I learned about the Black Diamond Apollo Lantern recently by a friend who lives off the grid. He has to turn on a generator to obtain electricity, and stashes one of these lanterns next to his bed in case he has to get up at night.
When I stayed in his guest room two weeks ago, he lent me his lantern. The next morning I made a run to REI to pick up one for myself. I carry mine in my car in case of emergencies, and have used it on a recent car camping adventure in the National Stanislaus Forest. Though I’m still a loyal headlight user, this lantern is such a useful addition to my outdoor gear.
The first thing I noticed about this lantern was that it packs a punch for it’s size. With the metal legs extended, it’s only about nine inches tall, but wow, does it light up a room. The lantern has bright LED lights that easily illuminate the surrounding area, up to 30 meters. During my stay at my friends house, when I got up in the middle of the night, the steady glow of the lantern led me straight to the bathroom door.
The folks at Black Diamond keep things real simple, giving us only one button to push to operate the lantern. The button acts as a dimmer switch as well, which comes in handy quite often. The low setting works best for me when I read at night. Maybe for you, you want to set the mood at the picnic table in the camping ground for dinner. A little mock candlelit dinner if you will. Similarly, the hook on top of the lantern is perfect for putting on a tree, or as I like to use it, hanging from the inside of my tent.
Though I haven’t put it through the roughness that much of my equipment endures, I’ve tossed it around enough to consider it very durable. I’m impressed with the strength of the metal legs, as I initially thought they’d be easy to break. The lantern runs on AA batteries, boasting a 60 hour burn time. Since this is a new purchase for me, I’ll have to let you know how the batteries fare once I hit the 60 hour mark. As of now, so far so good!
Whether you’re planning on car camping any time in the near future, or are looking to update your emergency car kit, the lantern is an excellent purchase, well worth the money. Don’t be left in the dark! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun…)
Black Diamond Apollo Lantern
Amazon address: Black Diamond Apollo Lantern
Photo courtesy of Black Diamond.