LuminAID Packlite Max Lantern Review

Luminaid Packlite Max

While I am not a huge fan of inflatable lanterns, the LuminAID inflatable solar lantern is definitely one of the best on the market.

With a built in solar charger and the ability to charge other devices, you should never find yourself without power.

The LuminAID Packlite is light weight and packs to a small 6″ x 6″ x 1″ size.

Personally, I think that there are better options for rechargeable lanterns, but the LuminAID Packlite is a solid entry to the category.

Check Out Our Post On The Best Rechargeable Lanterns to see even more great lanterns.

Overview of The Luminaid Packlite Max Solar Rechargeable Lantern

Editor’s Rating28/35
Brightness★★★★
150 – ?? Lumens
Battery Life★★★★
3 – 50 hrs
Weight / Size★★★★★
8.6 Oz. 6x6x6″ inflated, 6x6x1″ deflated
Durability★★
Features★★★★
Can be charged using solar panel & can charge devices.
Ease Of Use★★★★★
Overall Value★★★★
Price$49.95
PurchasePurchase At REI

Pros

  • Charges using built in solar panel or usb port.
  • Can charge devices such as cell phones and tablets.
  • Small pack size of 1″ when deflated.

Cons

  • Expensive price tag.
  • Inflatable area could puncture.

Editor’s Opinion

The LuminAID solar lantern is a great rechargeable lantern that can be charged using the sun and also provide a boost to your devices such as your phone in an emergency.

While this is a nice lantern that you won’t be disappointed with in any way, for the price point, we feel that there are better options that can provide more features (Goal Zero Lighthouse 400), better price point (BioLite Sunlight), or a brighter lantern (Black Diamond Apollo).

Purchase

You can purchase the LuminAID at REI for $49.95.

About The LuminAID Packlite Max Solar Lantern

LuminAID Packlite Max

Brightness

The LuminAID PackLite Max has 5 light settings. High gives off 150 lumens of light, which is great for a campsite or tent. Each of the next three settings gets lower and lower until the 5th setting which is a flashing light setting for emergency use.

Battery Life

The battery life on the LuminAID Packlite Max is about what you would expect for most rechargeable lanterns. You’ll get roughly 3-4 hours on the brightest setting and a solid 50 hours on the lowest. Paired with the ability to solar charge this lantern, you shouldn’t run into any lighting problems as long as you don’t keep the lantern on high for too long.

Battery / Charging

The Packlite Max lantern has a built in solar panel as well as a USB port for charging. The solar panel will charge up the lantern in roughly 12-14 hours depending on the suns angle and cloud cover and the USB port should charge the lantern in roughly 2 hours.

Personally, I prefer when a solar lantern can recharge in the sun in a reasonable amount of time. 12-14 hours isn’t very realistic for most campers. If you have a base camp and can leave it in an area that gets no shade all day, maybe, but most campers will have shade for a large portion of the day and might be moving campsites, meaning the Packlite Max will be packed for a portion of the day.

Weight / Size

The 8.6 oz weight of the LuminAID Packlite Max is good and so is the packed size of 6″x6″x1″. It fits right in with gear that is packable for lightweight camping/backpacking and also good for taking along on car camping trips.

Durability

The LuminAID Packlite Max inflatable lantern feels solid for an inflatable lantern. It is made from heavy duty TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) and the bottom of the lantern is clear, but hard, allowing light to pass through but not leave a vulnerable spot on the bottom of the lantern.

I do have some issues with inflatable lanterns though, which I think I may do a post soon to help myself answer these questions.

First, If I puncture the inflatable portion of the lantern, does it even matter? I suppose it wouldn’t sit on a table as well, but deflated, the lantern gives off the same amount of light. Maybe, if punctured, water can get into the componenets and damage the lantern.

Second, the inflatable lantern seems like an unnecessary product to me personally. I don’t really seed a problem in the lantern market that inflatable lanterns are solving. At first glance they seem cool and make you think that they are easily packable, but other lanterns that give off the same amount of light are just as light and packable.

I am going to reach out to LuminAID and see if they can give me some insight to my concerns.

Features

I do like many of the simple features of the LuminAID Packlite Max.

First off, the built in solar panel is always a great feature. The ability to keep charging my lantern when I’m out on a long trip is great. This keeps me from over-worrying about using up my batteries and gives me one less concern in the woods.

Next, the ability to use this lantern to recharge my phone or other device is always welcome. Often times, a phone may be far more important than a fully charged lantern.

The Packlite Max also has a great handle that can be used to hang the lantern and is also great for packing the lantern when not in use.

A small battery life indicator is included on the top of the lantern as well.

Ease of Use

There is nothing complicated about the LuminAID Packlite Max. Simply clicking the power button will turn on the lantern and cycle you through the different light settings. Charging requires you to simply point the solar panel at the sun and inflating/deflating is self-explanatory.

Overall Value

With a price tag of $49.95, the Packlite Max feels a bit over-priced for what it offers. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great lantern, but it feels like it should be priced in the $30 range to me.

Final Opinion

The LuminAID Packlite Max is a great solar lantern that does everything you need it to do. A bright 150 lumens will light up your tent at night and the low setting will keep a soft glow going all night if needed.

The built in solar panel is great to keep the lantern charged and the the ability to charge devices is a great feature. I like using these together to charge up my phone and lantern during the day.

I still have a few reservations about inflatable lanterns though. I tend to think they are unnecessary and less durable than other types of lanterns. That being said, this is probably the most durable inflatable lantern I have used.

Lastly, the price point of $50 is a bit high. But I believe that anyone purchasing the LuminAID Packlite Max will be happy with their purchase as it is a solid camping lantern.

Purchase

You can purchase the LuminAID Packlite Max Solar Camping Lantern at REI

Check Out Our Post On The Best Rechargeable Lanterns to see even more great lanterns.

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