Fenix CL25R Rechargeable Camping Lantern

Remember the old original Coleman lanterns? Remember lantern fuel, mantles, etc.? A bit of a hassle, but they got the job done.

Then along came battery powered incandescent lanterns…one of my favorites (remember this?)

Opie lantern

Today we have LED lanterns. There have been a number of such devices written up in the pages of TFB, including this posting by your humble author of the Streamlight “compact” lantern.

Not compact enough? Check this out – the good folks at Fenix Lighting sent this cool little VERY compact lantern for review, the Fenix CL25R.

So small – arrived in a tiny box complete with Fenix 18650 2300mAh battery and charging cable

Lantern boxed

Lantern battery


















I didn’t bother to show the cable – it’s a common micro USB to USB plug. My bet is that most of the readers have multiples of that type cable.

Specs from the Fenix Web Site:
Lantern specs
Lantern specs 2
Lantern Specs 3


























It truly is small – so small that it could easily be tossed into a backpack or even clipped onto your belt. Here it is alongside a compact Rayovac LED lantern:

Side by side lantern


















Estimated run times for this little guy range from just over 2 hours on high to 880 hours on moonlight, depending on the type battery you use. The included battery is estimated at 600 hours, but if you step up to the 3400mAh Fenix 18650 cell the claimed run time is 880 hours on moonlight. Moonlight is quite useful for lighting up a small area, and imagine being in a power outage or on a long camping trip and enjoying over a month of run time. Even if their estimates are wildly optimistic and you get only half that time, it’s still a lot of time. Of course on turbo, it’s a different story. I can easily read in a dark room with the 50 lumen setting, and that’s good for almost 24 hours.

You can also use 2 primary CR123 cells, but not 2 RCR123 cells.

Lantern on low


















The CL25R also has a 1.5 lumen red colored steady beam and flashing beam – protect that night adapted vision or use it to signal.

Lantern on red


















One of my favorite features is on the underside where you replace the battery – the bottom is magnetic PLUS it has standard tripod threads. Stick it to anything metallic for instant area lighting.

Lantern tail

lantern stuck to safe

Activation is via a small button on top that sits right next to the USB port.
Lantern USB

If you have not yet figured it out, I really like this lantern. With an $80 list price, it’s readily available for around $60. As already mentioned, thanks to the Fenix Lighting folks for providing this light for review.


Dan M

Love firearms and flashlights – and they go well together. I’ve been admiring and writing about quality flashlights for about 9 years…built my own integrating sphere….done a few mods. Proof positive that a 59 year old can still love toys!


  • joethefatman

    Looks like something I’d be interested in, but since I just got a rechargeable retro style light from Barebones, it’ll be a while. The light I’ve got looks similar to the one pictured with Opie.

    Question: does the Fenix allow you to recharge cell phones?

  • DIR911911 .

    sorry I’ll wait for someone who doesn’t label settings as “medium , high and turbo”. it’s a light and I’m not in the 2nd grade.

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      Turbo modes are very common in the LED world due to the nature of how LED’s work.

      The “Turbo” modes will generally run an LED at it’s absolute max brightness/current. The problem is modern ultra-bright LED’s run very hot, and they will suffer damage if you can’t get the heat away from them.

      That’s where “Turbo” mode comes in. Basically, you run the LED as hard as you can, but you have a circuit that comes in and cuts off when you start getting too hot. You can’t get a big enough heat sink and fan into a package like a pocket light or lantern like that to run continuously.

      So these Turbo modes run the LED as hard as they can, and then limit back down usually to “high” as the LED gets too hot.

      You can run “medium” and “high” continuously. “Turbo” is designed to get you a LOT of light RIGHT NOW for a short period of time.

  • Billy Jack

    It’s a ripoff of the Streamlight Siege Lantern. I’d like to see a comparison between them side by side.

