Backpacks feature limited room, so anything that can be compressed when not used, such as the following inflatable solar lantern, is highly appreciated by hikers and mountaineers.
Mpowerd, the New York-based company that developed this inflatable lantern, is obviously concerned about the well-being of hikers. Their product, wittily called Luci (from Lux, which means light in Latin), looks very much like an accordion when compressed. It features 10 LEDs that are able to illuminate your path, regardless of how dark it is, and solar panels that will help people forget about batteries and chargers, and enjoy their time spent in nature.
Luci was designed with extreme portability in mind. When compressed, it weighs 3.8 ounces and has the shape of a disc that can fit anywhere. The disc measures approximately 5″ in diameter and about one in thickness. After using the pop-out blow valve to inflate it, Luci transforms into a cylindrical lantern. The whole operation takes less than a minute, so even campers who are anxious about lighting up their surroundings should be satisfied with this product.
As mentioned before, Luci features 10 LEDs that are found at the base. People are able to switch between the two available brightness settings and a flash mode with the help of a small push button. I suppose the flash mode could prove useful when in having an emergency. The 3.7-volt lithium- polymer battery requires about 7 hours of sunlight to fully charge, after which, it will power the lantern from 6 to 12 hours. It should be noted that both natural and incandescent light are good enough for charging the battery, but the latter is a bit redundant.
On top of being inflatable and solar-powered, Luci is also waterproof. In other words, it basically is the best light-source people can have while spending time in the great outdoors. This is not the only option, though. It could be successfully used as a back-up light source, even when indoors. Luci fits without any problems inside a backpack, but large jacket pockets will be suitable, as well.
This inflatable solar-powered waterproof lantern can be ordered on its manufacturer’s website for $15.95. For a product that is so convenient to use and so ergonomic, this is an unexpected price. As though that wasn’t enough, Mpowerd intends to organize a buy-one-give-one social campaign. Such products coupled with such initiatives turn this company into a model that many others should follow.