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Thread: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

  1. #1

    Default Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts





    Fenix ​​offered me a to review their new lantern, if you remember the former CL20, this new lantern is slightly smaller with upgraded electronics and UI :

    it's main updates :


    - smaller and lighter (2.8" x 1.6" x 2" weight 3.2oz)
    - it is rechargeable (built-in 1600mAh battery)
    - the outpute and modes spacing are upgraded (300 lumens)
    - the runtime is better






    unpacking:







    the lantern comes with a micro usb cable, warranty card and instructions for use.
    no replacement gasket here as there is no option for replacing the built in li-po battery





    Note that the provided output curve shows a significant drop in power in High and Turbo after a few dozen of minutes, in practice it is not very visible and should not be a problem. it allows a greater useful autonomy.





    the body of the lamp is made of plastic and the only visible metal part is the small retractable ring that allows to hang it easily.











    two non-removable magnets make it possible to fix it on metalic surfaces





    under the frosted dome, 12 neutral white leds and two red leds
    (oddly, the effiency is better in white than in red light)









    in hands :












    the lantern fires up by a long press and always starts in the white 1 lumen (lowest) mode, a short click switches to the next mode, a long click turns off the lamp.


    a double click switches to 1.5 lumen red light mode, a single click activates a blinking red light, there is no highest mode available




    the ignition button is translucent, a red/green led underneath helps to know the approximate battery level by a short click when the lantern is off.




    in practice after a short period time in which one will change modes instead of turning off the lamp, we get used fairly quickly to the UI of this lamp.




    Note: the lamp has an electronic switch, so there is a small current consumption, but the manufacturer has announced a very low standby consumption of about 35uA (about 5 years before full discharge); )





    recharging by micro-usb port, take about 1h30 to 2h for an almost empty battery (red blinks on the power switch).
    the lamp can be used even when charging, but only in lowest modes 1 and 40 lumens







    Short-term toughts:






    the improvement compared to the previous generation (CL20) is noticeable, especially since this is not done at the cost of an excessive overcharge (price is less than 40 $)



    I was a bit skeptical at first about the usefulness of this kind of micro-lanterns compared to a small EDC lamp (with a diffuser), and I must say that I'm starting to change a bit of my opinion on the subject:


    - firstly the format is not intrusive, the diffused light is fine (although I would have preferred a little warmer CCT)
    - there is no PWM effect on any of the modes.
    - the snail form factor, acts for an excellent stability.
    - it always starts in the lowest mode : you won't be blinded by a full power blast if you forget the to depress the switch at the right time



    the "all in one" solution is a nice addition that is more and more generalized, that will allow a wider audience to try modern flashlights and lanterns
    I am however a little puzzled by the use from a manufacturer such as Fenix ​​of a built-in not replaceable battery.









    I appreciated :


    - the very small format, handling and stability
    - the lamp always starts in low
    - the very well diffused beam
    - the neutral tint, and the absence of PWM effect
    - the battery level indicator




    I do not really like it :


    - everything is sealed, one can not replace the battery
    - a large power drop (but not very sensitive to the eye) in the first hours of use in High and Turbo



    Fenix CL20R
    Manufacturers product link : http://www.fenixlight.com/ProductMor...&tid=31&cid=30

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Hi TiC,

    First, thanks very much for your amazing review. Really nice pics. I love all Fenix camping lanterns, never let you down.
    Love this upgraded little snail.
    Last edited by Loverofthelight; 10-13-2017 at 03:56 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    So if you are out tent camping someplace, how exactly are you suppose to recharge it?
    Bill
    Pacific NW

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by wjv View Post
    So if you are out tent camping someplace, how exactly are you suppose to recharge it?
    A battery pack.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by wjv View Post
    So if you are out tent camping someplace, how exactly are you suppose to recharge it?
    we're on candlepowerforums , how could it be that you lack a backup, and a backup for the backup, or maybe a powerbank if you go camping

  6. #6
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    I love small lamps like this for power outages and such.. but i can't fathom buying anything with a non replaceable battery :-(

  7. #7
    Flashaholic DIPSTIX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Looks like either quality product from Fenix. Red light is great for hunting. I always have liked the ability to use my own batteries though..
    Searching for enlightenment.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by TiC View Post
    Note that the provided output curve shows a significant drop in power in High and Turbo after a few dozen of minutes, in practice it is not very visible and should not be a problem. it allows a greater useful autonomy.
    Wait...what?

