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Hands-on Gear Review

Black Diamond Voyager Review

   
Top Pick Award

Lantern

  • Currently 4.5/5
Overall avg rating 4.5 of 5 based on 2 reviews. Most recent review: March 31, 2016
Price:   $40 List | Varies from $20 - $40 online
Compare prices at 8 resellers
Pros:  Versatile, bright, adjustable light modes, easily hung, works as a lantern and a flashlight.
Cons:  Unstable at times, hard to open sometimes, flashlight mode has low distance.
Manufacturer:   Black Diamond
Review by: Valentine Cullen ⋅ Senior Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ March 31, 2016  
Overview
The Voyager is the sibling of our Editors' Choice Award-winning Black Diamond Apollo. It's an extremely versatile combination of a 140-lumen lantern and a 50-lumen flashlight that can fit into your pocket. It is the only contender we tested that combines the direct light of a flashlight with the 360-degree light pattern of most lanterns.

New Version Update - March 2015
The Voyager has received an upgrade in terms of lumens. Keep reading for more details!

RELATED: Our complete review of lanterns

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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

The Older Version of the Voyager vs. The Latest Version of the Voyager



The Voyager has received an upgrade in terms of lumens. When the main lantern LED light on, the latest version of the Voyager now boasts 140 lumens. The following information was given to us by Black Diamond.

"The changes are mainly increased lumens. This was done by moving the LED position within the housing and changing the globe to have better refraction". –Black Diamond, Director of Lighting

Performance Comparison


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The Voyager in lantern mode.
Credit: Valentine Cullen

Brightness


At 140 lumens in lantern mode and 50 lumens in flashlight mode, the light quality of the Voyager is magnificent. It has just the right amount of light for your camping adventures, unless you looking for a super bright model to illuminate the entire campsite. If when camping, you try to use artificial light as little as possible to feel submerged in nature as much as possible, this might be the perfect product for you. It is bright enough to cook or play cards by or do almost any personal task. You can also fit it into your pocket and use it as a flashlight where it does a great job illuminating the path. However, if you are in a large group and need to provide light for everyone to do separate tasks, or if you need a super bright light for emergency situations, then check out the Coleman Northstar. It is the brightest option we tested. If you are looking for something with a nice soft low light that doesn't take any batteries or fuel to power, check out the MPOWERD Luci Original.

Ease of Use


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The Voyager is easy to use and a favorite with the kids.
Credit: Valentine Cullen

This lantern, like all the Black Diamond lights we tested, was very easy to use. This one was a favorite amongst the kidlets because it is so small, light, and easy to operate. To operate you unscrew the bottom and snap in four AA batteries. Pushing the power button once turns on the lantern; if you hold the button down it dims the light until you let go. Pushing the power button again turns off the lantern. When you push it a third time the flashlight part of the light turns on and it also has a dimming option if you hold the power button down. There is a third option as well. It takes a double click on the power button to illuminate both the lantern and the flashlight modes at the same time. There is also a small light above the power button that shines green when the batteries are fresh and red when they are about to run out.

The flashlight mode really set it apart from the others, making walking with it much easier. Walking with the other contenders, we were constantly getting beams of light in the face, making it harder to see where we were going. The Voyager's flashlight on the bottom allows you to direct the light, preventing it from reaching your eyes.

Like the other Black Diamond models, the Voyager has two metal hooks on the top that when connected around an object like a branch, allow the light to hang without falling off.

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Black Diamond Voyager
Credit: Devin Chance

The base has a pretty small diameter, which can make it a little hard to position at times. If you know you're going to be in rough uneven terrain, you may consider getting the larger Editors' Choice Award-winning Black Diamond Apollo that has legs with rubberized tips, allowing you to position it in some pretty funky spots.

Durability


The Voyager has above average durability. Like all the Black Diamond products we tested, the Voyager uses well-made, strong materials.

Features


The Voyager has some cool features that set it apart from the others. It has two lights that can be turned on either individually or in tandem. The first light is a normal 360-degree light pattern, while the second light is on the bottom and acts as a flashlight. There are also metal hooks on the top for easy hanging and a rubberized base for stability. This product also conveniently offers the Black Diamond NRG2 Rechargeable Battery Kit that is sold separately.

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The Voyager hangs easily just about anywhere.
Credit: Valentine Cullen

Weight/ Size


The Voyager measures 4.5" tall when in its closed position and 6.25" in open position with the power button exposed. With the metal clips up it adds another inch. The base is 2" in diameter and the top is 2.5". By our calculations, it weighs half a pound with four AA batteries installed. Light and compact, the Voyager can easily fit into most jacket pockets and can even fit in the back pocket of jeans.

Best Applications


If you want a light that will be brighter than the MPOWERD Luci for backcountry endeavors, and lighter than the Apollo, then the Voyager will do the job. We loved its flashlight mode and it the fact that it can fit into most pockets. It is one of the most versatile products we tested and also works great in groups. We recommend it for all types of camping.

Value


The Voyager costs $40, a fairly average cost for a lantern. With its good durability it will probably last for many years. This is a lantern that does a good job in many situations. However, if you need one that does a great job in a specific situation then you can check out how the other competitors scored in our ratings section.

Conclusion


This versatile lantern is able to fit just about any need. It is great for camping, can be bright or dim as needed, can hang on trees, and can guide you in the dark with its flashlight mode. We became so attached to this little light that when we misplaced it once or twice we nearly had a panic attack at the thought of having to do without it.

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The Voyager in flashlight mode.
Credit: Valentine Cullen

Other Versions


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Black Diamond Apollo
  • 200 Lumens
  • Editors' Choice pick for best overall lantern
  • Ideal for camping and front country activities
  • great brightness to runtime ratio (50 hours runtime)

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Black Diamond Titan
  • 250 Lumen
  • Brightest Black Diamond Lantern
  • Power Meter
  • runs on 4 D Batteries

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Black Diamond Orbit
  • 105 Lumens
  • Available NRG recharge kit
  • Super lightweight
  • 50 Lumen flashlight mode on bottom of lantern
  • Flashlight allows for greater light around and below the lantern when hanging

Valentine Cullen


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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: March 31, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 50%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 50%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 1 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
Write a Review on this Gear

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  • 5
   May 24, 2015 - 10:20am
Natty Bumppo · Skier · Buffalo, NY
I purchased the 70 lumen voyager and have used it for 6 nights so far. The lantern has good brightness and throw. The light is a neutral/cool color.The lantern dimmer is great and easy to use. Battery life seems very good. It ran for 30-40 hrs with no issues on 4 old rechargeable AA batteries. The only downside is the flashlight is useless.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Black Diamond Voyager
Credit: Black Diamond
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