SUBOOS Ultimate Rechargeable Lantern & Power Bank
SUBOOS Ultimate Rechargeable LED Lantern and 5200mAh Powerbank - 4 Light Modes-Dual Power - Great for Camping Hiking, Auto Emergencies - Batteries and Hanging Clip Included
About the product

  • RECHARGEABLE AND LONG OPERATION TIME - Confidently go camping, hiking and prepared for an emergency. Once it is fully charged, you can use it at Brightest up to 7 hours, Regular, 15 hours and Red for 19 hours. So no bother to charge it every time after use.
  • 4 LIGHTING MODES - 185 lumens brighten a room or 4 people tent, Dim for a nice chat or reading at night, and Red for night vision without any disturbance, while Flashing Red offers easy visual alerting from far distances.
  • NEVER LEFT WITHOUT POWER - The 5200mAh Power Bank with USB charge cable (included) charges phones, tablets, or any other devices with a universal micro-USB connection.
  • WATER RESISTANT - IPX5 water-resistant features it is an outdoor boy; Smart collapsible design to shut it off and pack like a small coffee cup in your bag.
  • WHAT YOU GET - 1x SUBOOS Ultimate LED Camping Lantern, 2x lithium-ion batteries, 3x AA batteries, 1x SUBOOS "S" hanging clip, 1x User Manual. The product is FCC, Rohs, and CE certified.
What Our Customers Are Saying
Is this lantern great? Quite simply yes. It exceeded my expectations and runs way longer than imaginable.
Is this lantern great? Quite simply yes. It does have a few things I dislike about it(which this review will cover), but I have way more positive things to say about it than negatives. I also have discovered a neat feature that is not advertised, but in my opinion is a huge advantage to this lantern, but first here is my initial impression.**************************************************************************************************************************************************************SizeWhen I first laid eyes on the box this came in, I thought this thing is a lot smaller than I thought it would be. I really was a little disappointed at first, but then I put batteries in it and tried it out and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. I know am kinda glad of it's size. It makes it more portable and super light weight, but it still performs awesome.*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************BatteriesI was a little surprised when I opened up the packaging and found panasonic industrial AA batteries. I was expecting some no name knockoffs. The package also includes 2 lithium ion 18650 batteries. I couldn't find a name brand on the batteries, but they are advertised as 2600mah batteries. As you may know cheap li-ion batteries have a tendency to grossly overstate capacity greatly. Most 5000mah ****fire batteries being sold on eBay and amazon are really only 800-1100mah range on a good day. So I felt like I should put these to the test. I have a battery discharge capacity tester that I use to test batteries. The included batteries tested at 2351mah and 2331mah respectively. This is a good indication these are above average as far as 18650's go but they still fall a little short of the rating on the side of them, but they are close. Overall the included batteries are good and better than I expected them to be.Another discovery I encountered was the included 18650 batteries I have are slightly shorter than other 18650's I have and use for various electronics. Foxnovo 18650's do fit in the lantern, but are a chore to remove. They are almost too long to fit in this lantern, but fit well in several flashlight's that use the same size(18650) battery. I'm unsure of who to blame on this one, and like I said they do fit, but very very snugly. It work's tho and that is the ultimate goal.*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************Power source for the LanternThis lantern has the ability to run off of (3)AA batteries and/or 18650 Li-ions(2 included). Now the neat feature I was referring to at the top of this review. This lantern has room for 2 18650's, but a single will power the lantern and usb port. This is huge because maybe you are in an extended outage where you are using this lantern and used up all your batteries that were included. I have a separate flashlight that uses 1 18650. I could take the battery from that light and power the lantern with it. I discovered this feature during the first day I had this product. I contacted Suboos asking if this would harm the lantern or if it was safe to do and here is the response i got back:The single 18650 is enough to power the lantern and the USB port, and no harm to the lantern. The designer tried to make the lantern with highest power flexibility in emergencies, outage , so no worry on it.They also confirmed that runtime on the lantern would be cut roughly in half, but this is still a huge advantage, and I'm surprised they don't take advantage of this feature when marketing the lantern.I also contacted the manufacturer about the ability to select which batteries were powering the lantern at any given time. They confirmed my findings, the only way to pick which batteries are powering the lantern is to remove the batteries you don't want to use. They responded saying that perhaps on the updated version they would look into a selector switch. This is a great idea and I think this would be an awesome improvement. I know I prefer using 18650's because they last longer and are rechargeable. The AA's are disposable, so I removed them from my lantern and intend to use the li-ions exclusively unless it's an emergency and I don't have any charges but have some AA's around. It's rare to see such a flexible power source like this lantern has, and that's a huge plus.