    A manufacturer provided an output curve?

    That's awesome. Major compliments to Fenix for providing clarity about the nature of their output and runtime. I really hope this is the start of a trend.

    The change of the minimum mode from 8 lumens in the CL20 to 1 lumen in the rechargeable version is also a welcome change.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by wjv View Post
    So if you are out tent camping someplace, how exactly are you suppose to recharge it?
    Same way you charge your mobile phone!

    So does the lights hook come off for wrapping it around a hammock ridgeline

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by wjv View Post
    So if you are out tent camping someplace, how exactly are you suppose to recharge it?
    Your vehicle's cigarette lighter port if car camping. If remote camping, a power bank, a portable solar panel, or a BioLite stove.
    Last edited by Tachead; 10-16-2017 at 05:55 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by HandyRandy View Post
    Same way you charge your mobile phone!

    So does the lights hook come off for wrapping it around a hammock ridgeline
    Lol, who brings a mobile phone tent camping? Most people I know go tent camping to get a way from civilization. And, there is no service anyway at many backcountry locations.

    Not sure about this new model but, it doesn't on the CL20. A miniture carabiner, like one from Niteize, works perfect to solve that problem though.

    https://www.niteize.com/product/S-Biner-MicroLock.asp

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Moved to lanterns. I have the original CL20 and like it. This looks interesting.
    The TK20. Yes it still rocks.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by wjv View Post
    So if you are out tent camping someplace, how exactly are you suppose to recharge it?
    I use a USB powerbank to charge USB devices. I wonder how it would charge solar. Also if it would operate when charging the way the CL25R does.
    The TK20. Yes it still rocks.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    It will operate when charging, but only at medium or low intensity.

    I just thought of the PERFECT way to hang this badboy from the ridgeline! This little guy will not only keep it fixed in place preventing slideage, but it will also keep it oriented correctly, parallel with the hammock!
    https://dutchwaregear.com/mini-squeeze-hook.html

  15. #15

    Smile Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    I have a problem with rechargeable lanterns. Under normal circumstances, they are fine.

    But for an extended power outage, give me a battery powered lantern every time.

    Yeah, I know.

    Buy a rechargeable battery pack.

    And when that dies, use your back-up rechargeable battery pack and when that croaks, use your back-up's back-up battery pack, ad infinitum.

    And, in the case of an extended power outage, break out the solar battery charger. Just pray the sun comes out long enough and strong enough to do ample charging. I won't even mention the cost of these back-up accoutrements.

    Me? I've got 48 AmazonBasic D cells in the freezer and 8 more in a UST 60 day lantern.

    UST rates it for 16 days straight running at 200 lumens and 60 days straight running at 20 lumens. Given that you would shut it off during the daytime and when sleeping, one set of batteries will last a LONG time.

    Can it really do it? Well, I saw some Youtube reviews that were similar to my experience.

    After lengthy (days long) continuous testing, at 1200, 200 and 20 lumens on the same set of D cells, I shut it off. It convinced me. This thing lasts and lasts. Further testing just seemed a waste of batteries.

    That original set of D cells, though obviously dissipated, is still in the lantern and plenty strong.

    With those batteries and the other 48 D cells as back-up power, I figure if I do run out of juice, the world as we know it will probably be over anyway.

    PS - I paid $49.99, plus shipping for the UST 60 day lantern, about $10 more than the lantern reviewed here. And I can replace the power source in the UST any time it need to.

    Remember, every time you charge this Fenix, it's going to accept a slightly lesser charge the next time you charge it.

    When this Fenix lantern will no longer hold an adequate charge, you have two options.

    You can throw it away or you can stare at it for a while and think how much Fenix sucks for making this thing with a non-replaceable battery, and THEN throw it away.
    Last edited by mickeyfinn; 10-18-2017 at 11:27 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by mickeyfinn View Post
    I have a problem with rechargeable lanterns.

    I prefer battery powered lanterns.

