The Ultimate Surf Spots in Tofino/Ucluelet


When you think about the surfing locations around the globe, they’re usually a place that resembles paradise with tropical weather, palm trees, scenic beach views, warm water, and cold summery refreshments present. Tofino/Ucluelet is quite the opposite. On Vancouver Island, its rather cold most months and the views don’t have your typical characteristics of a surf beach. This doesn’t mean it isn’t a place you shouldn’t visit. If you’re looking good vibes and great people, this may be your vacation spot to try.


It’s always worth knowing the crowd or the mentality of people before you paddle out. People on the west coast of Vancouver Island are generally pretty helpful. For example, when we arrived in town and ask a couple of shops and people about the tide, swells and breaks without hesitation everyone proves to be helpful and knowledgeable about the beaches. People were so nice, we ended up surfing with one of our waiters the very next day at Wick’s.

The Breaks

Vancouver Island is north making the water cold all year long. In the summer months, the water can rise to around 55-60 degree Fahrenheit. Some of us were warm enough in a 3/2 mm full wetsuit so plan accordingly. August (also known as Fogust) visibility can be troublesome when the thick Pacific Northwest fog rolls in making it impossible to a few feet ahead of you. In talking with the locals, September has fewer crowds and better weather.

There are three main breaks:

Cox Bay (Tofino): This surf spot is closer to the entrance of Tofino. It’s a great place to learn and tons of surf shops/schools giving people lessons on the inside break. On a big day, the paddle outside can be daunting because of the consistent hammering of the wave with no breaks in between and the tide pushing you fairly quickly. This is next to Cox Lodge so foot traffic is at times busier than the rest of the spots. Bathrooms are generally clean with showers.

Wickaninnish Beach also known as Wicks (Ucluelet): Wicks was our favorite spot and spent a few days surfing this fun wave. People were getting really long rides. You can find a left or a right break depending on where you’re in the water. There is a big rock island south of the beach with a picture perfect curl, however after talking to some locals there seem to be some hidden rocks and the current can be tough around that area. Bathrooms here were some of the cleanest, I’ve seen for a publish bathroom with plenty of showers.

Florencia Bay also is known as Flow (Ucluelet): Although we weren’t able to surf this spot because of the whiteout foggy condition, some of the locals told us when big swells come in Flow has some of the cleanest breaks in the area. No showers but, there may have been an Outhouse.


Overall this is a great place to surf and visit. Other activities include kayaking tours, plenty of rainforest/beach hikes for all levels, whale watching tours and hot springs. A true surfing town with a whole lot of spirit. Let’s keep this coast pure!!!


courtesy to Long Beach Maps

Haydenshapes Psychedelic Germ Review

Agility:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Weight:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)
Durable:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Catch Waves:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)
Overall:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

The Haydenshapes Psychedelic Germ is nicely built board with new technology to progress the surfer through a variety of different surf conditions.


Board Dimensions: 6’4″ by 20 1/4 by 2 5/8

Volume: 34.52 Liters

Fins: Futures Hayden Shapes HS2 Mediums

The Pro: This surfboard is embedded with different type of technology to help the everyday surfer. The side cuts on the board made for easy maneuverability as long as the correct fins are applied and moving up down and through the wave is a breeze. The boat like hull on the bottom of the board is claimed to break through the choppy water more efficiently than traditional shortboards. We are happy to report the hull design did make for a smoother ride whether you’re riding glassy mornings or windy afternoons. The combination between using the Polyurethane Polyester and the Epoxy resin makes the board strong without sacrificing weight. We been riding this board for a while now and there are no pressure dings.

The Con: This board is no longer available on the Haydenshape website so good luck surfing craigslist to find one. This board design does take a few surf sessions to get use to if you surf a traditional shortboard as the dimensions of the board differ.

Overall: The Psychadelic Germ by Haydenshapes is a great board and it catches lots of waves. With the high quality material used it’ll outlast those traditional fiberglass boards. We recommend these Haydenshape boards if you’re looking to change up your riding styles or catch more waves.

AM2 Futures Thruster Fin Review

Flex:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
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#FFC0C0;">aneuverability:0 out of 5 stars (0 / 5)
Hold:3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)
Responsive:3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)
Overall:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


About the Fin: Futures in a Large thruster setup.

