During LuminAID Labs' recent Indiegogo campaign, I purchased one of their new inflatable solar lights. I brought the light with me on my recent backpacking trip to Yosemite and was impressed with both the performance and sheer fun of using this air filled lantern around camp.
At the core of the LuminAID light is a thin rechargeable battery, solar panel, and set of super bright LEDs. The circuit and photovoltaic panels are sandwiched between two layers of plastic, protecting them from damage. The large square of semi-transparent plastic material works to diffuse the LEDs into ambient light when inflated.
A reinforced handle makes the inflatable solar light easy to carry, with punch holes that enable you to clip the light to your backpack in order to soak up sun during the day. The LuminAID light is waterproof and even floats, so it won't matter if it rains or you happen to drop your light in the lake.
The solar light is a great way to illuminate your tent so all the occupants are able to read or dig around in gear without having to wear a headlamp that is prone to blinding your tent mate. The LuminAID is also nice to provide ambient light outside for eating and cooking. The inflatable solar light weighs practically nothing (less than 90 grams), packs down flat and small, making it a minimal addition to your backpacking kit.
The battery requires around 5 hours of sunlight to fully recharge, and one charge will last from 4 hours on the high setting (35 lumens) to 6 hours on low (20 lumens). The charge will hold for up to 6 months, so you don't have to worry about getting sun everyday of your trip. The battery can be recharged up to 800 times.
If you didn't get in on the original Indiegogo campaign, online sales for the LuminAID light are coming soon. Pricing will probably be similar to the campaign, where for $25, you get one inflatable solar light, while another one is donated to the various community projects that LuminAID Labs supports.