This is the Ultimate TopNotch UST 30 Day Lantern Review 2020…
Ultimate Survival Technologies manufactures some quality survival equipment.
At TopNotch, we’ve tested their tools before.
Does this UST 30 Day Lantern perform as per the brand reputation?
How did it fair when put to our TopNotch tests?
In this comprehensive review we’ll cover:
- How does it perform against other lanterns on the market?
- Does it live up to the brand claims?
- Brightness, durability, packability
- Lots more…
So, if you want to give this powerful lantern a try, you’ll love this review.
Let’s get started.
- Water-resistant housing
- Replaceable batteries
- Less durable hanging clip (plastic)
- Easy to trigger ‘on’ button even when the lantern is not in use
Our Verdict: UST 30 Day Lantern
At TopNotch we researched a wide range of camping lanterns on the market and came up with a comprehensive list of the Top 10 Best Camping Lanterns: Definitive Buyers Guide 2020.
There you have a comprehensive buying guide to help your research before you spend a dime.
The UST 30 days lantern is on our top 10 list.
What does that mean?
That means it’s one of the 10 best lanterns you’ll find anywhere on the market.
Having said that – this lantern simply couldn’t ‘make it’ to appear as one of our top 3 award winning products.
And – honestly – there’s more than one metric where it wasn’t really good enough to impress the TopNotch team.
However, the lantern is pretty powerful and it lived up to the 30 days continuous-lighting claim.
So, I can safely say, it’s an effective outdoor survival lantern.
But we found it inconvenient to carry on camping or hiking trips.
If you’re looking for a lightweight and compact camping companion, try our TopNotch Top Pick Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Powered Lantern which weighs just over 3 oz.
Still, the UST 30 DAY Duro is a decent lantern at a reasonable price.
Want to take a deeper dive into the details?
Related: 10 Best Camping Lantern
To start with…
This lantern has 700 lumens of maximum lighting capacity.
That’s great for camping nights or a walk in the woods at night.
It worked well enough to light up our tent of four.
We removed the frosted dome on top of the LED and hung it upside down to light up the larger kitchen tent. The lantern did perform pretty well.
Apart from the 700 lumens high mode, the UST 30 Day Lantern also has a 140 lumens medium mode and the 30 lumens low mode.
There’s also a pretty bright SOS strobe mode that can last as long as 15 days.
Very handy if you ever need it.
That’s not all…
It comes with lifetime guaranteed, 3 Nichia white LEDs.
You see, brightness is the biggest strength of this light.
That makes it the top scorer in this metric.
But wait, let me tell you something.
I would have liked another mode between the high and the medium settings. The difference in brightness between the two modes is pretty wide.
I also didn’t find the low mode dim enough for individual use in the tent.
Moreover, the light quality is just like a white LED – it has a bit of an uncomfortable glare.
However, the best thing is….
…the light lasts really long on fully charged 3 x D-cell batteries.
In the high mode, it gave more than 22 hours of continuous light.
At the medium setting Duro LED gave us company for over 106 hours.
We also placed it in the low setting to confirm the 30 days challenge.
Surprisingly, even after 32 days of continuous burning, it was still going.
Now, that’s quite a performance!
To sum up, the Duro LED is a strong performer as far as brightness and long-lasting lighting is concerned.
Duro LED uses impact-resistant ABS plastic. For extra protection, it’s encased in a rubberized housing.
So, if you happen to drop it on your campground, it’ll survive.
Even a drop from a high tree branch won’t be a problem for the lantern.
Overall, the lantern’s sturdy.
But the plastic-made foldable hook on the bottom is quite flimsy.
While we can safely say, the main body of the Duro LED won’t break apart easily, we can’t say the same for the back hook.
A little extra force took it off.
But here’s the kicker:
This lantern comes with an IPX4 rating. So, it’s splash resistant.
That’s thanks to the O-rings at the base of the removable globe and the well-fit cover to the battery compartment.