The Pro: If you’re looking for a great all around fin then you’ve found it. The honeycomb provides great flexibility in different conditions while the center fin is a smaller template allowing for quick maneuverability. These won’t let you down if you’re looking to have a fun agile surf session. The fin is well balanced and never felt lose. The Futures Fins – AM2 HC THRUSTER – YELLOW/BLACK provides great hold from the drop to finding the right line.

The Con: After multiple surf sessions, notice on the small waves it wasn’t as responsive. It takes speed to endure a good ride. The recommendation would be to surf 2.5ft + high waves at the minimum.

Overall: The AM2 Futures are a good reliable fin for all types of conditions. Whether you’re in a serious surf mode or just out there to try new tricks, this thrusters for you.

Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Review

Battery Capability :2 out of 5 stars (2 / 5)
Battery Consumption:3.7 out of 5 stars (3.7 / 5)
Durable:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Overall:3.2 out of 5 stars (3.2 / 5)

The Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Recharger is small, compact and built to last in the elements but, it lacks usability with certain devices.

Tested In: Joshua Tree and Eastern Sierras.

Duration of Test: 7 days



The Pro: The rechargeable Goal Zero battery pack is built solid for any camp or hike trip. Pair this charger up with a mini solar panel and you’re able to power small devices off the grid. The durable cable ring allows you to clip on to a backpack, rope or any object as long as you provide your own carabiner.

The Con: The battery doesn’t work with certain devices. After testing with the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp, the headlamp only turned on about 10% of the time utilizing 4 AAA Goal Zero batteries. It’s recommend to test all devices with the Goal Zero batteries. Secondly, it comes with the AAA adapter but, no AAA batteries. The issue here is when you purchase Goal Zero AAA batteries, it comes with the adapter so consumers will always have an extra adapter.

Overall: The unit is built solid and ideal for life on the go. However, Goal Zero should of tested the batteries on multiple devices before selling this product to the masses. The minus side of the battery is completely flat compared to a regular battery where there is a little lift. This could attribute to the issue of the battery not being able to work with certain devices.

Successful Guide to Havasupai

1. Gear

The hot Arizona desert can be challenging to hike in as the heat beats down on your body and your body fatigues from a heavy pack. The general rule of thumb is to hike with no more than 20% of your body weight so hikers can maintain a good rhythm in every step. This allows for efficiency for the hikes, as heavy packs can be gruesome in the hot desert and incline in terrain. Now that you know your pack weight, try to be a minimalist and carry only things that are a must. The hike out, you’ll feel every ounce of extra weight, as the last 2 miles climb is 2000 feet elevation incline to Hualapai Hilltop.

Here’s what we brought and split between four people:

• Food & Water – We bought freeze-dried food for every meal. For snack, bars, jerky and nuts did the trick. Hiking in to the campground is easier than hiking out as it is mostly downhill. 3 liters of water for each person was just the right amount. Hikers will utilize more water hiking out of the canyon so be prepared to carry extra water bottle. During the hikes we used a lot of electrolyte Gatorade GU packets. These packets help reenergize body during the hike with all the caffeine and amino acids packed into them.

• Tent – After much research, a typical 2-3-person lightweight tent was roughly over 5 lbs. We use an REI half dome tent and it worked well. The tent was big enough for 2 people and their backpacks. The tent stakes were a mistake to bring along and only added more weight. The backpacks were heavy enough to serve as this purpose. There are lots of people sleeping in hammocks instead of tents, which, is a lighter option. We would recommend a mosquito net above. If you sleep in a hammock, you can save 5 lbs.

• Backpack – Greggory and REI make some nice hiking packs with a hydration slot. Don’t skimp out on this gear. This is one of the most important pieces of your gear and you’ll spend majority of the hikes with a pack on.

• Daypack – Once you setup camp you’ll need a daypack to hike down to Mooney Falls and to Beaver Falls. Mooney is at the end of the campground and Beaver is another 3 miles pass Mooney. A good daypack with a hydration slot seems to work better than a string type of backpack. Hikers should always have a lot of water ready and keep hydrating before it’s too late. This will keep you in good spirits for the remainder of the hikes. Some of the hiking backpack comes with a built in daypack so these are nice features for the better hiking packs and is recommended.

