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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Review: Solar Powered Backpacking Gear

Five of our favorite solar items to make your next trip brighter, safer, and less stinky

by: Joel Nyquist

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6

LightCap 200 Lantern
Make your water bottle into a solar lantern

You’re probably already carrying a 1L wide-mouth water bottle, so why not get some extra use out of it as a lantern? Simply replace the existing lid with the LightCap 200, keep it in the open as you hike (those bottle pockets on the side of your pack are great), and you’ve got a lantern for the tent or kitchen. There are four bright LEDs which provide useable light in a four-foot radius for around eight hours from a full charge, which was great for cooking dinner below Pikes Peak in the Crags. The larger Lightcap 300 comes with a BPA-free bottle and adds in a single red LED for preserving night vision or for easy bedtime reading.

The Specs:
Lightcap 200 is $25 and 2.8 oz.
Lightcap 300 is $30 and 9.7 oz. for bottle and cap

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6

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Star Star
May 10, 2014

The website that you supplied with this post does not in any way lead me to the specific product that you have just reviewed. It does lead me to a sight that has steri-pens, but not the one mentioned above, with the solar panel, battery charging case. Could you provide the exact link to that product, Mr. Nyquist?

May 04, 2011

it didnt switch on for me...took it back to the store, tried 3 more reutrns, still didnt work....

Joel N
Mar 16, 2011

Backpackerzac- The manufacturer doesn't recommend water over 120 for the cap, and over 150 for the BPA-free bottle (included with the Lightcap 300 model). They said the plastic *may* deform slightly.
As for freezing temps (I'm assuming that's the root of your temp question), what happens with any bottle is the moisture freezes between the threads, which can make the cap be frozen on, or can sometimes deform the cap and make a small gap, but that can happen with any bottle. It's not any more or less likely with the Lightcap.

Joel N
Mar 16, 2011

Steve- The shower head is threaded/screw-on. I actually carried it about 1/2 mile inside my pack (loaded with water) and none leaked out.

Mar 16, 2011

Does the shower head on the solar shower have a good shut off valve? I own a different brand that has a leaking problem with the push/pull valve.

Mar 16, 2011

Will the lightcap withstand boiling temperatures and is it leakproof in all temps?

Mar 15, 2011, maybe not for through hiking, but perhaps for surfing.

Mar 15, 2011

This I like. As a throat cancer survivor with radiation fried salivary glands and no spit I will be able to find my W/B at night without fumbleing around the tent.


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