A well-designed, multi-tasking lantern can be a great investment for many reasons. They can be useful in the home, during power shortages and for decoration. They can be useful for camping and outdoor walking during the winter months. A good lantern can also be used by kids during holidays such as Halloween or Christmas. With so many reasons to buy one, the market is very competitive and standards are high. I had the chance to try a brand new device named the GoGo Lantern which is currently being crowdfunded on Indiegogo.
There are a lot of features built into this lantern. It is intended to be a lightweight, portable light that charges by USB and solar power. It’s super bright, easy to store and foldable, waterproof and has a magnetic base. It also has a customisable shell.
My first thought on seeing the sample I received was that it wasn’t the most attractive lamp I’ve seen. The base and rim at the top are fluorescent coloured in green, blue or orange. I had the orange version to try and although that’s my favourite colour, it’s not one I’d choose for a lantern. The shell was frosted plastic and it looked to me like a device that focused more on functionality rather than aesthetic appeal. This is fine because the shell is customisable. You can have it clear, decorated with a range of patterns or have a company logo embossed on the side.
One thing I like about it is that it lightweight. In fact I tried a much smaller lantern recently that fit in the palm of my hand and they weighed about the same, so considering how much larger the GoGo Lantern is, I would say this is impressive.
There’s a handle that loops across the top of the lantern for ease of carrying. You can also remove the base and clip it to a lanyard and the pictures on the Indiegogo site suggest you can then wear the base around your neck. The base is quite large, so this could be cumbersome. I can’t see the benefit in doing this because it is so big and would get in the way when running or cycling for example.
The base itself has two sides, one with a circle of blinding white lights and a power switch in the middle and the other has a solar charging panel and another power switch. It took me a while to figure out that you need to press both power switches, on both sides, to activate the lights and I thought at first that the lantern was defective. If you press twice, you get a stronger powered light and a third time makes the lights flash, which could be useful for attracting attention, for example on a lifeboat or a mountain.
There were a few issues that detracted from my enjoyment of this lamp. Apart from the fact that it wasn’t attractive to me and it took me a while to figure out how to even switch it on, the base has to be removed to charge the lamp. I had hoped that it could be hung somewhere outside, charge during the day and be used at night but because the lantern is so deep, the sun’s rays don’t hit the solar charging panel while it is hanging. I really feel it would be easier to use if the lantern could charge while hanging.
I can confirm this is waterproof, as claimed. I left it out in heavy rain to test it and it did still work just as well afterwards. The base is magnetic, although I found no use for that function personally.
Overall, I felt that this could have some potential but it needs to be improved. It’s not something I would buy at the moment but I did like the idea of using it as an ornamental ice bucket, which is shown in one of the pictures above. If you would like to read more about this lantern, you can view the product page on Indiegogo.