Home  >  Magazine  >  Issue 5 : Mar 2006  >  The UCO Alpinist Lantern

The UCO Alpinist Lantern

The UCO Alpinist Lantern

UCO Alpinist Lantern Price: ¥4,095 (tax included)
Size: 16.5 × 5 cm. (10 × 5 cm.)
In-use: 16.5 x 5 cm. / Stored: 10 x 5 cm.
Weight: 190 grams
A&F: (03) 3209-7575

Do you consider yourself an outdoor veteran or a beginner just cutting your teeth on your first camping trip? If the former, you’re probably used to donning a headlamp and quickly putting together dinner halfway up a mountain. I imagine beginners are using canister lanterns (called “gas canisters” in Japan) to ward off the darkness away from the city lights.

Unless I’m trying to pay particular attention to my pack weight, I’m hauling along this Alpinist candle lantern by UCO; be it for light backpacking or sea kayaking. Those unfamiliar with this type of lantern inevitably question its usefulness. It’s true that the one candle puts out minimal light—clearly not in the same league as the ultra-powerful North Star 2000 by Coleman which boasts a candlepower of 360.

Those of you who have never experienced anything but cramped campsites probably don’t realize one candlepower is more than enough on a mountain with no one around. Of course, a headlamp is the best thing for checking out your surroundings, but for setting up dinner after dark, this seemingly dim light feels much brighter, and the Alpinist surprisingly warms up cold tents in a flash when lit.

Besides, no matter how far off the beaten path you go, candles are always easy to come by. In a pinch, a friendly priest might even pass you a stick. The total weight of the Alpinist comes in at 190 grams with one candle lasting about eight to nine hours, meaning there’s no need for extra candles on two to three day trips even though spares are easily available.

One other bonus to using the Alpinist is when you’re among UCO-loving outdoor enthusiasts in Japan, you’ll have bragging rights.