Got some new lighting in from Alpkit to test recently, here’s a wee look at it.
LED lights have made nights in the hills much better, especially with brightness and battery power seemingly rising together every new new batch of lights. But, there’s an awful lot of mock-earnest po-facedness about it as well, something that afflicts the whole outdoor trade to varying degrees. So here’s Alpkit to lighten the mood. And your way. And camp.
The Manta above is a 100 lumen headtorch powered by 3 AAA batteries which are housed at the front in a pivoting case which looks a little bulky in your hand, but is fine when you’re wearing it.. There’s a comfy 30mm adjustable band and a variety of lighting options.
The single big LED can be switched on and off, be dimmed or made to flash using one button and the other button is just for giggles. Sort of.
Red LED’s are great for camp, you can see perfectly well and you maintain your night vision, I’ve walked many times using a red setting and it’s something that’s a really useful addition to an outdoor torch, so I’m glad there’s one on the Manta.
Then there’s the blue and green LED’s. Useful? The blue one is great for playing daleks, the green one makes any tent spookier than it was just a minute ago, I know it’s supposed to be for map reading, but what the hell, it’s fun. Colour samples below.
The main beam has a lens which operates via the little lever you can see sticking up, it goives you a beam or a pool and is delightfully simple, in fact just like my old Petzl Zoom from 20 years ago.
Beam length is good, certainly enough to confidently navigate by and burn time is said to be 7hrs at max and 150hrs on dim which I can neither confirm nor deny as I’m not sitting watching it with a stopwatch and a calendar.
It’s IPX4 so water resistant rather than waterproof, weight is 116g with batteries and money is £15.
Carrying on the theme of practical wackiness is the Glowe camping lantern. While maybe not a backcountry backpacking essential, the Glowe is a very useful bit of kit for camp living. If I’m base-camping or having a rare trip to a campsite I’ll often take a lamp like this for convenience and to save the batteries in my headtorch. The Glowe does all you need as a tent light, it’s bright, or dim if you require and has a flashing mode. It’s got a hanging loop and wee retractable feet so it can stand alone. All good stuff, but it’s also a torch with a decent beam as seen below. Adjustment between the two settings is easy, with the body retracted you’ve got a torch, extended you’ve got a tent lamp. Perfect for trips to the toilet block at campsites or for dazzling nosy wildlife outside the tent. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t put that in print?
The button is a big easy to find rubbery thing on the base and the three AAA batteries go into an escape pod thing inside, it’s a wee housing that comes out to access the batteries, I probably should have taken a photie of that. Ah well.
The Glowe is IPX5 water resistant, which is better than the Manta. Burn time is listed as 2hrs at max, 65hrs at min, weight with the batteries is 122g and money is £12.50.
Both nice wee bits of kit that have been working well on the hill and at camp, and although I tend never to mention prices, here you can’t ignore the cheapness to fun ratio.
Manta colours below.