Expert Review: Lander Cairn Lantern
This review is my honest opinion of the lantern, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the lantern, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
The Lander Carin Lantern is a great lighting option for car camping. It has a long battery life and three levels of adjustable brightness. It’s also really easy to hang from an internal tent loop.
About the lantern I own
- Model: Lander Carin Lantern
- Charging Type: Electricity
- When I bought this: January 2021
- Days tested: 100
- Used for: Car camping, hanging around camp, playing cards or reading in the car as weather passes.
- Where I’ve used it: All over Idaho, Utah, Oregon
- Seasons I’ve used it: Summer/Spring/Fall
- Experience: 25+ years of camping
How it performs
What I was looking for
I had a headlamp that I used for doing things around camp, but I wanted a light to hang from my tent or use while camping in the bed of my truck. I needed something that I didn’t have to wear.
Why I chose this gear
I chose this mostly because I liked the looks of it and because of its size. I was considering something larger, such as the Coleman BatteryGuard Lantern, but ultimately decided that was way too big. The Lander Carin Lantern is about the size of my palm and I like the circle design. I had considered the Black Diamond Moji lantern, which is about the same size, but does not come with the hook attachment that the Lander Carin possesses. I had also heard good things about the durability of Lander products.
What I love about it
- Durability: I haven’t dropped it or banged it up a ton, but I have been using it pretty consistently when I go camping for the last year and a half. It's still in great shape and works just as well as the day I got it.
- Charging Type: The Lander Carin uses a micro USB to charge. It also has a USB port to charge other devices, though it doesn’t provide a huge charge (not even a full phone charge).
- Weight: This lantern weighs .35lbs. I have brought it on backpacking trips before, but mostly I just use a headlamp on backpacking trips for lighting.
- Ease of Use: One button to choose between three main brightness levels. Holding the button dims the light for a more custom brightness level. It also comes with a hook that is easy to attach in tent loops or to hook around various other things (rear view mirror, a tree, backpack, etc).
- Versatility: As far as lanterns go, this one is pretty versatile. It can charge things, it’s bright, it has its own hook, it isn’t too heavy, and it has a great battery life. I can’t think of a camp lighting device that is more versatile.
- Reliability/Battery Life: Though it takes awhile to charge this light, it has an awesome battery life in light mode. I can use it consistently every night for a few hours for a week before it needs a charge. If I am using it as a charging bank, the battery drains pretty fast, but I can usually charge my phone about 50% and get four hours out of it.
- Car camping: I mostly use this for car camping. It’s easy to use in the car or tent because of the hooks.
- Weather Resistance: I have used the Carin Lantern in some light rain and snow and it has done great. I haven’t tested it in anything heavier, but it is fully rated to be waterproof.
- Brightness: It is fairly bright and lights a tent well. I also like that it’s a warmer color instead of a harsh blue light that some lanterns give off. I am really picky about lights before bed (I try to stay away from bright, blue lights), so I like the color of this one.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Features: The main feature that makes this stand out is the charging feature for other devices. It’s labeled as a lantern and power bank, but it really only does one or the other. It is nice that there is the option to use it as a power bank, but if I do so it dies really quickly. I wish the battery life for charging was slightly better.
- Backpacking: It's not totally necessary to have an extra lantern when backpacking, so it feels like more weight that I don’t need. The times I have brought it have been in the late fall and early spring when I know it will get dark early and think I might want to play cards in the tent with my camping partner. I will also bring it on shorter backpacking trips where I don’t already have a ton of gear and think it might be nice to have a small charger. Since it does not provide a huge charge to other devices, it isn’t what I usually rely on. But I will bring it for short trips where I don't need to charge my phone very much.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with this lantern was a really rainy night car camping in the Sawtooth mountains with my pup. I looped the lantern around one of the ceiling handles and read my book while laying in the backseat. It was really peaceful to hear the rain outside and the warm color from the lantern gave off a nice ambience. I kept hearing this noise that I didn’t recognize and looked up to see my dog staring out the front window at a huge herd of elk. I turned the light off and watched them until they wandered off and then kept reading. To this day I have not seen that many elk again.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Carin Lantern is a great, versatile option that has worked for me really well in all types of situations and conditions. I love that it is waterproof, comes with its own hook, and works as a power bank. I paid $60 for this and have totally gotten my money's worth out of it. The Black Diamond Moji that I was comparing it to is closer to $80 and isn’t quite as versatile. A larger lantern such as the Coleman BatteryGuard at $39 might be nice for some situations, but it wouldn’t be something I would ever bring backpacking, and it seems more bulky than it’s worth. It also doesn't have the versatility of being a charger. The Carin Lantern makes a great gift for an outdoorsy person who is hard to shop for given its versatility.
The Lander Carin Lantern is a great light source for camping. I like the warmer light color it gives off, plus it’s not too harsh and bright as some lanterns are. I also love that it has its own hook system, making it easy to attach to my backpack, tent, or car ceiling. I love dual-purpose products, so it’s also ideal that this can double as a charger for a phone or satellite device if need be.