*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************Lantern operationThe lantern has an auto on/off feature that is activated by sliding the lantern apart. This is a nice feature, and once I got past looking for an on/off switch I grew to love it. This lantern has a mode switch which glows blue and is about the size of a nickel. This switch cycles through 4 modes of operation. The 4 modes provided by manufacturer with included runtimes are as follows:Super Bright: 185 lumens with lighting radius of 65ft, and Last 4.5 hrs;Soft Bright: 60 lumens, Last 9 hrs;Night Vision(Red) : 19 hrs;Red Emergency Flash: 4 Hrs.I'm in the process of doing a runtime test and will update this review with my findings and resultsI've finished the runtime test for super bright. My lantern burned an astonishing 11 and a half hours in this mode. I've also finished the runtime test for soft bright. My actual results was 19 hours. That exceeds the manufacturer's rating by more than double. Night vision lasted 30 hours. More runtime results to come.I found the modes to be varied in brightness, and I found them to suit my needs. Something else I discovered when I got the product is no matter what mode the lantern was on when you fold it up, It always reverts back to super bright as the mode that is on when you slide it open. I found this to be a nice feature, but it can be blinding when you first open it, so don't stare at it as you open it. You've been warned!!! I think you will find the brightness levels to meet your needs tho. I know I was impressed!I also contacted Suboos to find out how many LEDs are contained. The response I got back was as follows:the lantern has 15 super bright 5730SMD LEDs, and 3 red LEDs*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************Built In Power BankA built in power bank is a nice feature if your in a pinch. I tested it and had a few questions, so I sent the manufacturer a question about the source of power for this power bank. They responded:The USB get power from both 18650 and AA batteries. The AA batteries may not charge so well as 18650 lithium ion batteries, but it does work when you turn the light on. My findings are as follows. With only AA batteries powering the lantern and the 18650's removed and the lantern closed, No usb power is output by this lantern. Now if you slide the lantern open, it does output usb power on AA's alone, but my iPhone gives me a "This device may not be supported" message when trying to charge via a genuine apple lightning cable. It may charge other usb devices such as a bluetooth headset, but my real need would be a phone, so on AA's alone it won't do it. The other Downside to this feature using only AA's is the lantern has to be burning in order for the port to have power. Close the lantern, and the port is turned off. So the LEDS are burning draining battery power while you are trying to recharge a device.Now the same scenerio with either 1 or 2 18650 batteries installed and regardless of AA's being present or not, The USB port is powered in the open(lantern on) or closed(lantern off) position. This is the way it should be. I shouldn't have to have the lantern on to use this port. They got it right with Li-ion, but I'm not sure why this couldn't be accomplished when powered by AA's. I also had 100% success charging an iPhone without getting a "This device may not be supported" message when using the 18650's as a battery source. So if you really want to use the built in power bank feature, your almost limited to using li-ions, but like I said before, that's my preference anyways. I don't expect this to be a highly used feature for me, but you never know when this may come in handy. It's an innovative feature that I am impressed to see on this lantern and hopefully an updated version may address the issues noted above.*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************Customer SupportAs I've mentioned several times in this article, I contacted Suboos on several occasions after receiving this product. In my experience, they always replied quickly and were knowledgable about my questions. Although I received this product at a discounted rate to test and review, I feel it is my duty to put out as knowledgable and straightforward of a review as I possibly could, so obtaining more info from the manufacturer was necessary. I highly doubt anyone would have anything negative to say about Customer Support. In my experience, It was outstanding.*****************************************************************************************************************************************************************ConclusionI'm impressed with this product. Sure it has a few minor flaws that I'd like to see addressed in future versions, but it performs above and beyond how I expected. That's why it get's 5 stars even with all the nitpicking I've done on it. I haven't had this lantern a great deal of time, just several days, but I'm testing every aspect I can think of and will update as necessary to add to the post and help you make an informed buying decision. If there is anything you would like me to test, please leave a comment for me in the comment section. I also spent considerable time testing and writing this review, so if you found it helpful, Please take a few seconds to show some love and mark it as such.Thanks,Justin Blackburn
Justin D Blackburn
Comparative review with (almost) all your questions answered, and more -- batteries, charging, lantern specs, etc.
