Last Updated on June 30, 2023
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My family has been tent camping for a long time now. We first took it up because 1) it was a way to spend time with my wife’s parents, who owned a camper, and 2) because we were on a tight budget and it was cheap. For the cost of a few nights in a hotel, we could buy camping gear that would last us for years.
When we started writing about Aldi, we kept a close eye on Aldi camping equipment. It’s not all great — in fact, some of it is terrible — but some of it is also very good. We and some of our friends have gotten good mileage out of Aldi tents, and our Aldi self-inflating mats remain a staple in all of our trips. Whenever Aldi camping supplies resurface in the spring and summer, we take notice.
Back in 2019, we picked up and reviewed a 2-pack of Aldi pop-up lanterns. Since then, one of the lanterns has died out, while the other continues to get regular annual use. That’s kept me on the lookout for some new ones, and when Aldi recently stocked them, I decided to pick up the latest model.
The Adventuridge Pop Up Lantern LED Set (Product Code: 822901) is an Aldi Find, or what is called a Special Buy in some other countries. Each store gets a limited stock, and once it’s sold out, it won’t be back again for a while. These particular lanterns are typically a once-a-year offering, so once they depart from stores, you’re out of luck until next year. Aldi doesn’t offer online ordering after these sell out at your local store.
According to the packaging, these come with a 3-year warranty, serviced by Protel, a common Aldi warranty provider. The lanterns are made in China and are imported exclusively for Aldi.
The set comes with:
- 2 lanterns
- AA batteries for each lantern
- a manual
My biggest surprise was that the two lanterns in this pack aren’t identical to each other. When Aldi sold these before, it was a pair of identical pop-up lanterns with handles at the top and a magnetic base with hook on the bottom. With this new set, one of the lanterns is just like that … but the other has a handle on the side. They’re both a little different from each other, so I’ll look at each in turn.
The Top-Handle Lantern
This one is similar to the 2-pack model from years past. It has a pair of metal handles on top that fold down and set in place along the sides. It also has a base with three magnets and a hanging hook. You put in batteries by unscrewing the bottom and opening the battery compartment.
According to the packaging, this one has a brightness of 200 lumens. To turn it on, you pull up on the handles to expose the light. Interestingly, it has two different light modes: a standard lantern and a fake flame mode. To cycle from the two, just close the lantern and re-open it, and the other mode will appear. I’m not sure the flame mode is more than a curiosity, but it could be useful if you want just a small amount of flame-like ambient light
The Side-Handle Lantern
This one is different. It has a rubber handle on the side, allowing it to be used like a regular flashlight. To change the batteries, you partially turn a cap opposite the light, then remove the cap to expose the batteries.
It has not one, but two light sources. Like the top-handle model, it has a pop-up function that cycles through a regular light and a flame light by opening and closing the pop-up light. The packaging indicates that the pop-up light runs 175 lumens, slightly less than the top-handle lantern. In addition, there is a bottom light that is operated by a push button just under the handle. This bottom light puts out a meager 70 lumens, which is noticeably smaller just on a visual inspection.
Strengths and Limitations
These definitely have some positives. They’re both easy to use, and because they’re a little different from each other, they both offer some versatility. If you need just a straightforward lantern, both work, although the top-handle one puts out a little more light. The side-handle light sacrifices a small amount of brightness in exchange for also having a flashlight, although the flashlight is not very bright.
The biggest negative, in my view, is that these aren’t especially durable. They’re both plastic bodied, and while that makes them lightweight, it also means they can take only a limited amount of punishment. Also, these are not rated with any kind of water resistance, so there are no promises on whether they can survive a rainstorm or being dropped in a lake. But, hey, they’re $5 each.
Aldi knows how to deliver budget camping gear, and we see it here with these lanterns. At $10 for a two-pack, the lanterns each deliver somewhat different abilities, and while the brightness isn’t titanic, the pop-up modes especially deliver enough to light up the darkness.
As for durability? We bought a set a few years ago and one of them is still working. They’re made of plastic and not really engineered for a lot of elements, but at least in real world testing — and we have camped with them in all kinds of weather — our older models have held up okay. The 3-year warranty helps.