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Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Black Diamond Orbit Lantern

A lightweight lantern that illuminates any tent perfectly.
black diamond orbit 445x260Black Diamond Orbit

Winter camping is wonderful for its solitude, but you best be prepared for some long nights. Enter the Orbit. Black Diamond’s Orbit Lantern can add a level of civility to your party-tent poker games that’s unmatched for the weight; for only 3 oz. (sans batteries), you get a four-meter radius of 45 lumens. In plain English, this means there’s plenty of light for any late night soiree you concoct, and you get to avoid the agony of constantly blinding each other with headlamps.

This lantern saved our bacon after three of the five folks’ headlamps failed/broke on a recent trip to Yosemite (we only brought backup batteries for one), and I even hooked it to the front of my pack for a pre-dawn scramble to the top of Liberty Cap. As an added bonus, you can also purchase a rechargeable battery pack that comes complete with adapters for all major international outlets ($30). After charging overnight, the Orbit ran full strength for about six hours while in the backcountry; I let it run out at home and it faded after 11 total hours.

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