We loved the original, and now the MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 is here. It's just as lightweight and compact as its predecessor. Also just like the Luci Original, it's solar powered, easy to use, and fun. At $20, it's a solid investment. If you are looking for something nearly as lightweight but a little bit brighter, check out the Black Diamond Apollo. If you want to light up the night, the Northstar is your lantern.
MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 Review
Compare prices at 4 resellers Pros: Solar powered, inexpensive, inflatable, waterproof
Cons: Hangs off kilter, difficult to locate power button in the dark
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The MPOWERED Luci Outdoor 2.0 is a solar-powered, inflatable, floatable, waterproof lantern. No need for heavy, expensive, disposable batteries, smelly, smoky propane or open flames. The Luci charges entirely from the sun.
We found it was great for traveling because of how small it packs down. The Luci Outdoor 2.0 is surprisingly durable as well. Though a hard tug on the handle straps could probably tear them, we never had an issue during testing. Everyone who sees these lights falls in love with them.
This lantern is not nearly as bright as many of its competitors, but other than that, it scored well across the board.
Though not tremendously bright, this lantern gave us the light that we needed. It shines at a maximum of 75 lumens. It didn't blow us away, but we rarely found that we wanted more from it. The low setting is nice for reading at night, and the high setting is bright enough to cook a meal at your campsite. Unless you are looking to illuminate a large area with a single light source, the Luci Outdoor 2.0 will do the trick.
One element that we aren't thrilled with is the light quality. The white LEDs fall on the blue side of the spectrum, meaning that it's not as warm as other compact lanterns like the Black Diamond Moji. Also, the ripples and folds in the inflatable vinyl cast shadows across the lantern's shine radius, sometimes making for an unusual visual texture.
Ease of Use
Just set it in the sun for seven hours and you'll have up to 24 hours of light. It deflates in about 10 seconds. We found that inflation took a few seconds longer, primarily because the valve is a little chunky and is sometimes tricky to depress once the lantern is blown up. Otherwise, once it's charged, just press the power button and it's good to go.
One minor drawback we found is that the lantern can sometimes be challenging to turn on if it's pitch black. The power button is low-profile and the lantern is a relatively symmetrical cylinder, so we didn't always immediately know which way was up. Even when we did, the button still took some time to locate.
The Luci Outdoor 2.0 is surprisingly durable for an inflatable. We caution against blowing it up too much before leaving it in the sun to charge, but nothing we thought would wear out actually did. The seams and straps are strong. We literally kicked and tossed it around quite a bit, both inflated and deflated, and it still performed just as it always had.
It is a straightforward lantern that offers a Goldilocks combination of basic features. It has four settings, low, medium, high and flashing. Press the power button once to cycle through each setting, or hold it down for 3 seconds in any setting to turn it off.
One notable upgrade from the Luci Original is that the 2.0 has not one, but two straps. The one on the bottom of the lantern is fixed, great for clipping to a carabiner to hang off of a backpack for charging during the day. The top strap is adjustable, which makes the Luci Outdoor 2.0 even easier to suspend from a loop inside a tent or on a clothesline. It has two snaps that allow for hanging it either tightly or more loosely. The adjustability means that the strap can fit comfortably around an average-sized adult hand, making it comfortable to carry around a campsite or on a short hike. As long as you're not going too far, it could sub in for a flashlight.
Though we love the new adjustable strap, one thing we noticed is that the lantern has to hang slightly off-kilter. The snap for the wider setting is right at the apex of the strap, so it pushes the light off to one side or the other.
The Luci Outdoor 2.0 is lightweight and packable. It's a feathery 4.7 oz. and compresses down to less than one inch thick when deflated. Inflated, it measures five inches tall and has a diameter of four and a quarter inches.
The Luci Outdoor 2.0 is handy to have in your backpack, glove box, camper, boat or travel pack. It's great for water activities, car camping, or weekend overnights. Its versatility also makes it a fun product for outdoor parties. A handful of them would be great for hanging up around an eating or cooking area, and they could easily illuminate a walkway. We would also recommend the Luci Outdoor 2.0 as a great inexpensive gift.
At $20, we feel strongly that we got more than we paid for with the Luci 2.0. It comes with a one-year warranty and offers a solid set of basic features that we were really satisfied with. It's hard to go wrong with a Luci.
The MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 is versatile and fun. It's lightweight, waterproof, surprisingly durable, and costs nothing to power. It's bright enough for most uses, and though there are a couple minor features we hope are improved upon, overall we are pleased with its performance.
— Ben Applebaum-Bauch