Australian Geographic Outdoor - - Gear Tests - RRP$108.95 www.zen­im­ TESTED BY Justin Walker

APIECE OF camp­ing equip­ment that does dou­ble-duty is al­ways go­ing to be one of the first things packed. We own a com­pact SUV, so cargo space is at a pre­mium, but I al­ways seem to make room for camp essentials such as camp light­ing. Hav­ing a camp light­ing source that also recharges phones, iPads, iPods and other elec­tronic gad­gets is, for this tech-tragic, like manna from heaven.

The Nite Ize Ra­di­ant 300 (sig­ni­fy­ing 300lu­men light ca­pac­ity) recharge­able lantern draws on the com­pany’s lengthy ex­pe­ri­ence pro­duc­ing top-notch and in­no­va­tive out­door gear to pro­duce a camp-light source that is ro­bust (weather re­sis­tant and drop-re­sis­tant to 1m), does the pri­mary job it’s de­signed for, and also ups its use­ful­ness in re­gards to its abil­ity to recharge said gad­gets via two in­te­grated USB ports (one a mi­cro for charg­ing the lantern, the other a stan­dard USB for charg­ing gad­gets). Add in its com­pact size (72x174mm), light weight (252g) and cool fea­tures such as the in­te­grated cara­biner for hang­ing at the top of the tent or on a pole, and a carry bag that dou­bles as a light dif­fuser, and it is hard to ar­gue with the unit’s ap­peal.

Ex­cept for one point: the Ra­di­ant 300’s grunty 2600mAh bat­tery is recharge­able via the USB port but it won’t take stan­dard bat­ter­ies if/when it does run out of juice, which means you’ll need to recharge it via your ve­hi­cle – or if you’re hik­ing/ bikepacking/pad­dling, you’ll need a suit­able power tank/charger to do so.

So far, in the first month of test­ing, the Ra­di­ant 300 has worked seam­lessly; the full-blown 300- lu­men out­put (on the High set­ting) lasts a claimed five hours but I have been switch­ing be­tween that set­ting and Medium (20 hours at 75 lu­mens) and found it to last a week­end of camp­ing with­out is­sue. And yep, we’ve even man­aged to charge our daugh­ter’s se­ri­ously over-worked iPod and it still had enough light ‘left over’. So far, so good; we have the test unit for a few more months so look for a long-term re­view of the Nite Ize Ra­di­ant 300 in a fu­ture is­sue.

The Nite Ize Ra­di­ant’s ver­sa­til­ity and ro­bust de­sign means great bang for your bucks.

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