It’s all well and good, attempting to cook a meal or play cards in a tent using just a headtorch, but sometimes you need a bit more sensible light in your life, and you need to turn to a good old lantern. We’re looking today at the Cyba-Lite Vega, made by Ring Automotive, which is a tough little beasty that would be suitable both for camping or for stashing in the car in case of breakdown.
Shown here for size next to a tin of soup, the Vega is a really solid feeling construction with rubber bumpers top and bottom and, with the 3x D Cell batteries inside it, a weightiness that is comforting in a ‘dead of night’ situation.
The Vega lantern is said to chuck out 300 lumen from its 3 LEDs, which in real-world terms is enough to light a tent or room bright enough to read by, but probably not to do open heart surgery. We’re currently renovating an old house, and the Vega has been used to navigate our way to and from the bathroom on those (frequent) evenings where the lights have stopped working.
With it’s massive, easy to grab handle, the Vega is a doddle to find in the night. And this task is also aided by a teeny little green LED which pulses every so often to let you know where it is, and that it has batteries in it!
The Vega has three lighting modes – Bright, not so bright, and if you hold the button down, flashy/strobe. The latter could be used to attract help or dissuade people from driving in to you if you break down on an unlit road.
With a satisfyingly positive CLUNK the clear housing screws off the lantern, revealing a dome of LEDs underneath, which sort of turns the Vega in to a torch. It’s a bit awkward to carry in torch mode, but nevertheless this is a handy feature to have if you ever need it.
The Vega runs on 3x D Cell batteries. I’ve been using standard alkaline jobbies in there and they’re not showing any sign of running down yet. It’s difficult to calculate how long we’ve been using the lantern, but it’s been in the house for a couple of months and used a few times a week, so that’s pretty good.
And finally, for maximum tent compatibility, there’s a hook built in to the bottom of the Vega, which is strong enough to take its weight well, and yet small enough to tuck in to most awnings. It’s a heavy beast though, so flimsy 2-man tents may well strain under its weight.
At £29.99 rrp, the Cyba-Lite Vega is a pretty good purchase. It’s solid, well made and seems like it would stand up well to a life of travel in a car, caravan or tent bag. The amount of light is all you need and the carry handle is very pleasant in use. What more do you need?
More: Ring Automotive