Preppers are always on the lookout for great gear. Gear that does exactly what it’s supposed to do. The Thorfire camping lantern is exactly that!
To qualify as a great item it also has to be compact and lightweight. Obviously, benefits that make an item easier to stow and carry.
So, when it comes to finding a lantern that ticks all the boxes as well as offering hand crank power generation. Eliminating any reliance upon the grid. Then the Thorfire collapsible LED camping lantern is right up there!
Why is the Thorfire Camping lantern such a winner with backpackers?
The easy answer is its size and weight! The Thorfire LED lantern is a very compact item, particularly when collapsed. It measures just 3.3” in diameter, and 1.75” deep. In fact, it is so small it could quite easily fit into your pocket!
Do not allow the small size of the Thorfire to deceive you. Once opened up and operating at its maximum output, this tiny little lamp pumps out an amazing 125 lumens of light. Albeit for just 40 minutes, when at such time the lantern will revert to the power saving mode of 30 lumens.
However, if you can make do with 30 lumens of light from the start the lantern will continue to work for up to 4 hours and beyond.
Obviously, the run time of the Thorfire camping lantern is a lot lower than say our choice of best hand crank lantern, the Lighthouse 600. But that’s because the Thorfire sacrifices battery size for being more compact and lightweight. A trade-off that most backpackers and hikers would totally understand and accept.
When it comes to recharging the 300mAh 3.7V Lithium-Ion battery, the Thorfire lantern has a short USB to DC 3.5mm round-port charging cable supplied. And also a DC 3.5mm round-port to USB adapter cable. So you can recharge with your laptop, car adapter, or wall socket adapter. This is as well as offering the ability to charge the Thorfire using the hand crank. Nor do we see any reason why you couldn’t charge the lantern with a solar panel, portable or otherwise. Although we didn’t test this in all honesty.
It doesn’t take long to fully charge the Thorfire using conventional methods. But the time required to recharge the lantern using the hand crank alone will depend upon the number of revolutions performed in a minute.
If you turn the crank at a very comfortable 60 to 80 times a minute you’ll create enough charge to light your lantern for 11 minutes on low mode or 4 minutes on high mode. A more energetic 120 times a minute will produce enough charge for 18 minutes on high and 40 minutes on low.
You should note that it isn’t just the number of times you actually turn the crank handle, it’s the speed that you turn the crank. It is widely agreed that two rotations a second, or 120 revolutions a minute, will produce the best results.
The Thorfire may be little but that doesn’t mean it isn’t up to the job! It is robust and is well constructed using predominantly bright orange ABS plastic. The Thorfire will put up with quite a lot of heavy treatment without any degradation in performance. It also offers a decent level of weatherproofness. However, it is advisable to protect your lantern from inclement weather whenever possible, it’s not waterproof after all.
As well as operating as a lantern one can use the Thorfire as a palm-held flashlight when collapsed. The flashlight lens on the top of the Thorfire produces a narrow beam of light. This beam is made more intense by the addition of a magnifying lens. It is ideal for use when hiking or walking around the campsite at night.
The manufacturer claims that you can charge mobile devices using the lanterns USB port. In our opinion, it would take some amount of effort to turn the crank to do so.
Our advice, as good as we think the Thorfire is, would be not to rely on it as a USB charging hub. However, in an emergency, it will produce enough charge on your phone to make an emergency call if needed.
There isn’t too much to expand upon here. The Thorfire is excellent value for money and is usually available for well under $20.
- Size: Height 1.78” closed, 4.75” open (4.5cm and 12 cm respectively), Diameter 3.3” (8.5cm), Weight 5.35 oz (152 grams)
- Brightness: 30Lm on power-saving setting up to 125Lm on the brightest setting
- Run-time when fully charged: 4 hr
User Feedback: Positive
Almost every user of the ThorFire Camping Lantern is happy with their purchase. Many state that the amount of light the Thorfire omitted for its size is surprising. From the general feel of the reviews, I would say that the vast majority of users purchased for use when backpacking. The size and ruggedness of the lantern, particularly when compacted, is the most pleasing feature.
The ThorFire has the functionality to operate as a charger for cell phones and other small devices. However, the general consensus from users was that it was impractical. It would take an awful lot of cranking to put a reasonable charge on a cell. With that being said, most buyers agree that if they needed to make an emergency call the Thorfire would put enough charge on their phone to do so.
Our View on the Thorfire Camping Lantern:
Popularity speaks volumes!
There is a reason that the Thorfire camping lantern is the best-selling collapsible hand crank LED lantern online. It produces the brightest light and is the best all-around performer among its immediate competitors. If you are looking for the best collapsible hand crank lantern, then look no further than the Thorfire camping lantern!