March 10, 2013 in Outdoors

Gear Junkie: LuminAID provides portable light source

Stephen Regenold Special To Outdoors
 

LuminAID clips on pack where it can charge.
(Full-size photo)

It looks like a pillow with a cell phone glued on the side. Closer up, you see a solar panel and a tiny red light.

Odd products come across my desk every week. But the LuminAID, a solar-powered inflatable lamp, takes a prize.

It looks weird, no doubt. In use, the PVC plastic light is a simple solution for campers in need of a lantern in a tent or outdoors at a site.

Sunlight and the solar panel charges an embedded lithium battery. Once full, the light can shine for 6 hours at about 35 lumens – bright enough to cook or read by.

It folds up and packs as small as an iPhone. Clip it on a backpack with its solar panel exposed to recharge the unit as you hike.

Then blow it up to convert the LuminAID to lantern mode – the translucent plastic “pillow” serves as a diffuser to spread light in an even cloud.

Though flimsy feeling in the hand, the company built the LuminAID to last for a couple years of use. The battery can be recharged up to 500 times.

Its original purpose was as a product for disaster relief aid in response to the Haiti earthquake.

Today, the Texas-based company ( www.luminaidlab.com) supports various aid efforts. The plastic lantern is made to stand in for polluting kerosene lamps commonly used around the world.

For campers, the LuminAID costs about $19. You get a unique light source for that price that weighs a feathery 110 grams. It folds up small and is ready for planned illumination at a campsite or emergency use when you’re in need of extra light in the night.

On the Web: www.gearjunkie.com.

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus