Posted by Charlie Mike on 7th Feb 2015
So, I've been using the UCO Tetra rechargeable lantern now for several months and a bunch of camping trips. First of all it surprised me that it arrived fully charged, which is not a huge deal, but it was handy. Because I typically camp with more of a "backwoods/bushcraft" approach, the idea of a rechargeable lantern was not very appealing. However, I do often go out for only two or three days at a time, so I decided to give I a chance after it was recommended to me. I found that this little light would hold it's charge through a three day camping trip. I used it whenever I wanted it and didn't really take any special precautions to prolong battery life. When I was building a fire or shelter after dark, I put it into the "lantern" mode and hung it from a branch while I worked. At night, I hung it inside my shelter where it was easy to get to. The on/off switch is made of a glow-in-the-dark material which was pretty easy to spot in the dark. Once again: handy.
Because I was in Special Forces, I became very familiar with the idea of carrying 100lbs of "lightweight" equipment. However, to be fair to this little light, it is a featherweight. I couldn't tell the difference in my standard pack when I added this little gem. The weight to benefit ratio was definitely in favor of keeping this tool. Again, this wouldn't necessarily make the cut if I were planning to go out into the backwoods for a two week trip, because it would eventually become unusable gear if I didn't have a way to recharge it. However, for a short hiking/camping trip, I really like it. Plus, I have only been talking about it's functionality as a light. You can also plug in any appliance that charges from a USB port and pull from the rechargeable battery to your other device such as a phone or GPS.
The only problem that I've had with it, was the little badge that had the company emblem on it came unglued about the second day that I had it. No big deal. A couple drops of super glue and it was glued back down. Not that it affected the light in any way, it is essentially just a sticker.
The bottom line is that now that I have thoroughly evaluated the light, I've decided to start carrying it for sale to our clients. In case you didn't know, I test EVERY item that I am considering selling BEFORE they make it onto the website. If I test a product and I don't feel like it lives up to my standards, I don't sell it. Period. I've had people ask me why our retail line is so limited. That's why.
I hope you enjoyed this little write up. Look on the website soon for the Tetra lantern. I think you'll like it.
All prices are in USD.