This is a great little lantern kit. But there are a lot of questions folks have about it. If you're wondering how (and how well) the batteries and power bank work, how charging works, or how this lantern kit is similar to or different from others like it, I'll try to answer all those questions in my review. I had the same questions myself after buying the lantern from a different seller, and I've researched and tested it to try to find out what I can and can't do, what is ok for the lantern and what I should only try with a fire extinguisher nearby. I'm glad to report that after all this my house is still standing and my lantern works.THE PROS--- Versatile battery capabilities: rechargeable 18650s, Alkaline AAs, rechargeable (NiMH) AAs, or a combination. If you're a grandparent, you allowed to use NiCd batteries. While I have not personally tested the SUBOOS 18650 battery capacities, others have and find them about 2300mAh each – so these are some of the best batteries you can get included in one of these lantern kits. The normal SUNCN batteries seem to come in around 1700mAh based on my testing. (More on batteries and battery options below.)--- Small capacity power bank. (I detail this below, but you'll get about one cell phone charge for Galaxy S 5 and newer and iPhone 6 and newer, often more for older phones--that's if you're not using the batteries to run the light!) Nevertheless, it's enough to both light your way and slightly prolong your phone's function during your 2AM Pokemon Go adventures. You can even use the red strobe light setting to ward off cars while blindly crossing busy intersections.--- Very compact size (the size of a 20-28oz canned good), weighs less than a pound, and puts out decent light (right about +/- 180 lumens as advertised). Also the light emitted is adjustable by opening or closing the lantern. Settings are nice: high and low white light, gentle red light, and emergency flashing red light if you're stranded.--- Actually decent quality. Don't expect any of these $5-30 lights to be high-end or military grade unless we're talking about Emperor Palpatine's Imperial military. But this lantern surprised me for how well constructed it is externally. I can't speak to internal construction. But it was clearly higher quality than a $15 solar-powered lantern I tried first and returned.THE CONS--- As a lantern, it's fine. As a power bank, it's not much of a power bank. If you need more power bank capacity, the good news is that you can buy your own 18650s to get more power bank capacity. The bad news is that those will cost you more money and you're better off just going with a dedicated power bank. You might consider also getting a solar-powered USB power bank if you're looking at a lantern for on-the-go.--- I think the charging cable not having a storage slot is not *that* bad, but it is a downside for some, particularly if you're trying to charge things that accept micro-usb. If you're trying to charge an iPhone, it won't help anyway. In my pictures, I display a way to MacGyver the cord around the lantern. But if someone really, really wants to store the cord, I suggest taking the 18650s out of the bottom and you can put the cord there. (Just don't blame me if someone actually does that.) For those of us who don't really charge micro-usb things, it's not that bad. We just need it to charge the lantern which doesn't usually happen on the go. The compact size is a trade-off. You lose something, you gain something -- like the Colts trading John Elway to the Broncos for . . . on second thought, never-mind.NOT REALLY CONS--- Some folks are concerned that you can damage the lantern or batteries (or even cause a fire) if you leave AAs in while charging the 18650s. While the product does clearly lead some to believe that, it seems to be a misplaced concern in the end. I go into detail about this below. From what I can gather, you will only have trouble if the lantern isn't functioning properly. So, yes, if malfunctioning can mean a fire if you charge with AAs in, and they can simply tell you not to leave them in, then you bet manufacturers are going to do their best not to burn along with the lantern. Intervine (one of the larger established sellers of these lanterns [the Orion Supernova version]) tells folks it's ok to charge with the AAs in.DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILSAfter comparing similar lanterns, I'll jump into detailed discussions of some topics for folks who want to learn more about the parts and functionality of the lantern and storage-increasing options. This review is, of course, unbearably long. Readers may want to skip to sections of interest to them. Look for section headings, or scroll to the bottom for a lightning summary.COMPARING SIMILAR LANTERNSSome of my battery and charging talk refers to different battery capacities, and some folks sell this lantern with different batteries (or no batteries--I'm still trying to get my head around selling a