Don’t let the mean, sleek dark lines of the Varta Indestructible Lantern fool you in to thinking it’s a sleek lightweight. It looks like something that Airwolf would have had on his chopper, all matt black, dark moody and mysterious, but the first thing you notice about this Varta lantern is its weight.
It’s a beefcake, it definitely ate all your pies, your brothers and your grannies too. Weighing in – with its three D sized batteries at over 1kg (1126 grams to be precise). It’s also rather girthy so my hand doesn’t reach round it very far, so it’s rather handy that it is indestructible because I have – due to its weight and chunkiness – inadvertently chucked it around. Indeed it has survived a one story bounce down a flight of wooden stairs and landed onto flagstone flooring and not even flickered in the process.
Now, in fairness to Varta, I should point out that the indestructible lantern does have a handy carry handle on the top, so those with delicate digits don’t need to grip it, but for some reason I don’t instinctively grab for this – I wonder if its because it is recessed into the top of the lantern and also black so its not that visible? Or maybe I’m just weird…
There is also a handy hook widget on the base of the lantern so you can hang it, although given the weight of this beastie I’m not sure how happy I would be hanging it from my tent ceiling for any length of time. I would worry about it causing damage to the poles and also landing on me – if the later happened you would definitely know about it.
The light is provided by 6 LEDS covered by a diffuser, set in a mirrored base which then has a rather swanky molten metal Terminater-esque prism above it – Varta refer to this as ‘special reflector technology.’ Jargon aside it adds to the mean n’ moody looks and makes for a bright, wide and useful bright white light. The tech specs on Varta’s website tells me that on high power/full beam it chucks out 280 lumens.
There are two further light settings – medium is 110 lumens and dimmest is 32 lumens. This lowest setting has been handy as a night-light setting when we’ve had small people or somewhat inebriated people staying here at GWA HQ – we’ve found that it has been rather successful and stopping them falling down the stairs during any nocturnal wanderings.
Now I have a couple of gripes, the first is that the button is not that easy to find, it seems small compared to the size of the lantern and being the same matt black as the rest of the lantern in can take a a few spins to locate it in the dark. And secondly – and this gripe is really is aimed at the whole lamp/lighting industry – it would be really amazing if the lantern went from dim to bright, rather than the other way round to avoid the hideousness of blinding yourself when switching on in the dark.
I can see the Indestructible Lantern being uber-useful in a workshop setting where something as tough as this beastie will really come into its own, or if you are really clumsy then this may appeal to you as a car camping accessory.