also in the test folder at
C. Crane Company "Pak-Lite" Mini LED Flashlight
Long Term Report by André Corterier
Item: Pak-Lite LED Light
Year of manufacture: 2004
Manufacturer: C. Crane Company
MSRP: 29.95 $ US for Pak-Lite with lithium battery
MSRP: 22.95 $ US for Pak-Lite with alkaline battery
Weight Comparisons - scale accurate to 5 g (0.2 oz)
Pak-Lite listed weight: 42 g (1.5 oz)
Pak-Lite measured weight: 40 g (1.4 oz)
The Pak-Lite is a 9V lithium battery with a (really) small plastic
case attached to one end, which features a switch and two LEDs
sticking out of it. Pictures can be seen at the manufacturer's
website, a more detailed description is in my Initial Report.
In the past four months, this light has been used in a wide variety
of conditions, temperatures between -5 C (25 F) and 20 C (50 F),
altitude between sea level and 1670 m (5500 ft) above, precipitation
from none over rain to heavy, driving snow.
Lighting up the Night:
We've had a lot of night around here lately. In late December, night
fell at about 16:30h (4:30 p.m.), rising correspondingly late in the
morning. This gave ample cause to use the light. The light output of
the Pak-Lite has not, as far as I can tell, dimmed one bit over this
time, so everything I said about its light output (or lack thereof)
in my Field Report still holds true. Other than hiking, I have also
been able to use the light to find a twig which had become logged in
the gear shift of my bicycle far from home on a dark, cold, rainy
night. I was very happy to have it.
The Pak-Lite has encountered inclement weather conditions a few
times. While I did not walk with it held in my hand through rain for
a long time, when I did do so, it (and especially its top part where
the light proper meets the battery) became thoroughly wet regardless.
This has not resulted in me feeling an electric current flowing
through my hand, the battery becoming noticeably hot, variations in
the light output or any such thing. To the contrary, the light seemed
entirely unimpressed by the weather. The same holds true for wind-
driven snow. While I occasionally had to shake off a few snow flakes
which had stuck to the LEDs (that's how little energy they waste as
heat), the light otherwise behaved as usual. The same was true when I
placed it, pointing up, in a snow cave which I was in the process of
digging out. Here, even on the low setting (due to the reflective
walls), it easily lit up my working space and did not seem in any way
bothered by the cold. It continued to provide adequate lighting for
about an hour of "interior snowchitecture".
I had reported not foreseeing any issues with durability in my Field
Report. What I also had not foreseen was that one day, the light -
which I assume I did not return to my pocket adequately - would slip
out of my pocket, quickly slide down between my pants and my rain
overpants and exit at the cuff of my rain pants. It did so while I
was travelling at approx. 32 km/h (20 mph) on my bicycle. When I
recovered the light, I was *very* impressed. Not only had the top
plastic casing (the actual light) remained attached to the battery,
the one LED which had clearly impacted the blacktop only showed a
(distinct) scratch on it. That's it. Really. The light still works
fine in both of its settings and I am unable to tell a difference
regarding the way light is spread. How impressive is that?
The top foil layer of the battery casing has held up slightly less
well, but I am unconcerned about a bit of flaking in this regard. On
the whole, the Pak-Lite has held up astonishingly well to what it's
Well, what can I say? I've used the light for a guesstimated 20 to 25
hrs in each of the high and low settings, total. This corresponds to
about an 8th of the total claimed battery life. While this means that
I cannot report on the veracity of the claim, I can say that the fact
of the light's undiminished brightness after this interval impresses
me very much. Should it go out tomorrow, I'd still be impressed
(though disappointed at falling far short of the claimed duration).
But judging by how it's lived up to the other claims of the
manufacturer, I expect to get at least another year's worth of use
out of it.
More Side Notes:
As in the previous report, having this light with me all the time has
proven useful in a number of unrelated situations as well. It has
allowed me to find a number of dropped items (dropped by myself, my
daughter and imperfect strangers) on unlit squares and parking places
as well as closer to home. The Pak-Lite also served admirably as a
night light for my daughter when she couldn't sleep (on the "low"
setting). 20 hours (over the course of three nights) on "low"
correspond to 1.66 % of the total claimed battery life. Easily worth
three nights of sleep in my book (in my bed, too). I've never before
had a light where the spectre of failing batteries has kept its
distance for so long. I really like that.
The light is an excellent package for adequate light in most
situations without having to worry about recharging, so small and
light that I can (and still do) carry it everywhere without noticing
it. If I were to start on a through-hike of anything at this point,
this is probably the light I would take even if I wasn't testing it.
The one gripe I have is the lack of an even brighter setting to spot
things at a bit of distance.
Suggestions for Improvement:
Well, if the manufacturer found a way to address my one gripe
(above), this light would be perfect.
Personal Biographical Information:
Name: André Corterier
Height: 1,85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight: 80 kg (175 lb)
Home: Bonn, Germany
I began backpacking in my late teens using Europe's "InterRail"-
System weight hardly mattered, as we were on trains a lot. I
recently rediscovered backpacking and have started out slowly
single-day 15 mile (24 km) jaunts by myself or even shorter hikes in
the company of my little daughter. I am getting started on longer
hikes, as a lightweight packer and hammock-camper. I've begun
upgrading my old gear and am now shooting for a dry FSO weight of
about 10 kg for three-season camping. Not quite there yet.