Hands-on Gear Review

Primus EasyLight Review

Primus Easy Light
By: Valentine Cullen ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 31, 2016
Price:  $70 List  |  $55.96 at Backcountry - 20% Off
Pros:  Bright, compact, lightweight, easy to light after the mantle is installed, light output is fully adjustable.
Cons:  Have to buy mantels and fuel canisters, can get very, very hot.
Manufacturer:   Primus
67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 11
  • Brightness - 40% 9
  • Ease of Use - 25% 4
  • Durability - 10% 6
  • Features - 15% 5
  • Weight - 20% 7
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  • 3
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Our Verdict

The Primus EasyLight is a bright, warm, lightweight lantern that is fueled by Iso-Butane canisters that are purchased separately. It comes with a sturdy carrying case, an attached wire to hang it from and it has a Piezoelectric ignition. If you're looking for something a little less fragile, check out Streamlight's The Siege — but keep in mind that the Siege is a lot heavier. If you're looking for something that doesn't take any fuel canisters or batteries, check out the MPowerd Luci.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

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Meet the EasyLight. It's especially bright for its size and earned a high score in our brightness metric. This product is also lightweight, compact, and comes with a sturdy, padded carrying case.

Performance Comparison


Easy Light
Easy Light

The EasyLight is a great little lantern that is lightweight and shines very brightly, especially for its size, and it also puts off some heat. It comes with a plastic carrying case and takes Iso-Butane fuel to run. It has a wire hanger that has a hook on the end that can either be hooked onto something directly or wrapped around something and be hooked back onto itself.

Brightness


Easy Light
Easy Light

This little baby puts out 490 lumens, which is a lot for its size and weight. It's very bright and the brightness is easily adjusted by turning the knob that allows more or less fuel to be released. The only other lanterns we tested that were brighter are the Ultimate Survival Technologies 30-Day Duro Glow that puts out 700 lumens on a high setting and the Coleman Northstar. The Northstar is the brightest contender we tested — on its highest setting it's capable of 1540 lumens. But keep in mind the Northstar is much bigger and heavier.

Fuel powered models tested. EasyLight on the left and the Northstar on the right.
Fuel powered models tested. EasyLight on the left and the Northstar on the right.

Ease of Use


With the EasyLight 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 of the mantle. We recommend lighting the mantle for the first time without the glass dome on because the first time you light it the mantle will smoke a lot and flame up a little bit. 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 won't smoke again.

Easy Light
Easy Light

Primus lantern initial mantle burn.
Primus lantern initial mantle burn.

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. If you take off the fuel canister and try to reuse it when it is low, it may not work.

Durability


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.

Features


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.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

Easy Light
Easy Light

Valentine Cullen

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

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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