Fall camping can bring beautiful colors, pleasant temperatures and the disappearance of pesky mosquitoes. However, autumn can also force you to pitch your tent earlier and cook dinner at four in the afternoon so that you’re not left in the dark. Luckily, we discovered long ago that the sun is not the only giver of light. Headlamps are great, but inevitably you’ll end up blinding your partner or friend at some point during your dinner conversation. Candles are romantic but not always the safest option, especially after a dry summer. My choice to light a camp cooked meal or tent for reading is a versatile lantern. Especially since Highgear has created a more eco-friendly and compact choice perfect for backpacking or car camping.
The Highgear Smartlite is incredibly versatile with a reversible globe that allows it to be used as either a lantern or a flashlight. The one watt high power LED puts out 95 lumens of bright light, while the reflector provides advanced lighting to illuminate your dinner or a late night walk to the bathroom. When less blaze is needed just turn the Smartlite to low power for an ideal reading glow. Plus, the no-glare, frosted globe creates a gentle light perfect to enhance the romantic atmosphere. At seven ounces you might think that this lantern would be flimsy, but the Smartlite is highly water resistant and has a rugged rubber casing built for extreme weather conditions.
Possibly, what makes the Smartlite so smart is its power mechanism. The Smartlite is outfitted with a USB rechargeable battery that you can plug right into your computer to juice it up before a trip. That means no more toxic batteries to buy or throw away! One recharge can provide you with ten hours of burn time on low power and four hours on high. Still run out of juice? No problem. Pull up your sleeves and start cranking. The manual crank can provide ten minutes of power for three minutes of cranking. Not a bad trade off, and it sure beats lugging around ounces and ounces of extra batteries, not to mention the peace of mind knowing that you will always have access to light with no contribution to our nation’s growing landfills.