Worried about what kind of lantern you'll have on your camping trips?
Don't worry, we've got you covered! We've put together a list of the best lanterns to help make your decision easier and make all your camping trips memorable.
No need to sacrifice functionality for portability - we've found the perfect lantern for every type of camper.
So whether you're looking for a lot of light or something compact and easy to carry, we've got you covered.
Check out our list of the best camping lanterns today!
How We Picked The Best Camping Lanterns
It can be hard to know which lantern is the best for you because there are so many different options available.
With all of the different options on the market, it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you.
Do you want a lantern that runs on batteries or fuel? What kind of light do you need? How bright does the lantern need to be?
After reading through thousands of user reviews and spending hours researching different camping lights, we have compiled a list for you to make an informed decision.
Our Top Pick
Goal Zero Lighthouse 600
Why you will love it
Goal Zero has been around for quite a long time, providing quality camping gear and from many available options, the Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 was our top pick. We absolutely love this brand, and particularly this series also comes with a smaller Goal Zero lighthouse mini lamp, a solar powered flashlight, the Goal Zero lighthouse micro and even solar string lights, the Light-a-life!
It provides multi-directional warm light that is adjustable up to 600 lumens. It is also USB rechargeable, making it easy to keep it powered up for your next adventure. You can attach additional solar panels as a power source for the Li-ion NMC battery.
There is also a built-in hand crank, which means you can still use it during an emergency, even if there's no sun or power source available.
What you should know
Power Source - Solar Panel, Lithium-Ion Battery, Hand Cranking
Modes - One side lit(low/high power), Both sides lit (low/high power)
Max Lumens - 600
Weight - 1.1 lbs
Color Temperature - 3200 Kelvin
Battery Level Indicator - Yes
This is probably the only lantern you will ever need for your camping trips. The lightweight lantern weighs only around 1 pound, meaning you can take it anywhere without worrying about hurting your pocket or bag!
With three different options to be used as a power source, including a USB port output that allows for other small devices to be charged as well.
The durability of this incredible LED lantern will last through even the roughest conditions - perfect even if disaster strikes during nighttime exploration trips.
A USB power source or solar panel can recharge it fully in under 6 hours or use the hand crank to get 10 minutes of light for every 1 minute of cranking, making it perfect for emergencies. It also has an emergency red button, which on pressing will give you a flashing red light area on the top of the lantern.
Two 3W LED lights can be used in multiple light modes to squeeze a battery life of up to 320 hours in one side-lit (low power) mode.
A weather-resistant body means no more worries while out in bad storms.
What could have been better
This is our favorite lantern, but if we are too picky, then the only thing we could say that could be improved is that the collapsible legs would be slightly more useful if they locked out when opened. Many customers report that the legs often slide due to the lack of a locking mechanism.
We also wished for an integrated solar panel to power the USB rechargeable battery instead of having to buy a solar panel separately. However, you can buy a Goal Zero Nomad solar panel, that can power several electronic devices efficiently.
Best Fuel Powered Lantern
Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern
Why you will love it
If you're a fan of vintage lamps, the Barebones Forest Lantern should be your go-to. But if you want to combine style with performance and reliability, then there's no better option than Coleman Powerhouse - it'll provide a unique experience!
There is a certain old-school charm in this Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern that is hard to find nowadays!
This versatile lantern gives you the convenience of using either Coleman Liquid Fuel or unleaded gasoline to produce a steady, bright glow of up to 800 lumens.
With its rugged construction and adjustability controls, this lantern is designed to give you years of dependable service.
So whether you're an experienced camper or just getting started, the Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern is a must-have for your next adventure.
What you should know
Power Source - Liquid Fuel, Unleaded Gasoline
Modes - 2 mantles with adjustable brightness
Max Lumens - 800
Weight - 4.5 lbs
Battery Indicator - None
Though a bit heavier than some models at 4.5 lbs, this lantern is built to last for generations. With its two-mantle design, the Powerhouse lantern provides bright, long-lasting light for up to 14 hours, and can light areas 22 meters away.
The Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern has a porcelain-coated 2-tier ventilator that helps resist corrosion and rust. The high-temperature globe resists cracking from heat, making this lantern perfect for camping trips where you need both fuel type options as well as long burn time!
You can bail handle it or hang it on your tent wall with its handy carrying strap - whichever works best for each individual situation at hand.
And its filter funnel means easy fuel filling and fewer spills. Durable construction with stainless steel ventilators and globe guards protects this lantern from bumps and drops, ensuring that it will last for years to come.
What could have been better
Though you'll appreciate the better lighting and longer duration this lantern provides on your next outdoor adventure, sometimes you would wish that it was easier to light up this lantern.
