Not long ago I lent a mate a wind-up lantern for a family camping trip and as with all things lent to friends, his family broke off the wind-up arm.
As I am going on a camping trip at the end of May I am serious need of a lantern to help guide a glass of wine from my table to mouth while under canvas.
Early on this week I noticed a banner on this site advertising a Trinity Lantern at £18. It looked cheap enough and the spec looked ok, so I took a punt and bought one.
My torch/lantern arrived yesterday and like all small children I could not wait till bedtime to play with it. It just so happened that I had come home from watching Star Trek in 3D in total darkness and could not wait to play with my new toy.
Its a sturdy looking little bit of kit. Yes a torch is a torch, is a torch. However this one throws out an awful lot of light for its small size, especially when you think it is only powered by 4 AAA batteries. The on/off button is hidden under the chimney/hood and easily slides up and down with deft wrist action.
The torch easily lit my entire garden which is about 20 meters across. I did not test how far the beam went, when the chimney/hood bit was closed down but it easily lit up the end of my garden.
In the house, in total darkness the torch threw out so much light it was almost as if I had switched on one of my free standing lamps.
As you would expect for a simple bit of kit, the torch did not come with any instructions. And why should there, except for the fact that the website says that the torch can be run on full power and low power to get the best out of the batteries but makes no mention of how to do this. After playing I discovered that once you pressed the button to turn the torch on and then let go of the button, you simply press the button again and hold the button. This allowed the light to gradually dim down. If you pressed the button and held it again then the light's power would go back up to full brightness.
I have no idea what kind of bulb is used but it looks remarkably similar to the cree bulb in my Frogman torch which has a beam that easily travels 200 meters. My Frogman torch is rated at 150 lumen while the Alpkit torch throws out 190 lumen.
Its not waterproof, and is not advertised as such but it will happily do its job stood out in the rain.
trust me, its feking bright!
After buying the torch I then discovered that Alpkit do a cheaper model at £12-50. Do I regret not buying that one?
Not really. On paper the cheaper torch gives you 170 lumen, which is enough to burn the back of your retina, and has a working time of 65 hours on low power. The trinity model with four batteries is 20 lumen brighter and does 190 hours on low power.
I'd say that the £5-50 extra is worth it, but I would not complain if I was given the other one to use.
In reply to chiz:
I also took the plunge on the Trinity Lamp
Very impressed with the light output, its a chuncky piece
Best for car car camping , I'll pick up the smaller one
For tenting , also bot the new updated gamma headtorch
Totally goosed overheats battery's I'll send it back when I
Get a chance , the new gamma when it did work was a little brighter than my older one.
In reply to chiz: sure its just a bad one, normally I find them pretty good, saying that I dunno if Its reliable enuf to use as my main torch walking off hills in the dark, I'm not one for the carrying 2 torches carry on, great wee torch good features but I'll use it for camping duties.
In reply to stevieweesaxs107:
I do hope so, don't get me wrong, I do like a lot of their kit, I just don't know if I can rely on it. I had electrical problems with one Gamma, and now the replacement has developed issues too. Unfortunately I was in the middle of Nepal at the time, luckily I had another torch.
Over the years I have bought a few Gamma torches for family and presents, but like you am hesitant about having one as my sole backup. Shame as its a bit lighter than my other torch and I like the red LED for walking along roads.
Alpkit have always been fantastic at replacing faulty kit -beyond what they really need to do, I just wish I hadn't had to rely on their returns policy so often.
In reply to chiz:
It's a great torch very useful I've had it out mountain bikingover the OK hills features,weight,price can't be bettered
However I'll stick with my petzl Rxp as my
Main lamp.I'm sure there's loads of people
will tell u how good they are and they've had no bother with it
just decided to buy the smaller Glowe lamp
If anyone's after the older Alpkit bulb2 lantern give me a shout I've a new one I've never used 200g 140 lumens silver do it £10posted
In reply to mattrm: Just received my second replacement Gamma and I guess its one of the new ones. Looks very similar to the old ones, slightly thinner headband maybe? Possibly a few grammes lighter? Bloody bright. Came with batteries and usual smashing service.