By Tony Barthel
When a manufacturer actually goes camping you can tell. For example, SylvanSport sent me their WayLight™ Multi-Functional Camping LED Light and Trekking Pole. You can tell that these folks camp.
I have to start by admitting that I have a problem, er, an addiction. I love LED anything. Flashlights, strip lighting, projection lighting, solar lighting… If it has an LED you’re going to at least get my attention.
The WayLight is an LED device, among other things. Essentially this is a walking stick with two different USB-rechargeable LEDs on the top: a round ambient light and a more focused beam-style flashlight. Just below those is a handle with a trigger mechanism to activate either one or both of these.
Essentially, this is a really, really fancy walking stick with a light on the top of it. It would be interesting if that were the whole story – but there’s more. The handle on the top of this is well-shaped, which makes this a good walking stick.
At the bottom end is a pointed piece that can grab into dirt or trails to assist, and you can even just stick this into the ground as there’s a base that keeps it upright so that ambient light can illuminate your camp. The pole itself is adjustable with a twist lock and, once properly adjusted and twisted, it didn’t have a tendency to want to collapse again as some of these twist locks do.
Considering the weight of this gadget, 16 oz. or 0.45 kg, it’s really sturdy. I’m no petite hiker and I tested this going up a trail that left me huffing and puffing, so the walking stick was a nice addition.
That adjustability allows the aluminum pole to range from 34-52 inches in height – a good range. I have to admit I have more experience playing with LEDs and such than I do hiking.
Okay, so I now have a fancy walking stick with a light on the end of it, which seems like a good thing. But wait, there’s more…
SylvanSlport designed holes in the bottom of the stick to accommodate bamboo skewers so you can also use this to roast weenies or marshmallows or whatever you want to skewer with a bamboo stick and shove into the campfire. So now you have three things in one.
I can picture the late-night pitch on the television.
But, unlike a lot of those products pitched while watching the late, late show, this one actually works as promised and is truly a nifty camping gadget. It has a good weight to it, it is very useful and it appeals to the gadget lover in me.
SylvanSport claims that the 55-lumen spotlight will provide about 18-hours of run time on a single charge, the 35-lumen lantern will run 17 hours, and the combination will run for up to 10 hours. Charge time is claimed to be 4.5 hours.
The cool thing is, as the light is being charged, the lantern glows red and then changes to green when it’s ready to light up camp. I could easily charge this with the USB port on my solar panel charge controller, any USB port, or even a portable battery.
The bottom line? Even though this was sent to me for review by SylvanSport, I liked it so much I bought a second one for my wife. This is one of those “must-have” camping gadgets in my world.
Here is the WayLight LED light and trekking pole on Amazon.