User Review: Black Diamond Orbit
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20 (on sale)
Great little lantern for backpacking! Lightweight, compact, great light output.
- Light output great
- Dimmable feature
- Has issues staying on in cold weather
I bought this lantern from REI (in the green color) at the end of last summer as a way to be able to stay up later on the trail with my fellow backpackers without us wasting our headlamps.
First impressions: The size is great and it "folds" up into itself to take up less space in your pack. Simple plastic construction, but seems very durable. Plastic that covers the light is translucent so you aren't staring at the bulb. There are hooks at the top, so you can hang the lantern, either inside your tent, or in the leanto, on a tree, wherever!
The light output, in my opinion, is perfect. It's not too bright, but offers just enough light to do simple things like cook, play cards, etc. If you hold down the button, the light dims, which I love, not only for a softer light feel, but also to help conserve batteries.
When I took the lantern out in cooler weather, I started to have some problems with it kicking off after 20-30 minutes of being on. Swapped the batteries out for some lithium batteries, and have had much better luck. It will still turn off after being on for awhile, but I suspect that's a battery save feature, and not a defect in the lantern. The last trip I took was out in the Catskills, temperatures were hovering around 15 degrees or so, and the lamp kicked off probably after about 2 or so hours. And it turned right back on.
Not sure of the weight, obviously if you're an ultralight backpacker, which I aspire to on some trips, this is just a luxury item. It takes 4 AAA batteries, which is annoying, but at least it's triples! I'm told there is a special Black Diamond battery pack that you can use with the lantern that I believe are rechargeable, but I have zero knowledge on that, and especially not how it compares to the lithium batteries.
Overall, a great little lamp that has come with me on several trips throughout the past year. Definitely spend the extra money for the lithium batteries, even if you don't plan to use it in cold weather.