The Powerplus 3 in 1 LED Detachable Tripod Torch POWL1421 is probably the most versatile product we have reviewed as part of our Practical Caravan test of camping lights. It’s just such a shame that you have to recharge it every three hours, even if you’ve used it in economy mode. As you can see, we have awarded a three-star rating to this Powerplus 3 in 1, which costs from around £21.99.
Use it as three torches or one lantern
LEDs make good use of the battery power
Comes with a 1 hour fast mains charger and 12v charger
Magnetic bases so you can use them under a car bonnet
If you lose one of the torches it won’t stand up as a lantern
No hook to hang from an awning pole or tree branch
Needs recharging every three hours
It’s not as bright as the group test winner
The Powerplus 3 in 1 LED Detachable Tripod Torch is a clever design that could easily double up as a lantern for your camping holidays.
The unit is actually three interconnected torches, complete with separate battery packs and switches. You can use Powerplus 3 in 1 either as three small torches or as a single powerful torch, or as a single lamp.
When assembled as shown here, magnets in the base allow the low-weight unit to be hung from any ferrous metal surface. This means that you can attach the magnetic bit of the torches to your vehicle bonnet or wing to allow you to go hands-free and enable you to check the oil, screen wash fluid levels and tyre pressures after dark.
The three ‘legs’ open up, too, making a kind of basic tripod that you can stand on your camping table in the awning, or beside the barbecue outside. The design is so well thought out that each of the three torches is slim enough to fit in a pocket or handbag easily. The torches have flat bodies so that if you put them down somewhere they won’t go rolling away. You won’t be able to lose them easily either, thanks to the bright yellow parts.
We can just imagine parents and children each pulling a torch away from the bunch at the entrance to the campsite washroom and agreeing to meet back at base camp!
Each torch section uses a 1.5W LED, so illumination is good whether the components are used singly or as a whole.
But the fact that you get just three hours’ run time between charges, in economy mode, will mean that overly frequent charging is needed for this triple torch unit.
We looked at a total of 10 camping lights on the Practical Caravan test bench to decide which lanterns are the best for caravan holidays. Before you buy another torch or camping lamp, check out all our outdoor accessory reviews online. We’ve given the camping lights star ratings out of five, so that you can see at a glance which ones our tester rates the best. But which is right for you?
Our favourite camping light on test was the Outwell Carnelian 400 Lantern, from £24.99. It thoroughly deserves its five-star rating, and gives out far more light than its rivals. We also awarded five stars to the Outwell Morion, £11.50 and the Kampa Zebedee, from £4.99.
We awarded our only four-star rating to the SunnCamp Lantern, from £10.99, a handy little retro-style gas cylinder camping light giving out loads of light. If you use a gas camping light, make sure there is plenty of ventilation to avoid any danger of carbon monoxide poisoning while you’re enjoying evenings in your caravan or awning. If in doubt, keep a carbon monoxide detector handy.
Three stars went to four worthy rival camping lights that we tested. They are the Halfords S88899, (its full name is the Halfords Advanced LED Spotlight Lantern 588899), from £19.99, Vango 24 LED Lantern, from £29, the Gelert 7W Lantern, from £13.50 – and this one, the Powerplus 3 in 1, from £21.99.
We awarded just two stars each to two other camping lanterns, despite their well known branding. The two-star camping lights are the Gelert 7W Rechargeable Remote Controlled Lantern, from £19.99, and the Vango Light Barrel, from £32.50.
You can use Powerplus 3 in 1 either as three small torches or as a single powerful torch, or as a single lamp
|Power source||6 x AAA rechargeable Ni-mH batteries|
|Chargers||A mains charger and a 12v charger|
|Modes||Low, high or flashing|