voltage-transforming USB-capable lantern with no rechargeable batteries). So, I'm discussing similar lantern kits up front before delving into the lantern functionality itself so that readers will understand my subsequent comparisons. I personally own the Oak Leaf and Intervine Supernova Orion lanterns. The two lanterns are almost identical except for the color and name on them. When you pay more for the Supernova, you're paying for substantially better batteries (I tested them), an American seller with native-English speaking customer service reps, and a 5-year warranty.If you're interested in the lantern, you'll see that, at the time of my writing this, customers have over a dozen versions of the same lantern kit available to them on Amazon. Each of the lanterns listed below are by and large the same product. They sometimes vary based upon their color, *the batteries included*, whether two magnets are built into the base, and whether an s-biner (hanging hook) or instruction sheet comes along. Sometimes the specs vary slightly from page to page (e.g., +/- 180 lumens, IPX4-IPX5 water resistance, light range, etc), but that seems to be on account of different testings of the products, how conservative individual estimates are, or descriptions of a Chinese-made product in terms of specifications in English. Please double-check prices, warranties, and batteries included before purchasing -- prices will undoubtedly fluctuate over time (so I omit them here), but hopefully this review will help customers compare these similar lanterns in a number of different respects.The standard with most lantern kits is to include a black lantern with a USB charger (no wall-adapter included), two SUNCN brand 2200mAh 18650 rechargeable batteries, and a hanging hook, and basic instructions on how to operate and charge. Most of the lanterns come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and/or a 1-year warranty -- Intervine and SUBOOS provide a 5-year warranty! I will note below when some version of the lantern does not include the 18650s or a hanging hook and when it is a color other than black. Some of the (currently) pricier lanterns come with 2400mAh or 2600mAh batteries, as I note. All come with the USB charger, and some include 3 AAs -- again, that's all as of July 2016.The product is *made* in China -- even though the seller's business may be U.S. based, as some advertise. China, of course, makes both high- and low-quality products, and this lantern is decent quality -- better than most under $20. If you want to buy U.S. *made*, though, then this product isn't for you.Here are thirteen different versions of this lantern kit, divided by advertised 18650 battery capacity, if included:---> advertised as 2400mAh or 2600mAh 18650 batteries (as of July 2016)Wooboo Lantern (generic batteries, no hanging hook, free shipping but no Prime): Rechargeable LED Lantern and 5200mah USB Power Bank - The Most Professional LED Lantern- Great For: Camping, Hiking, Workshop, Auto EmergenciesSUBOOS Lantern (black or blue color options, SUBOOS batteries, 3 AAs included as well, 5-year warranty): THIS PRODUCTSupernova Orion Lantern (Blue color, Intervine batteries, 3 AAs included as well, 5-year warranty, U.S. business/cust. serv.): Supernova Orion Ultimate Survival Rechargeable LED Lantern and Power Bank - The Most Versatile, Brightest and Unique Camping, Emergency, Recreation, Fishing, and Hiking Lantern Available---> advertised as 2200mAh 18650 batteries (as of July 2016). Based upon pictures, ALL the lanterns in this group use the SUNCN 18650 batteries, which I own and have tested (see the battery section below). They're cheap batteries. They all include hanging hooks and magnetic bases as well.Oak Leaf Lantern: LED Lantern Flashlight,Camping lantern,Rechargeable Camping Lantern For Emergency Night Out,Hiking,Outdoor & Indoor UseIcicle Lantern: Led Camping Lanterns Flashlights with 4400 mAh USB Power Bank, 4 Light Modes (White, Red) ICICLE Outdoor Portable Tent Lights for Hiking, Reading, Awning, Hurricanes, Outages - BlackFuleadture Lantern: LED Camping Lantern Flashlights, Fuleadture Portable Outdoor Rechargeable Lanterns with Hang Hook & 4400mAh USB Power Bank for Hiking, Reading, Emergencies, HurricanesLuckLED: LUCKLED Portable Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern Flashlights & 4400mAh USB Power Bank for Hiking, Reading, Emergencies, HurricanesEtekcity Lantern: Etekcity Portable Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern, 4400mah USB Power Bank (Black)Etekcity 2pk: Etekcity 2 Pack Portable Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern, 4400mah USB Power Bank (Black)Sinvitron Lantern: (free shipping but no Prime): Sinvitron® Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern Flashlight with 4400mAh USB Power Bank, 4 Light Modes (White, Red Flashlights) Portable Outdoor Lantern for Camping, Hiking, Workshop, Auto Emergencies---> The below lanterns do NOT include 18650 batteries (as of