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Leave the Batteries: luminAID PackLite 12 Solar Powered Light Review

luminAID packlite 12 review

Several weeks ago, the power went out during a storm. Instead of scrambling to find and light several candles, or to frantically replace the batteries in my flashlight, I simply reached into a drawer and pulled out the PackLite 12 inflatable lantern that luminAID had sent not a couple weeks before.

And you know what, it worked at lighting my living room quite well- better than what a few candles could have done for sure, and it definitely had more illumination than a standard flashlight thanks to the diffused LED.

But that’s not the only reason I was impressed with the luminAID PackLite 12 inflatable lantern. This light is:

  • solar powered (leave batteries off your packing list)
  • packable (just 4” x 4” x 0.5″ deflated/ flat and 4” x 4” x 4” when inflated)
  • lightweight (3.5 oz or 99 grams)
  • bright (45 lumens on high)
  • inflatable
  • waterproof
  • buoyant (floats in water)
  • storable for 1.5 years without needing an extra charge
  • good for up to 12 hours of light on low
  • perfect for emergency situations with the flash setting
  • affordable (just $22.95 for the PackLite 12)

And the list literally goes on. The PackLite 12 makes for a great addition to packing lists and first aid kits that cover visits to the outdoors, such as hiking, backpacking, and camping trips.

luminAID packlite 12 on backpack

About luminAID:

The PackLite 12 was designed by luminAID, a company started with the idea of addressing disaster relief issues. It all started with post-earthquake Haiti and the goal of two women to help provide light for safer nighttime conditions.

Since launching, the company has been on Shark Tank (pulling in the support of Mark Cuban) and distributed more than 12,000 lights to charities across the globe through their Give Light, Get Light program. It definitely makes the appeal of supporting their products even more enticing.

How the PackLite 12 Lantern Works:

Unlike other lanterns and lights with hard cases, the illuminating aspect of this lantern is inflatable and collapsible (made of TPU- which is sustainable). That not only creates a lightweight light option, but it also packs up flat and small- which we love here at HPL!

The inflatable part of the luminAID PackLite 12
The inflatable part of the luminAID PackLite 12.

When using the lantern, inflate the bottom of the PackLite 12 and select your light intensity. Easy.

The lantern can be hung in the top of a tent, or outside in a tree- rain or shine. It can sit upright in the middle of a table, on the side of a walkway, or float in the water.

And when you need to charge it, you can simply attach it to your backpack or daypack in the sun. It takes around 7 hours for a full recharge, all thanks to Mother Nature and not bad-for-the-environment batteries.

luminAID PackLite 12 inflated
luminAID PackLite 12 inflated

What Trips Is It Good For?

As mentioned, this lantern perfectly accompanies trips that involve being outdoors, but it’s also good for any sort of road trip type adventure. That said, does it replace a headlamp? Not necessarily. There is definitely a time and a place for a headlamp, but then again, you could maybe strap this lantern onto your backpack, belt or wrist for an illuminated view.

What Could Be Improved?

For the most part, this little lantern is pretty impressive. The main thing I worry about though would be the inflatable part as there is a chance that it could rip or tear over time. While it’s pretty sturdy, it’s always a possibility.

My Final Thoughts:

I am genuinely impressed with the luminAID PackLite 12 inflatable lantern. After being sent one last month to test out for the site, I am considering purchasing a few more to have available in all aspects of my life- in the car, for outdoor entertaining, and definitely with our travel gear.

>> Interested? Grab a PackLite 12 on Amazon. Or click here to see all of luminAid’s products.

Written by Brooke

I run the show at Her Packing List and love packing ultralight. In fact, I once traveled for 3 entire weeks with just the contents of a well-packed 12L handbag. When I'm not obsessing over luggage weight, I'm producing episodes of The UnPacking List or just snuggling with my pet rabbit, Sherlock Bunz.

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Gear We Use


Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.

Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.

Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking! – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions


  1. emilie carpenter says

    Those look amazing. Definitely going to check into those. Also, may I ask what backpack is in the photo? It is just what I am looking for.

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