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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Review: Kriana AA Krill Light

The Krill Light electronic electroluminescent (EL) light stick is a bright, long-lasting glow stick made for function not fashion.

by: Joe Flowers

Kriana AA Krill Light (Photo by Joe Flowers)
Kriana AA Krill Light (Photo by Joe Flowers)

The Specs:
Price: $24.95 for original version
Weight (with normal batteries): 3 oz.
Remember those light sticks that are so popular during Halloween? Imagine that same light, used inside closed quarters like a tent, and you have an easy lantern not unlike the Kriana Krill Light.

For over five years, I’ve brought this light on at least 30 trips using it to light my tent, tarp, or hammock from Peru to Pennsylvania and I really miss it when I forget it at home.

In those five years I’ve only replaced the two AA batteries maybe three times…and that was after I left the light on overnight or for days on end. The website says the batteries will last 120 hours, but I have a sneaking suspicion they are being conservative, especially if you use lighter lithium batteries.

This alien-looking device works the same way as the luminescence works on a digital watch or nightlight. Phosphors (metal compounds that produce luminescence) light up via the current from the batteries. There is no bulb to replace, and the housing, made of impact-resistant plastic, is durable and water resistant, plus it features an easy turn knob for on/off function. Right away, when used in complete darkness, the light might not wow you. But after a few minutes, after your eyes adjust to the darkness, the space will be illuminated by light worthy of a full moon.

BONUS: There aren’t many people that know about this light (well, until now). I’m always fielding questions about it in camp. Inside a hammock it works great attaching the light’s lanyard loop to the main guy-line so I can find all my stuff and adjust my sleeping bag accordingly. Plus, when camping with a group, I can find my hammock or tent easily when this beacon is attached to it.

Backpackers will enjoy the ambient light comparable to that of a candle, not just in a tent, but in large shelters as well. Krills also sells smaller sizes including an AAA version ($24.95) and a brighter, extreme AA version ($34.95). Or, you could buy one of the AAA-colored versions and host a sweet rave party in your tent.

Bottom Line: A handy nightlight that doesn’t eat batteries and keeps the boogeyman away.<Br><Br>

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Reader Rating: -


Jan 21, 2011

Ditto on the headlamp...choose one with red-single LED/white-2 LED switch and keep your night vision for star-gazing, etc. Hang one on tent to locate it. I use 2 rechargeable AAA - lasts for months on red. Do you have a backpack solar panel re-charger?

Jan 15, 2011

My military unit issued these to us 6 years ago and it's still going strong!

Jan 13, 2011

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Robert From TN
Dec 07, 2010

I too have had one of these lights for years. I agree it's ok for a night light but I don't feel it is sufficient light source for anything more than finding your bottle or something in the tent. I would rather have a headlamp with a colored LED option.

Dec 07, 2010

I have been using this product for three years now, and it hasn't let me down yet!


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