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Primus Polaris 360

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Primus Polaris 360 flashlight

For those familiar with the Black Diamond Orbit and similar products, the Primus Polaris 360 hybrid flashlight/lantern is a simpler, less expensive, and more intuitive design.

I recommend this product to anyone looking for an easily portable backcountry light that will serve multiple functions of use.


  • Simple intuitive design
  • Flashlight AND lantern
  • Inexpensive (if you shop around)
  • High and low settings
  • Durable
  • Multiple use configurations
  • Protected use button
  • Economical and long lasting LEDs


  • Not the lightest or most powerful
  • Not waterproof
  • Red light option is not very bright
  • Easily tips over
  • Hang ring doesn't open easily, or far


I love this light! For the most part, I like it more than my Black Diamond Orbit.

It is an LED flashlight/lantern hybrid that uses two (2) red diodes, and one (1) high powered white diode, powered by 3 'AAA' batteries—and the batteries are included!

It is a very uncomplicated design that is simple and intuitive for anyone because it has a "normal" flashlight shape that everyone is used to.

It can be used as a flashlight OR a lantern by simply pulling out, or pushing in, the reflector.

Pull out on the reflector like so... and you now have a lantern (with some light still coming out of the end as a flashlight).

You can hold it, you can hang it, or you can stand it up on its own.

Admittedly, standing up is not its strong point. It is tall compared to its small base, and therefore top heavy, so it requires a fairly level surface. Standing it up works great then.

That's all there is to it: body, battery pack, and screw on/off end cap. Simplicity! Just like a "normal" flashlight.

Manufacturer's Claims

  • Type Of Diode: Cree XP-C + 2 x red LED (80 lumens)
  • Weight: 2.8 oz.
  • Burn Time: 1-35h Alkaline
  • Batteries: 3 AAA
  • 2 Red LEDs
  • Dimensions: 1.7x4.8
  • Water Resistant IPX4

Weight (on my scale) is 4.2 oz WITH batteries.

The water resistance to IPX-4 standard means "Protected against splashing water from any angle". So basically, it is okay to use in, say, a light rain. It is NOT waterproof.

I have dropped it a couple of times, and it has fallen/been knocked over a few times. I have noticed no difference—it still works.

I've read several reviews (elsewhere) where people claimed that this product didn't work when they received it. They pushed the button (often repeatedly) and nothing happened. So they returned it to the place of purchase.

The fact of the matter is, those cases were most likely due to not knowing how to use the product—or at the very least, not reading the brief instructions right on the packaging.

By design, you have to hold the button down for a couple of seconds to get the light to turn on or off. This is so that it can not be accidentally turned on in your pack, draining the batteries while you aren't actually using it.
This is a great feature!

When it comes to backcountry lighting, specifically considering backpacking, products with this type of protective feature are the ONLY products I will even consider purchasing.

Each subsequent push of the button changes the output between red, low, and high.

I find the red light to be a little dim, until you get your "night vision" (your eyes get used to the dark), for example, when you wake up in the middle of the night. At times like that, the red output is just enough to be able to see immediately around you—such as inside your tent. But you won't be doing any night hikes or camp chores.

My only gripe is that I don't like the folding hang clip/ring on the handle end. I guess it's not really a gripe, but more of a personal preference. I would prefer it to be easily openable, so that it can be used with the hang loops in most tents. It will open—slightly—but takes great effort to do so.

Yes, actually, that IS a gripe. Lol. And apparently it doesn't bother me too much, because I like this light so much that I just bought a second one!

In use. It's dirty, but I USE it! ;-)

The Primus Polaris 360 is available from multiple sources, but ranges in price from $12 to the mid $40's, with most pricing being around $35.

I paid $15.73 for the 1st one, closeout from REI.
I just paid $12 for my second one on
So shop around!

The Primus Polaris 360 hybrid flashlight/lantern. Do you have one yet? Why not?!?

Good luck and get out there!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $15.73 closeout

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Price MSRP: $39.95
Historic Range: $35.95
Reviewers Paid: $15.73
Product Details from Primus »