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This is our Ultimate TopNotch Black Diamond Apollo Lantern Review 2023.
At TopNotch we take our responsibility very seriously – we want to guide our fellow campers and trek-hikers with the right information mixed with our personal experience.
Our guide will help you to find products that function beautifully and give you excellent value for money.
Now, a lantern is an essential piece of kit for every outdoor trip.
To find the best LED camping lantern out there, TopNotch tested a host of products on the current market to come up with a list of our Unbeatable Top 10.
The Apollo Lantern is in our Top 3 and it’s won the TopNotch Best Value Award.
Want to know why?
Simply because our experts found this TopNotch Apollo lantern met all our expectations, and more.
In this comprehensive review we’ll cover:
- How this tiny lantern actually performs in the field
- Is it the best option to go for?
- Brightness, battery power…
- Lots more…
Before awarding the prestigious TopNotch Best Value tag to Black Diamond Apollo Lantern, we put it through rigorous testing, dissection, and comparison with other contenders under all the metrics.
The Best Value Award by TopNotch is given to products that give a great all-round performance and true value for money.
So, if you’re looking for a lantern to light your camping nights or your home during a power outage, look no further.
You’ll love this guide.
Let’s get started,
- Light and packable
- Glare-free light
- Dimming function
- Doesn’t cast its light very far
Our Verdict: Black Diamond Apollo Lantern
This Lantern offers a remarkable combination of features, quality, and is super effective for multipurpose use.
Heading out to a weekend camping trip with the family?
Planning your next hike with friends?
You need a lantern that’s easy to carry, simple to use, and effective.
This Black Diamond Apollo light offers all this.
This lantern gives you the option to set the brightness at the press of a single button.
There are clear indicators for battery and power, which takes the guesswork away.
That’s not all,
At 8.8 ounces this light is easy to carry.
We found the waterproofing is great and the material is sturdy enough to cope with a few knocks and drops.
But here’s the real kicker:
The Apollo doubles as a portable power bank.
It comes with an external USB port to share the power and charge your mobile, iPad, or other small devices.
Simply cool, right?
Our personal experience with this tiny lantern has been nothing less than brilliant.
Without any further ado, let’s get straight into the details and metric-wise comparison of the Apollo with our other contenders.
Let’s see how it performs in the various metrics.
Related: 10 Best Camping Lantern
The Apollo uses quad power LEDs giving a maximum 225 lumens of bright, glare-free light.
It works efficiently to light up a medium-sized room or a 4 person tent.
For our group of 5, it worked just fine
If you’re not keen on the white light of LED lanterns, this one’s for you.
The opaque fiber cover makes the light neutral and warm.
So, even when it’s at maximum brightness, the light is soothing.
Want to make sure the light stays on longer?
Use it in softer mode, and it could last you as long as two nights.
When we set it on high mode after a full charge, it gave continuous light for just over 6 hrs.
To dim the light, just hold down the power button until the light is at your chosen level.
Do the same for returning your Apollo Lantern to the max bright setting.
The Apollo will be a great all-rounder.
It also has a flash mode you can turn on quickly if you need it.
And, there’s more,
The lantern resumes at your last light setting before going off.
So, if you switch it on in the middle of the night, it won’t blind you, which is a small – but useful feature.
Want to illuminate the whole kitchen area or a big tent?
Hang it from above or place it on a high table for maximum light spread.
Power outage at home?
This tiny lantern will be a handy light source in emergencies.
But that’s not all,
It comes with three adjustable stands.
We used the stands to increase the height.
This improved the illumination area by a country mile.
However, we found it’s not the best for use with large groups.
In addition to that, adjusting the brightness levels can be a bit difficult for first-time users.
If you need day-like brightness, the AGPTEK Solar Lantern is our top recommendation.
We take the durability of outdoor products very seriously.
So, we put it through our hard-core durability tests.
To our surprise, this small backpacking lantern performed pretty well in all of them.
The opaque plastic cover around the LED is really tough.
It came out just fine after we dropped it on tarmac.
But don’t expect it to survive a long drop – I don’t think it’d be up to that.
Added to that, we found the foldable metal stands sturdy and built to last.
The rubberized stand ends mean better longevity and provide a better balance.
When it’s folded, the rubber stands also give a stable base to the lantern body.
The hang loops and top cover are of TopNotch quality.
They work well without needing maintenance.
Left the lantern outside in rain?
No worries with this beauty.
This lantern will come out just fine and it’ll work as if nothing happened.
Water-resistance is one impressive attribute of this Black Diamond Apollo Lantern. What makes this product one of the best LED camping lanterns is its full resistance to water splashing.
Does the USB port make it vulnerable to water?
It’s well-concealed with an attached, removable plastic cap.