July 2016)XGlow Lantern (Green color, AA batteries incl. but NO 18650s, no hanging hook): XGlow L2 LanternLedgle Lantern (3 AAs included, but NO 18650s): Ledgle Led Camping Lantern, Led Lantern Flashlight Rechargeable, Collapsible Camping Lights for Outdoor Camping Hiking Emergency, Water Resistance, USB Power Bank,1 PackDiateklity Lantern (1pk or 2pk, magnetic base, NO 18650 or AA batteries included, no hanging hook): Diateklity LED Camping Lantern, LED Lantern Flashlights for Hiking, Camping, Collapsible Camping Lights - Emergency Lantern, Bright Leds, USB Power Bank (Portable, Rechargeable)OK. I trust these lantern kits are no longer like a box of chocolates. Moving on.ABOUT BATTERIESThe only possible internal power sources are the two 18650 batteries (which can each power the lantern on their own--I've checked, for what it's worth) and the 3 AAs. To be clear, 18650s are not just rechargeable AAs -- they are longer and wider batteries, usually filled with different metals, and running at three times the voltage. When the above-linked pages talk about a "power bank", they are basically speaking of the 18650s.18650 batteries are Lithium-ion batteries. These are the same types of things that charge cordless screwdrivers and countless other power tools and cell phones. 18650's are often *advertised as* 2200 to 3400 mAh of power at 3.7 volts of electricity. That is why some of the lanterns I linked to are called 4400mAh -- they have two 2200mAh batteries; and some are called 5200mAh, usually having two 2600mAh batteries. Usually, the 5200mAh lanterns are more expensive, but the batteries are presumably better quality and last a bit longer. The Supernova Intervine batteries have about 1/3 more battery power than the SUNCN ones.Generally speaking, if the batteries are functioning well, they will hold their charge for months of inactivity, they'll last a good five years or more and recharge effectively many hundreds of times -- more than most people will ever need. Some reviewers have found their batteries lost their charge quickly in storage or stopped charging after a while. There are a number of possible causes for this, but inexpensive batteries in an inexpensive lantern is the most probable. Avoiding heat prolongs battery life and charge. Not draining the battery down all the way, when the voltage drops significantly, will also keep the battery from getting damaged. Some batteries, or the devices they're in, are somewhat protected against this. But you're probably wise not to try to drain them all the way if you can help it. It's also advisable to pull the batteries out or slip a piece of plastic in between the batteries and terminal connectors (as there is when the lantern is shipped to you) when you won't be using the lantern for a long time, to preserve battery health.One advantage of having 18650s in the lantern is that if you want more lantern run-time without recharging and without using AAs, you can just buy some more 18650s, such as this cheap 6-pack: EBL 18650 Battery 3.7V 3000mAh Performance Li-ion Rechargeable Batteries with Stable Storage Boxes, 6 Packs. Look into the quality of the batteries before buying, and don't just believe the listed specs. One reviewer noted that the SUNCN 18650s only registered as being 1400mAh not 2200mAh when he tested them. There are various reasons batteries may not be tested at their advertised capacity (speed of charge, speed of discharge, method of measurement, previous use, heat damage in shipping, etc.) -- in fact, you'll only ever get to use up to about 90% of the total capacity anyway -- but he's probably right that they're characteristically not 2200mAh. My SUNCNs seem to be decently close to 2000mAh, though.You can use rechargeable AAs -- yes, these will work in the lantern. Since the lantern can run just from 3 AAs, feel free to put rechargeables in -- I've done it. Panasonic Eneloops are good quality and very popular: Panasonic K-KJ17MCA4BA Advanced Individual Cell Battery Charger Pack with 4AA eneloop 2100 Cycle Rechargeable Batteries (4 pack), though you can also go with something like Amazon Basics for cheaper rechargeables AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries (16-Pack) - Packaging May Vary -- just make sure you have a charger for the AAs (a good one that cuts off charging individually when each battery is full), since the lantern will only safely charge the 18650s, not AAs. The standard for rechargeable AAs is Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride), not Li-ion. That is fine and will pose no problem for the lantern to use Ni-MH. The main difference is that rechargeable AAs are 1.2 volts while Alkaline AAs are 1.5 volts. For most products that use AAs, 1.2v will power the product just as well as 1.5v, and this lantern is no exception.