    Yeah, I know.
    Buying batteries is more expensive in the end. Rechargeables also can be much lighter in weight.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* Poppy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by iamlucky13 View Post
    Wait...what?

    A manufacturer provided an output curve?

    That's awesome. Major compliments to Fenix for providing clarity about the nature of their output and runtime. I really hope this is the start of a trend.

    The change of the minimum mode from 8 lumens in the CL20 to 1 lumen in the rechargeable version is also a welcome change.
    Yes! Qudos to Fenix for that!
    My Grand Kids call me Poppy

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by HandyRandy View Post
    Buying batteries is more expensive in the end. Rechargeables also can be much lighter in weight.
    Everything's a trade-off. I don't mind the expense involved in buying alkalines, and I'll tell you why.

    Using eight D cells, the battery life of the UST 60 day lantern is measured in DAYS for the 1200 and 200 lumen settings and a couple of MONTHS at 20 lumens.

    I much prefer the dependability and much longer life of the alkaline batteries in this lantern over that of the reviewed lower powered, rechargeable battery whose battery life is measured in mere HOURS, and not very many of them.

    As far as rechargeable lanterns being "lighter," yes, it's true. The UST 60 day lantern with eight D cells on board weighs three pounds, a little more than a quart of milk, plus it has a great handle on it (the lantern, not the milk).

    Nah, weight's not a problem with this lantern. I figure if someone can't lift a quart of milk, they have bigger problems than lack of light.
    Last edited by mickeyfinn; 10-19-2017 at 09:45 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Excited to see where the lantern market goes. From my experience the (propane/kerosene or other fuel source) Coleman lanterns still are the standard. With the evolution of LED's / Lithium batteries there will a cross over someday. This light seems like it be great for the tent environment

  20. #20

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneyman26 View Post
    Excited to see where the lantern market goes. From my experience the (propane/kerosene or other fuel source) Coleman lanterns still are the standard. With the evolution of LED's / Lithium batteries there will a cross over someday. This light seems like it be great for the tent environment
    Can propane, kerosene, gasoline lanterns be used safely indoors?

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by mickeyfinn View Post
    I have a problem with rechargeable lanterns....

    Me? I've got 48 AmazonBasic D cells in the freezer and 8 more in a UST 60 day lantern....
    Modern alkaline cells are not recommended to store in an ordinary freezer, as it may increase risks of corrosion and/or damage to seals.
    ... is the archimedes peak

  22. #22

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by archimedes View Post
    Modern alkaline cells are not recommended to store in an ordinary freezer, as it may increase risks of corrosion and/or damage to seals.
    Hey arch,

    There's so much conflicting info on this. I've read alkalines lose 1% - 2% of their charge per month at room temperature. I've also read they lose 1% - 2% per YEAR. Quite a difference.

    I read that condensation on batteries kept in the cold damage the batteries and what they are put in.

    The batteries I have in the freezer come shrink wrapped in groups of three. I took a three pack out of the freezer as a test.

    Condensation appeared on the exterior of the shrink wrap almost immediately.

    After waiting until the batteries came back to room temperature, I then waited a couple of more hours and removed the shrink wrap. There was no condensation on the batteries. None.

    Refrigerating or freezing alkaline batteries DOES slow the discharge of stored alkalines. No one disagrees with that.

    But all agree problems arise when condensation occurs. But there was no condensation on the shrink wrapped batteries themselves, but there was condensation on the exterior of the shrink wrap.

    Duracell recommends against refrigerating or freezing batteries. But they're in the business of selling batteries, not helping us preserve them.


    My question is, does keeping batteries in the freezer cause INTERNAL condensation in alkaline batteries?
    Last edited by mickeyfinn; 10-24-2017 at 12:31 AM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by mickeyfinn View Post
    Hey arch,
    ....
    My question is, does keeping batteries in the freezer cause INTERNAL condensation in alkaline batteries?
    Honestly, I've not looked into this much, since I haven't used alkaline chemistry cells ... for anything ... for years

    If I were to guess, if there's a moist environmental atmosphere inside that freezer, then yes I'd think so.

