Bottle Lantern for Backpackers

Light and water
in one bottle.

It’s tough to come up with new gear — I don’t mean replacement gear, shaved down and possibly improved, but something new. The Sol Lightcap 300 may not be revolutionary but it’s good enough. Any time you combine two pieces of essential into one, cutting weight and compacting size, that’s a great concept. The cap also contains a small solar cell, and if you place the cap in the sun you can collect energy to store in the unit’s batteries. A solar cell this small doesn’t put out much current, but four LED’s don’t use much.

Sol Light Light Cap 200; photo by

Sol Light Light Cap; photo by

A couple of things to remember: the four LED’s emit from the underside of the cap, so it’s essential to fit this to a transparent water bottle. If you prefer aluminum, the inside of it will light up brilliantly, but the light stays in the bottle. To use this as a beam flashlight you do have to remove the cap from the container, leaving your water supply exposed. So if I had a say in it, there’d be a couple of changes. How about a reverse model with four LED’s that shine out from the top?  Then if there were a different version to fit a standard canteen I could use my favorite water storage device as a flashlight.

Aside from that, it works. The rechargeable battery is replaceable but the original battery should last for three or more years. The SolLight Lightcap 300 Solar Cap Lantern makes a great camp lantern and emergency light, without adding weight to your gear.

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