This Ultra-Portable ‘Smart’ Lamp Keeps Your Campsite Lit For More Than 50 Hours

It's pretty brilliant all around.

by Dave Baldwin
Originally Published: 
biolite baselantern xl

Just because you’re car camping doesn’t mean you can bring the entire living room. Space is still tight, and you need to pack light. One way to start: leave your mega camping lantern in the basement and roll with the smart BioLite BaseLantern XL instead.

Don’t let the BaseLantern XL fool you. It’s small, measuring about 5-inches by 5-inches (with the stainless steel legs folded in) and weighing just south of a pound and a half. That said, it still packs a punch: 500 lumens of light that runs for more than 50 hours per charge.

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Even better? It can serve as a power-hub for the whole campsite. Plug in BioLite’s compatible string lights for some mood lighting or simply use the dual USB ports to resuscitate an iPhone four times, or your Superscreen when Junior needs some campfire entertainment.

Now, the smartest part: All of it syncs to your phone via low-energy Bluetooth. Using the BaseLantern app for smartphones, you can turn the lamp off/on, dim the lights (lantern and string), change the warmth and color (a calming red for some night reading, perhaps?), and even set alarms and timers. So, if you happen to be snoozing in your blacklined Qube Tent and aren’t woken by the sun, BaseLantern XL will turn on when it’s time to make the morning fire.

One final feature of note: The BaseLantern XL has proximity activation, so the lights go on or off when it detects your phone within a certain radius. Meaning? If you’re leading the kids back from a late-day hike and it’s getting dark, the entire campsite will light up approach. Let’s see a mega lantern do that.

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