BackpackGearTest
  Home Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Lighting > Flashlights - LED > Energizer Carabiner LED Area Light > Test Report by Frances Penn

ENERGIZER CARABINER LED AREA LIGHT
TEST SERIES BY FRANCES PENN
LONG-TERM REPORT
March 12, 2013

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Frances Penn
EMAIL: fpenn AT sbcglobal DOT net
AGE: 56
LOCATION: Santa Ana, California
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 135 lb (61.20 kg)

I have been backpacking for five years mostly on long weekends in Southern California with one or two 5-day trips per year in the Sierras. My total daypack weight is usually 15 lb (7 kg) and my total backpack weight is usually 28-30 lb (13-14 kg). I am a tent camper and have experienced all night rain, heavy winds, camping in snow once, but mostly fair weather.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Energizer Holdings, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: www.energizer.com
MSRP US $none listed
Listed Weight: none
Measured Weight: 4.7 oz (133 g) with 4 AAA batteries installed and carabiner attached
Measurements: 6 inches long (15 cm), 1 3/4 inches wide (4 cn), 1 inch thick (2.5 cm) in a rectangular shape with rounded edges
Color Tested: Dark Red
Colors Available: Dark Red
Power: 50 Lumens on the high setting
LEDs: 7 total
Settings: 3, area high, area low and directional at the end
Burn Time: 5 hours on the high setting (burn times not listed for other settings)
Batteries: 4 AAA Alkaline included
Waterproof

Product Description
The Energizer Carabiner LED Area Light is a lightweight, waterproof light that uses three LEDs on each side of the light bar for an area light. This light includes a 3 inch (7 cm) black aluminum carabiner clip for hands free use, assuming there is something to clip it to. This light is designed to be hand held or clipped to something using the carabiner. My tents have loops inside the ceiling that may work for hanging the light. There are two light settings with 360 degree bright white area light on high and low settings and a directional light on the end. The area light bars on both sides of the light contain three LEDs. The directional light on the end contains one LED light and has only one setting. The main body of the light is dark red hard plastic with a rough finish for good grip in my hand. The light bar covers have a smooth finish of lightly opaque white plastic. The directional light on the end has a clear plastic cover. The on-off button at the end of the area light bar on one side is constructed of gray soft plastic.
IMAGE 1
courtesy Energizer website

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The light arrived in perfect condition with no obvious defects. The package has a tab for easy opening. The first thing I noticed about the light was the size and shape. The light is bigger than my hand when gripping the light and the on-off button is easy to locate with my thumb. There are three LEDs on both sides of the light bar. The lights on one side of the light bar are blocked by my hand when holding the light. When first pushing the on-off button, the brightest area light setting lights first, the next push results in the lower area light setting, and the third push of the button lights only the directional light on the end. The shape of the light allows me to easily hold and operate it with one hand. The carabiner provides extra grip while holding the light. Because the carabiner is small, it can only be clipped to items with small loops or hooks available.
IMAGE 2
holding light

IMAGE 3
comparison

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

There were no instructions included with the light. I located the battery installation instructions on the manufacturer's website. These instructions also include how to reset the light to Normal mode. I am not sure why I would need to reset the light to Normal mode and the instructions do not offer any explanation as to why or under what circumstances this would be necessary.

Pushing the small tabs on both sides of the light bar by the carabiner loop release the sleeve for removal. The instructions indicate to align the sleeve arrow mark with the casing arrow mark when replacing the sleeve after installing the batteries. I am not able to locate these marks and have relied on the button placement on the light bar to install the sleeve correctly.

TRYING IT OUT

After having difficulty removing the cover to install the batteries, it took me five tries to get the batteries installed correctly because I was not able to locate marks on the battery holder to indicate how the batteries should be installed, so I just kept trying different configurations until I found one that worked. Once I finally got the batteries installed correctly, I was not able to replace the light sleeve over the batteries easily. The waterproof gasket was interfering with the sleeve sliding back into place. After trying for 10 minutes to carefully replace the light sleeve, I finally had to apply a little lubricant around the waterproof gasket to allow the sleeve to be replaced correctly. I was concerned about damaging the light if the sleeve was forced into place. The side tabs must be kept open or they will interfere when replacing the sleeve. Now that I have removed the sleeve and replaced it a few times, it is easier to operate.

The high area light setting is bright enough to read in the dark. The low area light setting is useful to locate items in an enclosed space or to have a low night light in base camp. The directional light offers good lighting, similar to the average "D" cell flashlight. The directional light is more diffuse and without a bright spot in the middle. I like this feature when walking on a trail because the light adequately illuminated a wide area ahead.
IMAGE 4
light disassembled

SUMMARY

Having one light that provides two area settings and one directional light should be useful in a variety of settings. With five hours of light, I should not need to carry extra batteries for long weekend trips, but it would be necessary for longer trips. I am looking forward to seeing how well the Carabiner LED Area Light performs in the field. Check back in four months for my Long Term report.

Thank you to Energizer and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this light.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Trip #1:
Location: Joshua Tree, California USA
Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 m)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: sandy desert terrain
Temperatures: 40-70 F (4-21 C)
Weather: very windy

The carabiner was handy to tie the light to the drawstring of my sweat pants for easy access in camp at night while cooking dinner and organizing gear at the trailhead prior to the start of the backpacking trip.

