IR - BD - Orbit Lantern 2010 - Derek Hansen
Here is my IR for the Black Diamond Orbit Lantern. I'm messing around
with the HTML, pushing BGT a little. I have a question for the mods
about allowing background image properties in CSS; it would make my
life a lot easier, and I don't see many people abusing that power.
Here is the link to the HTML:
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Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd.
Test Series by Derek Hansen
* Initial Report: 2 Nov 2010
* Field Report:
* Long-Term Report:
Name Derek Hansen
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg)
Email Address derek.daught.hansen.at.mac (without cheese).dot.kahm
City, State, Country Flagstaff, Arizona, USA
I am a lightweight backpacker with a typical weekend pack weight of 15
lb (7 kg) and a multi-day weight of 20 lb (9 kg), which includes food
and water. Because I pack less than 20 lb (9 kg), I prefer lightweight
trail-running shoes. I prefer backpacking with a hammock as part of my
Manufacturer Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA)
Year of Manufacture 2010, made in China
Manufacturer's Website bdel.com
Listed Dimensions Compactible to 102 mm (4 in); extended height is
140 mm (5.5 in)
Measured Dimensions Top Diameter: 2.125 in (5.4 cm); Bottom Diameter:
1.75 in (4.4 cm); Height Collapsed: 4 in (10 cm); Height Extended: 5.5
in (14 cm)
Color Dark Chocolate, Lava, Lime Green
Listed Weight 3 oz (85 g) without batteries
Measured Weight 2.95 oz (84 g) without batteries; 4.55 oz (129 g)
with alkaline batteries
"DoublePower LED with 45 lumens (max setting) enclosed inside a
frosted globe produces bright, non-glaring light
Dual reflector system captures and maximizes light output
Power meter displays charge status or battery level for rechargeable
NRG2 Rechargeable Battery Kit (sold separately) or 4 AAA alkalines
Unique dimming switch provides adjustable brightness
Compactible to 102 mm (4 in); extended height is 140 mm (5.5 in)
Collapsible, double-hook hang loop"
Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. offers a three year limited warranty to
the original buyer for defects in manufacturing and materials on
lighting products. Products will be repaired or replaced at the
Care and Use Stormproof, do not submerge, max temperature 140 F (60 C)
2 Nov 2010
The Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. Orbit lantern (hereafter Orbit or
lantern) is one in a line of three lanterns offered by Black Diamond
and the one specifically targeted at "ounce-conscious backpackers,
climbers and travelers".
The lantern collapses to 4 in (102 mm) for storage and expands to 5.5
in (140 mm) when in use, with hooks/clips folded down (the hooks add
another 5/8 in (1.6 cm) to the height). The globe is frosted but has a
smooth, soft feel. The Orbit boasts a 45-lumen light using a
DoublePower LED, producing a non-glaring light. There are reflectors
on the top and bottom that help maximize light output, and the multi-
function button can dim the light to different settings for adjustable
brightness and battery conservation.
On the top of the lantern are two fold-down metal "hooks" that provide
an attach point for the Orbit to hang it from the inside of a shelter,
for example. On the bottom of the lantern are three fixed rubberized
This lower "leg" portion of the lantern unscrews, revealing a battery
pack that takes four (4) AAA batteries. Black Diamond recommends using
"alkaline or lithium batteries, or the Black Diamond NRG2 Rechargeable
Battery Kit (sold separately)".
The DoublePower LED light is stated to have a maximum 45 lumens and a
minimum 10 lumens. On the max setting, the battery life is stated at
15 hours. On low, battery life should extend to 24 hours. The maximum
illumination is 4 m (13 ft), and the minimum is 2 m (6.5 ft).
There is a small depression that extends the full length of the lower
portion of the lantern body where the button is located. The button
functions as a simple on/off switch, but when held, it dims the LED.
The LED will dim to a point and then "blink" when the lower or upper
limits of the LED have been reached.
All the pieces of the lantern
The included battery case has been expertly engineered to include
clips for each battery. Both battery terminals are located at the top
of the case. The battery case must be inserted with the terminals "up"
for the lantern to work correctly, but the case can be inserted upside
down, preventing the batteries from accidental drain.
The website describes one of the colors as "Dark Chocolate" and the
lantern I received has no brown color, in contrast to the photo off
the website. I would describe the color as dark grey.
The folks at Black Diamond have done a great job engineering this
simple yet effective little lantern. For example, the lantern is
bottom heavy, helping stabilize the lantern without adding fold-out
legs; the depression around the switch is helpful in locating the
button when visibility is low (on my lantern, the orange button
contrasts nicely with the dark grey plastic); the fold-out clips or
hooks on the top make it easy to attach the lantern to an overhead
line or branch; the location of the reflectors in the globe keeps the
glare down (I have to tip the lantern to the side to actually get a
full beam of light in my eye).
I have to say, I really like the reflector system and frosted globe in
how it reflects the light out and down. It seems no light is lost in
odd, useless directions.
The Orbit has some sort of clipping mechanism that keeps the lantern
open and closed. On close inspection, it is clear that there is a
small groove around the bottom and top of the lower portion of the
lantern. In the bottom ring in the top globe, there are small plastic
bumps that clip into these grooves. The lower portion of the top globe
is made of a flexible rubber material that can flex to allow the bumps
to get into position. I am sure Black Diamond has a more technical
explanation. This is definitely something to feel rather than read
I discovered the dimming quite by accident by simply holding down the
switch. The process works very easily and intuitively. The bright
DoublePower LED worked great to illuminate my living room and I can't
wait to take this out in the field. With minimal daylight hours this
time of year, I know I will be using the Orbit a lot to light up my
One thing I may look into is the rechargeable battery system that is
sold by Black Diamond specifically for the Orbit. Knowing the expected
battery life is about 10 hours (on the max setting), I can see myself
replacing batteries quite often. Having a rechargeable station would
PRO--Compactible, lightweight, bright light.
Please check back in approximately 2 months for my field report.
I would like to thank Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd. and
BackpackGearTest.org for providing me with the opportunity to test