***In summary, the lantern will run off of just the 18650s, and it will run just off of AAs. So far as I know, it is indeed safe to use both at the same time for lighting. Supposedly, the light will pull from all the batteries at the same time, but when I tested it with all of the batteries in using a voltage meter, only the 18650s showed any load (current being drawn off of them). That seems to indicate that the battery has a diode which chooses only to use one set of batteries at a time. Given that AAs differ from 18650s in voltage, that makes sense. It is inadvisable to connect them all on one circuit without something like a switching diode. Anyway, my lantern didn't run any brighter when I tried running it off of both sets -- so I normally just keep the AAs handy but not in the light.***The 2200mAh (purple-looking) batteries sold with most of the lanterns are SUNCN brand. It says on them, "High rate discharge, no 'memory effect'; short-circuit, over-charge, and discharge protection; PBC life is around 10 years; . . . 0% Mercury . . . . rechargeable battery with PCB." I'm not confirming all that is true, that's just what the batteries say on them. (The batteries don't appear long enough to have circuit-board protection near one terminal as some 18650s do.) It does seem that either the batteries are protected or the lantern has some protection built in, which would not be unusual, since charging does cut off at 4.2 volts.ABOUT CHARGING THE LANTERNWhen I've charged it, the lantern has charged the batteries up to about 4.2 volts and then cut off, as it's supposed to. I checked it with a voltage meter. If batteries get overcharged, they will be damaged, may overheat, and not last as long per charge and over their life. Thankfully, that doesn't seem to be a concern here.Now, the instructions that come with some lanterns say not to leave the AAs in when charging the 18650s. To the best of my knowledge, here's the deal with that. So long as you have the light shut (turned off), then you are fine. Only when the light is on does the circuit possibly connect to the AAs. I tried to test this by having all the batteries in and then charging them. My voltage meter read substantial voltage going to the 18650s but only 0.01 volts intermittently going to the AAs. So while that seems to indicate that the AAs aren't completely isolated, nothing was actively attempting to charge them. given the advantage of rechargeable batteries, it's better just to leave AAs out unless the 18650s have been depleted. If you have rechargeable AAs, then maybe not, but it's certainly worse to use up disposable AAs when you don't have to. But the nice thing is that if you accidentally leave AAs in when charging the 18650s, you should be fine so far as I can tell. My guess is that if something like the diode malfunctioned, then you could have a bad situation on your hands with batteries possibly causing a fire. You don't want this, but the manufacturer really doesn't want this, so they're going to tell you not to leave the AAs in while charging, and that's ultimately good advice to try to follow.Now, even if you have rechargeable AAs and take out the 18650s, don't try to recharge your AAs in the lantern. It will only send power their way if you turn the light on, and the light will pull more power than the USB can provide, so you won't actually get the AAs charged. What's more, the charger is designed for 3.7v Li-ion batteries, not 1.2v NiMH.***The charging light turns red of its own accord when the batteries get low on power (it turns on at right around 3.1v)When charging, the red charging light will switch to blue (and charging will stop) when the batteries are fully charged. It took me 13 hours to fully charge the SUNCN batteries and 19 hours to charge the Intervine. So, don't try to charge it last-minute. A slow charge is much better for battery capacity than a fast charge, so I don't think the slow charge is a downside at all.***Remember that the charger is a USB charger. To charge the lantern, you take the included charging cord and plug the *micro-USB* into the lantern and the regular USB end into a USB receptacle that will transmit a charge. Computers have these built into them. But you will need to have a USB-to-wall adapter (transformer) just like with a cell phone if you want to charge from a wall outlet (whether U.S. 110-120 volts or European, etc. 220 volts) -- it's perfectly fine to use one you already have, though, such as from your phone. They are not device specific. The lantern doesn't seem to charge faster than 1/3 of an amp, and most USB adapters have a 1 amp output capacity. If you have a USB cigarette-lighter adapter for the car, that will work too.Also, there is no need to drain the battery to empty before charging, nor do you need to charge it completely up -- in fact doing both of those things will tend to shorten the life of the battery. The old NiCd batteries had these "memory effect" protocols, but Li-ion are actually better off if you don't do this.ABOUT CHARGING (PHONES) FROM THE LANTERNBe circumspect about charging things from the lantern. I tried charging my phone when the lantern batteries