• Clothing – Aside from your typical shorts, shirts and swim trunks, it was key to have comfortable pair of hiking shoes, fresh hiking socks and underwear for the long trek. This will help keep your feet from blistering and reduce any chafing from occurring. The nights are pretty warm in May so the need of a jacket wasn’t necessary.

• Water shoes – If you’re hiking to Beaver Falls, you’ll need a good pair of water shoes to forge rivers. Last thing you want to do is to damage your feet for the hike out.

• Blister and chafing equipment – At any point of time blister(s) are starting to develop, take care of them with some moleskin, band aids, ointment and/or ankle tape. Since you’re putting a lot of miles on your feet, take good care of them before it’s too late. Baby powder is great for reducing the friction between your thighs known as chafing. These items shouldn’t be overlooked because this will help keep you comfortable during hikes.

• Money – There are vendor carts at the beginning of the campground so bring lots of cash. Even though it’s over price food, it’s nice to eat a hot meal other than freeze-dried food. Meals range from $8 to $14 depending on the meal and drinks are $3 to $5 (soda and Gatorade).

• Sleeping gear – The Thermarest Z-Pad at only 11 ounces is light. You can fold the foam on top of each other for a thicker pad more comfortable sleep. In the summer, a sleeping bag might be over kill cause of the heat so you can get away with a thin lightweight blanket.

• Water packs – Osprey and Geigerrig hydration packs were selected choice for this trip. We ran out of water coming back out at 3 and 2 Liters. However, we pack an extra bladder for hiking out. We bought a 2-gallon collapsible water container for cooking. It was light weight and work wonders. The fresh spring in camp is free but is towards the front of the 1-mile campsite.

• Cooking supplies – MSR makes a really good lightweight burner and the small propane tanks are easy to pack. When it came to a camping pot, we used GSI camp stove. It is lightweight and comes with 2 bowls, which fit right inside of the pot making it easily packable without a hassle. As far as utensils, we packed some plastic forks and spoons and washed them with a very small sponge and biodegradable soap.
• Lighting – Get a good headlamp and make sure it works before the trip. I used a Black Diamond Storm. It was a good thing I brought an extra pair of batteries because the Goal Zero rechargeable batteries doesn’t work with this headlamp. This was a fail. We also had a Petzel Actik Core, which comes with a rechargeable lithium battery pack that worked well but, not as comfortable as the Black Diamond. Since there are no fire or fire pits allowed in the campground, a good lantern is a necessity. All the lanterns we had were bulky or heavy so we ended up using a battery powered string lights. The one we used was only about 1.6 ounces and emits just enough light in main part of the campground with 50 LED lights.

• Hiking poles – These can help as your body starts to fatigue on the longer hikes. It’ll keep you stable and less likely to tip over as you have more support points.

• Facemask – Mules run up and down the trail all day long kicking up dust. You end up drinking or breathing the dirt in the air. Find a lightweight cool facemask you can use as a mask or cooling towel.

• Rodent Proof Bag – Protect your food. Squirrels and other varmints can be aggressive chewing through tents or other plastic bags. The last thing you want is to hike 2 miles to the village to buy expensive food.

2. Training

Yes, there are people who have completed the hike without any type of conditioning or training but, it makes for an easier adventure if you train your legs and core before heading to the Hilltop to start your descend into the canyon. We trained for about a month and never had an issue with legs getting too tired. Here’s how we trained:

• Monday (cardio) – 5 to 10 minute stretch. 25 minutes on the treadmill with half the time jogging and the other half walking uphill. 20 minutes on the bike at a good pace.

• Tuesday (cardio) – 5 to 10 minute stretch. 25 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes on the bike at a good pace.

• Wednesday – Go for a light hike with pack on.

• Thursday – Yoga exercise to stretch shoulder, back and legs.

• Friday – 5 to 10 minute stretch. Squats, lunges, calf raises and a couple of core exercises with 4 intervals and 20 reps

• Sunday – Go for a hike and increase weight in your pack


3. Mental State of Mind

It’s easy to lose sight of your goal when the going gets tough but, focusing on what the goal is and refocusing yourself on matter at hand will keep your mind positive moving you forward.

