Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Small, inexpensive, simple, light shield
Cons: Poor light output, hard to hang, unstable
Best Uses: Personal light while camping, back-up car lantern
The Coleman Micropacker is a wonderful small lantern for a great price. We like to think of it as a more basic version of the Top Pick award winning Black Diamond Orbit. It is the third lightest lantern we tested and the most inexpensive (less than $10!), but it also has the lowest lumen rating. However, if you are using it as a personal lantern and have a small budget, then the Micropacker is a convenient option.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Micropacker scored the lowest in brightness due to the fact that it has only 13 lumens. Just remember that you can usually find it for under $10, so you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a much brighter lantern then spend a few more dollars and get a brighter one such as the Rayovac Sportsman, which won our Best Buy award.
For the price this product is surprisingly durable. Before we received it we expected it to be very flimsy; when we finally tested it, we were shocked that it was actually quite durable. We never had any issues with its durability, but many people have said that it is very susceptible to rain. We never had it exposed to rain, but it was covered in dew on many mornings and had no issues. Just keep in mind not to expose it to lots of water.
If you’re looking for super durable options then check out the Eureka Warrior 230 IR and the Best Buy award winner, the Rayovac Sportsman.
There was really only one feature of note. It was the light shield on the back, which could be raised to prevent blinding, or lowered for a 360-degree light. We mostly used this with the shield up, and would use it to look for specific items. It was inefficient with the shield down.
The other feature was the loop on the top. We found that it was too hard to loop it around objects since it is a closed loop. If it was a hook then you could just hook it over something to hang it.
We tended to use this lantern in tandem with a brighter central one. If we needed to make a trip to the car, we would pick this up and use it as a flashlight with the shield up. Due to its weight, one could potentially backpack with it, but we would recommend spending the extra money and getting a brighter lighter one, like the Top Pick award winning Black Diamond Orbit. Perhaps this would make a nice little night-light.
We recommend this lantern if you really don’t have any extra money to spend but need a light source. If you have the money then absolutely get a brighter model. You can usually find the Best Buy award winning Rayovac sportsman for only $15 more (240 lumens) or if you want something smaller and more lightweight, you can find the Black Diamond Orbit (45 lumens) for $10 more.
For $15 this lantern just doesn’t give off enough light. You can find it for around $8 on sale and that makes it a little more worthwhile, but even with the discount we recommend spending a little more money for a brighter option.
— Devin Chance and Audrey Bayless
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: December 26, 2013
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