In 2012, Mpowerd stormed the market with an inflatable solar light, the Luci Original. We love it and have waxed poetic about its simplicity and functionality on multiple occasions. This month, Luci released the Luci Outdoor Pro ($35). It performs like its predecessors but adds an internal 2,000 mAh lithium-ion battery that can be used to charge electronic devices. We’ve been testing it for the past few months and have come away impressed.
Besides the addition of the battery, everything we love about the Luci Original is the same in the Outdoor Pro. It fully charges in seven hours, and the ten LEDs cast a comforting 150-lumen glow for 24 hours. The battery, housed in a half-inch-thick disk on the top, is inconspicuous. It adds a little weight and slightly hinders packability, but besides that, it’s barely noticeable.
The lantern has been a welcome addition to my camping kit. Living in the desert, we have plenty of sunshine to juice up the light. Recently, we’ve been under a high-risk fire ban, which leaves much to be desired at night when a campfire is essential. I’ve replaced my fire with two of these lanterns, and they’re enough to create an enjoyable atmosphere.
The lithium-ion battery is two-way, meaning it can pump out juice to your phone and take a charge using traditional electricity when the sun is scarce. Although slower than a wall charger, the Outdoor Pro juiced a dead phone to 50 percent in a little over two hours. It’s a useful function that can be a real help in a pinch.