    Some Siege specs

    Low white light mode provides extended run time of 295 hours when less light is needed. Uses Three D-Cell Alkaline Batteries (Sold Separate)
    High (340 Lumens), Medium (175 Lumens), Low (33 Lumens), Red (10 Lumens), and Red SOS flashing modes.

    The magnet and recharge are nice upgrades but you could use rechargeable AA batteries in D cases. The Siege floats and is waterproof. It’s also half the price at $34. I can’t tell if the Fenix is tougher it definitely wins out in run time and using the same time batteries as my weapon lights and EDC light. I’ve had the Siege for almost 2 years and still running good. It’s blown up on Amazon and has 1400 reviews now. I know country of origin is a big selling point in lights and both are made in the land of the most underpaid workers.

    If anyone owns one of the Fenix lanterns or both the Fenix and Streamlight I’m interested in your opinion.

    • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

      Nothing beats the 18650 battery as far as capacity, current and technology at the moment. When charged, they have a shelf life of 10-15 years as well.

      AA’s are a novelty at this point.

      • Billy Jack

        They are antiques. Electrons are electrons when you need them. Availability and price are pretty critical. I don’t have very many items that use AA anymore besides kids toys, remotes and keyboards. I still would rather recharge my dirt cheap AAAs once a year than pay for a 10yr cr123 to put in it. Prices are coming down but availability sucks here. You still can’t find 18650 or cr123 at any gas station or grocery store around here. I think both will be replaced with something else before they get a chance to become as popular as our old alkalines. Consumer electronics keeps pushing chip and power supply sizes downwards.

        • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

          18650’s are available damn near everywhere now that the vaping community has latched onto them.

          CR123’s have been at convenience stores and gas stations for as long as I can remember. CR123’s are what used to be sold as “camera batteries”.

          But I can probably leave my house and walk 10 minutes and find a tobacco shop/vaping store and get a handful of 18650’s.

          Maybe I’m spoiled living in Southern California though.

          • Sigh … 18650s were everywhere years before the vaping community got onto them.

            Computer laptops, vacuum cleaners, flashlights, camcorders, cars and industrial equipment all 18650s. You never knew you had 18650s because they are usually in series or parallel and encased in plastic with protection circuitry.

            Vapers adopted them because they were ubiquitous, not the other way around.

          • Cymond

            They were everywhere from a manufacturing/engineering perspective, not from a consumer perspective.

            They weren’t visible or easily available to the average consumer.

          • Billy Jack

            Had no clue.

          • Billy Jack

            Yeah you are. I used to be spoiled too in NY or Atlanta. I’m not in the boonies but my local Quicktrip doesn’t have them. I can get them at box stores and gun shops which covers a lot of area but not close to where I’m likely to use a lantern. It’s all relative. I’m in Carolina and 30-60 minutes you’re going to be at a Walmart no matter what. Some people don’t go that far that often.

            Didn’t know about the vaping. I’m untrained on the electric cigarettes. Maybe I need to check for vaping batteries. I feel like an old timer now.

    • Dan M

      I have a Siege – I linked to the review in the first paragraph. It’s MUCH larger than the Fenix. I like the Siege. My appreciation for the Fenix is the SIZE. The Siege is the same size as the Rayovac I show in the comparison photo.

      • Billy Jack

        Sorry I was skimming @ missed link. Really missed the scale since I’m not familiar with the other lantern in the shot. That thing is tiny. General lantern shape yeah @ originality and the siege but when it came out there weren’t as many LED waterproof lanterns from the major light makers. Maybe it’s where I was shopping online and missed competing products.

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Can it take flat-top and button-top 18650’s, or only one or the other? Can it take unprotected cells as well as protected cells, or only one or the other?

    • Dan M

      It likes button top. I haven’t tried and unprotected and I’ll check and update tomorrow, but I’m thinking a flat top or unprotected probably won’t work without a magnet on the end of the battery.

  • Wanderlust

    Its very neat but its not $60 worth of tech neat.

  • raz-0

    This has been on my radar for a bit. Now it is even more so.

    Jsut need a sale to hit or something.