Thursday, 1 August 2013

Alpkit Glowe Lamp Review

Maybe not so important in the Summer months, but seeing where you are going in the dark can be quite important. When I'm camping and the sun goes down, I like to have a read before I head off to the land of nod. It helps me relax. But seeing what you are reading is important. But my little two man tent would be overkill for a large lamp. In comes the Alpkit Glowe.
 
 



Specifications

With an output up to 170 Lumens and a burn time of 2 to 65 hours, the Glowe has some strong stats, especially running on 3 x AAA batteries (batteries were included with my lamp). It weighs 120gms, I presume including the batteries as a single AAA battery weighs around 11.5gms. The lamp is IPX5 water resistant, but there is a warning not to immerse the lamp in water, hence water resistant.
 
On the top of the lamp is a hanging loop made of metal, so should be fairly robust. At the bottom are three flip out feet to make a wider base, allowing the lamp to stand on reasonably flat ground. Between the feet are the rubberised switch for turning the lamp on and off etc.

The lamp not only runs on standard Alkaline batteries but will also accept, what Alpkit have list as NIH batteries on their site, I presume they mean NiMH rechargeable batteries. But they do warn against using Lithium batteries. Usually to do with the high output of Lithium batteries, as far as I am aware.
 
The unit is 115mm long when compressed, 165mm long when extended, and a maximum diameter of 50mm. So it pretty compact, especially considering the output.
 
In Use
 
The switch on the bottom is used to turn the lamp on and off. Each time you turn it on, the lamp changes modes. There appear to be 4 modes, a middle brightness, maximum, minimum, and strobe.
 
The clear, frosted, outer section of the lamp telescopes in and out. When in, it becomes a torch, when out, it becomes a lamp. The torch setting is very handy for those forays into the night, when nature calls.
 


 
 
The rubber covered main switch is glow in the dark and can be primed with a torch allowing the switch to be seen in the dark through the night. Of course this is great if you have a torch as well as the Glowe. If not, sunlight is the best way to charge the button, but may not last through the night. however, I found in the pitch black that even the slightest glow was visible enough to find the button and lamp.
 
 
 
 
The hanging loop can be difficult to flick out, but it is quite sturdy, and I chose to attach a length of paracord to it to make for more options.
 
The lamp is extremely bright and was more than adequate for my two man tent. It was bright enough for a read before bed. The lowest setting was just enough if you needed to find something during the night.
 
The torch mode is very impressive. It's up there with the likes of my LED Lenser P7 for brightness. although there is no focus adjustment. So it is what it is. Enough to find your way in the dark.
 
 
Conclusion
 
Competitors would be the UCO Clarus/Arka range and the Black Diamond Orbit Lantern.They have better options than the Glowe, but not for £12.50, including post and packaging, and three batteries to get you started. And an excellent service.