were depleted, and while it indicated it was charging, the charge percent never increased and after five minutes my iPhone started vibrating. So I unplugged it. The voltage must have been running low. When charged up, the lantern did fine charging my iPhone 5. I measured later: my wall adapter charges my phone at 1 amp and 5 volts. Using the 18650s, the lantern charged it at about 0.7A and 4.5V. I've plugged in other things, which also read that they're charging.To charge your cell phone or other device from the lantern, plug into the normal (not micro) USB slot. For what follows, I use advertised capacities, but usable capacities are always less--sometimes substantially. So take this with a grain of salt. If you have the cheaper 2200mAh batteries in, fully charged, theoretically you should get close to 4400mAh at approximately 3.7 volts, which when changed into usable USB power at 5 volts will only be 3256mAh. From what I've read, though, regular power banks also advertise their mAh based off of 3.7 volts since they have similar batteries. So you can compare the lantern power bank capacity directly to regular power banks, which are often 10,000 or 20,000 mAh. Here's a best-selling one: Anker 20000mAh Portable Charger PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad & Samsung Galaxy & More - Black.Now, an iPhone 6 needs almost 3000mAh to charge completely from nothing, and an iPhone 5 takes about 1500mAh. Galaxy 5 and 7 each take about 3000 and the S7 edge takes 3600mAh. However, for actual charging purposes, energy is used converting the voltage from 3.7 (in the power bank) to 5 (USB cable) and back to 3.7 (your phone's battery), and some is lost as heat energy (notice how hot your phone gets when charging). So that 4400 or 5200mAh power bank will get you about one phone charge, maybe two if you have an older phone.***If you're looking for a power bank to efficiently charge electronic devices on-the-go or out in the wild, then buy a dedicated power bank. If you're looking for a rechargeable lantern with a bonus emergency use to get one cell-phone charge, then get one of these lanterns. Remember, if you're charging a phone, you're taking away battery life from the light. It's a zero-sum game.***Will the lantern charge something from the AAs? Yes and no. The deal is that you can only tap into the AA battery power by pulling the lantern up, which turns the light on. Even on low light, the charger puts out about 0.2 amps (at about 4.5 V) That’s an awfully slow charge which means more than half of the battery power will go to running the light, and you don’t have much in AAs to begin with. To reiterate, get a normal power bank if you need to do some serious USB charging.WHAT ABOUT SOLAR POWER?This lantern does *not* have a solar panel and will not charge itself in sunlight. If you really like the idea of a solar-powered light, but want a better-quality light than many of the solar-powered lanterns being sold on Amazon, you might be able to combine the best of both worlds by just getting a solar-powered USB power bank, for example: Solar Charger, Solar External Battery Pack, iBeek® Portable 12000mAh Dual USB Solar Battery Charger Power Bank Phone Charger with Carabiner LED Lights for Emergency Cell Phones Tablet Camera (Black). Such a device would allow you more flexibility and storage power as well.ABOUT THE LANTERN AND LIGHT ITSELFThe light is right about +/- 180 lumens as usually advertised, I would say. It's enough to decently light a picnic table or help you walk in the dark, but it's not enough to light up your whole backyard or campsite as some of the propane lanterns or high-end $60 battery ones can do. Below, I have a picture of it in use at a campsite. It will work better in any enclosed space such as a small room or certainly in tents since they will reflect light back. It's very bright in a tent. One nice thing is that the lantern can collapse to reduce the amount of light coming out, and of course it has a high and low setting. To turn it off, just close it completely. However, when you open it, it will always start on the bright white setting. You have to click through to the lower white setting, then the red, then flashing red -- always in that order.Folks like to know how long the batteries keep the light going. Most sellers seem to say somewhere between 4 and 6 hours on high, and 8-12 hours on low -- for the 18650s. The 2600mAh should last longer than the 2200mAh, of course. I put this to the test with the Oak Leaf and Intervine Supernova lanterns. The Oak Leaf lasted just over four hours and the Supernova lasted 5.5 hours before they each started going dim and voltage had dropped to about 3.0 volts.