Black Diamond Equipment Apollo Lantern
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- Double Power LED with 80 lumens (max setting) is enclosed in a frosted globe to provide bright, ambient light
- Dual reflector system captures and maximizes light output
- Power meter displays charge status or battery level for rechargeable NRG Battery Kit or 4 AA alkalines
- Unique dimming switch provides adjustable brightness
- Distinctive fold-down legs increase lantern height to 24.1 centimeters and is Collapsible, double-hook hang loop
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A bright, non-glaring, soup can sized backcountry lantern. Foldable legs and hanging loop provide endless placement opportunities
A bright, non-glaring lantern that's as at home car camping as it is on an alpine basecamp, the Apollo Lantern from Black Diamond puts out 80 lumens of ambient light thanks to its DoublePower LED (3-watt), dual reflector system and frosted globe. The unique, battery-saving dimming switch provides the optimal amount of light for sorting gear or cooking meals, and the collapsible, double-hook hang loop and folding legs let you hang or set it just about anywhere.
With its 80 lumens of power on the high setting, you'll be able to illuminate up to a 10 meter area. You can also adjust it to as low as 10 lumens with the unique dimming switch--simply hold down the on/off button to activate dimmer.
Offering a maximum burn time of 60 hours (on low setting), it's powered by 4 AA batteries or the optional NRG Rechargeable Battery Kit, and a power meter displays charge status or battery level. The fold-down legs increase the lantern height to 9.5 inches, helping you maximize light dispersion.
Color: Dark Shadow
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In fact, the worst thing I think I can say about this lantern is even on the lowest setting, it was still brighter than I wanted it to be in my 4 person dome tent. This was quickly remedied by just collapsing the lantern all the way so only a little bit of light escapes, and it was just the right amount of light.
The hooks are great, you can hook this thing up to anything. The tent I used has a plastic ring to connect a lantern at the very top, but the mesh gear loft is in the way of it, so I just connected it to one of the corners of the gear loft... perfect.
As far as battery life goes, all I can say is on a 3 night backpacking trip we had it on a medium setting for about 4 hours per night, and kept the light on the lowest setting the entire night. The battery indicator still said we were above 75% when I got home.... so yeah, the battery life is great! As I said before, even the lowest setting gave out plenty of light. For those curious, I used Eneloop rechargeables, fully charged when I left.
Also, the light is very bright, but not blinding when you looked directly at the light. In my opinion, this is the perfect little lantern for backpacking. I might try the smaller lantern they have for solo trips, but this one would work great too.
One feature I really like is that it's impossible to turn on with the lantern collapsed. The button is not accessable, but you can turn it on and collapse it, if you only need a little bit of light.
Bottom line: These are flexible, compact, sturdy and bright lanterns with a long battery life. you won't need to replace these anytime soon.
It also feels very well put together.
Its so handy I'll sometimes use it as a bedside nightstand lamp when I'm staying somewhere that doesn't have one.
I had a chance to compare it to a $12 Chinese LED lamp my inlaw bought (which broke and I subsequently fixed). While they are about as bright, the Black Diamond throws a far more even, useful white light versus the other lamps splotchy bluish light. They both work well, but the Black Diamond is clearly the superior choice, and the improved performance worth the 3x higher price tag.
My only criticism - and this neither affects my rating nor will it impact most people - is that it doesn't "remember" that last brightness setting use. In other words, if you turn it on, dim it all the way down, then turn it off it will still turn back on at full brightness. For me, I'd normally file that under "nice to have" instead of "legit criticism" were it not for the fact that the smaller, cheaper Black Diamond Orbit lantern - part of the same product line and everything - DOES remember the brightness.
Why is this important? If you need to turn on the lamp late at night without waking up your tent-mate, having it switch on at Low Brightness when you set it there is a must.
A straw man might say that this lamp is designed more to sit outside on a picnic table and light up a cooksite or a card game, whereas the Orbit is much more ideal for a tent (especially with its shorter throw and handy secondary down-firing light). But I'd rather not need to carry 2 lanterns if I don't have to.
That being said, I love this lantern, and would absolutely replace it if lost, stolen, or broken.