But it won’t survive a dunk in the river or water jets.
The foldable handle at the top of the lantern is another weakness in the design.
In durability, Duro LED gave us a medium performance when compared side by side with the others.
It’s good but there’s some scope for improvement.
If you’re looking for a truly durable camping lantern, TopNotchTop Pick Goal Zero Crush Light is a better choice. And it’s also less expensive.
It has four modes – high, medium, low, and SOS strobe.
One interesting feature of this lantern is….
It glows in the dark.
However, the downside is,
To make it glow at night, you have to keep it near a strong light source for some time.
Featurewise, it’s a pretty simple lantern with some subtle additions.
Batteries are the only way to charge it.
The 30 days continuous light on the low setting doesn’t totally compensate for that.
In most cases, the 30 lumens low setting wasn’t suitable for our camp-lighting needs – it just wasn’t strong enough.
When we took off the dome of the Duro LED it did increase the light intensity by a few notches.
However, none of these features really impressed the TopNotch team.
We found this lantern better than many market competitors but a poor performer in our list of Top 10 Best Camping Lanterns.
If you’re considering multiple charging options TopNotch Editor’s Choice AGPTEK Solar Lantern is the best one to go for.
For an overall feature rich camping lantern, our Best Value Choice Black Diamond Apollo is a good option.
Ease of Use
After brightness, ease of use is the other strong point of the Duro LED.
In this metric it’s third on our scoreboard.
There’s only one button to move between the 4 modes. If you want to change to the SOS strobe quickly just hold down the button for a few seconds.
Ease of Use Rating
There’s a line of indicators on the front that clearly shows the current setting.
The Duro LED glows in the dark, but much less than we expected.
We kept it in the sun during the day. So, at night it was easy to find.
Keeping it close to any other lightsource also works.
Removing and fixing the dome is simple.
Best of all, you can easily hang it straight or upside down. The handle at the top and the collapsible hook on the base made it easy.
If you forget to take the Duro LED inside your tent at night, don’t worry! It’ll easily survive a light shower – thanks to the water resistant design.
On the downside,
The battery lid isn’t user friendly. Fixing it back is quite difficult.
There are no legs. So, placing it directly on the ground can be tricky.
UST Duro LED is not lightweight.
The rubberized housing and the 3 X D batteries put it on the heavier side.
At 1.1lbs, Duro LED isn’t the best for lightweight travel.
That’s not all…
The design isn’t hugely compact… a serious concern for backpackers.
It’s easy to carry in hand or in your car but not a good choice if packability is important to you.
With 7.2” height and 3.75” width it’ll take up valuable space in your rucksack.
If you’re looking for a lightweight lantern with great packability, TopNotch Top Pick Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Powered Lantern is the best.
BiolitePowerlight Mini is also a nice hands free light with minimum weight.
What’s the bottom line?
Duro LED is a good, mess-free lighting companion for at home emergencies and long power outages. It’ll be a great replacement for your traditional lantern.
But, it’s not a recommended camping or hiking lantern as it’ll add to your backpack weight.
Our Final Verdict: UST 30 Day Lantern
Conclusion: UST 30 Day Lantern
Now we’ve reached the end of our Duro LED review.
Let’s sum things up quickly.
One thing is clear from the review – with 700 lumens in the high mode Duro LED is a powerful and bright camping lantern.
In medium mode it lasts for 106 hours – giving 140 lumens of light.
Apart from the impressive low setting, the Duro LED will work for as long as 15 days in SOS mode, making it a great survival tool.
The water resistant design and hook on the bottom made it easy to use.
However, the lantern was low on features, and low in our weight and durability metrics.
At the end, it’s not a TopNotch award winner.
But wait ..
It’s a clear rank holder in our top 10, which still makes it a very competent product.
And what you get from this lantern for the price, makes it a worthy choice.
We’ve done all the hard work, and now we hand over the baton to you to make your choice.