Gear Review: Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern & USB Power HUB

This car camping lantern has a lot of great functions beyond just lighting up your picnic table.

This camp lantern definitely has a lot of car camping staying power. The same can be said for it's battery life (see what I did there?). I also love the option of making the light fully illuminated or unidirectional. There are wire arms that wrap around or fold out and extend below the lantern to add lift on a table or a lashing point to hang above. Before I took this 1.1lb guy camping I wanted to make sure it's battery life was as advertised. In a couple full drains and power cycles, broadcasting at full power (turbo), I was getting better-than advertised life. The turbo run time for both sides lit was closer to 3 hrs (vs 2.5) and for one side lit was 6 hrs (vs. 5). I could recharge the device from flat in abotu 7 hours (as advertised). I have to give this 3.5 out of 5 stars though, because I couldn't even get the lantern to do one full charge of my phone for me before dying, when it claims it will provide about 2.5 phone charges from full power before giving out. That time will vary for others I'm sure.

Testing out the Lantern at Lincoln Gulch Campground near Aspen, Colorado.

I am very pleased to see a hand crank, because in an emergency situation this would be a great way to help out. I just think though that due this lantern's weight, you're better off not backpacking with it and so belongs in the car camp category. The likelihood of using the crank then goes down a lot, but it's good piece of mind for the other campers in your group I guess :-). Overall the lantern is solid. It took a bit of a beating over the weekend and it kept on shining. The light isn't hard on your eyes too when at full power, so if you wanted to walk around with it holding it from it's top handle, it wouldn't blind you. I also like the red emergency light button, which when depressed and held gives a battery life indication as well as creates a red strobe effect (althgough faint) from the top of the lantern. More info from Goal Zero. 

The lantern using its one directional lighting option to help with campfire cocktails.