Anker is one of the most popular brands on the market when it comes to electronics of various kinds, especially in the budget market. From outdoor gear to smartphone accessories and power banks, they’ve got an excellent variety of products. They are usually priced pretty aggressively, yet perform admirably in any scenario.
The Anker Bolder flashlight, therefore, does have quite a reputation to live up to. It comes at a pretty reasonable price, yet is feature-packed and looks like it’s built like a tank. But how good is it, actually? Is it worth buying, or should you skip it in favor of something else? Let’s find out.
The Bolder on the outside
As we mentioned, the Bolder looks like it’s built like a tank. The first time you see it, even though it’s pocket-sized at 6.2” long, you’ll find that a lot of attention to detail is present. Its all-black design looks premium, and the anodized aluminum body is lightweight, yet comfortable to hold and doesn’t feel flimsy. It has a grippy, anti-slip finish, so you can hold it in your hand without it falling out, and it can also stand in the end if you need it as an emergency lamp.
While we’re discussing the outside, there’s a lanyard attachment strap at the back, which you can use to hook the Bolder on a backpack or your jeans’ belt loop. You will also find the focus ring on the outside, too, which allows you to set the beam’s width just right, thus creating a “zoom” effect. When using it nearby, a wider beam gives you better illumination. However, when using it to look at distant objects, you can get a tighter beam that goes further.
Another thing that we believe is worth mentioning is how resistant the Bolder is to the elements. The official ingress protection rating is IP65, which means that the Bolder is completely dust-tight, and it’s protected against low-pressure jets of directed water from any angle. In layman’s terms, you can comfortably use it outdoors, and even if it drops in a puddle of water, or you get caught out in the rain, you don’t have to worry about it. However, you shouldn’t push it, and we’d take these claims with a grain of salt.
Let’s discuss the light itself
The Anker Bolder LC90 comes with a single Cree LED. While other products sometimes come with three or more LEDs, the one inside the Bolder is actually quite sufficient. The maximum light output is 900 lumens, which is quite honestly, impressive. If you’re curious about what that translates into when it comes to day-to-day usage, you can get bright light at up to 600 feet, and if used with a narrow beam, you could get up to 1000 feet. We already spoke about the zoom, and you can get it anywhere from completely wide, to completely narrow.
In terms of brightness, you can actually choose between five different settings. You don’t always need the full-width beam, and you can save a bit of battery in those situations. You can choose between low, medium and high brightness, and there’s also a fairly bright strobe, as well as an SOS mode that could come in handy.
So, how’s that battery and durability? Well, you have a 3350mAh battery inside. It’s a rechargeable 18650 battery, so it should be pretty durable in terms of longevity. With a 1A adapter and a micro USB cable, you can recharge it in six hours. This also means that you can recharge it with a power bank if you don’t have an outlet nearby, or are out camping. When using it on a medium beam, you can expect about 6 hours of battery. The high setting uses up more battery, and you can even get a bit longer from the low brightness setting. In any case, the battery life is pretty good, and the fact that you can recharge it from a power bank can come in handy when you’re outdoors.
Another thing worth mentioning is the LED’s reliability. They’re rated at over 50 thousand hours, which is impressive. You’ll need to use the Bolder quite a bit in order to get that much, which means that it’ll last you a good while.
What’s in the box?
When you get the Anker Bolder LC90, even though the price is pretty budget-oriented, you still get a host of things in the box. Aside from the flashlight itself and the 18650 battery, you also get a micro USB cable to charge it, as well as a wrist strap and Anker’s 18-month warranty. Considering there are pricier products that have no battery, this is actually pretty nice. If you are interested in looking at other options, have a look at our Best List here.
Wrapping things up – who is the Anker Bolder for?
If we’re being honest, even though it’s pretty wallet-friendly, the Anker Bolder isn’t for everyone. For starters, the fact that it takes 6 hours to charge and the battery lasts 6 hours isn’t that good. You’d expect somewhat faster charging if you’re outside. To add to that, 900 lumens is pretty good, but if you often use it for trips during the night, you might find that you need a bit more.
Now, with that in mind, Anker has made an excellent budget flashlight. You can fit it in your pocket, it has a nice adjustable beam, it’s built really well, and it’s pretty resistant to the elements. Add to that the fact that it does get fairly bright, the wallet-friendly price, and the great design, and you’ve got yourself a great little flashlight for day-to-day use. Whether you’re looking to add a new flashlight to your everyday carry kit, or are looking to add a backup flashlight to your camping backpack, the Anker Bolder is an excellent option.