Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mini Candle Lantern from UCO

Flash back to the days before electricity and gas lanterns and nobody had any worries about global warming or pollution. If you needed light, you just lit up a candle. Now we may use candles mostly for mood lighting, but they can be a cheap, practical, and eco-friendly light source when you're camping or traveling. If you want to have the ease of a lantern but keep things small and light, this mini candle lantern from UCO is a sweet item.

It holds a regular tea light candle, which you can find just about anywhere. The one that came with the lantern burned for over three hours in my test, which ought to be plenty to carry you from sunset to sleepy time if you're out camping. Some candles will go four hours and the company estimates a "fuel cost" of 8 cents per hour. The lantern cast a nice warm glow, but barely flickered when the wind blew.

The mini candle lantern is made from rustproof, ultra-light aluminum and has a catch basin to trap any spilled wax. It only weighs 3.2 ounces, or 90 grams. A small handle allows you to carry it to your outdoor toilet and hang it somewhere when needed. And here's a surprise: it's not shipped across the ocean from China. For $11 or $12, this would be a nice gift for a camper or someone getting ready for a vacation somewhere that the power supply is iffy.

You can also get a cool sleeve for it called the Cocoon. This will keep the lantern from getting scratched up and will make it easier to stuff in your bag without the rest of your clothes smelling like melted wax.

Get the mini candle lantern at Amazon

Search for candle lanterns at REI


Anonymous said...

I bought two sizes of these last summer and then sold my Coleman gas lantern and battery-powered one at a yard sale. I feel a lot better about my impact out in the wild and it's a more natural glow anyway. Well-made too.

Anonymous said...

Is the regular UCO candle lantern much brighter than the Mini?

Just wondering...

Tim said...

I would imagine they're about the same brightness unless you step up to one that uses three candles instead of one. Only tested the mini though, so I'm not sure.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the 'eco' claim, it still burns and produces CO2 right?

Creek Chaser said...

The eco claim is based on the fact that wax used in candles can be both natural and renewable, whereas gas is non-renewable and has to go through pollution-causing processing to make it fit for consumption.

In addition, its not so much the CO2 being produced that people are concerned about (though a gas lantern can almost be guaranteed to produce more CO2 than a tea light candle), as the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (which are carcinogenic) and volatile organic compounds (which are also often carcinogenic, and combine with nitrogen oxides to form smog and can cause acid rain).

Not really things you want to be doing, especially if you're the outdoorsy, nature-loving type.