FR - UCO MightyLite - Mark McLauchlin
- Here is my FR for the UCO MightyLite.
HTML Version can be found here; http://tinyurl.com/b8c9k8
Over the course of the testing period the MightyLite has accompanied me on
one day walk, two night walks, one of which included navigation through an
old train tunnel, and two overnight hikes. My first outing was along the
Heritage Trail in the John Forrest National Park which was a round trip of
17 Km (10.5 miles). Elevation ranged from 50 m (164 ft) to 260 m (853 ft).
The photo above shows the MightyLite in use as I was walking through the
train tunnel, if you look closely you will see a nice sized moth. The camera
and torch, in this case was approximately 3 meters (10 ft) from the wall.
The torch did a great job walking through here, it provided a good solid
beam of white light.
The first overnight hike was along the Coastal Plains Trail in the Yanchep
National Park where I camped in one of the three sided huts. I used mainly
the lantern function while I was setting up for dinner and lying in my
sleeping bag. I was unable to hang the lantern in a position where I was
able to get enough light so the majority of the time it was sitting on the
floor next to me. One great advantage I found when using it like this is
that you can regulate the amount of light from the lantern by adjusting how
far extended the lantern cover is. I found that with just enough light to
see what I was doing the ideal position was for the lantern to cover to be
extended about 1/3 its full length. This also meant I was able to sit back
and see the surrounding bush without too much glare.
The next overnight hike was out to my favorite place, Helena Hut on the
Bibbulmun Track. This loop walk is 22 km (13.7 miles) and can be completed
either in one day or the night can be spent at the campsite which consists
of a shelter, toilet and fire ring. The shelter at this location is also a
three sided hut, so again I used the UCO in a similar configuration to my
previous outing. I was able to use the torch on this trip while out
searching for firewood and generally having a look around and again found
that it provided me with some good lighting.
I have noted some inconsistencies with the "burn time" of the batteries, the
one supplied with the torch and others that I have purchased. The first set
of batteries that came with the torch lasted approximately 8 hours, which
was quite surprising as the manufacturer lists this as being 22 hours. I
thought that perhaps this might have been due to the batteries being stored
in their packaging for a length of time thus loosing their power. The second
set of batteries I purchased were the same brand as the original ones and
this time without going into the field I left the torch running to see how
long I would get from them, 11 hours later they were also flat. Third time
lucky, this time I purchased another brand, cheaper also I might add, and to
my excitement I was able to get over 20 hours out of them. Currently I have
approximately 6 hours of use out of the fourth set and I will continue to
log their time.
I have noticed that after less than 1 hour of run time the torch does get
quite hot and after several hours the temperature does seem excessive and
causes me a little concern. During the tests above I did turn it off long
enough to cool down then powered it back up again and continued to record
The switch on the torch has started to become loose and is now very easy to
turn on and off, so much so that if it is bumped the switch easily turns the
torch off. It is a little tighter in turning to the on position which does
mean less risk of it turn on when inside my pack and wasting the batteries.
This is something that I am not really happy with and if it continues to
degrade in this way I will more than likely cease using it. The short-term
durability is of concern.
During each of my trips with the UCO I have carried the carabiner that was
included and are yet to find a use for this. It just doesn't make sence to
me as to why the hook on the body of the lantern is an open one yet a
carabiner is included. It still seems more practical to close the hook and
make it a loop which would be more functional. The carabiner could then be
use to hang the torch from and also as a safety measure to secure it.
The weight of the torch has not been an issue for me and seems to be a good
trade off for the robustness of the main body. I have dropped it,
accidentally, onto a paved surface and other than a small scratch there are
no issues. This drop was after the switch started to become loose so is not
directly related to that.
I am yet to test the water resistance of the MightyLite however will put
some thoughts into how this can be done effectively as we are now entering
into the Summer months here in Australia and I will not be expecting
precipitation in the short-term.
I am really enjoying using the UCO MightyLite and all going well I will
continue to use it on my overnight hikes and potentially some car camping.
The same as my Initial Report.
The on/off switch has become loose.
Inability to accurately predict battery life.
Becomes quite hot.
Thank you to Industrial Revolution and BackpackGearTest.org for the
privilege of testing the MightyLite XL.
Swan Valley IT
ABN: 60 288 056 889
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