This is the Ultimate TopNotch Black Diamond Voyager Lantern Review 2020…
Black Diamond makes some great quality outdoor gear.
No doubt about that.
In our list of TopNotch Top 10 camping lanterns Black Diamond is the only brand to grab 3 different spots.
Black Diamond Apollo is our prestigious Best Value Choice. Apart from Voyager, the top 10 list also includes the Black Diamond Moji.
Does this Voyager Lantern perform to the brand reputation?
How did it perform in TopNotch’srigorous field tests?
Read on to find out.
In this comprehensive review we’ll cover:
- Is it a good lantern for camping?
- How did it perform in side by side comparisons with other lanterns we tested?
- Durability, weight, versatility.
- Lots more…
So if you want to know how this Black Diamond Lantern performs, you’ll love this guide.
Let’s get started.
- Easy to hang
- Double lighting modes
- The light isn’t as powerful as some
- Lacks in features
Our Verdict: Black Diamond Voyager Lantern
The Black Diamond Voyager Lantern packs some unique features into its compact size.
In fact, the TopNotch team loved the product for versatility and ease of use.
However, though it’s without a doubt a top ten place holder, it does leave a bit to be desired.
In our list of Top 10 Best Camping Lanterns: Definitive Buyers Guide, this lantern takes a lower rank.
Want to know why?
Even though it’s effective for at-home or casual use, the Voyager just doesn’t fit the parameters of a hardcore camping lantern.
So, if you’re looking for a lantern to accompany you to camps, treks and hikes…
Prefer to stick with Black Diamond?
Buy the Black Diamond Apollo without a doubt.
It’s our Editor’s Choice.
Voyager is a good lantern, but at this price point it’s not the best.
Want to know the details?
Let’s dive into the review.
Related: 10 Best Camping Lanterns
Analysis Comparisons and Test Results
When considering a lantern for camping, brightness is vital.
The Voyager light gives 140 lumens on max setting.
The light output is bright.
But, just not enough for the campsite. It’s also not effective for large groups.
If you want a light for night-time games in the tent, it works.
We used it for personal night-reading without an issue.
However, it wasn’t sufficient to locate those small things we lost in our two person tent.
On its highest setting the lantern mode gave us light for over 10 hours on new batteries.
The 1 triple power LED encased in the frosted white globe gives 360 degree ambient light.
But wait..there’s more.
The Black Diamond Voyager has a separate flashlight mode on the bottom which gives a precise, 50 lumens light to light up the way for you.
So, you do get a 2 in 1 lantern and flashlight combo for the price of one.
That’s not all.
You can use the lantern mode and the flashlight mode at the same time.
Now that’s pretty cool!
But we had doubts about its practical application.
The brightness level of the lantern and flashlight can both be dimmed.
But even at max brightness, it’s best for individual use only.
It lacks the SOS setting of some of our other lanterns altogether.
We take this mode pretty seriously for camping or hiking lanterns. So, the Voyager loses points here.
Overall, this lantern can be an addition to your camp-lighting tools.
It’s also great during at home power outages.
But, it’s not fit to be your primary camp light on trips. The light is just not bright enough.
For camping, AGPTEK Solar Lantern is a much more powerful choice.
The UST 30 Day Durois also a great performer in the brightness metric.
The Voyager has a good build quality.
But, it’s not as durable as we would have liked.
The frosted globe and plastic body aren’t tough enough to take camp to camp beating over the long haul.
However, it will work fine for at-home use.
We didn’t have a problem with it during our testing trip.
Still, if you drop it on a rock or hard surface from around 6ft, it won’t survive.
The rubber casing at places isn’t strong enough to protect it.
Turns out, Voyager has an IPX4 rating. It resists water splashing from all 4 sides.
It can handle light rain… but not for long.
We intentionally dropped it in a stream to see what would happen and it came out just fine on that occasion.
Just pick it up quickly or water might seep in.
The collapsible, metal hang-rings on the top are tough. They won’t come out easily.
Overall, the Voyager isn’t fragile but it doesn’t live upto the rugged, high quality standard set by Black Diamond products.
You see, even the top spot in the durability metric is held by a Black Diamond lantern… our best value award winner Black Diamond Apollo.
