Joan and I car camp quite a bit in addition to our regular backpacking. On-road trips that means less time in town and more time outside in between backpacking trips, a way to spend time with friends over the holidays, camping out the night before a backpacking trip, or even as an activity on to itself.
We enjoy being outside, and our many times off-the-beaten-path campsites add much richness to our outdoor experiences.
And part of that kit? Some camp lights. The venerable LuciLight for in the tent works well, but something brighter, also rechargeable, and long-lasting would be helpful for when I need more light to cook or perform camp chores.
The light? The NoBox Rechargeable Globe Lantern.
This Utah-bashed company designs and sells many items that are functional, reasonably priced, and work well for all aspects of life both, as they would say, inside and outside the box
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Their single blade pocket knife that I reviewed earlier is an excellent example of this idea. Meaning tools you can use both when camping…or performing chores around the house. Six months after I wrote the review of this knife, I can truthfully say I carry it every day except when backpacking. I used it this morning to cut open a package, and I used it when camping to slice some cheese for breakfast.
And the Globe Lantern is along these lines.
The Globe Lantern is very compact and fits rather well in our vehicle for easy access. The design is such that you can use it to hang from a loop or similar or use it as a tabletop lantern. It also sits flats without the need to extend the legs. The light itself recharges by USB and eschews batteries. Other than one emergency headlamp by our door at home, all our lights are now USB or solar rechargeable. Also essential for us, it has a warm, soft glow appropriate for a camp light and not a harsh light reminiscent of a headlamp.
Other specs that are a copypasta from the website:
Lumens: 180 on high, 18 on low
Run time: 2-3 hours on High, 25 hours on low
Battery: Lithium-Ion, 18650, 3.7V, 2200mAH
IPX-7 with legs closed
Recharge Time: 3-4 hours
What does all the above mean? You have a very waterproof light that’s bright but can switch low when needed and recharges easily. The 180 lumens is brighter than the highest setting on many headlamps, and the lowest setting is similar to the dimmer setting on the LuciLight. However, the shape of the light makes it more convenient than either when it comes to lighting up a whole space. It just seems brighter!
And now some real-world use
You can use the Globe Lantern in emergencies, hang it from the hood of your vehicle if you have auto problems, in a cabin, or the back of your rigged-up truck bed when it is raining, you need to cook dinner, and your camper shell is still a couple of weeks out due to COVID-caused manufacturing backlogs. 🙂
Speaking of COVID, due to supply chain delays with the lantern (now resolved), I received the light a little too late in the spring to give it some real-world use testing. When it is dark at 9 PM, the need for a lantern lessens!
However, between the monsoon season this past month or so and the gradually shortening days with a small touch of fall in the air, I am starting to use the light more. And anticipate more use going into the later fall and winter. If I had the lantern during our Zion Canyon trip with the early nights, it would have come in handy for sure!
The light does weigh over 6 oz nor does it pack flat like the LuciLight, but I do not anticipate using this light as a backpacking tool. Though the light is not as harsh as a typical LED headlamp, the more efficient brightness does give it a slightly more harsh glow than my frosted LuciLight.
I found the Globe Lantern works best in the kitchen or chore area of the camp, with the Luci Light being our preferred tent light.
We usually have one light in camp and one in our tent, so we do not see either light as a replacement for one another but rather two lights that fill different needs.
The Globe Lantern currently retails for $40 via the NoBox website. Similar in price to many headlamps and battery or propane-powered lanterns. However, the compact nature, construction, USB recharging ability, and overall specs make it a better choice for me personally when it comes to my base camp needs.
NoBox continues to design and sell camp items that work well for everyday use. I anticipate using this lantern for years to come. It unobtrusively fits in the rest of our “permacamping” kit.
My ultimate test for any gear or clothing is, “Do I notice it when I am using it?” If I have to futz with equipment, or if something does not fit right, or if my flow of outdoor use gets ruined, I don’t like the item.
I cooked our dinner in the back of our truck bed with no issues, it lit up the area as I packed our gear for the evening, and it recharged quickly with no fuss.
The Globe Lantern just works. And it works well.
UPDATE DEC 2020:
Months after this initial review, it’s become a part of our permacamping kit. For winter camping or even Friday nights before backpacking, it is a regular part of our setup. Hangs on the truck’s liftgate for dispersed sites and lives in the truck cab for easy access.
Disclosure: NoBox provided the Globe Lantern for my review.