If you’re looking for a new lantern to light up your campsite on a spring camping trip, the new Crush Light from Goal Zero will certainly be of interest. This lightweight and extremely portable lighting solution not only features a built-in solar panel to recharge its internal battery, but also comes at a very affordable price, making it an intriguing option for use both at home and in the backcountry.
At first glance, the Crush Light seems like a fairly simple product without much in the way of technical innovations. But look a little closer and you’ll find that Goal Zero has integrated some interesting features into this innovative little lamp. For instance, it includes three brightness settings, with the highest level of illumination putting out as much as 60 lumens of light. A fourth setting even gives the Crush Light the ability to flicker like a candle, mimicking the more natural light given off by a traditional lantern.
The Crush Light’s onboard battery can power it for up to 35 hours on its lowest setting and requires just 2.5 hours to recharge using the included USB cable. The lantern also includes a small solar panel integrated directly into its design, which can fully recharge the battery in about 20 hours. Goal Zero says that its Nomad 7 Plus solar panel, which is sold separately, will speed that process along, replenishing the charge in about 2.5 hours.
One of the other innovative features of the Crush Light is its ability to collapse down for easy storage and transport. The main body of the lantern is made from a flexible rubber material that is durable, yet lightweight. It has been designed in such a way that the body functions a bit like an accordion, collapsing in on itself to save space inside a backpack. In this mode, the Crush Light is a mere .6 inches thick, although it expands to nearly 4 inches when fully opened. This allows the body to serve as a diffuser, helping to spread the light out over a wider area, while not taking up excess space in a backpack. In fact, it can easily be hung on the outside of a pack to collect sunlight throughout a day of hiking.
The Crush Light comes with a removable handle that allows it to be hung from the ceiling of a tent or the branch of a tree. It is also waterproof and weighs just 3.2 ounces, making it one of the lightest camp lanterns we’ve seen. Best of all, it sells for just $20, making it incredibly affordable as well.