Take Breaks – The hike is long so take breaks when needed to help keep you focus on getting to your next destination. Also, breaks are a good time to take some energy booster electrolyte packets to keep your energy up and therefore, keeping you positive.

Group/Team – We found having a good group of people who you can talk to and rely on makes for completing the hike and time go by faster.

Water – Keep your body hydrated even when you’re not thirsty. Often times it’s a little too late by the time your body is dehydrated and your body starts to cramp up or experience heat exhaustion. Make a conscious effort to continuously drink water. This will help keep you from your breaking point.


4. Hiking Techniques


• Backpack adjustment – I really had no idea there was a technique to sitting your pack on your back until this trip. Adjust the waist buckle tight so there is less weight on your shoulders. This will allow for more weight on your legs then shoulders. Trust me, you would rather have more weight on your legs then shoulders for 4 to 6 hours.

• Hiking uphill – The last 2 miles on the way back is uphill. Take smaller steps so you don’t fatigue as easy. Remember you’re in it for the long haul so find a good uphill pace so you can complete the hike.

• Keep your pack balanced – As you take more and more breaks it’s better to keep your pack well balanced so you’re not tipping over when resting or taking breaks. It’ll be more comfortable in the long run.

5. Recommendations


Don’t use the mules. They look malnourish and dehydrated. The helicopter is a better option.
Pack accordingly and bring only what you really need. You don’t need soda or candy bars for a short period of time.
• Get a roto cooler like a Pelican, Yeti or Rtic so ice will last in your car and you’ll have cold drinks when you reach your vehicles to hydrate.
• Hike out all the trash you bring in or learn how to be a minimalist for a few days so you don’t have to hike out much trash.
• Don’t bring floaties. There is a ton of floaties lying around and people don’t hike them out. Don’t be those people.


Top 7 Paddle Techniques for Surfing

Top 7 Paddle Techniques for Surfing

1. Keep your body and board parallel to reduce drag.

Often times when surfers start out they’re too far back or forward on the board leaving too much of the back of your body in the water or too much front of the body into the water slowing the surfer down. Keep the body straight and flat like a freestyle swimmer would. This makes the surfer more arrow dynamic in the water.
In Figure 1: The surfer is leaned too much towards the back of the surfboard causing drag.
In Figure 2: The surfer is leaned too far forward which not only causes drag but, will slow the paddle because it now takes extra effort to lift the arms out of the warm. Also, this often results in a nose dive on take off or dropping into the wave.
In Figure 3: The body of the surfer is perfectly positioned being level and keeping the body flat to propel through the water more efficiently.

2. Keep your body in a straight line

Often times when new surfers paddle, their body isn’t in a straight line causing energy wasted. If the body isn’t straight the surfer often rocks back and forth or yawing. The best way to demonstrate this is to watch the video below of Kelly Slater vs Taylor Clark paddle differences. Taylor yawing actually slows him down compare to Kelly’s perfect paddle making him fast and efficient. This can be attributed to Kelly’s body position being straight and arrow dynamic letting him glide through the quickly.

3. Kick and Paddle into Waves

The paddle and kick combo takes a little to get use to but done correctly will help surfers get into the wave faster. Imagine swimming with just paddling with your arms. When you look at swimmers they always use their arms and feet regardless of the type of swim style. This also applies in surfing but, we don’t recommend kicking to position. The surfers body is usually flat and not in the wave until actually paddling for the wave.

4. Build Your Paddle Strength

When new surfers start out, often times there is a struggle because the body is not familiar with shoulder and core muscles. It does take a time to obtain and build these areas of the body so surf and surf often. There are a ton of surfing types of exercises you can find on youtube but, getting in the water as frequent as possible will in the end be better.

5. Dig and Extend Paddle Strokes

How bad do you want to get into the wave? Dig deep into the paddle and extend the stroke to push your whole body through. Once the surfer has found this rhythm and use this technique, the surfer will retain this feeling through muscle memory and try to apply this form to get into more breaks. When surfers dig deep and fully extend their arms, they’re utilizing more surface area of the arm and will help push through the water faster.

