I’ve always had a soft spot for a gentle glow, especially one that I can dangle from the inside of my tent. The Olympia WD180 is a small, lightweight lamp that can be used for just that. But, can a tiny lamp push back the darkness of the backcountry?
The lamp retails for $29.99, and pushes out an impressive 180 lumens. This is powered by a 2000mAh capacit lithium polymer rechargeable battery that is refreshed via a small included micro-USB cable. The unit is waterproof (from splashes and spray at least) from all angles, thanks in part from the water tight charge port cover, and a tightly sealed power button. Other features included a strobe mode, magnetic mounting base, and built-in hanging clip. The overall build consist of a sturdy plastic base, and a soft diffusing globe on the top, covering an LED bulb. On/off and dimming is all controlled via a single recessed button the side of the unit. Dimensions are roughly 2” by 2”.
What I liked
Brightness comes first and foremost with the tiny WD180 (180 lumens, hence the name). Even on the lowest settings the tiny lamp can easily fill a tent with enough glow to read and dig through packs without having to strain the vision. On the brightest setting, the little lamp lights up the tent like a circus, spilling light into every corner and leaking out onto my camp sites on dark nights. It’s even enough to use outside the tent to light up a small area. Also useful for finding your tent after leaving camp after dark.
The rechargeable battery is simple to use. Simply plug the micro-USB cable into a computer or compatible peripheral and it charges up. Battery life is also impressive, thanks to the 2000mAh capacity lithium polymer technology. The battery runs for days on end with no sign of dimming on a full charge, at full brightness.
Light weight and packable, the WD180 is small and light enough for almost any backpacker who is concerned with quality lighting.
Quality lighting it certainly is. The diffusing globe does a fantastic job of producing light that’s bright, without burning out the retinas. Even looking directly at the bulb, when digging through the gear in my gear loft, the light didn’t hurt my eyes or cause me any discomfort.
The strobe function is a nice touch, and the on/off button is sunk into the lamp enough that it’s not likely to be turned on by accident.
An excellent value, the WD180 is dirt cheap for it’s quality and usefulness at just $29.99
What I didn’t like
Activating the lantern in the dark can be challenging. It’s a little tricky because the button is level with the side of the lamp. This alone isn’t much of an issue, but it’s worsened by the fact that the USB cover also feels very similar to the touch, and in blackness you can easily get them mixed up, pressing the usb cover whiling trying to activate the lantern. The same sunk in button that prevents accidental activation means it requires a little precision to press, which is hard in the dark. Perhaps using a different shape button would have helped.
The hanging clip cannot be used to hang a light on it’s own, instead requiring a small carbiner or string to attach to a tent.
The WD180 is a great little device. The built-in battery avoids the need to constantly replace batteries, and the impressive illumination is some of the best I’ve seen. Convenient features like light water resistance, a quality diffuser, and a variety of hanging options extends the usefulness of the lamp. Overlook the tricky to find power button (you get used to it) and the WD180 is a mighty fine lantern, easily outshining many competitors of a much higher price point. I expect to be carrying this little gem for a long time.
For more information, check out their product page here.
Big thanks to Olympia for providing this excellent lantern for review. Our disclosure is available on our Contact us Page.