    I also think that the seals are likely made more brittle by very cold temperature, entirely apart from the moisture / freezing / crystal / condensation / corrosion issue(s)
    ... is the archimedes peak

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    I am not putting alkaline batteries in my refrigerator because just don't use them. I would rather use LSD Eneloops or lithium primaries for AA. Alkaline batteries are kinda junk..... Sorry but that's IMHO. Also built in lithium polymer batteries are used in much more expensive gear than this lantern. The primary downside for me would be in cranking cold. The CL20 can use a CR123. I have been liking the few USB/lithium polymer lights in my gear collection. Did not think I would yet somehow they keep getting used.
    The TK20. Yes it still rocks.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Quote Originally Posted by wjv View Post
    So if you are out tent camping someplace, how exactly are you suppose to recharge it?
    Well, if you bring along the WakaWaka Power (a small, easily packable/portable light with a solar panel that can also recharge your cell phone or anything else in that category such as presumably the CL20R), recharging it will not be an issue.

    - LetThereBeLight!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    Thanks for the review. The 1 lumen low and improved run time are welcome. The 8 Lumen low of the old CL20 was always a deal killer for me, though the CL25R was a fine alternative.
    (\__/)
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  27. #27
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    After seeing the CL20R come out, I immediately bought 4x CL20 (non-rechargeable) and a couple of Nitecore LA10 CRI lanterns.

    On the CR20R:
    * Thumbs up for the 1 lumen mode & starting on the lowest mode every time.

    * HUGE THUMBS DOWN for the sealed rechargeable battery!

    The rechargeable battery makes this light completely USELESS for my needs -- disaster management / recovery. One of the best features of the original CL20 was that it could use CR123 or AA batteries, which let ME choose which type of batteries (Lithium, Alkaline, rechargeable NiMH) I want to use.

    I get sent into disaster areas where infrastructure is non-existent, or will be damaged soon, with no ETA for when it might return. I've been part of: Andrew '92, Gabrielle '01, Charley '04, Frances '04, Ivan '04, Jeanne '04, Katrina '05, Wilma '05, Sandy (NYC area) '12, Irma '17... I speak from experience. My hurricane kit & advice has been refined with each storm as well.

    For me, standard batteries are a must. Standard replaceable batteries also makes budgeting easier. ie: if you know the next supply shipment arrives in 3 days and you only have 2 AAs left, you know it's time to run on lower levels and don't waste power. Even if you had a USB battery bank with some sort of battery gauge, you still truly don't know how much power you have left in the light or the battery pack. I've yet to find a battery pack with a linear battery meter. There's also no question of "is it charged?" when I'm using regular batteries.

    As much as I love my Honda EU2000i generators and solar panels, those don't get to go on the airplane with me. Even when I do have access to my generators, fuel isn't always available, even when working with emergency management. I just encountered this with Irma. I traveled by car, had my generators with me, was promised fuel would be available...and it wasn't, so the generator was run sparingly until we could get a decent stock of fuel. I should also note that some jerk tried stealing our generator on the first night we finally had decent access to fuel and decided to run aircon in the building. Battery-operated motion sensor w/remote alarm FTW! IF that had gotten stolen AND we were depending upon that for lighting, charging battery banks, communications, etc., we would have been dead in the water.

    @LetThereBeLight mentions the WakaWaka Power light... Its solar panel is too small to be practical. The literature says that it'll charge itself to "50% on a typical sunny day" and only has a 2200mAH internal battery. Soo...2 days of solar charging = ~50% charge on my mobile phone.
    ========
    Current EDC: Quark Mini AA

  28. #28

    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    That is a totally different kind of lantern! It weighs like ten pounds with all those D batteries. The Fenix cl20r is a tiny light weight lantern you can use backpacking. The price of D batteries is soo high too. Fenix has a much bigger lantern(cl30r) that runs on 3 18650 cells. You're comparing apples and oranges.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic colight's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix CL20R rechargeable mini lantern : overview and first toughts

    It's been a while since you posted this, but with all due respect @TPA, not many people would need this kind of lantern for emergency situations like the ones you mentioned, and you rightly said "USELESS for my needs". I can perfectly understand your concerns about this, but I am sure there are other products that you can use for this purpose, ones that fulfill your specific needs? Fenix does market it as a camping lantern, after all....

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