6. Match Volume to Weight to Reduce Drag

This one is to the surfers discretion because experience surfers some time use less volume to be more agile and maneuverable on the wave. View the board article written HERE to match weight to surfboard volume.

7. Keep Elbows Up When Paddling

This point goes back to point one reducing drag where keeping your elbow high will also reduce drag in your paddle. In addition, it can provide for a deeper stroke if done correctly. In this form, the body will be aligned with the elbow therefore, keeping the body from the rocking or yawing effect and a more efficient paddle through the water. Refer to the Kelly Slater vs Taylor Clark video above.

Futures Fins – John John Florence Medium Techflex Thruster (2016 Colorway)
Futures Fins – Rob Machado Thruster

Fin Basics


Larger fins will have more hold and control and more ideal for larger waves. Smaller fins are skatier and looser for more maneuverability. Also, there are weight requirements per fin size.

120lbs. and under
120lbs. – 155lbs.
145lbs. – 175lbs.
175lbs. – 200lbs.
190lbs. and up



The bottom part of the fin which attach to the board with allen screws. With FCS the allen screws usually attaches from the side (there are newer FCS technology which you can simply pop the fins in without screws) and with Futures there attached on the bottom of the base. The longer and wider the base, the more smooth in the turn transition and the ability to follow through the turn smoothly. With a smaller slimmer and shorter base, there is more ability for sharper turns. Below you’ll see the differences between FCS and Future fins.


The Fin Rake is refered to as the angle/arc of the fin. Fins with more angle and less sharp stance are generally used to for those large waves and smooth transitions in riding the longer waves. Fins with more of sharp angle and more fin in the water will provide quicker turns and movements in smaller sections.


The movement of the water through the fin. I found a couple of different shapes listed below.
• Flat Foil – generally allows riders to pivot quickly through turns while giving them really good overall control. This is the most common foil pattern.
• Inside Foil – a more advance design built to reduce fin drag riders can manage and increase their speed in heavy sections.
• 80/20 Foil – This center fin is built for increase speed and smooth transitions in various conditions.
• 50/50 Foil – The most common center fin and provides built evenly to allow water to pass through evenly. Good hold and control.

Surfboard Basics

There is no right or wrong board size. The best board is the one you ride the best and enjoy. This could mean that it has more or less volume then the next guy. Everyone has a different body type so select the board that works with your ride style. Below you’ll find the basic of boards as it relates to shapes, sizes and tail patterns.



Stand Up Paddle Board

Generally 10’6 or 11 feet but, there are smaller ones for SUP surfing. This board has a ton of volume so you can stand up and cruise around with a paddle.


Can be as long as a SUP but, has less volume so surfers are paddling into waves with their arms rather than a plastic or carbon paddle.


Are often in the 7’10” and 8 feet range. Rides more like a longboard but easier to carve as riders don’t have to dig or lean into their turns as much.


Ideal for big wave surfing such as Jaws or Mavericks. This board has more volume compared to a SHORTBOARD to easily paddle into big waves.


Range from 5 feet to 6 feet plus. When selecting the right SHORTBOARD, board volume and height should match surfers weight and height to maximize paddling efficiency.


Has more volume compared to a SHORTBOARD but, these boards are shorter and wider.


Board sizes are based on average skills and paddle strength. This chart doesn’t reflect or factor board volume.


Rider Weight Board Size
100 – 145 5’2″ – 5’8″
145 – 165 5’8″ – 6’0″
165 – 185 6’0″ – 6’5″
185 – 205 6’0″ – 6’6″
205 + 6’7″ +


Rider Weight Board Size
100 – 145 5’1″ – 5’5″
145 – 165 5’5″ – 5’9″
165 – 185 5’8″ – 5’11”
185 – 205 5’9″ – 6’2″
205 + 6’2″ +


Rider Weight Board Size
100 – 145 7’0″ – 7’2″
145 – 165 7’2″ – 7’4″
165 – 185 7’6″ – 7’8″
185 – 205 7’8″ – 7’10”
205 + 7’10” – 8′


Rider Weight Board Size
100 – 145 8’0″ – 8’6″
145 – 165 8’6″ – 9’0″
165 – 185 9’0″ – 9’6″
185 – 205 9’0″ – 9’6″
205 + 9’6″


