Ultimate Survival Technologies 30-Day Duro Review
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Ultimate Survival Technologies 30-Day Duro
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|Bottom Line||Unmatched battery life in a traditional, durable lantern||This a bright, versatile, fully-featured, rechargeable lantern. What more could you want?||A lightweight and small lantern that's affordable and easy to use||A tiny, lightweight flashlight and lantern with USB charge in and out|
|Rating Categories||Ultimate Survival T...||Goal Zero Lighthous...||BioLite SunLight||Goal Zero Lighthous...|
|Battery Life (20%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Ultimate Survival T...||Goal Zero Lighthous...||BioLite SunLight||Goal Zero Lighthous...|
|Weight (with Batteries)||29.3 oz||19.8 oz||3.4 oz||3.1 oz||4.7 oz|
|Manufacturer Listed Runtimes||Low: 30 days
High: 12 hrs
|Low, one side: 320 hrs
Low, both sides: 180 hrs
High, one side: 5 hrs
High, both sides: 2.5 hrs
|Low: 50 hrs
High: 3 hrs + 4 hrs reserve mode
|Low: 170 hrs
High: 7 hrs
|Low: 18 hrs|
|Measured Runtime (Highest Setting)||9.0 hrs||3.2 hrs||4.5 hrs||3.75||Not tested|
|Size (inches)||7.2 x 3.75||4.5 x 5 x 6.5in||3.35 x 3.39 x .91||4 x 1.75 x 1.2||4.25 x 4.25 x 5 (Inflated)|
|Number of Batteries||3||1||1||1||1|
|Battery Type||D||Rechargable||Rechargable Li-Ion||Rechargeable||Rechargeable|
|Waterproof Rating||IPX4||Not specified||IPX4||IPX6||IP67|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The UST 30-Day Duro puts out 30 lumens on the lowest setting for 24 hours a day and just keeps going and going and going. It lasted for 33 days in our testing, using a set of generic batteries on its lowest setting. It glows in the dark, has four settings, and a sturdy, rubberized, impact-resistant base. This light scores well for its brightness and durability. It has some minor annoyances, but even so, with no glaring weaknesses, it's still towards the front of the pack.
This light puts out a blasting 1000 lumens on high. The frosted dome makes the light softer than it otherwise would be without it. The medium setting puts out 400 lumens, and the low and SOS modes both glow at 30 lumens. You have the option of taking the dome light cover off and hanging it upside down by its plastic hook in order to illuminate a larger area with slightly more light.
It doesn't have the same dimmability as many of the other models in this review. It just goes from 1000 to 400 to 30 lumens. However, its longevity makes it well worth keeping around.
While the UST 30-Day Duro boasts a ridiculous battery life of 30 days on its lowest setting, we wanted to see how long it would last on its highest setting. In our ten years of testing, we've discovered that a lantern's minimum brightness setting is often too dim to be of much use.
Turned up to its maximum brightness, the UST 30-Day Duro lasts a full nine hours. While this may not sound like much compared to its low-setting life, this is one of the best times we've seen put up during our testing.
Ease of Use
This model is fairly easy to use. Press the power button successive times to cycle through each of the light settings. The light cover detaches and attaches easily. However, we found that the battery compartment lid/bottom isn't as simple — it's just tricky to line up the two pieces to screw them together smoothly.
There are no feet at the base. However, between its weight and the gripping rubber base, we felt good about setting it down on relatively flat surfaces and confident that we weren't going to knock it over.
The UST 30-Day Duro has a bunch of subtle but useful features. This light has four modes; high, medium, low, and SOS strobe. UST claims an IPX4 waterproof rating, and we did submerge it in a river during testing — it came out totally fine.
The SOS strobe setting is not just synonymous with flashing. It actually pulses light in Morse code, spelling out S-O-S.
Its handle also makes it easy to carry around if you need to walk away from your campsite for a while. It glows in the dark — not as well as we would like, but just enough that you can see it a few feet away at night, say, in a tent. If you charge it up next to a very bright light source, it glows in the dark a little bit better. You can also unscrew the dome lid and hang it upside down by its plastic hook to increase the illumination area. The plastic hook is not super sturdy and bends when taking it out of its snapped-closed position. The base is hefty. Because of the grippy rubber material and the lantern's overall weight, it certainly won't slide off of a table or get knocked over easily. However, when you unscrew the bottom to replace the batteries, it is kind of difficult to put it back on.
The UST 30-Day Duro weighs a little under two pounds with three D batteries installed. It measures 7.2" tall and has a diameter of 3.75". It is not nearly as light and compact as any of the Black Diamond models we tested. This light probably isn't going to accompany you in the backcountry, but it is really trying to replace the role of a traditional propane lantern without any of the hassle, mess, or safety concerns.
Should You Buy the UST 30-Day Duro?
The number one reason to purchase the UST 30-Day Duro is for the battery life. The ideal use for this model is to store in a basement or closet for an emergency power outage. While it most certainly meets the requisite brightness and durability for camping, in the day & age of lithium-ion battery-powered USB rechargeable devices, we have a hard time justifying the use of expensive disposable D batteries for a weekend in the mountains.
What Other Lanterns Should You Consider?
Because the UST 30-Day Duro is best for a relatively specific purpose, we have several alternate recommendations in case this is not the the right lantern for you. If you're looking for a lantern to take backpacking, check out the solar and battery-powered BioLite SunLight, or the Primus Micron, which uses the same fuel canisters as backpacking stoves. For a bright, rechargeable, portable lantern that doubles as a power bank for charging USB devices, check out the Black Diamond Apollo.