LTR - Energizer Carabiner Area Light - Coy Boy
- Hello Kara Stanley and all, I am a few days late but I think you will see it was worth the wait...LOL. I have enjoyed testing this light. If we gave things a rating this one would get 2 thumbs up!
Below is the text and here is a link to the copy in the test folder. Thanks in advance for any edits and or comments. Enjoy!
Long Term Report: March 19, 2013
Test Locations and Conditions
I camped out four nights and used it several other times out in my yard. Conditions have been the typical cold and wet winter type weather for Northeastern Alabama but I did not camp out on the coldest nights. The coldest temperature at which I actually used the light was during an overnight hike on January 2, 2013 when the low dropped to 33 F (1 C) My pack weight was around 25 lb (11 kg) for the first three hikes but on my last hike I got it down to 17 lb. (8 kg). I managed to miss rain during my overnight hikes but my last overnighter was right after some sever storms passed though so the trial was very wet and my hammock tarp got pretty wet as the wind continued to blow after the rain stopped. I hiked on local trails that start just a short distance from my front door. I consider myself extremely lucky in that the scenery along these trails is just about as pretty as anywhere else I have hiked including the Smoky Mountains. There is just not quite as much elevation change. I live at 1200 ft (366 m) and the creek I hike down to is around 800 ft (244 m)
Long Term Test Results
My first overnight hike was on November 17. The temperature was 52 F (11 C) that afternoon and dropped to 35 F (2 C) overnight. I Had just had my left knee scoped a few weeks prior to this hike so I only hiked about 3 miles total (5 km) and I still stayed on the trail around the top of the bluff I had been walking the past few weeks while day hiking. I used the light for about an hour to read an Outdoor Life magazine before turning in for the night. It was a bright night with clear skies so I really did not need the light for the few bathroom breaks I took during the night but I used it anyways. I noticed that I could hardly tell any difference between the high and low area light settings both inside and outside my hammock, but for reading, the bright setting did seem to make the print pop a little more. I woke up at 4 AM wide awake so packed up for my hike home. I hung the light on a handy limb near my hammock but not on either of the trees I was hanging from. I did notice that as I was taking down my hammock the shadow my body created cause the area in front of me to be pretty dark. However, by moving slightly to the side I could get enough light to see the knots. Of course I have done the same thing in total blackness so I'm not sure it mattered much. The only other thing I notices was that while hiking out in the dark I found it difficult to use the Energizer Carabiner LED Area Light in the flashlight mode while holding my hiking pole so I resorted to using it in the high area light mode. I was hiking pretty close to some steep drop offs and did not want to risk falling. The area light did not light the trail at my feet quite as well as the directional light did, but I did not have to keep it aimed as precisely so this actually made using the area light safer. It took right at an hour to hike home.
My next use was on a short 2 mile (3 km) overnight hike on January 2, 2013. It was a chilly 45 F (7 C) when I left the house and cooled down to 33 F (1 C) by the next morning. I actually packed my head lamp just in case I ended up doing any night hiking but did not. My knee was felling a lot better so I hiked down to the creek this time. I did use my hiking poles but all during daylight hours. I basically used the light while reading in my hammock, to grab a snack during the night or getting out of my hammock for a bathroom break.
My next use was on March 12, 2013. The high on this hike was 51 F (11 C) and the low was 35 F (2 C). I had actually planed an overnight hike the previous weekend when it was much warmer but working on a ladder 2 days in a row helping my dad put a tin roof on his shed left me very sore and unable to get around very well. Anyways, since my knees were still hurting the following weekend I decided not to hike down to the creek but instead stayed on the trail that goes around the top of the bluff. It has lots of ups and downs but nothing near as steep as the trail leading down to the creek. I hiked 2 miles (3.2 km) to an overlook, then a mile (1.6 km) back to a good campsite and then a mile (1.6 km) home the next morning. The one major difference from my previous hikes was that I did not pack a magazine this time. I had picked up my first smart phone for my birthday in February. This meant I used the Energizer Carabiner LED Area Light even less this trip. I probably used it for about 30 minutes total during the night.
My last use was on March 18, 2013. I was not sure I would make the trip but the sever thunderstorms cleared out a couple of hours before sundown. The Temperature was 55 F (13 C) at the start of this trip and dropped to 37 F (3 C) overnight. The hike followed the same route as the March 12 overnighter, but to help my knees which were still tender, I did some major load (weight) cutting. I got my total pack weight down to 17 lb. (8 kg). I started by leaving my stove and Ti Kettle at home, no hot chocolate on this trip. I also changed my sleeping bag from The Exped DreamWalker Syn 133 L to a much lighter down half bag and used a new down jacket I recently purchased in place of the fleece jacket I had been using. I did not even pack a camera since the camera on my iPhone has proven to be pretty good. I know this does not have much to do with using the Energizer Carabiner LED Area Light but I did use it several times to get up during the night. It was cloudy the first several hours after dark but by 2 AM the skis were clear. I tried to determine if the light output had diminished any from the first nights use to now, but to be honest, I could not tell. It was still plenty bright for what I was using it for, mainly fiddling around in my hammock or getting up for short bathroom breaks. I have probably used the light for around 6 hours total so far, about 2/3rds of the time divided evenly in either the high or low area light setting and the other 1/3rd in the directional light setting. In other words, around 2 hours in each of the three light settings. I'm not sure how much less energy the light uses in the area low or directional modes, but I was surprise to get 6 hours (and still going strong) considering the advertized run time is 5 hours in the area high setting.
The Energizer Carabiner Area Light is a very useful light. Its weight is reasonably low so that even an ultralight hike should not be too put of by the weight aspect. I like that is uses LEDs which translates in longer battery life compared to other types of light bulbs of the same general light output. I also like that I can hang the light over a limb when I arrive at my campsite and leave it there while I go about setting up camp. I did not actually have to set up in the dark but I did hang it on a limb while breaking camp once. If I planed to do much night hiking with hiking poles I would recommend using a headlamp instead of this light but would actually consider bring both since I think this light is better for using as an overhead light in my hammock. Assuming no campfire, I would definitely prefer it for a camping trip with friends because it could be hung overhead and not have everyone shining a headlamp in eash others eyse while sitting around chatting before truing in for the night.
This concludes my reporting for the Energizer Carabiner LED Area Light. I would like to thank Energizer and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this light.