leaking batteries go, it is usually a product of poor quality, than it is about drawing them down until they are depleted.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 2:24:34 PM PST
Ol' Bob says:
Re: difficult to align when replacing batteries - I use rechargeable batteries in ours and use the lantern every day during the winter. Changing the batteries in this lantern is NOT DIFFICULT, and it is by far the best battery-powered lantern I've encountered (as compared to two different Coleman battery-powered fluorescent models and a Coleman LED lantern). Brighter, batteries last longer, lighter to carry - you name it, this is The One. We've had one of these for the past year and a half, with daily use. Great lantern. I'm on here to order three more because I'm tired of messing around with the other types of battery lanterns we've got.

Posted on Dec 20, 2013 4:22:12 AM PST
JHP says:
...just curious; what happened to " [[Update 5/18/2012. See notes below for hints on battery installation.]]"???
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