I recently received an email notification from BioLite, advertising their new rechargeable PowerLight Mini. At first I wasn't interested, but the form factor somewhat intrigued me, so I got more information about it. I realized that it was not only a lantern, but also a backup battery for a phone, tablet or maybe a pair of bluetooth headphones - anything that charges via USB.
I already own the fantastic Biotite CampStove, a well-made wood burning emergency and camp fireplace that charges your phone while it's burning wood (read my review here), and I am already impressed with the company. So I caved and ordered the PowerLight Mini from their website. Surprisingly enough, it only took two days to arrive - which is fantastic for Canada. No weird custom taxes or brokerage fees either, and quite reasonable shipping charges.
I had a couple of days of playing around with it, and I'm already impressed. At the lowest setting, it lights up a dark room without hurting your eyes if you accidentally look at it. And at that low setting, it's supposed to last for FIFTY-TWO HOURS!!! That's a very long time!
And it's so small! It is barely bigger than a box of TicTacs, or a tin of Altoids. In the photo above I placed a AA battery next to it for scale. No, it doesn't run with batteries. It is a rechargeable, 135 lumens torch that will also charge your phone.
Here a quick list of my pro and cons:
- Clip takes some getting used to - it only opens to one side
- Selector switch a bit finnicky
- USB port cover needs to be pushed down all the way otherwise it will catch in the clip
- Very well built
- Dual use: light and battery
- 4 different settings (high/low/red/blinking)
- Lasts a LONG time
The fact that the light is rechargeable may be a pro as well as a con, but considering that it is rechargeable via USB, I will leave it as a pro.
All in all, I'm super happy with the light. It will be a welcome part to my kit, and I can't wait to put it to good use.
Here is my unboxing video:
Disclaimer: This is a unsolicited, unpaid review for a product I paid for myself.