As LED bulbs have gotten better, rechargeable batteries have gotten cheaper, and USB ports have become as common as smartphones, why do we still put up with flashlights requiring batteries? At this point it seems like a sin against nature. A lazy sin.
Don’t even give me the doomsday scenario—you can use a solar charger too if the lights really go out for good.
This cool little Jolt light from eGear has been something I couldn’t wait to get my hands on from the first time I saw it. It hits all our buttons here: it’s practical, lightweight, tiny, ec0-friendly, and it overdelivers.
It’s about the size of my thumb, so I’m worried more about losing it than I am having room for it in my bag. The little battery packed in there is quite efficient though. After charging it up, I let it burn non-stop to see how long it would run. It went for 6.5 hours before it dimmed. (It still hadn’t gone out completely.) I think that’ll do for more than a few trips to the latrine.
When it’s time for a recharge, you simple pop off the cap in the back and plug it into any USB port. With so many people have a USB wall adapter now for their phone, tablet, or e-reader, you’ve probably got something already that’ll allow you to plug it into a wall outlet. Or you can buy the combo Jolt/Volt package that comes with a car adapter. That would make this a great little glove compartment emergency light, especially since it fills back up with juice so quickly.
As far as specs go, it’s got a 25-lumen LED bulb. That’s no match for the Fenix 180-lumen one I tried before that uses on AA battery, but it’s also far smaller and lighter, with nothing to replace ever. The output is 5 volts and it weighs a mere 0.6 ounces, or 17 grams. It’s water-resistant too. It’s supposed to recharge in two hours, but after I ran it down it only took a half hour for the indicator to go from red to green.
Tim Leffel is founder of the Practical Travel Gear blog, as well as the Cheapest Destinations blog and the narrative webzine Perceptive Travel. He is the author of The World's Cheapest Destinations (now in its 4th edition), Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune, and A Better Life for Half the Price.