Rider Weight Board Size
100 – 145 8’0″ – 8’6″
145 – 165 8’6″ – 9’0″
165 – 185 9’0″ – 10’6″
185 – 205 10’6″ – 11’0″
205 + 11’0″ +


Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) also known as styrofoam

Pros Con
Resin mends with EPS Foam because the foam isn’t as dense and can seep into the foam for better contact. Absorbs water.
Light weight. EPS Foam is expensive.
Easy to shape and manipulate. The chemicals are bad for the environment.
Small repairs are easy to do with Suncure or Solarez. Not to be left out in the sun (need to let the cell breath) because the foam can heat up.
Floats well and flexible. Blank foam templates are machined and not handcrafted.

Extruded Polystyrene (XPS)

Pros Con
The foam is dense making it hard for water to absorb. XPS Foam is expensive.
Light weight. Doesn’t bond to resin as well.
XPS foam is durable. Can easily delaminate.
Easier to shape and sand down to the perfect shape. The foam needs to breath because of gas build up so companies are introducing vents (Thermovents) in these boards.


If you’re able to take anything away from this page it should be volume by surfers weight. When starting out, it is best to have the correct volume to the surfers weight. The more volume the easier it is to paddle and stand up on the board. Maximize your time in the water by finding the correct volume in the chart above. Please understand, the chart above is for an average surfer with intermediate skill level. If you are a beginner you may add a few more liter and subtract a few liter if you’re an expert.

Black Diamond Orbit Lantern Review

Light Projection:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Battery Consumption:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)
Brightness:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)
Overall:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

The Black Diamond Orbit Lantern – 105 Lumen – ultra white is small compact and packs a punch for its size as it has a bright LED light.

Tested In: Various camp trips from the mountains to the sea.

Duration of Test: 5 years



The Pro:The LED Black Diamond Lantern is decently bright, compact and light in weight. It’s enough light to get you by and the newer generations have a built in flashlight at the bottom. The hooks are a nice feature as they are easily collapsible and perfect to hang in your tent. The light feels like it’s built with high quality and I haven’t had any real issues with it as the design is simple and solid build. The rubber feet help keeping the lantern from sliding around.

The Con: I did wish it had the built in flashlight at the bottom but, the newer generations do. Black Diamond could of improve on adding another LED towards the top of the lantern so it projects more light outwards. This model has about 50 to 60 lumen. I’m sure the lantern can handle two LEDs as it’s packing 4 AAA batteries.

Overall:This is a quality light and has lasted for years with no issues because you can how solid the light is.The newer model has the flashlight at the bottom which makes the lantern a bit more versatile. Great for packing in a side pocket of a surf pack for those full moon night sessions.

Energizer Solar Foldable Lantern Review

Solar Panel Quality:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Brightness:3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)
Light Projection:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)
Battery Consumption:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)
Weight:3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)
Overall:3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9 / 5)

This super handy light provides great lighting around the camp and can be folded upwards to give optimal lighting.

Tested In: Various camp trips from the mountains to the sea.

Duration of Test: 5 years



The Pro: Axiom Surf have had this Lantern for over 5 years and only ran the battery a handful of times. We still have the original battery when we receive the light because the solar panel is efficient enough to run through the night. This lead us to believe Energizer is using a high quality solar panel. The orange night light is a nice feature when you don’t need a lot of light say in your tent and need to step out for a bathroom run. You can adjust the solar panel up to point at sun for optimal energy consumption. The Lantern also can be folded up in case you need to look at something more closely.

The Con: The light is bright enough and Axiom Surf used it as a main light during many trips but, it’s not as bright as those propane type Lanterns.

Overall:The Energizer Solar Lantern gives consumers an off grid solution and barely uses any battery as long as you’re charging the Lantern daily via the sun power. It utilizes 8 LED lights which doesn’t take as much power but, at the same time giving great lighting. It’s light weight and isn’t as bulky as those propane Lanterns. We did notice less bugs when using the Energizer at night then those propane Lanterns which attracts a ton of moths. The specs say 2.5 hours of run time when switch to the solar option but, Axiom Surf ran it to about 3 hours no problem.