Primus EasyLight Review
Cons: Requires fuel canisters, can get extremely hot, have to replace mantle
Our Analysis and Test Results
This lantern is especially bright for its size and earns a high score in our brightness metric. This product is also lightweight, compact, and comes with a sturdy, padded carrying case.
The EasyLight is a great little lantern that is lightweight and shines very brightly, especially considering its size. It also puts off some heat. It comes with a plastic carrying case and runs on isobutane fuel. It has a wire hanger with a hook on the end that can either be hung on something directly or wrapped around an object and hooked back onto itself.
This light puts out 490 lumens, which is a lot for its size and weight. It's very bright and is easily adjusted by turning the knob that controls the amount of fuel being released. The other fuel-powered contender, the Coleman Northstar, is the brightest lantern we tested and puts out up to 1540 lumens on its highest setting. However, this lantern is much bigger and heavier than the EasyLight.
Ease of Use
As with other fuel-powered lanterns, the EasyLight takes a little prep and practice to fire it up. First, you have to install a mantle, which you do by pinching the metal clips located underneath the glass dome in order to remove the frosted glass dome cover. Next, slip the mantle over the fuel output rod and make sure that it goes through both ends. We recommend lighting the mantle for the first time without the glass dome on because it will smoke a lot and flame up a little bit on its initial ignition. The smoke and flame will subside and then the mantle will be shaped into a small white globe. Turn it off, then replace the glass dome and relight, using the piezoelectric ignition. After the initial lighting, the mantle should not smoke again.
You can adjust the level of brightness by turning the black knob clockwise or counterclockwise to decrease or increase the amount of fuel being released.
This product gets very, very, hot. Don't ever touch the glass dome or metal cap or even the part of the wire hanger that goes around the glass dome. We don't even recommend carrying it or moving it by touching the gas canister. If you have to move it while it is lit, only touch the very end of the metal hanger by the hook. It can be a bit dangerous; this is why it earned a lower score in the ease-of-use category.
The fuel canister can be removed and reused when and if the fuel canister is still relatively full. However, we found that if you detach the fuel canister and try to reuse it when it is low, it may not relight very easily.
This product has a plastic carrying case with a foam padded bottom and lid that attach securely together when closed, so when packed this product is fairly durable. When not packed into its case, the EasyLight is a little more vulnerable. While we didn't have any trouble with it while testing, the lightweight dome cover is glass and could easily break if handled roughly. You can purchase a replaceable glass dome separately if it should break.
The wire hanger is metal and will rust from repeated exposure to water, dew, mist or fog. It got burned by the glass dome during our testing and it is also easily kinked. After several months of testing, the metal glass dome cover changed colors due to excessive heat.
This lantern has a Piezoelectric ignition that proved to be pretty reliable during our testing. The only time it failed us was when we tried to light it with a canister that had been reattached that was not full or over half full.
Weight / Size
The EasyLight measures 4" wide wire to wire x 2.9" diameter across the top x 4.8" height without a fuel canister. The glass dome itself is approximately 2.5" wide and the plastic carrying case is 6" high by 3 1/4" square. It weighs .41 lbs (6.6 oz) (187 g) without a fuel canister. With a 3.5 oz fuel canister add approximately 2.5" to the height and 3.5" in diameter to the footprint.
If you already have a stove that is also powered by Iso-Butane, it and the EasyLight could make a great team for backpacking or car camping. It's a great little lantern if you are looking for something bright, lightweight, warm and want the light output completely adjustable and not limited to one, two or three settings etc.
At $70 this product is not cheap — it's the second most expensive product in our review behind the Coleman Northstar. But it is also lightweight and one of the brightest with its potential 490-lumen output. It has a reliable starter and a fully adjustable fuel/brightness output.
The EasyLight is a great lantern if you are looking for a product that is lightweight, bright, fully adjustable and warm. It is also very versatile. It could work well for backcountry excursions, car camping, or RVing. We don't recommend it for use inside a tent or RV as it needs a well-ventilated area to operate safely. Keep in mind that butane can be cheaper and more efficient than propane. This product does get very hot, so if you have small children around take extra caution. The EasyLight doesn't fare too well in bad weather.
— Ben Applebaum-Bauch
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