Gear Review #11 ~ SOLIGHT Solar Helix Origami Solar Lantern
I received this as a gift, and I took it along on a few trips without breaking it out - I had LED lanterns I used, and I was a bit in a rut with my comfort zone. Then, I left one LED lantern home, and the one I had with me was running low. So I popped this open and put it in patches of sun. MAN I'm glad I did! Love at first light.
Pictured: Glow encounters - the first time I clicked it on!
It was easy to use ~ I unwrapped it and put it in a sunny patch with the receptor cells panel up. I was in camp a fair amount that day, and moved it as the sun moved so it was in direct sunlight for ~4-6 hours. Then I went hiking, and when I came back, it was in shade, and the sun was behind the trees, but there was plenty of daylight to make supper, etc.
Pictured: In the package
Pictured: Out of the pack, and ready for its patch of sun
I'm not *terribly* good at reading instructions, so I was sort of fumbling with it as the shadows deepened and night took over. :) My campfire time done, I was going to head into the tent and do my evening ablutions and read. I often do that with a headlamp, or an LED lantern.
Pictured: Popped up, but upside down.
The "origami" aspect is great - it pulls up and pops up, like those collapsable backpacking cups. It took me a minute, and the logo on the side being upside down :) to realize that the solar panel goes on the bottom for lighted use. I discovered there's an easy on/off button on the top of the solar panel, but that it is then on the bottom then for the most light from top as well as sides in tabletop use. I pressed it, turned it over; a great glow resulted. It really was quite light, certainly enough to cook, do dishes, eat, etc.
I took it into the tent with me, and the illumination was great - I loved the diffused light, as opposed to a headlamp or flashlight or even LED lantern's more concentrated beam. And much more comfy than a headlamp for reading! It's very easy to read a book, as is my custom in my tent at night. The handle at the top where the solar panel is makes it great for hanging from the top of the tent loop inside. When hung like this, the solar panel is up, and the lamp fully illuminates below.
I recommend getting this light - I love it, it's now my go-to. $26 at time of this writing, on the SOLIGHT website.