Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review: Fenix CL20 camp lantern

Whilst I was looking for a replacement for my lost Fenix TK51, (finally settling on the most excellent LD60) I also saw the newly released CL20 camp lantern that Fenix have put out. Sean from G8 Distribution was kind enough to send one to me one to trial.

The CL20 Camp Lantern weighs in at 100g (3.6oz) excluding batteries, and 8cm (3.1") length x 4.5cm (1.8") width x 6cm (2.3") high, making it pocket sized,and its rounded shape makes it ideal for stuffing into a pack, or pocket, and not having to worry about sharp edges jabbing you or your gear. That rounded dome houses a multifaceted internal coating, which coupled with the neutral white Cree LED, gives a very gentle light, making it easy on the eye, even at the maximum settings.
As with all of the Fenix lights I've used, the output is digitally regulated, maintaining constant brightness levels regardless of battery life and includes reverse polarity protection to protect from improper battery installation. The CL20 will take either a pair of AA's, or a single CR123A, giving you a range of power options for better.

A push button control on the side steps up from the lowest setting, 8 lumen, then on to 50, 100 and finally the maximum of 165 lumen. At this setting, it casts a 10m glow, perfect for tents and work areas. a double-press of the button when off turns on a second LED, in red, and supplies a 1.5 lumen glow, enough for navigating around a dark enclosure, or finding your way along a path, but not so much as to dazzle you out of your night vision.

The most exciting features of the lantern apart from its great ergonomics are that the red LED also has a "SOS" style flashing mode, accessible by toggling the button again when on red-LED mode. The other great features are the attachment options.

A metal ring attached to the middle of the lanterns base gives you tent hook attachment, as well as acting as a latch to access the battery compartment. Beside the metal ring, on either side, are two rare-earth magnets which gives you ferromagnetic attachment options. I've now hung mine from a shower hook, stuck it to frame of my car, the wall of a shed and to the bolt holding up my Ikea Gorm shelves.

With an IPX-6 waterproofing rating (heavy rain and brief submersion) and a 1.5m drop rating, this little light is both rugged and useful. I can imagine it becoming a standard addition to my camping kit, but also to my car tool-kit, and also as part of my black-out recovery kit.
Full power white LED in a dark room
Red LED in a dark room

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