Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: $34 | Compare prices at 1 resellers
Pros: Battery Versatility, Clip Handle on Top
Cons: Heavy, not very durable, lots of batteries, large base
Best Uses: Emergencies, Camping
The General Electric White LED is the definition of bright; in fact it was usually too bright for us. But for $30 (usually on sale for $20) you're definitely getting your moneys worth in lumens. Originally General Electric made this model specifically for COSCO resale, and when COSCO stopped selling them Amazon bought their entire inventory. This makes Amazon the only place you can get this lantern, until the inventory runs out. So if you want it then get it while it lasts.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Update - March 2015
After thorough research, we have found that the only spec to have changed since we last reviewed this lantern is the lumens. If you want to be sure that you're getting the latest version of the ChromaLit 3D, purchase the lantern with 300 lumens (the old version has 260 lumens).
This is the brightest lantern we tested, and with 260 lumens it does a great job of illuminating an area. It also has three light modes each decreasing the brightness. The light source is surrounded by a small frosted globe inside which helps decrease the intensity and headache inducing bright light that some of the other products we tested had. It seems strange to us that there is such large base for one tiny light bulb in the middle. Also this would be a much more versatile light if instead of three light modes there was a dimming feature, allowing the user to decrease the brightness to the desired level. If your looking for a model that isn't as bright but will still function in a similar fashion then check out the Best Buy award winning Rayovac Sportsman.
Ease of Use
This lantern is fairly simple to use; there is one button and a handle that doubles as a large hook for hanging it. It has a great handle design allowing you to carry it with the handle, and then be able to detach one end to hook over a branch. This makes it so you don't have to slide it over the branch. The problem is that it is so heavy you really need to find a large branch to support it.
Something else to note is that there are many reviews online of people saying that replacing the batteries is just about impossible. We found that it was very straightforward, but it can require a little bit of strength to screw on the compartment. Other than that it really isn't that hard.
This lantern feels much more flimsy than the other products we tested, in particular the large clear plastic shell around the light. The only thing that was actually an issue was the hook on the top, which broke when it fell out of tree due to its weight on a branch that probably shouldn't have been holding it. Also the battery compartment doesn't completely secure the batteries, resulting in a hiccup of connection when you set the lantern down causing the light to turn off then back on when the batteries settle.
We loved the handle design, and actually think that other manufactures should take notes on it. Instead of having to slide it down the branch, past all leaves and twigs, you can simply open the handle and close it around the desired location for hanging. There were also three light modes, each with a decreasing brightness.
We recommend you get this product for emergencies, and/or for camping trips. However on camping trips it really takes up a lot of space and you would probably want a more compact model depending on how much space you have. This lantern would be great as an emergency model due to its high brightness and the amount of space that it illuminates. It also is able to run on only four D batteries in case your not able to get all eight, which can be helpful in emergency situations.
This is listed as $30 but you can usually find it on sale for $20. It is a good product but its just not as versatile as something like the Rayovac Sportsman for a few dollars more. Then again, if you're looking to illuminate a large area then this would be a good choice for you. Since it is the brightest product we tested your getting a lot of lumens for your moneys worth.
This lantern gives you maximum brightness for a great price and would do well in a group camping or emergency setting. It is one of the larger lanterns tested and unfortunately not incredibly durable. For a smaller product that is a more durable and only a little less bright, then the Rayovac Sportsman may be for you.
— Devin Chance and Audrey Bayless
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Most recent review: March 16, 2015
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