While camping is supposed to be for getting away from it all, we may as well admit that a lot of us still take our devices with us, and depending where we are may find ourselves without a power source. Our Etekcity LED Lantern Power Bank review takes a look at an LED camping lantern that doubles as a power bank for your electronics.
The Etekcity LED Lantern Power Bank has the follow specifications and features:
- Omnidirectional illumination
- Compact and lightweight collapsible design
- Foldaway handles for easy storage and suspension
- Adjustable height for brightness control
- Power bank capability
- Rechargeable operation via microUSB
- Optional DC 5V operation
- Red light and flashing mode for emergency use
- Battery status light
- Brightness modes: High, Low, Red Light, Flashing Red
- Light: 15 white LED bulbs, 6 red LED bulbs
- Battery: 2x 18650 2200mAh rechargeable batteries or 3x AA
- Battery capacity: 4400mah
- Output: 5V/1A
- Brightness: 180 Lumen
- Waterproof Grade: IPX5
- 4.57″ X 3.8″ (When fully collapsed and handles placed on either sides)
- 7.09″ X 3.8″ (Fully stretched and handles placed on either sides)
- 9.65″ X 3.8″ (Fully stretched and handles in upright position)
What’s in the Box
- 1x Lantern Power Bank
- 1x micro-USB Charging Cable
- 1x User Manual
- 2x 18650 Rechargeable Batteries
- 1x Hanging Hook
The Etekcity LED Lantern Power Bank is about as tall as a can of soda, and a bit wider. The top and bottom are black, with a middle silver section which features the Etekcity logo in white on the front, which doesn’t stand out overly too much. Below the logo is a dimpled blue button for changing between the four different lighting modes which include high, low, red, and flashing red. On the back side opposite the blue button is a grey cover which houses the Micro-USB and USB-A ports, the first for recharging the LED lantern, the second for charging your smartphone (or other device) from the lantern.
A thin collapsible metal handle is on each side of the lantern, and when rotated up provide a decent handle for carrying or hanging. The handles are also used for pulling up the top of the lantern, which opens the LED portion of the lantern and turns it on. As soon as the top portion is pulled away for the middle section, the lantern turns on and the light can be adjusted by pulling the top up to a maximum of 2″, or setting it at any height in between.
The bottom of the lantern unscrews to expose the two 2200mAh rechargeable batteries, which can be replaced. The top of the lantern also unscrews and allows you to add three AA batteries for even more battery power. When you have AA batteries in the unit, the lantern will run off of those and then switch to the power bank when the AA batteries die. This is actually pretty handy if you’re using it to charge your devices as your smartphone will charge from the power bank while the lantern will run off the AA batteries. A pretty big thing to note however is that while you are recharging the rechargeable batteries, the user manual warns that you should remove the AA batteries first. There is, however, no such warning listed near the USB ports, nor under the lid where you place the AA batteries. In addition, it’d be nice if there was a switch that allowed you to choose between using the AA battery or rechargeable battery source to power the lantern.
The bottom of the lantern also has two magnetic and two soft feet, allowing you to attach the lantern to something magnetic instead of hanging it. The magnets could be a bit stronger as we had various success and failures attaching it to metal objects. While it stuck to the underhood of my truck fine without falling off, when I stuck it to the side of my fridge, it started to immediately slide down towards the bottom of the fridge.
The LED lantern is also IPX5 water resistant, so you don’t have to worry if you spill something on it, or if it gets splashed with a bit of water or other liquid.
Ease of Use
As mentioned above, turning on the lantern is very easy — simply pull up on the metal handles and open to the desired height for the amount of light you require. To change the mode, press the blue button on the front to cycle through the four different lighting modes. Unfortunately it doesn’t remember what the last lighting mode you used was and resets to high each time you close and re-0pen it.
Charging your smartphone or recharging the lantern is easy as well. Simply open the flap which covers the USB ports to protect them from water or moisture, and plug in your smartphone or plug the lantern into a wall charger. As mentioned in the design section, the user manual makes it very clear that you must remove the AA batteries from the lantern before recharging the rechargeable power bank.
Considering this LED lantern has four different lighting modes — high, low, red, and flashing red — your battery life on the rechargeable battery pack will vary. On full brightness, we got about 4 1/2 hours of light on a single charge before the lantern died, while on low brightness we were able to get just under 12 hours. Low brightness is still pretty bright though, so depending on how long your camping trip is, it should last for most camping trips on a single charge.
The pair of 2200mAh rechargeable batteries add up to 4400mAh of stored power, so you can just about charge most smartphones twice on a single charge.
With a list price of $75.00, the Etekcity LED Lantern Power Bank is quite expensive, however — as is often the case on Amazon — you can pick one up for $23.99USD or a pair for $43.99USD. At that price, this LED Lantern is a fairly reasonably priced light with the added bonus of being able to recharge your smartphone in a pinch.
If you’re looking for a camping lantern or LED light for around the house in case of emergencies or for use in the garage that has the ability to charge your smartphone, you should consider the Etekcity LED Lantern Power Bank.