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Earlier this summer I received the LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger to try out and let me tell you, I love this thing! I pretty much always bring this with me even if I think we might be camping. I mentioned it in my road trip camping packing list post, but I decided to do a whole review about it because there was so much I didn’t have room to say.
What is the LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger?
LuminAID started in 2010 and makes solar-powered lanterns of various shapes, sizes, and designs for all different purposes. From stars for a fun atmosphere camping to the original LuminAID to help with natural disaster relief around the world. They were featured on Shark Tank and continued to thrive with the backing of Mark Cuban.
In 2017, they launched a Kickstarter for a dual phone charger + lantern in the spirit of ultra-compact gear that was fully backed in eight hours. This is the PackLite Max, an inflatable solar-powered lantern with a phone charger. It’s super light at 8.5 ounces and only one inch thick when flattened.
How does the LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger work?
Easy! It will come flattened and all you do to use it is charge it, blow it up, and turn it on. There are two ways to charge it: in the sun or by USB cable. If you charge it in the sun, which is perfect if you’re hiking or camping, it will take about 14 hours. charging by USB cable will finish in 1-2 hours.
On TURBO mode, the lantern puts out 150 lumens. On low mode, it can be used for up to 50 hours. To turn it on, just push the red power button next to the USB port. One push will have it on TURBO, then there is also high (75 lumens), medium (18 lumens), low (15 lumens), and flashing (15 lumens). I think the low setting is perfect for most scenarios.
To charge your phone, simply plug in the USB cable to your phone and the lantern, then push the other red button next to the five small lights on the right. Depending on the type of phone you have, it will be charged in 2-4 hours.
You can find all of the specs, charge times, number of times you can charge things, and runtimes for different settings on the product page.
Where can I use the LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger?
Everywhere! It’s waterproof and floats, so it can be used in any weather. Of course, if you have your phone plugged in, be more careful. It can even be submerged in water up to 1 meter. Need more ideas?
- In your tent
- Going to the bathroom when you’re camping. It’s perfect for lighting up the bathrooms at campgrounds.
- In the car at night
- In the house at night if you want some mood lighting
- In a blackout
- Hanging out at the beach at night
And these are just a few uses, but there are plenty more.
Where can I buy the LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger?
You can get it quite a few places, but I would go with the direct website myself where you can buy a light for yourself and donate one as well. You can also find it on Amazon and Walmart as well as in some stores and other various outdoorsy websites.
- PackLite Spectra USB – This changes colors and provides up to 12 hours of light. It can be solar-charged or charged by USB.
- PackLite Nova USB – This is the basic light with no fancy features or color-changing options, just the same brightness settings as the PackLite Max. It can run for up to 24 hours on low mode. It can be solar-charged or charged by USB.
- PackLite Hero 2-in-1 Supercharger – This is the same as the PackLite Max, but you can charge your phone 2-3 times instead of just once. It can be solar-charged or charged by USB.
- PackLite Firefly USB – The Firefly is really unique and something I would love to try. In addition to the regular light settings, it offers a glimmer mode to mimic the light of a firefly. This light has a warm glow and glistening frame. It can run up to 24 hours on low mode. It can be solar-charged or charged by USB.
- Smart Solar Garden Gem – The Gem allows you to choose from hundreds of colors or pure white light that you can schedule to turn on and off at certain times. It can run for about 14 hours. It can be solar-charged or charged magnetically and is Bluetooth enabled.
- Smart Solar Garden Star – There are options for vibrant cool and warm white light that can be scheduled to turn on at certain times or synced to turn on at sunset. It can run for about 12 hours. It can be solar-charged or charged magnetically and is Bluetooth enabled.
- Donate a light, Give Light, Get light – You can either donate a light if you don’t want one for yourself or, if you do want one and want to donate, you can do that, too! There are options to do this with the Nova and PackLite Max 2-in-1.
Pros and Cons
Now that you know all about LuminAID, what they offer, where you can get it, how it works, and all that good stuff, I want to share more specifically what I like and what I don’t like.
- It’s super light (hah). I mean lightweight, but it is super bright, too.
- It’s compact and can fit in any backpack.
- It’s easy to charge and stays charged FOREVER. No, not forever, but it has a shelf life of two years on a charge. You can just hang it on the outside of your backpack when you’re hiking to charge it, even on cloudy days.
- It’s just fun. People love these things. We have them where I work and people stop and look at them every day, so I actually get to talk about these a lot.
- It’s versatile. You can blow it up or leave it flat, depending on where you’re using it.
- Sometimes the little cap on the valve to blow it up is hard to get out.
- The valve you blow it up with sticks out so you can’t set it flat on a table.
- It’s not a super fast phone charger if you need a quick charge.
And that’s all! I really do love this and use it every chance I get. You know I have to really like something to review it, like my Chacos that I wear literally every day. I don’t think I’ve worn anything else this summer. Now, I have a go-to lantern that’s perfect for camping, isn’t bulky, and doesn’t need batteries. I love this thing and would highly recommend it.
Have you ever seen a LuminAID? Have you ever used one? What did you think of it? Do you want to try one?