In our durability tests, it scored first in all our Top 10.
If you’re looking for a quality lighting solution that’ll last through many a camping trip – it’s a pretty good buy.
The Apollo combines some distinct features in a small parcel.
It is also the top scorer in our Best Camping Lantern: Definitive Buyers Guide 2020 for features.
Let’s begin with charging.
Looking for multiple charging options?
This has them.
It comes with a built-in 2600mA battery.
The battery can be charged with the micro USB cable that comes with it.
Want to know how long it’ll take to charge?
You can check the charging status from the indicator next to the on/off switch.
It took a little longer when we charged it for the first time.
But once fully charged, it can be used for around 6 long hours in the brightest mode.
And much longer if you reduce the brightness.
But we’re not done here.
Apart from the internal battery that you can charge with a solar cell, a power bank, or directly from the plug point, there’s also another easy charging option.
Just put in 3 AA batteries..
The separate indicator for the rechargeable batteries is also pretty useful.
This helps to adjust the light intensity according to how long you’re going to be needing it.
And this is one feature you’ll miss if you go for the Black Diamond Moji.
In our test, the Apollo lasted around 16 hours on fully charged 3AA batteries.
As I said – if necessary – it will last longer in a lower light mode.
As if that’s not enough,
This camping light has an external USB port.
Mobile battery running low?
Portable soundbox needs extra juice?
Share power with any small device from the internal battery of the lantern.
It took around 3 hours to fully-charge my mobile.
Three retractable legs is the other feature to grab our attention.
Move them independently to position the lantern.
The stands make it easy to set the lantern safely on uneven surfaces.
For a lantern at this price, the Apollo offers really great features.
Ease Of Use
If you ask me what I really loved about the Apollo…
The answer is the simple design that makes it so easy to use.
You can turn On/Off or Dim/Bright the light by pressing a single switch. Turn it to flash mode by pressing the same button.
Ease of Use Rating
The minimal design keeps things neat.
We found accessing the external rechargeable battery compartment straightforward too.
Say you need to light up a larger space or the kitchen area in your tent…
Just use the double hook loop to hang it anywhere you like.
You can even tie it on a rope.
However, in ease of use our Black Diamond Lantern missed the best score.
The single button for all light settings can be difficult to grapple with for new users.
Beyond that, first time charging takes a while.
In terms of weight, it bagged a good score.
It measures 9.5”x3.3”x5.3”, with all the legs extended.
Fold it up and the Black Diamond Apollo Lantern is a compact package ideal for carrying in your backpack.
When folded, it fit easily into the palm of my hand.
That’s not all…
Without the external batteries, it weighs just under 9 ounces.
Quite simply, it’s one of the best ultralight backpacking lanterns on the market.
So, after we compared it side by side with the other 9 best lanterns, it was a close winner comparing the features bundled in the minimal weight.
If you’re looking for a lightweight lantern for outdoor or indoor use, this unit nicely fits the bill and all for a pretty reasonable price.
Our Final Verdict: Black Diamond Apollo Lantern
It’s time to wrap up our review and put a bow on it.
Let’s take a look at our TopNotch Leaderboard.
With 72% under its belt this Apollo light ranks 3rd in the list and grabs the TopNotch Best Value Award.
Overall, it’s an impressive camping lantern for multipurpose use.
Conclusion: Black Diamond Apollo Lantern
To sum up, if you are looking for a –
- Highly durable
- Easy portable
- Multipurpose lantern at a
- Reasonable price
… Black Diamond Apollo lantern is a superb choice.
In our tests, it scored the highest in terms of durability, weight, and features.
And when you take into account the excellent value, there’s every reason to include it in your Camp Kit.
You’ll love the waterproofing…
…if you value kit versatility during your camping trips, this is made for you.
Easy switch between the different modes and quick hang loops are there for your convenience.
If you forget to charge it, it’ll still run smoothly on external rechargeable batteries.
And, the internal battery life is super good.
This is a really cool lantern and well worth every dime.
Hence its the runaway winner of the TopNotch Best Value Award.
That’s all from us.
Now you know everything we know, it’s over to you to make your choice.
Other Versions: Black Diamond
Black Diamond Moji is a simple, pocket-friendly version from the same brand.
We found it performs well for its price and maintains its brand reputation.
This lightweight, frosty unit has 1 triple power LED.
It emits max 100 Lumens light.
Black Diamond Voyager Lantern is a mid-range camping lantern.
It has both lamp and spotlight functions.
It gives 140 Lumens light at its maximum setting.
The Black Diamond Zip Lantern is another compact, highly portable lantern with 150 Lumens (maximum) in lantern mode and 90 Lumens (maximum) brightness in spotlight mode.