Friday, August 23, 2013

Product Review: Baladéo ROC Lantern/Torch Combo


Sleeping alone in a tent at night, in the pitch black, can be very unnerving. You hear all sorts of things and having a light source nearby is beneficial. What about in a survival situation? Have you ever tried lighting a gas lantern when you are on high alert? It can get pretty shaky! Plus, gas powered lanterns are bulky, can be messy (you need gas), and require regular maintenance. Recently, I was made introduced to the Baladéo ROC Lantern/Torch Combo and it is an excellent replacement and is great for survival situations. I was contacted by Emily over at Survival Creek about reviewing the lantern and I had to think about it. Survival Creek is a new company, but also, I had never heard of the Baladéo line of products, so I did plenty of research before saying yes. Baladéo has been around since 1995 and they cater to people active in the outdoors.

Before I begin the review, I want to mention that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. The Survival Creek website is simple and to the point. They also have products that many of us have probably not heard of in the hunting industry. Backpackers and hikers have reviewed Baladéo and I was curious to see the quality of their products. Besides, most of the lantern I have used were strictly gas powered while this on runs on three AAA batteries.



The very first thing I noticed when I received the lantern was it is super compact! As you can see from the photo, it fits in my 4 year-old daughters hands and it a perfect size to fit in a backpack. I am still in awe at the size of this thing. It's not bulky at all!

After the three AAA batteries were inserted, it was time to begin testing! The ON/OFF button is on the butt end of the lantern/flashlight combo. The first press of the button gives you a high powered beam and press again to turn off. The third press turns on a low light beam and another press turns it off. The fifth press flashes a high-powered on/off giving you an emergency beacon. All three modes would be excellent in a survival situation or while camping.



The main feature I wanted to test was the lantern. You just unscrew the head of the light to reveal the end, pull up on the metal hanger and the lantern appears. Again, this is a very small lantern, but it does give out some bright light. Now, with a gas powered lantern there isn't a glimpse of a chance that I would allow my daughter even near it, let alone carry it around, but this is completely safe. We first tested it out while reading a bedtime story. It gave off plenty of light on the bright setting to read a story and share some giggles. (The settings for the high beam, low beam and flashing work the same for the lantern as they did with the flashlight.) The low beam would work just to see and get around in a tent, but not for reading. The flashing strobe works even better in the lantern setting because the light disperses 360°. If you needed assistance, you could set the lantern to strobe mode and let it sit on a rock so other could see it. A major plus with this lantern is that it gives off very little heat. The gas-powered lanterns would burn you if you touched the glass, but not the Baladéo. You can handle it like any flashlight and it's kid safe.


A waterproof  lantern? Really? This I had to see to believe! While I had no idea what IPX4 waterproof construction meant, so I looked it up. The '4' rating means it is waterproof to water splashing on it for up to five minutes. I was guessing that means as a flashlight, and possibly the lantern. After testing my theory I was right. I allowed it to get wet and had no issues. It DOES NOT mean you can open up the lantern, hang it over the edge of a boat underwater to attract bait fish! What it means is that if you happen to be crossing a stream and it accidentally falls and you pick it up quickly, it should be safe. Don't submerge it as that is not what it's meant for.


Information from the website:

The Baladeo 3W 'ROC' is both a high utility Lantern and capable Flashlight. The product is perfect for camping and outdoor applications for outdoor lovers and camping enthusiasts. It is by default set-up as a flashlight with a focus-able beam that unscrews to reveal the collapsible lantern. This Lantern/Torch has a powerful 3 watt LED emitter for 90 lumens max output, , powered by three AAA batteries (included). The Torch Lantern has a push button switch with three modes to choose from: high (100%), low (30%) and flashing. Anodized gray aluminum construction with lantern hanger and IPX4 waterproof construction. 

Specifications:

  • Max Output: 90 Lumens
  • Beam Distance: 30 meters
  • Runtime: 3 hours
  • Length: 4"
  • Open Length: 5.65"
  • Head Diameter: 1.48"
  • Diameter: 1.43"
  • Weight: 3.6 oz. 

PROS:

  1. As the website states, it is a very lightweight piece of gear. While it's the last thing mentioned, I believe it one of the best parts of this review.
  2. In a survival situation, I would dream of my 4 year-old carrying a bulky, heavy gas-powered lantern that gave off so much heat it could burn her. This one is an excellent replacement!
  3. I have been using the same batteries for over a month and they still work well. At 4" tall it will fit in just about any pocket on a backpack.

CONS:

  1. The one issues I have with the lantern is that the lantern section seems to be made with glass. If you dropped it and it shattered, what would you do? It would be great to see Baladéo add in a metal post on one side and the other to give it some more rigidity.
  2. Also, describe the IPX4 waterproof construction rating and what it means on the box. Don't make the customer have to look it up.
After all is said and done, I would give the Baladéo ROC Lantern/Torch Combo 4 out of 5 stars. If it were completely waterproof I might give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.  It retails for $44.95 and while I think the lantern is great, the price seems a bit high. If it were around the $30 range I think it would be a much more reasonable investment. Overall, it is a fantastic addition to a pack for hikers and campers. As a hunter, I would pack this as a lightweight alternative to a heavy lantern. If you camp with kids, this is a fantastic lantern that everyone will enjoy.

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1 comment:

  1. Great review! I need something small like that to keep in my boat since I always forget to grab the large lantern when I'm night fishing. I nearly fell in the water on the weekend after tripping over a rock I couldn't see.

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