- A trusty light is a must in the backcountry. Brighten up your next adventure with one of these six picks from our 2013 Summer Buyer’s Guide, from a headlamp that turns into a lantern to a knife that with a flashlight right in the blade.
Brunton WowYou can wrap the Wow’s three spindly legs around a branch or tent pole, stick ’em to the hood of your car (the feet are magnetic), or screw ’em into the base of your point-and-shoot camera for an impromptu tripod. The Wow also converts to a flashlight—just pop off the plastic diffuser and snap it over the legs. ($47)
Energizer LED Folding LanternIt’s not as bright or classically cool as an old-school propane lantern, but it’s lighter, smaller (packs down to the size of a paperback), and battery powered, so you can use it inside your tent. Plus, it’s got an impressively soft and uniform glow, thanks to the tiny grid of dimmable LEDs spread across its flat—and movable—back panel. ($30)
Black Diamond Equipment VoyagerLike the Wow, the Voyager is a multitasking lantern-flashlight combo. And while you can’t mount it in nearly as many places as the Wow (there are just two hooks for hanging it), it’s more sturdily constructed, considerably brighter (75 lumens in lantern mode compared with the Wow’s 60), and dimmable. ($40)
Princeton Tec VizzThis Vizz is a jack-of-all-trades. The big LED bulb in the middle shoots a focused beam up to 300 feet, while four smaller bulbs (two white, two red) provide diffuse light for camp tasks. It’s also dimmable, waterproof, and equipped with a big, glove-friendly on-off button. If you own only one headlamp, this should be it. ($50)
SOG BladelightIf a classic Maglite and your trusty camp knife had a lovechild, it would look something like the Bladelight. The respectably bright flashlight (courtesy of six tiny LED bulbs) can be used with the knife deployed or folded away, and, of course, the 3.9-inch stainless-steel blade performs well in or out of the spotlight. ($85)
Mammut T-Trail and Ambient Light Dry BagWith four ultrabright LEDs and three dimmer settings, the T-Trail is the ideal everyday headlamp—with a cool trick up its sleeve. Affix it, light shining up, to the strap at the bottom of the included (and fully functional) opaque drybag and you’ve got lantern-quality diffuse light for cooking or reading. ($50)
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