***So, the SUNCN 2200 batteries will get you right about 4 hours of good use and the Intervine batteries give about 5.5 hours. That provides a guestimate of their relative capacities. When I checked how much energy it took to charge them both afterward, again the Intervine showed about 1/3 greater capacity than the SUNCN. Yet the advertised difference is only about 9%, not 33%. The Intervine are clearly better batteries, and that along with the US company and customer service along with the 5-year warranty are what you're paying for when you pay extra for the Supernova lantern. Maybe it's worth it to you, maybe it's not.The AAs will not last quite as long as the 18650s, though good AAs should approach the same amount of time. Since the low setting is probably about one half or one-third the lumens of the high setting (it's quite noticeably dimmer), it will last about two to three times as long. Unless you're staying up all night with this, you'll probably be surprised how far 5-10 hours of light gets you on normal usage. I ran it as much as I wanted for a two-day camping trip and didn't need to go to my AA backups. I actually got about 11 hours good lighting on the low setting from my SUNCN batteries, when I tested them -- almost three times as long as the high setting.As I've used it, the lantern seems decently well made and pretty sturdy for its size. It's beautifully compact (as someone else said, it's about the size of a normal Progresso soup can when shut -- but much lighter), and it's pretty looking, too.***The dimensions are about 3.5 inches in diameter, 5 inches tall when shut, and 7 1/4 inches tall when opened fully.***With no batteries, it weighs 10.5 ounces, with 18650s or AAs, it's about 14 ounces, and with AAs and 18650s both, it's just over a pound.Now, I haven't tried dropping it -- but at only a pound with its bulk, it probably has good chances of surviving average falls. Also, it's meant to withstand rain or splashing but not being dropped into a body of water. Don't let your kids pretend it's Scuffy the tugboat. On some lantern versions, there are a couple magnets built into the bottom which are strong enough to hold it sideways or upside down (see picture) -- a great feature in some situations, such as sticking it to the underside of a car hood at night or hanging off of your friend's nose ring while camping. The light is well-balanced and is shielded, so it doesn't have a much glare or blind anybody like some of the $10 AA LED lanterns being sold on Amazon. It's white daylight-type light not yellow light. It's advertised as 4,000K, which is a neutral white between warm yellow (3000K) and cool white (5000K). And it's LED, so of course the light doesn't get hot when used, and the bulbs should last a lifetime. They are not replaceable, though, in any normal sense of the word.WRAP-UP***Consider what batteries you get with the lantern. Go with the Intervine or SUBOOS or buy your own if you want higher quality. Think about the warranty too.***Don't buy the lantern for its USB power bank. Buy it as a flexible rechargeable lantern with AA backup.***Don't expect it to light up your world. Expect it to light your steps or your table or your tent.***If you want to extend rechargeable lighting ability, and aren't strapped for weight as a backpacker is, buying a pack of 18650s or rechargeable AAs (with a charger) is a great consideration. Also, consider a (solar-powered?) USB power bank for even more versatile charging ability.If there's helpful information I forgot to include, or information I got wrong, please comment, query, or complain, and I'll try to adjust my review. If I have more to add, I’ll put new information in a comment. I hope the review helps folks understand the lantern, rechargeable batteries, and variations available. Happy shopping!P.S. The pictures below show the SUNCN batteries with my personal rechargeable AAs for size comparison. They do not represent the batteries you will receive.
Really good value lantern
Really pleased with the lantern - does everything claimed (apart from USB charger which I haven't tried yet). Using it every night to light the way for the dog when she goes for her nightly pee. Haven't tried her with the red flashing light as it would probably freak her out but will be really useful on long journeys if we have problems with the car.At £19.97 a real bargain. Also arrived within 2 days even though I didn't pay for speedy delivery (got free delivery by buying another item at the same time).
Ray Johnson
Compact and sensible design
Compact and useful. Just waiting for camping season to begin again but initial impression is one of good construction. Can't comment on battery life just yet..
C Dixon
Handy to have
Great piece of kit a must have can use it nearly closed for a subtle light the blue one & looks great
Amazon Customer
Brilliant light I bought afew outdoor lights none come close ...
Brilliant light I bought afew outdoor lights none come close to this lamp. Used it last weekend fishing away for 72 hrs. 2 charges all I needed the red light was great late night when it was very dark. 4 of my friends have now ordered them and I had to buy another one I was so impressed. 1000% happy
online buyer
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