We've seen water bottle-lanterns. We've seen lantern-flashlights. We've seen modular lanterns. The all-new Playful Base from Japan's Root Co. fits all three categories, providing multiple functions in a sleek piece of hardware. It can carry water during the day, spread light throughout your tent or campsite at night, and play music or charge gadgets whenever you need.
The Playful Base is a little different from other water bottle-lanterns we've seen in the past. Instead of a screw-on, illuminated lid atop a standard bottle, Root Co's more modular, multifunctional design integrates the light into a base that also includes a Bluetooth speaker. This base screws into a combination lantern shade/11.8-oz (350-ml) water bottle to become a bottle-lantern but can also be used on its own, both as a mini Bluetooth speaker and as a flashlight that fires light straight ahead. The base can also be used with a smaller lantern shade to create a compact, ultra-portable lantern.
The speaker/light base includes a built-in 2,000-mAh battery for up to 10 hours of illumination, 10 hours of music play or six hours of simultaneous illumination/music play. An available 6,000-mAh backup battery screws into the bottom of the base to multiply music play/lighting time. That battery pack also includes two USB outputs for charging external gadgets, adding one more function to the versatile gadget.
The Playful Base's slim, cylindrical design with 2.8-in (70-mm) diameter is sized to fit into a backpack's water bottle holder. It puts out up to 120 lumens and carries an IP65 water protection rating, making it splash- and dust-proof.
Root Co. is crowdfunding the Playful Base on Kickstarter now, offering the basic lantern package (speaker/light base, large lantern shade, small lantern shade, micro USB-USB charge cable) for an €88 (approx. US$95) pledge and the Playful Base plus backup battery for a €132 ($143) pledge. It estimates both prices at 20 percent off of planned retail prices, and plans to begin shipping in June, if everything moves along as it hopes. The campaign is roughly a third of the way to its goal with three days left.