The latest gear
I’m a bit of a ‘just in case’ kind of person so, as far as I’m concerned, you can never have too many lighting options around camp – you never know when one might fail! The array of fixed LEDs around the camp and the all-essential headlamps aside, a hand-held torch of some sort should be on any traveller’s list.
The Bosch PLI 18 LI torch is an 18V lithium-ion worklight, useful for all kinds of things, such as getting down and checking your van’s underbelly, poking around in the bonnet of your tow tug, cooking a meal on the campfire, or even to accompany you on late night trips to the campground toilet.
It’s a compact and stable unit that stands up on its own, providing a beam of light straight ahead, which can also be adjusted, pivoting upwards to three alternative positions over a range of 110-degrees. A swivelling hook at the top of the torch head means it can also be used from a hanging position.
The 3W LED provides good light and the brightness adjustment function works for different light conditions, with two brightness settings.
The PLI 18 LI torch is part of the Bosch Power4All range and is powered by an 18V lithium-ion battery, which is interchangeable among a variety of Bosch products. The upside is if you own a Bosch DIY garden or power tool, there’s a good chance you already have a compatible battery.
The downside is that the battery and battery charger pack are not included with the torch and must be purchased separately. The battery starter kit, which includes an 18V 2.0Ah battery and an 18V charger, has a RRP of $99, which certainly hikes up the price of the unit.
On its own, the torch weighs just 670g. The battery slides on to the bottom of the unit and weighs more than the torch itself, making it quite bottom-heavy. But it’s comfortable to hold in your hand and easy to switch on, adjust the brightness and turn off by clicking the single button.
Bosch claims a maximum run time of 1000 minutes for the battery, which is designed for limited self-discharge, to ensure it’s ready to go whenever you need it.
On our test, we didn’t run the torch for that full length of time, but certainly found the battery lasted well used for a variety of purposes on a long weekend away.
BOSCH PLI 18 LI TORCH RRP: $39 (battery and charger sold separately) Where: Hardware stores, nationwide More info: www.bosch-do-it.com/au/ en/diy/homepage/index.jsp Rating: