Extensively tested in the Cairngorms and surrounding mountainous areas for a summer and autumn season by Cairngorm Treks.
When we first received the Luci Outdoor 2.0 we were a little confused as to why you would need such a product. Packing light, counting every gram, with a weight of 130grams this would certainly be considered a luxury item. Due to its nature it would also never be able to replace a head torch and to be quite honest using a head torch within a tent or other type of shelter has never been noted as an issue. So, it's very strange that after much use we actually liked the Luci Outdoor 2.0 very much
A quick run through the feature of the Luci Outoor 2.0: It has 4 light modes and on a full charge lasts 24hrs;it is just a tad smaller in size and shape of a jammy wagon wheel (no-one likes the non-jammy version);it uses a simple blow valve to inflate to become a nice sized lantern; has a charging indicator of 3 lights and packs in 10 very bright LED lights within its compact shell; It's also fully waterproof so can be used easily around camp even when the weather is unfavourable.
MPowered have created an innovative product, this is for sure. It packs down to nothing, gives you light without the need to carry batteries, and is completely waterproof. You simply attach it to your pack and whilst you walk through the day it will collect enough energy to give you a bright light throughout the night. It claims to take around 7 hours to fully charge. This seems a long time especially considering the lack of daylight within the darker months but in use it's never once ran out of power even whilst charging on dark cloudy days. The strap that attaches to a backpack is certainly an area we would like to see some improvement on. It didn't feel secure enough for use when out in the mountains.Maybe a re-design to incorporate a small karabiner or something similar to make it more secure. We ended up storing it in an outside mesh pocket with the panels facing outwards.Although, this restricted the amount of direct sunlight to the solar charging panel, when checking its power it never dropped lower than 2/3 of its capacity.
Essentially, it's a very simple product to use and this was the first tick for why we enjoyed using the Luci Outdoor 2.0. Pros for carrying the extra weight include the following: Firstly, and this is the obvious one, using a renewable source rather relying on batteries or a charging point is undoubtedly of great benefit. Secondly,when out with our usual group size of between 4 and 6 people, we often set up a tarp to sit under and enjoy our evening meals, chat, etc. Using the Luci Outdoor 2.0 not only replaced a large amount of head torches being used thus saving on precious power, but also provided a lantern style illumination with a softer light without the usual blinding sensation as someone turns to speak whilst brightly shining their head torch directly into your eyes.
If you're looking to do a longer expedition over days or weeks this could be an invaluable light source, especially when considering a trek where locations to buy extra batteries or a place to find charging points are limited. With this in mind we envision that on winter expeditions this will become a very useful piece of kit and we would like to make a follow-on review at the end of the upcoming winter season.
Long distance adventurers, large trekking groups, winter expeditions, or a Bothy-goer will really appreciate the advantages of using a solar powered lantern, especially one that's so compact until inflated. For use on solo overnight or shorter trips we think the MPowered Luci Outdoor 2.0 to be a luxury that isn't going to be needed for the extra carried weight. However, other great situations for its use extend far beyond just the more adventurous scenario. Campsite camping, enjoying an evening drink in the garden, or any situation where you can think of where a renewable light source would be of benefit.
Cairngorm Treks is a small family business based in the picturesque village of Tomintoul in the North East region of the Cairngorms National Park. They provide bespoke Mountain Guiding for Single Day Walks and Lightweight Multiday Trekking experiences, including wild camping, in the stunning Cairngorms wilderness and surrounding areas. Whether in the high mountains or lower valleys, their Multiday Treks are equipped with high quality, lightweight camping and trekking gear. They only work with small groups and, whatever your ability, pride themselves on designing your outdoor experience completely to your needs and with professional guidance and expertise. Adventure is waiting...