But, similar rugged durability is missing from its baby brother the Voyager.
Even our TopNotch Top Pick the Goal Zero Crush Light performs much better in durability.
Let’s talk about the features.
Simply put, our Voyager wasn’t a feature-rich lantern.
The lantern flashlight is the only notable feature you get.
You can use the lantern mode and the flashlight mode in tandem.
But, the flashlight mode with 50 lumens output isn’t powerful enough compared to other camping flashlights on the market.
So, we won’t suggest using it as a camping flashlight.
We used the collapsible metal hooks at the top for hanging the lantern. That worked just fine.
The rubberized padding on the bottom made it easy to balance on slippery surfaces.
It runs on 4 x AA batteries. There are no other charging options.
So, if you’re taking it out on a long trip, don’t miss packing those extra batteries.
The light remembers the last setting and reverts to the same when you switch it on again.
What does that mean for you?
It means, if you had the flashlight mode on before you switched it off, it will get back right on the flashlight mode.
Featurewise, Black Diamond Voyager is a pretty basic lantern.
And considering the price, we had bigger hopes than that.
Ease of Use
A lack of features does make this lantern fairly simple to use.
The power button at the front controls all the operations – the lantern and also the flashlight.
You can switch on/ off and dim/ bright both the light modes from this single power button.
Ease of Use Rating
Want to know how?
Press the button once and the Voyager lantern will turn on. Quick-press it twice and you’re on the flashlight mode. Press the power button three times to get both the light modes together.
There is a clear battery indicator on the front.
But, it didn’t take long to go from green to red when we were using it the second day.
So, just don’t depend on it entirely.
The bottom screw cover opens up easily to fit in the 4 x AA batteries.
Even with the rubberized bottom we missed having proper feet on the lantern.
Feet like those on the Black Diamond Apollo are very useful for placing the lantern on uneven surfaces.
So in terms of the Voyager, you can place it on a table or hang it from the hooks to cover a wider area.
However, the smaller diameter of the base impacts the overall balance of the lantern.
We had to be careful while positioning it on rough terrain.
In our ease of use metric, AGPTEK Solar Lantern was our TopNotch performer. It also bagged our Editor’s Choice award.
So, if you’re looking for a feature rich but easy to use camping lantern, AGPTEK Solar is certainly a better choice for your money.
This is the strongest suit of the Voyager lantern.
At just 4.2 ounce, it scores the highest in this metric along with TopNotch Top Pick Goal Zero Crush Light which weighs only 3 ounces.
So, as far as weight is concerned, it’s a perfect lantern for backpacking.
That’s not all.
The compact design is another huge plus.
It collapses to just 4.2 in from 6.25 in when extended.
Carry it in any extra backpack pocket with ease.
It’ll go in your long trouser pocket too when collapsed.
So, what’s the bottom line?
As far as the weight and packability is concerned Black Diamond Voyager is a good choice.
But, this isn’t the only important metric for a camping lantern.
If weight and packability are serious concerns for you, go for Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Powered Lanternwhich is a much better choice considering all the metrics and as well as the price.
Crush Light won’t give you an extra flashlight but will serve as a camping lantern much better.
Final Verdict: Black Diamond Voyager Lantern
Conclusion: Black Diamond Voyager Lantern
Now that we’ve reached the end of our review it’s time to conclude our TopNotch findings on the Voyager lantern.
Voyager is a lightweight lantern with a unique flashlight mode.
We liked the compact design and the ease of use.
The downside is…
…it falls short on more than one important metric – like brightness and features.
The 50 lumen flashlight mode also failed to impress us.
We also couldn’t justify the high price tag.
However, it’s one of the lightest and most handy lanterns on the market for 2020.
And, it holds a place on our list of TopNotch top 10 lanterns. So, at the end of the day, it’s much better than many other lanterns on the market.
Overall, it’s a good lantern but not the best for camping or long trips. But we love it for at home or in car use.
Now you know everything we know about this lantern!
We hand the baton over to you to make your choice…
Other Versions: Black Diamond Voyager Lantern
Black Diamond manufactures the Voyager lantern in three different colors – Matte Black, Processed Blue and Vibrant Orange.
All the three have the same specifications and price.