Sweet spot lantern for car camping CL30R review

The Fenix CL30R is not the first lantern I’ve owned for camping. I’ve used everything from a Coleman gas lantern to a candle lantern. You have to have the right tool for the job. The CL30R has a broad range of uses. It puts out plenty of light with good runtimes at each of the five light levels. Equipped from Fenix with three 2600mAh 18650 batteries, the instructions list runtimes from 4hrs30 minutes on “Turbo” to 300 hours on “Eco”, If those impressive numbers aren’t enough, runtimes are even higher using the Fenix 3500mAh batteries. I did not test the runtimes.

This lantern is too large for backpacking in my opinion. I have smaller Fenix lanterns and they work fine for that application. I would recommend the CL30R for car camping or camping that does not require a long hike to the campsite. It would also make an excellent emergency light. This lantern throws light all around, and while not quite as bright as a Coleman, it is close enough and a whole lot sturdier. It is also waterproof to IPX-7 standard, meaning it can take a short dunk without failing, but it is not meant as a submersible light. There is an extra o-ring provided to make sure the seal is good to the battery compartment.

The other big plus besides the amount of light this lantern gives is the charging port. It can be used to charge your phone or gopro, a welcome feature. It will also run on one or two batteries with the same output but less runtime. Altogether, it has all the features I could imagine for a lantern with the only drawback being it is too big to carry backpacking, (a task it was not designed to do). I would recommend this lantern to anyone looking for a sturdy, bright campsite lantern or emergency light with the added benefit of an extra charging port.

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