This is very different and I like it a lot. At first I thought: “What on earth? A light that is solar charged and also inflatable?” But then I gave it a go and realised it is innovative and effective.
The LUMINAID PackLite comes in two sizes, 12 and 16, (I am not sure what these numbers refer to but one is bigger!). The lanterns pack flat when deflated and then inflate into a lightweight and waterproof lantern. There are various brightness settings and a flashing mode.
The PackLit 12 lantern gives up to 12 hours of light after seven hours of charging in sunlight.
When the lantern is deflated it is no bigger than the size of a beer mat. It is about a centimetre deep. It is light and super transportable. For example, you could pop it into a jacket pocket.
Part of the lantern is a solar panel that needs to sit in bright outdoors light to recharge. I have found this works on the windowsill.
Then, when you want to use it, you open up the small package, blow air into the valve and the lantern inflates to a box a little larger than a Terry’s Chocolate orange box. It takes one big puff. The lantern is still nice and light and it’s also waterproof. Apparently, it will float, too.
There are three brightness settings, from quite bright to very bright. There is a also a flashing light mode (presumably for emergencies).
The strap that holds the deflated pack together can be attached together as a carrying handle.
I have one small criticism and that’s to do with the valve. The valve needs to be one-way to prevent the air you have just blown in escaping before you can get the smaller stopper in. A small amount of air escapes, which means the lantern is never quite properly inflated. It doesn’t affect the light though and most of the air stays inside.
This is a great wee addition to a lightweight camping or backpacking trip and it will be coming with me on all kinds of outdoors adventures.
The PackLite 12 rrps at £21.99 and the PackLite 16 at £24.99. You can buy a Packlite Spectra for £20 at Planet Camping.