Every traveler needs a little light … in a hotel room, on a dark walk from the train station to the pension, making your way out of the tent, or simply to find that one item now buried deeply in a dark bag. There are hundreds of good choices. But what if that light can also recharge your mobile phone? And recharge from the sun? Enter the Hybridlight flashlight Journey 160.

Hybridlight flashlight Journey 160 lights up the dark

Weighing a mere 4.5 ounces, the 6-inch long and 1.75-inch-diameter Hybridlight flashlight feels good in the hand. Its polycarbonate shell is smooth, but not slippery. The LED bulb pumps out a very bright 160-lumen beam in its high setting for up to 12 hours, the company says. We did leave it on several times for more than six hours as a test, and the light stayed steady and strong. Impressive, really.

Hybridlight Journey: bright, rechargeable, waterproof

The Hybridlight Journey flashlight ($35) recharges via two methods: with the built-in solar panel along the top of the flashlight’s handle, or with a micro USB cable connected to the port located by unscrewing the cap on the flashlight’s base. We found the light charges from nearly any source of strong overhead illumination, although direct solar charge is clearly best. We found it took between 12 to 20 hours to fully recharge the light using solar (an indicator light located just above the on/off button will stay red when charging and turns green when the battery is fully charged). Using the micro USB port, it reached a full charge in one to two hours depending on how depleted the battery was. The Hybridlight flashlight does NOT come with a micro USB cable, but frankly, who needs yet another cable? We have so many it was a simple matter to grab one and start charging.

Hybridlight Journey 160 recharging a mobile phone

Doubles as a phone charger

Where this light becomes superbly useful for the traveler, though, is that the Hybridlight flashlight 2400 mAh lithium ion battery can also recharge a mobile phone or other small portable device. That means you can leave the extra battery or charger at home. While it won’t fully recharge a depleted phone, the Hybridlight will provide a sufficient boost to power up to at least a 75-percent battery level, we found in testing. And, best of all, the Hybridlight flashlight keeps approximately 20 percent of its battery power in reserve (shutting off the charge to the phone) to ensure it can provide at least another several hours of light. So you don’t have to worry about being left in the dark — just because you needed to keep talking during the day.

With a nod to versatility and illuminating durability, HI Travel Tales finds the Hybridlight flashlight Journey 160 deserves the HITT Seal of Approval for travel product excellence.