Power and Light: the BioLite PowerLight Mini
BioLite, the fine folks who brought you the BioLite Campstove, recently released the new BioLite PowerLight Mini, a compact wearable lantern and rechargeable battery designed to cut down on gear overlap and smoothly cross over from the campsite to daily use.
And what a lantern it is. It throws out a solid 135 lumens (about the brightness of a 20 watt lightbulb), which is plenty of light to chase away the shadows and illuminate, say, a map in the dark.
The Powerlight Mini’s flat panel LED light features an edge-lit lens to help keep it pocket-sized and still generate a good amount of light. Here’s a look at how it was designed and made.
It’s a sturdy piece of gear, made with durable stainless steel, but at only 15 millimeters thick, it’s smaller than a deck of playing cards (another campsite staple).
With the PowerLight’s single button, you can easily switch between the device’s five different light modes: white lantern, white lantern plus point light (let’s just call it bright mode), red lantern, white strobe, and red strobe. The button also controls the lantern mode’s gradual dimming feature.
It has a convenient built-in metal clip (BioLite calls it a clip-stand) that allows you to attach it to a belt, a shirt-front pocket, a pants pocket, or even a hat (although pulling that off might be a little tricky). BioLite says that on a single charge the PowerLight Mini will last for up to two whole days in white lantern mode or up to five hours in bright mode.
It can also be used as a bicycle headlight (it might be a little dim for this) or tail light when used in red lantern or red strobe modes. It even comes with a convenient bicycle mounting bracket.
But the PowerLight Mini is more than just a really useful flashlight — it can also be used to power mobile devices with its 1350 mAh battery. That isn’t enough power to fully charge many mobile phones (let alone tablets), but it’ll be able to top off a waning charge and even provide a few extra minutes of juice in emergency situations. It comes with its own olorful reinforced standard USB to micro USB charging cord.
The BioLite Powerlight Mini sells for $45 and comes in two colors (that I saw anyway), teal and orange — the colors of the BioLite logo — and is available from Backcountry.com