Talking Points – Fenix CL26R

Ambassador Justin J.

Philosophy of Use
• Ultra-lightweight camping lantern designed for long-term use in extreme environments. I purchased this lantern to use around the house with my family and also for when we go on vacation. We go on camping trips quite a bit and needed something that can withstand the abuse of weather and rough handling (tossing in the vehicle or backpack). The Fenix CL26R checked off all our boxes.

• It’s a tad over 3 inches tall and roughly 2 inches in diameter. It’s small enough that it’ll fit in my cargo pockets on the side of my pants. It’s also substantial enough to not lose it easily.

• The CL26R has a max output of 400 lumens, all the way down to 1 lumen. At 1 lumen the lantern can run for 400 hours! Talk about bright! It’s hard to believe how much light comes out of this little thing. We use it every single day around the house, especially at night when putting the kids to sleep. It has a very low brightness setting at 1 lumen and helps the kids fall asleep. They love the soft glow of the beam.

Beam Distance
• 82ft max distance. I’ve found that the light output is sufficient for our needs. We can set it up in the middle of camp and have plenty of light alongside the campfire. Rarely we need a little more punch, usually when our campsite is large, in which case we pull out the Fenix CL30R. Otherwise, we tend to use the CL26R the majority of the time since it’s relatively small, and the kids love its size and ease of use.

• We use every aspect of the CL26R. The down-directional light is perfect for the tent. We can power it on, hang it, and forget about it. The kids love it. They tend to collect a ton of rocks and other things from the woods and bring them into the tent to look through. The lantern is more than bright enough for them to easily see their rock collections. For us, we use the red function quite a bit. We use it so much that we’d like to see at least two modes of red in a future iteration. Maybe a high/low red as we sometimes feel like it needs a little more punch in certain environments. The top of the lantern is magnetic, and we’ve used that feature maybe a handful of times. There is also a tripod mount on the top and we’ve used that a lot when setting up in the middle of the campsite. Getting the light up higher usually allows the light to reach out further. The CL26R is also micro usb rechargeable. We love the ease of being able to plug it into a power source and have it fully charged in no time. I don’t think we’d enjoy this lantern as much as we do if we had to always take the batteries out to charge them. Speaking of power, the front of the lantern has an indicator light that lets you know when it’s time to charge it. A quick tap of the power button shows you the current battery capacity. We usually try to put it on the charger as soon as it reaches the lowest level. The CL26R is a perfect fit for our growing family.

• 18650 battery is included, alone with a spare o-ring, key ring, and charging cable. You can also use two cr123A batteries. I love Fenix 18650 batteries. They last forever, it seems. It’s also great to see the lantern can use the cr123a batteries since they are great in cold weather and have a 10-year shelf life. I keep a few dozen around the house in case of emergencies.

• The CL26R is built tough for the long haul. It is extremely cold resistant while also maintaining an IP66 rating against water and dust. To be honest, I believe the CL26R is indestructible. If it has lasted a week with our kids, then it’s definitely a winner in my book. It is made from some pretty tough materials and can withstand up to a ton of weight, which is crazy once you see how small this little guy is. It has been dropped, kicked, knocked off the tripod stand, you name it. It’s still going strong at 100%. We couldn’t ask for a more durable lantern.

• In my opinion, Fenix always over delivers. The CL26R is no exception. They give you more than what you ask or pay for. There is a ton of added value in the box as the CL26R comes as a complete kit, battery and all! You can take it out of the box, charge it up, and toss it into your backpack, and you’re ready to go! We have taken ours on many family trips and it has come in handy in more ways than one. Our children love having a light at night in the tent. It helps them sleep knowing they have instant access to light when they feel they need it. If you have friends or family members who hike or camp, or work on vehicles, this is a fantastic gift option for that person. They will absolutely love using it and will likely tell you all about it too! Don’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s that good!

Final Thoughts
• On a scale from 1-10, (1 being not recommended vs 10 being highly recommended) I give the CL26R a solid 10. First and foremost, we use it around the house with the kids at night. They have to get up and go to the bathroom at least twice. Our oldest loves taking it with her as the hallway nightlights are very dim. It is very easy for her to use the lantern since there is only one button to use.

• I like the lantern for so many reasons. It’s bright, lightweight, insanely durable, reliable, and useful. I’m fairly tough on my gear, (not intentional) and sometimes forget and leave stuff outside in the elements. I’ve accidentally left this lantern outside overnight in the rain and wind and found it covered in mud the next day. I washed it off and hit the power button and it still worked (I had no doubt it would).

• I can see the CL26R being a great option to carry in your vehicle for emergency use. If you ever find yourself stranded, you’ll be very glad to have this little gem with you to light your pathway to find help. I have friends who’ve had to wait on tow trucks for over an hour out in the middle of nowhere. If the vehicle dies completely, you’re without a light source. This is a great option to have with you should you ever find yourself in a similar situation. I would keep a few sets of cr123a batteries as emergency backups too.

• Overall, my wife and I love this little lantern. Fenix has once again managed to make an illumination tool that enhances our lives. I tell all of my friends that there are some things in life that you simply do not skimp on and a good quality light source is one of those things. The Fenix CL26R is a lantern that will light the way for many years to come!