User Review: Black Diamond Orbit
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $17.99 (closeout)
The Black Diamond Orbit lantern is tiny (think one of those small cans of V8), and if that weren't enough, it's also a fantastic light. It offers plenty of illumination in front or backcountry campsites, and the intuitive dimming functionality makes it perfect both outside and inside your shelter.
- Light output
- Ease of use
- Battery life
- Suspension system
- Button placement
This lantern found a permanent place in my pack after my first outing with it in tow. Its maiden trip was a car-camping weekend with substantial downpours. The light spent most of its time suspended by its two folding metal half loops from some utility cord above the picnic table (more on this later). From there it provided ample light for preparing nighttime snacks, playing board games, and cleanup before hitting the hay.
We had always brought our trusty Coleman PerfectFlow for these purposes, but enjoyed the ease of use of the Orbit quite a bit more. We like to keep light sources as dim as possible in the evening so as not to disturb other campers, and I found that the Orbit outperformed the Coleman in this regard, especially thanks to the ability of the lantern to be collapsed for added dimness. T
he control for dimming and increasing the light should be immediately familiar to anyone who owns a Black Diamond headlamp, and while it is certainly easy, the placement of the button to operate the control can be a bit tedious to find by touch.
The only other minor gripe I have with the lantern is its odd suspension rig. It consists of two half D rings that when both folded up form a loop for hanging. This system is just a little odd to me as it takes a bit of finagling to get it looped onto anything, though I suppose that increases its security. The real "problem" is hanging it on an already taut horizontal line, because the light will slide freely and readily along said line. There are any number of simple fixes for this though, and I can't really fault the light for it.
Overall, this light is small enough, light enough, and useful enough that I can't imagine any of my outdoor adventures excluding it.