Joby is continuing its run of clever designs with the fourth installment in its hands-free torch line-up – the Gorillatorch Switchback. As anyone who's ever been on an overnight hike can attest, any practical two-in-one solution that cuts down on baggage is a bonus, and this one seems to tick the boxes. The Switchback uses one LED light array as both an LED lantern and a headlamp, plus the lamp stand doubles as a camera tripod... better make that three-in-one.

The 5-LED array includes a 130-lumen spotlight, two white floodlights and two red LEDs to help you keep your night vision intact. It has six brightness settings, an adjustable dimmer switch, a beam distance of 60 feet and a battery life of up to 72 hours on 2xAA batteries.

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Joby says that in lantern mode, the Switchback has enough kick to illuminate an 8-person tent and its 92% ultra-efficient holographic lens "produces brilliant and even light that is easy on the eyes when viewed directly."

The lamp stand / camera tripod is of the Joby grab-anywhere variety, so figuring out how to hold your light steady shouldn't be a problem.

I'm not convinced that I'd leave my dedicated headtorch at home if I had the Switchback in the kit (there could be too much changing back-and-forth involved while tinkering around the campsite), but even if you look at it as a bright, compact lantern with the bonus of a spare headtorch (and a camera tripod), it's still has the makings of a very useful piece of camping gear.

The price: US$59.95.

JOBY Gorillatorch Switchback specs:

Light Engine

  • Bright CREE® XLamp® XP-G LED spotlight
  • 2 white LED and 2 red LED flood lights
  • Brightness: Min (5 lm); Low (20 lm); High (80 lm); Max (130 lm)
  • Beam distance: 23 m
  • Average Battery Life: Up to 72 hours
  • Size - Headlamp:

  • Lamp housing: 2.6 x 1.3 x 0.8" / 65 x 32 x 21mm
  • Battery housing: 3 x 1.8 x 1.1" /77 x 46 x 28mm
  • Size - Lantern with headlamp installed:

  • Closed: 4.5 x 3.3 x 2.1" /115 x 85 x 54mm
  • Open: 6.5 x 3.3 x 2.1" /166 x 85 x 54mm
  • Weight

  • 8.8oz/250g (lantern + headlamp + 2 AA batteries)
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