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Review: Goal Zero Chroma Crush Light

As an avid backpacker, I’m always looking for fun new gear to add to my overnight kit.

Over the years I’ve become pickier about the products I include, placing more emphasis on functionality and weight. Goal Zero’s new solar-powered lantern, the Crush Light Chroma, is easy to use, lightweight, and has multiple settings. I’ve also found it to be more durable than its leading competitors. This has solidified it as a staple on all my overnight trips whether I’m backpacking, car camping, or simply having a backyard bonfire with friends.


Get Your Goal Zero Chroma Crush Light

Functionality

I put the Crush Light Chroma through the wringer, testing it in a variety of conditions throughout the summer and fall months. I brought it with me on trips to Blanca Lake, Gothic Basin, Mount Ellinor, Mount Pilchuck, Snow Lake, and Diablo Lake. The Crush Light Chroma survived the heat, rain, snow, and heavy wind. A couple of features I like the most are that it is durable, collapsible, and bright. At first, I thought to bring it only on overnight trips, but it turns out it works great on long day-trips too. I have a tendency to try to fit a lot of action in one day (surprising, right?) so a lot of my day trips run past sunset. Particularly when the days start to get shorter it is nice to know that in addition to your headlamp you have a lantern that doubles as a flashlight, providing extra light for you or acting as a savior for one of your hiking pals. The top handle makes it easy to carry while you hike without cramping up your hand.


Durability

I’m not the most graceful person, so durability is important. One of the Crush Light Chroma’s lead competitors, the Luci Light, is made of very thin plastic and thus constantly cracks under pressure. When I have a collapsible lantern on the back of my pack I don’t want to be constantly worried I’m going to damage it whenever I take off my bag. The Crush Light Chroma is much thicker and scratch-resistant than others of its kind on the market.


Ease of Use

I was also impressed by the battery life and ease of charging. Even if I don’t end up using it on a trip, it’s nice to know that I was able to charge it by having it on my pack, making it ready to use for my next outing. I logged 20+ hours with the light on and it never ran out of power. It’s also nice knowing I have the option to charge it with a USB if I get into an emergency situation. An extra nice feature with regard to battery life it that when the lantern in collapsed the power button is concealed, preventing it from turning itself on unintentionally. A lot of other lanterns on the market have a power button on the top or bottom, making it all too easy to accidentally turn it on. I found this to be a very well-thought-out element of the design.

I also appreciate that the Crush Light Chroma has normal, low, medium, and high settings as well as color settings. In comparison, the Luci Light lanterns only have either-or, forcing consumers to buy the traditional light-colored lantern or the “party lantern” to get the color option. This costs you twice as much and forces you to choose which one to bring. The Crush Light Chroma has it all in one!


Final Word

If you are looking for a lantern (or even if you’re not) I highly recommend the Goal Zero Crush Light Chroma. With its versatility, durability, and overall stylish and well-thought-out design, I believe it to be the best option on the market right now.


We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Kelly Dona

I'm an outdoor professional ambassador with Outdoor Prolink and a proud member of the Outdoor Prolink gear testing team. I review, rate, and give recommendations on gear that I use for my job and for fun!