Telescoping lantern offers 3-in-1 versatility for night-time explorers
The compact ouTask lantern has been designed for after-dark adventurers who need more flexibility than a regular LED head torch, flashlight or overhead lantern can offer – and features a telescoping light pole, built-in tripod, magnetic base and omnidirectional light head.
Currently raising funds on Kickstarter, the 1.45-lb (0.66-kg) lantern measures 10.23 in (26 cm) long and has a diameter of 2.3 in (5.8 cm), and is designed to cram as many useful functions into one portable gadget as possible.
At the business end is an omnidirectional lighting element that can be rotated 360 degrees horizontally and 180 degrees vertically, and this is attached to an integrated telescopic pole that can be extended to 43.3 inches (110 cm) above the ground, car roof or other surface, or just raised a few inches to illuminate the camping table at meal time.
There's an integrated quick-push, pop-out tripod base too, and the base is also home to neodymium magnets for easy attachment to the car door while putting up the tent, under the hood to inspect the engine or to any other ferrous surface.
And the tripod feet sport anchoring holes for securing the lantern in the dirt, and they include reflective polymer tape that "can glow after absorbing light" to prevent folks tripping over ouTasks when the lights are out. An included retractable lanyard also allows the lantern to be hung from a nearby tree or the roof of a tent.
The lighting element features an aluminum heatsink to help prevent overheating, it can be set to different color temperatures, and has adjustable brightness to a maximum of 550 lumens. Since the lighting head can swivel around on its axis, the ouTask can also function as a flashlight, and the designers have included a SOS strobe mode to help make vehicle breakdowns visible from a distance.
Made with durability in mind, the ouTask boasts a tough ABS/PC outer shell that's IPX6 waterproof, while the lighting head and pole are rated at IPX7.
The lantern is powered by a 12,000-mAh battery that's reckoned good for at least 10 hours of use at the highest lighting intensity setting (or up to 45 hours at the lowest), and it can even top up gadgetry over USB if needed. That battery can be charged via a wall outlet, and is reported compatible with portable solar panels as well.
The ouTask team is currently raising production funds on Kickstarter, where pledges for the already funded campaign start at US$99 – which includes three ground pegs and a USB-C charging cable. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in October.