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Backpacker Magazine – October 2013

Gear Review: UCO ARKA Lantern

A light but powerful lantern.

by: Cameron Martindell

UCO ARCA Lantern (Courtesy Photo)
UCO ARCA Lantern (Courtesy Photo)

Flashlight, lantern, charging station. Despite the fact that this Twinkie-size tube light is not wearable, it won over testers because of its chameleon-like talents and its powerful, 180-lumen beam. “It has one of the longest distances (400 feet) of usable light,” one tester says. With a rechargeable 4000 mAh USB battery, this light is on the hefty side, but it will fully charge your iPhone (or other USB device) once, and still have about five hours of light left—perfect for trail-bound gadget geeks on quick weekend trips. $70; 8.5 oz.; IPX5; internal lithium-ion; 180 lumens;

More Tester Feedback:
Quinton Brown:
The lamp and flashlight modes work well and are easy to switch between. The charging station is a great addition to keep my outdoor gadgets going.

Nick Kozel:
Out of all of the lights in the test, I think this was my favorite. I would not have a second thought about bringing this light with me on any of my trip--backpacking or otherwise--where access to electricity is minimal.

Bruce Kreutzer:
This light is very useful as a car camping lantern, as well as an emergency car light. I found it to be too big to take backpacking unless I had other gadgets along that might need an extra power boost.

Bridger Kroenke: This is an awesome device for a lot of stuff. It is much lighter than other lanterns and flashlights with the ability to charge other devices. The light was clean and super bright. My main gripe: There’s no way to tell the current power level remaining in the battery.

Tim Schermerhorn:
I loved this light for casual night hikes, car camping trips, and when I needed to charge my phone while away from any other power source. The size of the handle felt good in my hand, and the little hooks made it easy to hang for the lantern mode. 

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