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With sunsets getting earlier by the day having ample lighting options while camping is key. Same goes for enjoying an evening in the park or the backyard. Brooklyn, NY-based Biolite has long been an innovative leader in the camp lighting category with hyper functional headlamps and lanterns—and of course, camp stoves and portable fire pits. That trend continues with the Biolite AlpenGlow Mini, a new, palm-sized lantern launching today, 4 October 2023.
The USB-C rechargeable AlpenGlow Mini ($40) is both weather resistant and extremely lightweight at just 3.5oz (98g). With four color options and the ability to cast broad-spectrum light in a range of hues and color cycles (including warm white light that's ideal for nighttime cooking and photography, and red for preserving night vision, reading, and bedtime prep), it's as playful and cute as it is functional and deserving of a spot in your go-to camp kit.
I had the opportunity to test a sample ahead of launch, and was both surprised at the power the little light packs (150 lumens with 40 hours of burn time per charge) and pleased with how easy it is to use. The big button on top operates the on/off switch, as you’d hope, while four LEDs on the side indicate battery life. Underneath, an integrated bungee with toggle makes hangin/ affixing the light to tent poles, tree branches, hooks, etc easy.
When it comes to the best camping lanterns, easy of use and dependability are my two most important determining factors when choosing what gets tossed in the camp bin and what gets left in the gear closet at home. That said, the Biolite AlpenGlow Mini has earned a spot in not only my camping go-bag, but also picnic kit and rig glove box, too.