Brian Voo

Portable Lantern & Powerbank – The LANDER Cairn XL [Review]

A nature escape from the hustle and bustle of the city can bring back life to a mundane daily routine. It’s easy for a seasoned trekker or camper to go for a green escape with little planning. I can imagine the first time adventurer might fear the dark before dawn, or being caught in the middle of nowhere after dusk. This portable lantern and powerbank by LANDER comes to the rescue of a modern adventurer.
Cairn XL Portable Lantern

Cairn XL Portable Lantern Features

When the kind people at LANDER approached me to review this, I was not sure who this portable lantern was for. The LANDER Cairn XL is the latest variant in their line of lighting products, and the most feature filled portable lantern that you should probably consider getting.

The XL is the successor of Cairn (without the XL) that has similar features. The Cairn XL features an ultra-bright 350 lumen LED portable lantern with lighting modes to change color, dim, and strobe. It will stay lit for up to 250 hours, and its single 2.1 amp USB port can output 10,000mAh of juice.
Cairn XL
Its solid build quality was the first impression I had when holding the Cairn XL. The illumination face gives off a soft, diffused glow, with thick rubber around the edges, indication lights for the powerbank, and a single button for operation.

The USB port, micro USB port for charging the XL, and bluetooth pairing button is hidden behind the same thick rubber. This makes it IP65 waterproof. Google describes IP65 as “dust tight” and protected against water projected from a nozzle. Although it is waterproof, it does not float and will only illuminate the riverbed. The Cairn XL is campsite ready.

Bluetooth Enabled Lantern

Backing up a bit, yes I did mention bluetooth pairing button. But why bluetooth on a portable lantern? Keeping the Cairn XL minimal with its single button made operating it just okay. Hit it once to illuminate with its default warm white glow at about 50% brightness.

From its off state, pressing the button twice changes it to RGB mode. Pressing the button three times makes it strobe. Holding the button down during its default warm white glow will cycle the brightness level. Doing the same during the RGB mode will cycle through the RGB color spectrum.

It is confusing without a video, but the app can do it all.

Lander App for Cairn XL

Lander Cairn XL App
This is a powerful portable lantern. The Lander app is easy to navigate, and available for iOS and Android devices. Bluetooth pairing is simple, use a small object to press the bluetooth button on the Cairn XL, turn on your phone’s bluetooth, run the app and you’re connected! No fuss about going to your phone’s bluetooth settings to pair (I learnt this the hard way).

Aside from controlling brightness, and color, the app also features a sleep timer and proximity features based on the distance of the XL to your phone. There’s also a ‘Find My Cairn’ option which makes it ring till you turn it off again.

How to use the Cairn XL – Final Verdict

I’m not one who enjoys the outdoors, but the sleep timer makes the Cairn XL a colorful night light to illuminate the back of my monitor. You can also turn off your bluetooth after setting the sleep timer on the Cairn XL. For everyday use, it’s a solid powerbank that can charge the average smartphone about four times.
Cairn XL Product Sheet
The anchor system is genius and simple. It’s made of reflective bungee cord and a T-shape hook, allowing you to wrap it around objects, or hang it high for maximum light coverage. Priced at $99.95 on REI, this may be THE portable lantern for nature lovers, and useful for everyday use too.


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Brian Voo - Gear & Tech Enthusiast