Today I received a unique piece of kit from UPS. It's the Mont Bell Crushable Lantern Shade that converts your headlamp into a lantern. I bought it on a whim, curious to see if it was more gimmick than practical. I like the ideal and if it works as advertised than it will make a useful addition to my backpacking gear. I using go without a lantern in the backcountry, often leaving behind my Black Diamond Apollo lantern to save weight. Made from a polyester fabric that has the feel of rice paper, the shade is extremely lightweight, adding only .18 ounces or 5 grams (for those of you on the metric system) to your pack.
So far I've only tried the system with my Black Diamond Spot headlamp in a dark closet so I can not really comment on the effectiveness on it. I'm not sure if the shade actually added anything more or not. I'll have to wait and see what it looks like once it gets dark outside. If it fails to do as advertised, it would suck but at $14, I was willing to give it a shot. One good thing going for it is, its not a cheap import, its made in Japan.
I'll have to take it backpacking one day and see if its worth carrying. Maybe I'll get to try it when Chul and I finally go beyond the Bridge to Nowhere.
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