A few weeks back, I reviewed the BioLite Charge 80 PD power bank and found it to be an excellent option for keeping small electronics charged on the go. As much as I liked that product, however, it isn’t my favorite new item in the BioLite catalog. That distinction belongs to the AlpenGlow 250, a handy and versatile lantern that you’ll find useful both at home and at the campsite.
Small But Powerful
If you’ve ever used any of BioLite’s products, you know that they are highly functional, well-built, and quite often a lot of fun. That holds true for the AlpenGlow 250, which in its basic form is a lantern, although it does more than just provide light.
Inside the AlpenGlow 250 is an LED light powered by a 3200 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Working in conjunction with one another, those two components are capable of producing as much as 250 lumens, which is a surprising amount of light. In fact, on its brightest setting the lantern can illuminate a campsite, while on low it still produces enough lumens for use inside a tent.
The large battery pack can keep the AlpenGlow burning bright for up to five hours on its max setting and as much as 200 hours on low brightness. During my time using the lamp, that low-power mode was more than adequate for the vast majority of cases. The battery itself is recharged using a micro-USB port and it has a secondary standard USB-A port so that the lantern can be used for recharging a smartphone or other device. This is a handy option to have, but as anyone who reads my reviews regularly will know, it would be much nicer if the ports were USB-C instead.
As you would expect, the BioLite AlpenGlow 250 lantern works well as light source, but it has a few extra modes that add to the fun and sense of whimsey. For instance, it produces white light in both normal and warm tones, with the option to dim the settings. The LED can also emit light in a number of different colors that can truly set the mood when in use.
Not content to just use a button to cycle through the AlpenGlow’s settings, BioLite allows user to shake the lantern to adjust the modes. Those modes include the ability to have the light shine from one side of the lantern, as well as switching from single colors to an alternating rotation of colors. There is even an option for a “candel mode” which simulates the light of a candel complete with random flickers.
Most of the time while testing and using the AlpenGlow I left it in one of its standard white-light modes on a dim setting. But it was admittedly fun to switch things up from time to time by changing to a different color or switching on the candel setting. This happened a lot more at home then it did in the field though.
Other technical specs to be aware of with the AlpenGlow 250 is that it offers an IPX4 rating for water resistance. Essentially, that means it can get splashed with water or even caught in a rainstorm and it will probably come out okay. Just don’t fully immerse it in a river or lake, or leave it outside in a heavy downpour, and chances are it will be just fine.
The lantern is also relatively small and lightweight, especially for the amount of lumens that it generates. The unit weighs just 7.4 ounces (210 grams) and is 3.7 x 3.0 inches (95 x 75mm) in size and diameter. That makes it easy to pack for a camping trip or even when traveling. Seriously, you’ll be amazed at how small it is when you have it in your hand.
Another nice additions is an integrated hook that allows the AlpenGlow to be suspended from the ceiling of a tent or hung from a hook or chord. This helps to keep it safely out of the way, while providing the widest illuminated space possible.
Cost Effective Camp Lantern
Priced at $59.95 the BioLite AlpenGlow 250 lantern is a cost effective and safe way to light up your campsite. It is also a great emergency light for home, which I found out following a two-day power outage after a recent winter storm. In either setting, it serves as an excellent mood light for nights outdoors or just relaxing inside with friends.
Durable enough to survive in the outdoors, but stylish enough for use around the house, this little lantern is a great source of light wherever you need it. But if you’re looking for a brighter option, BioLite also offers the AlpenGlow 500, which has a bigger battery and brighter LED. It is priced at $79.95 and is a good choice for those who need something a bit more powerful.
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