Trip #2:
Location: San Jacinto Wilderness, California USA
Elevation: 8,000 ft (2438 M)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: dirt trail with some steep rocky portions
Temperatures: 30-50 F (-1-10 C)
Weather: 10 F at night and light snow flurries during dinner

I hung the light from the pull loop of my tent zipper and kept it at the top for reading and bathroom runs. It was easy to operate in that location and had enough light for reading. The flashlight portion was helpful to assist friends find their headlamps after dinner.

Trip #3:
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 M)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: sandy desert terrain
Temperatures: 50-70 (10-21 C)
Weather: windy the first night and next day, nice the second night and warm the second day

I used the area light hanging from a tree to set up my tent. The light illuminated the surrounding area enough to get my gear organized.

Trip #4:
Location: Sturtevant Camp near Mt. Wilson, California USA
Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 M)
Trip duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Conditions: dirt trail with some steep rocky portions
Temperatures: 30-60 (-1-15 C)
Weather: sunny days and cool nights

Backpack trip to a mountain camp with group and individual cabins and a group kitchen and dining hall. The area light came in handy on the first morning to cook breakfast for our group in the lodge kitchen before the lights were turned on. I used the carabiner to hook the light to a cabinet handle and placed the light on the highest area light setting. We all had our headlamps on but the light provided overall area light that was helpful for the first hour of cooking for 20 people until the caretaker turned on the camp lights. I also used the light at night to locate the group bathroom across the camp and to get back to my cabin after dinner in the group dining hall.

Trip #5:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,000 ft (2134 M)
Trip duration: 4 days, 3 nights
Conditions: dirt trail with some steep rocky portions
Temperatures: 40-60 (4-15 C)
Weather: beautiful forest days and cool nights

I used the light on flashlight mode to walk to a nearby campsite after dinner to visit some friends. The flashlight is not as bright as products that are just a flashlight. I like having one product that provides area light and a flashlight all in one.

Trip #6:
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 m)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: sandy desert terrain
Temperatures: 30-60 (-1-15 C)
Weather: Sunny days with a slight breeze, cold nights

Trip #7:
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 M)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: sandy desert terrain
Temperatures: 40-70 F (4-21 C)
Weather: very windy

Trip #8:
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 m)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: sandy desert terrain
Temperatures: 50-70 F (10-21 C)
Weather: windy

Trip #9:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,000 ft (2134 M)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: off trail forest
Temperatures: 30-60 F (-1-15 C)
Weather: cold day hiking in the forest on about 3 inches of snow pack

Trip #10:
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 M)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: sandy desert terrain
Temperatures: 30-60 F (-1-15 C)
Weather: cool and slightly breezy


Trip #11:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,000 ft (2134 m)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: off trail forest
Temperature: 30-50 F (-1-10 C)
Weather: cold days hiking in the forest on about 6 inches of snow pack

Trip #12:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,000 ft (2134 m)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: off trail forest
Temperature: 30-50 F (-1-10 C)
Weather: snowing lightly in the forest on about 8 inches of snow pack

Trip #13:
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 m)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: sandy desert terrain
Temperature: 30-50 F (-1-10 C)
Weather: cool and slightly breezy

Trip #14:
Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California USA
Elevation: 3,000 ft (914 m)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: sandy desert terrain
Temperatures: 50-70 F (10-21 C)
Weather: windy

Trip #15:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,000 ft (2134 M)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: off trail forest
Temperatures: 30-60 F (-1-15 C)
Weather: cold days hiking in the forest on about 3 inches of snow pack

Trip #16:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,000 ft (2134 M)
Trip duration: 2 days, 1 night
Conditions: off trail forest
Temperatures: 30-60 F (-1-15 C)
Weather: cold days hiking in the forest with patches of snow

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The carabiner clipped easily into the loops inside the top of my tent. The light worked well to illuminate the inside of my one-person tent at night for reading and for locating items.

IMAGE 1
hanging on tent zipper pull

IMAGE 2
hanging on inside tent loop


Since I don't usually wake up until the sun comes up, I did not need the light in the morning. The light was mainly used for an hour or two at night in camp for cooking and in my tent to organize my gear for the next day, change clothes and some bedtime reading or map consulting. It was also used in camp and in my car at the trailhead for bathroom trips and to organize gear for the next morning before leaving on my backpacking trips.

I estimate the light has been used either as an area light both on the high and low settings or a flashlight for at least 20 hours or more during my testing. I am still using the original set of batteries. The light appears to be just as bright as when the batteries were first installed.

I find the push button to be a little difficult to push with gloves on during the colder evenings. I usually have to slip off one glove to push the on/off button to get to the setting desired. The light was not adversely affected by snow, wind or cold conditions.

SUMMARY

I found the light to be very useful having two settings of an area light along with a flashlight that was available to illuminate the larger areas in camp and for cooking and also have a directional flashlight available when needed all in one unit. I found a variety of uses for this light in camp while on the trail and in camp at the trailhead the evenings prior to the start of the backpacking trips. While it is larger than a headlamp or some flashlights, I found the light to be a very useful item.

This test series is now concluded. Thank you to Energizer and BackpackGearTest.org for this testing opportunity.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Energizer gear
Read more gear reviews by Frances Penn

Reviews > Lighting > Flashlights - LED > Energizer Carabiner LED Area Light > Test Report by Frances Penn



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson