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Reviews > Lighting > Lanterns > Eureka Glide 51 Lantern > Test Report by Michael Mosack

EUREKA GLIDE 51 LANTERN
TEST SERIES BY MIKE MOSACK
LONG-TERM REPORT
August 17, 2010

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

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Mike Mosack
EMAIL: mosack(AT)earthlink(DOT)net
AGE: 46
LOCATION: San Diego, California, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 240 lb (109.00 kg)
US SHOE SIZE 14 (EU) 48

I've been backpacking for over 30 years, doing solo and group trips, with and without kids. I do day trips, weekenders and week-long or longer trips throughout the year. I backpack in all climates and seasons, from summer desert trips to Spring/Winter camping in Michigan, Canada California and Grand Canyon, Arizona to Afghanistan and rely on my backpacking equipment constantly. I prefer to go lighter whenever possible and am always trying new items. Quality and reliability of items I carry are paramount to me over price and weight


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Eureka

IMAGE 1
Flashlight option


Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: www.eurekatent.com
MSRP: US $39.99
Listed Weight: 3.9 oz (111 g) with batteries
Measured Weight: 3.88 oz (110 g) with batteries, without lanyard or included carabiner
Other details:
Listed light output is up to 51 Lumens (641 Candlepower)
Batteries - 3 AAA size 1.5 v alkaline

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Eureka Glide 51 Lantern, also referred to hereafter as the lantern or light, is a small handheld single bulb L.E.D. flashlight that has the added feature of having a portion of the housing slide apart to offer the choice of a flashlight or a 360 degree "lantern" style light that can be hung upside down or stood on its base. The light is constructed of aluminum and plastic and its shape is cylindrical but also octagonal so that if it is laid on its side, it will not roll around on mostly flat surfaces. The housing is ridged for grip and has a lever type "On/Off" switch and separate hook that folds and locks and both of these are located at the base/end cap portion of the light. The battery compartment is in the body of the housing and can be accessed via the tail or end cap and is readily marked. This light uses three AAA size batteries which are also included, but I found that the markings / diagram inside the battery compartment for how to install the batteries to be very difficult to read. Still with my first attempt, they went in correctly and the light worked fine.

This light can be conveniently ordered directly from the manufacturer's website.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

I found that the sturdy packaging was attractive, clear and had a good amount of specific information about the product listed in an easy to read format in both English and French languages. The light came with a small carabiner, wrist lanyard and 3 batteries, which made this almost ready to use right out of the package and was very convenient. Opening the package would have proven very difficult without a knife and I was fortunate to have mine available.

IMAGE 2
Product Package Image by Mike Mosack


It should be noted that the website seems to give conflicting information and says under "General Features" that this light has 3 AAA batteries included (which it does and is correct), then under that it says that this requires 2 AAA size batteries, You can see this when you look under "Specifications" then the "Battery Type" heading.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

On the package, there are simplified instructions covering basic battery replacement and a cautionary warning note to not look directly into the LED light and to keep this light away from children. These instructions appear in both English and French languages.

TRYING IT OUT

My initial experience with this light has been positive. I found that the little light appears powerful enough for light trail work and inside a tent at night. I like that the fit of the housing is tight enough that when I move it from lantern to flashlight, it seems snug and well made. I am confident that I will have the light style I set regardless of any minor bumps it may receive along the way.

IMAGE 3
End cap with switch and hook


The On/Off switch is designed to blend in to the product's end cap and unless I look directly at the switch, it is difficult to locate. With some practice, it gets easier to find. The ridged edge of the switch makes it easy to manipulate with my thumb.

IMAGE 4
Hook exposed


The hanging hook is designed to fold and lock securely into the end cap of this light. It appears its designed so the light can be "hooked" onto a taught line, loop or the included carabiner or similar method. This seems convenient, but also fails to allow me to hook the light onto my gear during hiking and be confident that it won't fall. I have no idea what to do with the lanyard "wrist strap" as there is no little hole or obvious way to securely connect it to the light.

SUMMARY

Overall, I like this light for its sturdiness and compactness and the option to pick different lighting styles. This appears to be a light that is pack friendly and I look forward to testing this.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

During this testing phase, I have used this lantern as my primary artificial light in Afghanistan, on over 30 days and nights in the field. I have experienced different weather conditions to include rain, overcast and sunny / clear skies. The temperatures have ranged from approximately 25 F (-4 C) to over 115 F (46 C) at night. Daytime temperatures have reached 133 F (56 C), in full sun. The terrain has been mostly dry desert conditions consisting of extreme dust, dirt and barren rocky areas with flat to rolling hills and crevasses.

CONTACT CUSTOMER SERVICE

I added this heading because there were a couple of minor concerns I found with this product and the website and I felt them important enough to comment on.
1. I could not figure out how to attach the included wrist lanyard to the lantern. I have many items that have lanyards and I am confident that this should normally be an easy task. After scratching my head a couple of times, I realized that I had to ask for help. I contacted Eureka Customer Service to ask how the lanyard was designed to be used with the lantern as I could find no little hole or obvious way to securely connect the lanyard to the lantern. The customer service representative I spoke with was polite and listened, but in the end she had to offer a call back after she had some time to look at a lantern to see for herself how to attach the lanyard. I then received an email response 3 days later stating and I quote, "I did not get the answer to this question you were looking for - there is really no secure way to attach this - (not sure why they send it but you can use it to attach light to top of tent) - I hope this helps". So the Manufacturer included a wrist lanyard, but there is no way to properly secure it to the lantern.

Also of note is that the carabiner to me, is a needlessly included accessory as the hook feature part of the lantern can hook on anything that the carabiner can. I have no idea why they include either the carabiner or lanyard, with this light design. I would prefer to see the hook feature on the lantern modified to a closed loop with an included carabiner. This way, the lantern can be securely fastened to my pack while hiking as an option so that I can have immediate access to the light and still be hands free. This would also help ensure that if bumped, the lantern would not fall and be damaged and provide a way to secure the wrist lanyard to the lantern as well.

2. The manufacturer's website provides conflicting information on at least two points. It stated on the right side and under the headings of "Specifications", then "Battery Type", it says 2 AAA batteries when the lantern actually takes the 3 AAA batteries which are included. Also on this same page, it says it takes 3 AAA batteries. This is a minor typo I am sure. I asked customer service about this and they replied stating, "Thanks so much for writing to alert us of this issue. Our website is currently undergoing a transition, but as soon as it's open again to make changes, we'll be sure to address it." Then under "Run Time", it says the lantern lasts 12 hours, but also says 13 hours on the same page in another area.

Close up of hook on pack


My experience with customer service has been a positive one and I guess I can always find a use for an extra wrist lanyard and carabiner!

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I have found so far, that the lantern is a well made light. It is just a little bit heavy for its size, but the quality of construction is evident and I feel that it is worth its weight. I have hiked with others who did not like a head lamp and preferred to have a light in their hand or hung from their gear and this will do that. I like my equipment to be backpack proof so that when I pack something, it will still work when I pull it out and not have been crushed. With this lantern, there is no worry of that. The lantern has a decent beam when used in the flashlight configuration and it is quite bright. The lantern configuration is easily bright enough for my night time trail work when hiking or when doing tasks or playing cards around camp.

I tested the duration of the light's ability to continuously stay illuminated with the included batteries. Realizing that this is a test that is dependent on many factors like ambient temperature, battery brand, battery age, etc., I still tested this as a comparison to the manufacturer's claim that it lasts 12-13 hours. This test was conducted inside to better manage the temperature and conditions. The temperature was almost constantly 75 F (24 C) throughout the duration of this test. I turned on the lantern and checked the time. The lantern continued to illuminate for approximately 36 hours where the light was pretty useful throughout. Then the light output diminished to a point that if it was really dark out and I had good night vision, it was still enough light to see to do some small tasks, but the beam was no longer really any good for hiking or seeing anything at any distance.

Lastly, I have found that the light is cool burning and even after hours of continual use, there is no heat output from the light body or blb.

SUMMARY

I have carried this little light with me almost constantly throughout this testing phase and during this time, I have found that while there are some things about this light I wish were different, overall I have found so far that the light is an asset to my daily adventures. The light has worked flawlessly throughout this testing period and still looks new.

This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report will be appended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have used this lantern approximately 20 times, covering approximately 30 miles during my nightly travels in Afghanistan. The temperatures have ranged from 55 F (13 C) to 131 F (55 C). This is a desert type terrain with a surface ranging from a fine powder type dust to very rocky areas and bright clear sunny skies throughout.

I have also used this lantern during a trip to the Sierras and Yellowstone National Park in California and Nevada, USA. I used it on a 6 day trip and the terrain consisted of grassy fields, swamp lands, to rocky and snowy mountainous areas. The weather there consisted of sunny and clear to partly cloudy skies and temperatures from 58 F (14 C) to 85 F (30 C). Elevations I have travelled during this test period have ranged from sea level to over 9800 ft. (3000 m). When not on trips afield, I have continually used this lantern as a portable light source around the house, yard, base where I work and whenever I needed to have a light to find something in the dark.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I have found that the lantern performed very well during this test period. I have carried the light, hung the light, set it on its side, even set it upside down and used it both as a lantern and a flashlight too. I have changed batteries twice. The original batteries supplied by Eureka were replaced by Energizer AAA alkalines and then Energizer AAA Lithium batteries. Without question, the Lithium batteries lasted the longest and I found no negative issues in using them in this lantern, despite Eureka recommending against Lithium batteries being used. I still have some issues in locating the on/off switch and repeatedly find myself rotating the lantern around in my hand searching for the switch and occasionally missing it the first couple of times. There is no way to really connect or use the manufacture supplied wrist lanyard and the carabiner is kind of useless when the lantern already has a hook feature on it that works well.

SUMMARY

I still carry this with me where ever I go and friends and family alike have commented on it with many positive remarks. It gets passed around camp and in the house and its convenient size and sturdy construction ensures it always has a place in my backpack. I know I'll continue to use this as long as I can find it, provided someone else hasn't stuck it in their own pack.

All in all, I love this lantern and plan to continue to use this until I wear out the L.E.D. bulb. I just wonder how long that would take! The light is compact, sturdy, convenient and multipurpose. I have had many hours of enjoyable use from this lantern.

I'd like to thank Eureka and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.

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

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