One of my favorite trends in outdoor gear at the moment is the increased focused on better lighting options for use around the campsite. We’ve seen some really interesting solutions for this age-old problem in recent years, including the introduction of a variety of “smart” lanterns that include a bevy of features beyond just illuminating the darkness. One of the more fun and useful of these products is the new EcoLantern from Ecoxgear, a company best known for making rugged Bluetooth speakers for use in the outdoors.
At it’s core, the EcoLantern is a bright light capable of producing up to 400 lumens on its highest setting. The lamp has five different brightness levels, allowing users to find the sweet spot in terms of illumination and battery life. The light it can even projected in a full 360º pattern or more focused at 180º instead, providing some nice flexibility in how it is used around the campsite, or even at home in the backyard. Ecoxgear has even included a “party light” mode in which the lantern changes colors and thumps in time with the tunes it is belting out.
But the EcoLantern more than just a light. Since it was created by Ecoxgear, it should come as no surprise to learn that it is also Bluetooth wireless speaker too. The company is well known for its line of rugged outdoor speakers, and EcoLantern builds on that legacy. Sound quality is good, and the speaker can pump out music or podcasts in a 360º fashion as well. It even has surprisingly good bass, which is not all that common in a speaker of this size.
Armed with a 4400 mAh hour battery, the EcoLantern also features a built in USB port that can provide quick charging capabilities for smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets. This is also handy around the campsite when you want to keep you devices charged while living off the grid. Charging is indeed fast and efficient, although it can also eat into the run-time of the lantern and speaker. On a full charge, the EcoLantern can get up 20 hours of playback, but after recharging an iPhone and running the light on medium brightness, that battery life was reduced to about half.
Built for use in the outdoors the EcoLantern is dust and waterproof with an IP67 rating. It also feels very durable in your hands, as if it could withstand a beating in the backcountry and continue to operate as needed. The device can even float, although it will survive being completely submerged in water. Ecoxgear has always done a good job of making its products to last, and that continues here.
Weighing in at 26 ounces, the EcoLantern isn’t especially heavy, particularly when you consider all of the functional that it brings to the table. But it is heavy and large enough (measuring 10.4 inches/26.4 cm) that it will be a luxury item on many backpacking trips. If you’re a weight-weenie, chances are you wouldn’t consider bringing something like this with you in the first place, but others will probably see the weight as negligible for the enjoyment it will provide.
Priced at $129.99 the EcoLantern is a product that can bring a lot of fun to the campsite. It is bright, has solid battery life, and can stream music from your smartphone. It is also tough, durable, and versatile, with features like “party lights” and the ability to survive in the rain, adding more value to already impressive product.
As we head into the holiday season, the EcoLantern would also make a great gift for the tech-loving, outdoor enthusiast on your list. Find out more at ecoxgear.com.