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UCO Leschi Review

This super-compact lantern/flashlight combo is convenient for a glove compartment or emergency kit
UCO Leschi
Photo: UCO
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Price:  $13 List | $12.95 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Compact, lightweight, inexpensive
Cons:  Durability questions, limited brightness
Manufacturer:   UCO
By Ben Applebaum-Bauch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 20, 2021
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57
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Brightness - 40% 5
  • Durability - 20% 4
  • Features - 20% 6
  • Ease of Use - 10% 7
  • Weight - 10% 10

Our Verdict

The UCO Leschi is a pocket companion, meant for one person. It is convenient and easy-to-use, and more adaptable than it might initially appear. It has a dual-mode flashlight and lantern with a few different brightness settings, depending on the activity you need it for. Though we wish it were a little bit brighter and we have some questions about its durability, there is no doubt that this little light is a contender for anyone looking for a lantern that they can keep on hand in a glove compartment, give to the kids for a backyard camp out, or take on a summer weekend camping trip.

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UCO Leschi
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UCO Leschi
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $12.95 at REI
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$37.93 at REI
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$24.14 at Amazon$30 List
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Pros Compact, lightweight, inexpensiveRubber-tipped legs, dimming feature, dual metal hooks for hanging, durableVery long battery life, tough and durable, provides a nice soft diffused lightDurable, packed with features, water resistant, floatsCompact and lightweight, charges other devices, versatile for individual use
Cons Durability questions, limited brightnessCould be brighter for large groups, replaceable batteries run out quicklyGlow-in-the-dark doesn't work very well, hook on the bottom is not very sturdy, hard to reattach bottom after replacing batteriesCan't fully adjust the amount of light output, limited to four settings, smallDifficult to hang, need outlet or battery pack to charge
Bottom Line This super-compact lantern/flashlight combo is convenient for a glove compartment or emergency kitThe best all-around model for portable lighting needs, this rechargeable model is convenient, bright enough, and even doubles as a power bank for small devicesA durable lantern with exceptional battery life for extended use that you can rely on when the lights go outThis little lantern is tough and versatile, and its waterproofing makes it a good option for lighting needs on a boat or kayakThis pocket-sized dual use flashlight/lantern is a great option for personal use while car camping
Rating Categories UCO Leschi Black Diamond Apollo 30-Day Duro Glow Streamlight The Siege Lighthouse Micro Charge
Brightness (40%)
5
7
9
6
5
Durability (20%)
4
8
8
8
6
Features (20%)
6
9
6
7
7
Ease Of Use (10%)
7
9
7
8
9
Weight (10%)
10
6
3
6
10
Specs UCO Leschi Black Diamond Apollo 30-Day Duro Glow Streamlight The... Lighthouse Micro...
Weight (with batteries) 2.47 oz 10.19 oz 29.28 oz 9.14 oz 3.10 oz
Rechargeable? No Yes No No Yes
Manufacturer run time (hours) 4 hrs (low)
2.5 hrs (high)
24 hrs 30 days (low) 22 hrs (high) 7 hrs (low) 37 hrs (high) 170 hrs (low) 7 hrs (high)
Lumens 110 250 700 200 (Lantern) 150; (Flashlight) 120
Size (inches) 5.2 x 1.3 x 1.3 in 9.5 x 3.3 x 5.3 7.2 x 3.75 2.4 x 2.4 x 5.4 4 x 1.75 x 1.2
Number of batteries 1 3 3 3 1
Battery type AA AA D AA Rechargeable
Waterproof rating IPX5 IPX 4 "Water resistant" IPX7 IPX6

Our Analysis and Test Results

Running on one AA battery and coming in at just over five inches long, this palm-sized lantern is a fun and practical light in both the front and backcountry.

Performance Comparison


The tiny Leschi light provides plenty of illumination for a 2-person...
The tiny Leschi light provides plenty of illumination for a 2-person tent in the backcountry.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Brightness


As a light for one, this single-LED lantern won't knock your socks off with its brightness, but it might just be what you need. It has three light modes: low (34 lumens), high (110 lumens), and strobe. In lantern mode, the frosted light cover diffuses the light and makes it easier to look at the light.

