UCO Leschi Review
Cons: Durability questions, limited brightness
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|Pros||Compact, lightweight, inexpensive||Durable, packed with features, water resistant, floats||Compact and lightweight, charges other devices, versatile for individual use||Lightweight, solar-powered, durable, inexpensive, packs flat||Compact, lightweight, inexpensive|
|Cons||Durability questions, limited brightness||Can't fully adjust the amount of light output, limited to four settings, small||Difficult to hang, need outlet or battery pack to charge||Low lumen output, can't fit in pocket||Not very versatile, no legs or stand|
|Bottom Line||This super-compact lantern/flashlight combo is convenient for a glove compartment or emergency kit||This little lantern is tough and versatile, and its waterproofing makes it a good option for lighting needs on a boat or kayak||This pocket-sized dual use flashlight/lantern is a great option for personal use while car camping||A fun, durable, and affordable lantern that's great for a weekend out in a tent||A simple, easy-to-use, quality light for individual use|
|Rating Categories||UCO Leschi||Streamlight The Siege||Goal Zero Lighthous...||Goal Zero Crush Light||Black Diamond Moji|
|Ease of Use (10%)|
|Specs||UCO Leschi||Streamlight The Siege||Goal Zero Lighthous...||Goal Zero Crush Light||Black Diamond Moji|
|Weight (with batteries)||2.47 oz||9.14 oz||3.10 oz||3.67 oz||4.37 oz|
|Manufacturer run time (hours)||Low: 4 hrs
High: 2.5 hrs
|Low: 37 hrs
High: 7 hrs
|Low: 170 hrs
High: 7 hrs
|Low: 3.5 hrs||Low: 70 hrs|
|Size (inches)||5.2 x 1.3 x 1.3 in||2.4 x 2.4 x 5.4||4 x 1.75 x 1.2||4.95 x 4.95 x 4||3 x 3 x 2.5|
|Number of batteries||1||3||1||1||3|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Ben Applebaum-Bauch
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