POST: FR- Freeplay ML-1 Lantern - askLarry
- Hi Tom-
Here is my FR on the Freeplay ML-1 lantern. Have at it!
Html is here:
Thanks in advance for the comments!
March 2, 2009
Over the past two months, I have used the Freeplay lantern on 4
nights of camping, 3 of which were in primitive cabins, whereas the
fourth was in a non-primitive cabin with electricity and heat.
Temperatures inside the cabins ranged overnight from about 40 F (4 C)
to the low-60's F (16-18 C). In addition to use on the trail, I had
the opportunity to use the lantern for 2 additional nights at home
when the power went out.
The most important question that I ask about any light source for the
trail is: does it provide adequate light? In my experience with the
ML-1, I would say that I have been quite pleased with the amount of
light it provides. Although it is not as bright as a gas lantern, it
is much easier to use, since it does not require gas, does not
generate heat and it is much easier to regulate the amount of light
produced owing to the flywheel. The lantern generates plenty of light
for playing cards or for writing in my journal, which tend to be the
major light-requiring nighttime activities when I am camping. I also
like the fact that I can turn the level down very low, which provides
enough light for sitting around and talking without ruining the
When I have gone walking at night with the lantern, I prefer to use
the 4-LED array, since I like the diffuse light produced better than
the single beam generated from the work light (single LED). Of
course, this requires more battery usage, but seems a safer way to go
Although I don't like the worklight for walking, I have used it a
lot, because I have found it a good light source when I am reading in
my sleeping bag at night. When reading, I typically lie on my back
with the lantern laying flat on my chest. This arrangement causes the
single LED beam to shine at about a 45 degree angle down towards my
toes, which is just about the right spot for me to hold my book.
Although I like the fact that the lantern provides good light for
reading without shooting a lot of light elsewhere, this arrangement
is not without its difficulties. Specifically, because the lantern is
cylindrical, it has a tendency to roll off my chest when I am using
it this way. Although I can extend the handle to prevent the rolling,
this causes the light to shine off to the side, which is not
conducive for reading.
As noted, I have used the lantern for about 6 nights in total, which
is not an excessive amount. Despite this, the initial charge I gave
the lantern by plugging it in has completely dissipated. I was hoping
it would last longer, since 5-6 days is not particularly long for a
backcountry trip. Other rechargeable devices I have owned take 4-5
full charges until they reach their full potential, so I will see if
that is the case with this lantern.
After the battery had run out, I tested how long it would hold a
charge. I cranked the handle (at a speed to light the green LED
indicator) for a minute, and then turned the 4-LED array on full.
Although the charge is supposed to last for 7 minutes, I found that
the charge lasted just over 3 minutes. Of course, on the trail, it is
unlikely that I would run it on full after hand-cranking it, because
even 1 minute required a decent amount of exertion on my part.
WEAR AND TEAR
Although the lantern has some edges to it, I have not had any
problems with the lantern catching on other items in my pack. It is
sturdy enough that there are no scratches or chips on the plastic.
So far, I like the Freeplay ML-1 lantern for the amount of light it
provides, as well as for the different LED arrays, which provide
different types of light for different uses. I am a little concerned
that the lantern does not hold a charge for that long, but I will
continue to monitor this thorough the Long-Term testing period and
try to get a sense of how many nights usage I can get out of a single
This concludes my Field Report on the Freeplay Energy ML-1 Mini
Lantern. Please check in back in about 2 months for my final report
on this item.
- Larry - Nice report, only 1 EDIT and 2 comments. Ready for upload after editing.
> but I will continue to monitor this thorough the Long-Term testing period and try to get a sense of how many nights usage I can get out of a single charge.Change thorough to through
For the LTR, would be good if you can get some pictures of its use in the field.
From your FR it seems you are focused on using the lantern relying on its charge from home. For the LTR would be good to ensure you give the crank charge function a good test as well.
- Hi Tom-
Changes made and the report uploaded.
I will be using the lantern more now that the seasons have changed, so I will make sure to get some pics in the field. I also don't plan to charge it again, so I will be cranking dat...
(get the Soulja Boy reference? I didn't either until my son explained it to me)