If hung from a tent canopy, most of the light shines upward due to...
If hung from a tent canopy, most of the light shines upward due to the weight of the battery end, but this lantern does create a nice soft glow bright enough to do most tasks.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

We found that the claimed runtimes of 4 hours on low and 2.5 hours on high are both small underestimates of what we experienced during testing. Though these are comparatively short, the power source is also a single AA battery. As long as you have an extra on hand, this lantern won't leave you in the dark. In practice, this light is great if you need illumination in a one or two-person tent, or just need a focused beam for reading or spotlighting a small area under a car hood.

Durability


Our initial experience with this lantern gave us pause, but after becoming more comfortable with it, we are more confident in its quality. With a rating of IPX5, it is highly water-resistant, when deployed correctly. In flashlight mode, the battery compartment and light cover snap together with a tight seal. The same goes for lantern mode, we found that you just need to be certain that the light cover and battery compartment are extended apart from each other completely otherwise there is a visible gap between the two that dirt and water could enter.

The space left between the beige rubber seal and the notch in the...
The space left between the beige rubber seal and the notch in the bronze/gold battery compartment allows moisture in if it's not fully collapsed or extended.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

We also experienced ourselves and read anecdotal reports of issues with turning the light on and off. That is, sometimes it just wouldn't work. What we realized was happening in our case was that pulling apart the two halves of the light to convert it from flashlight to lantern can sometimes loosen the battery cap, breaking the connection between one of the contacts and the battery itself. That is to say, there is nothing 'broken' about the light, the cap just needed to be tightened down again and we realized there was a more effective way to pull the two pieces apart.

Features


The features of this light are few but that is in line with its primary functionality. The textured and rubberized power button is easy to locate by feel in the dark. The three standard light modes are limited but we found we got what we needed from them. One minor qualm we have with it is that there is no 'smart' feature, so the light doesn't remember the last mode it was in when you turn it on again, it just cycles through each of the three. Functionally, what this means is that one in three times you are going to turn on the light and it will be in strobe mode, which may come as a surprise at the moment.

One unique feature on this light is the elastic cord that allows you...
One unique feature on this light is the elastic cord that allows you to secure it around tree branches to use it hands-free.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

We were pleasantly surprised by the utility of the shock cord. It's useful if you want to hang the light, either from a tent gear loop or a tree branch. We wish this light also came with a small hook or ring at one end to hang it more effectively directly overhead, but during our adventures, we were more or less able to direct the light where we needed it to go.

Ease of Use


This light is easy to operate. The battery compartment is intuitively accessed by unscrewing the power button cap. Once you install the single AA battery, the large textured power button is all there is. Press it once to turn it on, then give it a light press a few times to cycle through the three modes, or press it firmly to turn it off.

The soft, textured power button is the only one on the light. It can...
The soft, textured power button is the only one on the light. It can be pressed firmly to turn the device on or off, or lightly to change modes.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

You can convert this light from a flashlight to a lantern by pulling apart the plastic light cover and the power button cap. One thing that we occasionally found challenging was the shock cord hook and loop. It is relatively easy to use but requires a degree of dexterity that can be challenging if you have cold fingers.

Weight


At just under 2.5 ounces (with the battery!), this is one of the lightest lanterns in this entire category. It would add a negligible amount of weight to a kit for most backpackers and is comparable to a headlamp (and in many cases, lighter). Measuring in at 5.2 inches long and about an inch and a half wide (it tapers, as most flashlights do), it is small enough to slide into a jacket or pants pocket and not really know it's there.

This little light is comparable in size and weight to a traditional...
This little light is comparable in size and weight to a traditional headlamp.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

It is also a valuable addition to a glove compartment or car emergency kit. Additionally, the very manageable size and simplicity make it great for children.

Value


Despite our concerns about its durability described above, we still think that this light has some solid value. It is comparatively inexpensive and its convenience and ease of use make it a budget-friendly option if you don't need the brightest or most feature-heavy lantern.

Conclusion


The UCO Leschi is a basic dual-mode lantern/flashlight combination light. Its settings and features are basic but convenient for solo use. Its affordable price makes it a good option for camping, kids, and having on hand for finding that thing you dropped under the couch.

This dual-function flashlight/lantern is lightweight and ready to...
This dual-function flashlight/lantern is lightweight and ready to shine on your next backcountry adventure.
Photo: Ben Applebaum-Bauch

Ben Applebaum-Bauch