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Reviews > Lighting > Lanterns > Black Diamond Equipment Orbit Lantern > Owner Review by Brandon S

BLACK DIAMOND ORBIT LANTERN
BY BRANDON SPRING
OWNER REVIEW
May 26, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Brandon Spring
EMAIL: ashtarothhhh AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 25
LOCATION: Marysville, Ohio, United States
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 2" (1.88 m)
WEIGHT: 165 lb (74.80 kg)

I have been camping since I can remember and started backpacking about six years ago. I usually go on overnight and weekend trips distributed throughout all four seasons in southern Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan and Kentucky. I like gear that is multipurpose to save weight without as much sacrifice but I still like to use a tent. I usually go with my wife or friends and I aspire to have a 25 lb (11.34kg) pack or lighter but have not gotten there yet.

THE PRODUCT

IMAGE 1
Courtesy of Black Diamond

Product: Black Diamond Orbit LED Lantern
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/
MSRP: US$ 29.95

Listed Weight: 3 oz (84 g)
Measured Weight: 3 oz (84 g)
Measured Weight with 4 AAA alkaline batteries (not included): 4.6 oz (130 g)

Listed Battery Life (High): 10 Hours
Listed Battery Life (Low): 24 Hours
Listed Light Output: 45 Lumens





The Black Diamond Orbit Lantern (hereafter referred to as 'Orbit Lantern' or 'Lantern') is described by the manufacturer as: "a bright, non-glaring, pocket-sized mini lantern, ultra-lightweight and perfect for trekking and backpacking where gram shaving is crucial."

The Lantern has a collapsible hanging loop that is ideal for hanging it from trees, rope and inside of a tent.

IMAGE 2
Half of loop is up, the other is down



The Lantern has one button with three functions (on, off, dimmer):
1. Push once to turn on the Lantern (it always turns on to the brightest setting)
2. Once turned on, hold down the button to dim (Lantern will blink once it has dimmed all the way), this also works to brighten the Lantern (again will blink once all the way bright).
3. Push again to turn it off

The Orbit Lantern body also collapses to cover the power button and to consume less pack space. To expand the body, just pull up on the top and it clicks out of the closed position, slides upward and clicks again into the fully opened position. To close the lantern is just as simple but in reverse. The switch placement is great because when collapsed there is no worry of accidentally turning on the Lantern.

IMAGE 3
Switch is protected when body is collapsed



The base of the Lantern is not very large at only 1.7 in (4.3 cm) making it unstable on uneven surfaces and the battery compartment is not sealed to be watertight.



FIELD USE

I have used the Orbit Lantern on several backpacking trips in Ohio and Michigan. Weather ranging from rain to snow to clear nights and in temperatures ranging between 20 to 80 F (-7 to 27 C). I also have it on my night stand by my bed to use for reading or getting up during the night without waking up my wife. This little Lantern works well on picnic tables, hanging inside the tent or igloo and on the ground next to the stove.

The Orbit Lantern does not get hot so I do not need to worry about melting the tent or objects that are close by (unlike a candle or anything with an open flame). On the highest setting it throws light about 8 feet (2.4 meters) which works great for static situations but not making it ideal as a primary light for hiking down the trail at night. Although I have held the lantern at an angle while hiking at night and it projects light about 12 feet (3.7 meters).

One problem that I do have with the Lantern is that it illuminates a doughnut shape on the ground. There is a dark spot under the center when hanging and anything above the top is unlit as well. This becomes a problem when I cook on the ground because I then need to find something to set the Lantern on so that everything I need to see is below it. Another problem I found is when it hangs inside my tent, there is a dark stop directly below it on the floor.

IMAGE 4
Illumination area



Although I have not been keeping precise records of the hours I have used it, the Lantern has been used for 10 nights on the trail and at least 40 nights at home for reading or night navigation through the house and I have still not changed the batteries. So I will say that the manufacturer's claim of 10 hours on the high setting is pretty accurate.


CONCLUSION

Overall the Orbit Lantern has made a great addition to my pack and is lighter than the flashlight I was using before I got it. The compact design makes it easy to store in my quick access pockets and the switch is protected while packed. Additionally I do not worry about carrying extra batteries because once drained on the high setting I can still get by with the low setting until the trip is over. Given the choice I would purchase this item again.



PROS

- Collapsible body and 2-piece foldable hanging loop result in very compact design
- Switch is protected when collapsed for packing
- Long battery life that is extended by a Low setting
- Does not get hot


CONS

- Illumination pattern is a doughnut shape
- Not waterproof
- Small base at only 1.7 in (4.32 cm) is not stable on uneven surfaces

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Black Diamond gear
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Reviews > Lighting > Lanterns > Black Diamond Equipment Orbit Lantern > Owner Review by Brandon S



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