Avid Shark Tank fans will remember LuminAID, a company that creates inflatable, solar-powered lights that are are designed for both disaster relief and regular camping trips, and its newest lights are better than ever.
The compact LuminAID PackLite Firefly is a cube-shaped take on the company’s original inflatable lights, and is capable of putting out up to 75 lumens (roughly five or six regular candles), and running for up to 18 hours on its dimmest setting. It can also flicker like a candle if you want to use it while eating dinner, and can recharge itself with an integrated solar panel, or any microUSB charger. Plus, it comes in a multicolor model called the Spectra (for the same price, no less!), if you’re feeling festive.
The more interesting product though is the LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1, which is bigger than the PackLite Firefly and twice as bright, but more importantly includes a USB port to charge your phone. Granted, that itsy-bitsy solar panel and the relatively small 2,000mAh battery mean that you won’t want to rely on it for a full phone charge, but it could give you enough juice to make an emergency call, even if you’re well off the grid.
We’ve also tried out a nearly identical competitor from MPOWERD called the Luci Pro Outdoor 2.0. It features the same brightness, same battery size, same size solar panel. The only real differences are that it’s round, it’s a little smaller and it’s usually a little cheaper. It also only has one USB port for both input and output, meaning you’ll need to keep track of the somewhat uncommon USB-A to USB-A charging cable, rather than using microUSB for recharging like the LuminAIDs.
But back to LuminAID. Confusingly, the PackLite Max isn’t the largest light in the family; that honor belongs to the PackLite Hero, which again is twice as bright as the Max at 300 lumens, and includes a battery twice as large to match.