Welcome to Extraordinary Tech 2018 Day 7. Join Buchanan, Joelle, Mike and myself on our adventures as we test out some of the best tech available in 2018. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday we’ll be showcasing devices that came with us on a cross-country trip this summer, ranging from an outdoor speaker that will change the way you think of sound to a smartwatch that offers the best fitness features at an affordable price. Along the way, we’ll be hosting giveaways of some of the tech featured in this series, so stay tuned!
In a backyard in LA, there we were. Setting up our portable campfire (check this product out Wednesday!), the whole scene was almost perfect; it just needed a little ambiance. Too focused on the fire, Joelle and I were of no help; Buchanan, too, had his hands full getting the hot dogs ready. Mike looked around, trying to find inspiration. As his eyes drifted, he spotted a lone tree jutting from the cobblestone backyard.
This lone tree sparked a memory of the night before at our dreary campsite:
That night was overwhelming; usually punctuated by constellations of campers circled around campfires, their laughter intertwined with the song of crickets, the night yielded to nothing. No campfires; no laughter. Just the dark blanket of the night.
Joelle and I were stuck in late night traffic, Uber-ing our way from the airport to Santa Barbara. Buchanan, on the other hand, was already at the campsite, but didn’t have a sleeping bag or sleeping pad.
An avid camper, Mike looked at the campsite in dismay – what should have been one of the most exciting trips yet left much to be desired. Even with the grim outlook, he was our videographer; the story had to go on. Disgruntled, he pulled out the LuminAID PackLite Nova USB from his pack.
It was a small, strange looking contraption; with a rubbery texture and squeeze blow up mechanic almost like an inner tube, it seemed too rudimentary to be extraordinary. With one puff, the lantern expanded. Not yet convinced, Mike clicked the power button on the LuminAID.
Immediately, he was hit with a soft LED glow. It filled the dark space with a smooth light. Not too harsh, nor too bright, the LuminAID created a sphere of light glow that pushed away the dreariness of the night and replaced it with delight.
In the spirit of experimentation, Mike hung the two LuminAID PackLite Nova USB on a nearby tree. It lit up the entire space, almost in the same way outdoor string lights create an Arcadian environment. The soft spherical glow gave it a cozy, rustic vibe, just like you’d expect from an ideal campsite.
That memory was the solution. Buchanan blew up the LuminAID once more and hung it on the tree in the backyard, just like Mike instructed him to do.
“Wait, what is this?” I asked when Joelle and I saw the decorated tree.
“This is probably the best tech out of everything we’ve tried,” Mike said, smiling at both the ambiance and memory of the bright light in the night thanks to LuminAID.
The LuminAID PackLite Nova USB is unassuming – because it’s so light, you wonder how it could emit anything but a small glimmer! Yet, it’s more powerful than you’d expect; not only because of the sheer luminosity it emits, but for the mood it creates, similar to a string of lightbulbs.
Also, it’s extremely portable. Since it’s inflatable, it can be packed down for any trip. Not only that, but it is also waterproof and can float, a unique feature for lanterns. Additionally, solar panels charge the LuminAID, so one never needs to change the battery.
All in all, LuminAID was one of the best and most surprising pieces of tech we examined. It’s definitely a new take on a classic lantern that you should consider for your next trip.
The Extraordinary Tech series was produced in partnership with Xperi. We were provided LuminAID PackLite Nova USB by LuminAID for review. LuminAID PackLite Nova USB is available at luminaid.com for $24.99.