The Best Solar Powered Lantern
Mpowerd Luci Base
Why you will love it
We have come a long way from the days of candle lanterns to the modern battery-powered ones, Mpowerd took it a bit further and made a beautifully designed solar lantern for your camping and hiking needs. Though it was a difficult choice to set aside our Goal Zero crush light and pick the Luci as a winner in this category.
The Luci Base from Mpowerd is a versatile and convenient lantern that can run on solar power. The built-in solar panel means that no batteries are needed, making it a great choice for eco-conscious consumers.
With its 360-degree design, this inflatable solar lantern provides evenly distributed warm light. You will absolutely love the soothing glow, and it's perfect if you want to take it inside your sleeping bags to finish those last few pages of your thrilling novel!
With low mode usage, a run time of up to 50 hours can be squeezed from a single charge, making the Mpowerd Luci outdoor lamp perfect for lighting up any space, indoors or out. It has a few color lights including red light and the lamp will remember the last used light mode.
What you should know
Power Source - Solar Panels, Lithium-Ion Battery
Modes - Low, Medium, High, Flashing
Max Lumens - 360
Weight - 10.1 oz ( 285 g)
Color Temperature - 3000/6000 Kelvin
Battery Indicator - Yes
This incredible solar-powered lantern is perfect for any adventure, big or small. Weighing in at around ten ounces, this lantern is incredibly portable and easy to take with you wherever you go.
With 360 lumens of light output, produced by the 31 warm led lights, it's perfect for providing light in any situation, whether you're car camping, hiking, or just need a little extra light around the house.
You can quickly recharge via USB within 6 hours or use the integrated solar panels which will take up to 28 hours. Though it's lightweight, it is very durable and can withstand a pressure of up to 150 lbs. This led camping lantern is also waterproof, has an IP67 rating, a and has an operating temperature range of 32ºF – 113ºF (0ºC – 45ºC)
Luci Base's 4000 mAh lithium-ion battery also comes with a power bank option so you can keep all your USB devices charged up and ready to go.
What could have been better
Mpowered Luci Base is a great lantern that you will surely enjoy on all your outdoor adventures.
However, if you're using the solar panel of Mpowered Luci Base to charge it and use it as a power bank, you'll be disappointed by how slowly it charges your phone. Even when the Base is fully charged, it can take several hours to restore your phone to full power.
The Best Budget Lantern
LE LED Camping Lantern
Why you will love it
A bright and efficient LED lantern is a must-have gear for every outdoor enthusiast.
The LE LED Camping Lantern is adjustable up to 1000 lumens, making it perfect for car camping, reading, camping, hiking, or illuminating the whole space. It has a hook on the top to hang from your tent, and there is also a hook at its bottom, to hang it outside, as this will spread the light over a greater area.
With long-lasting battery life, this lantern is sure to light up your life on all your camping trips.
What you should know
Power Source - Battery Powered (3 pieces D Alkaline Batteries)
Modes - Daylight White, Warm White, Full Brightness, Flashing
Max Lumens - 1000
Weight - 0.89 lbs
Color Temperature - 3000/6000 Kelvin
Battery Indicator - Yes
No matter where your next great adventure takes you, make sure you're prepared with the LE LED Lantern. This rechargeable camping lantern is powered by alkaline three-D batteries, that give a run time of up to 12 hours even at maximum brightness, making it the perfect gear for your survival kit.
The Le LED lantern is a multifunctional device that has a USB port and can also serve as a power source for smartphones or other small devices in an emergency. It supports a USB cable, which is included, and a 5V DC charger adapter, which is not included. However, it is not compatible with even adapters for any voltage over 5V.
And with its IPX4 water resistance rating, you don't have to worry about using it in the rain or snow. Whether you're camping, hiking, or just exploring the great outdoors, this rechargeable camping lantern is a must-have.
What could have been better
This is the best camping lantern if you have a tight budget pick as it has some great features, but it's not perfect. The rubber button that controls all the functions of this camping light keeps blinking when you put batteries in.
If you're anything like me, the first thing that comes to mind when the buttons of your camping light start blinking and there's no way to turn this off, is "How can I make it stop?" Though some users like this feature, saying that it makes them easy to find even in the dark!
Plus changing out your battery cover can be kind of tricky as well- you have to be delicate and apply force at the same time!
Also, check out our article on the Best Camping Chairs for Bad Backs
Black Diamond Equipment Apollo Lantern
We adore our Black Diamond Moji lantern, but we would love it for being cuter and rather than a functional camping lantern! But with Apollo, it is a whole other ball game. We appreciated Black Diamond for its quality and Apollo was a really great lantern, but the newest edition is even better!
It has a significantly brighter light (250 lumens) and up to 70 hours of burn time at its lowest setting. It has a lighter UFO-like body with rubberized protection layers that disperses light more evenly. It is also significantly lighter than its previous iterations.
It runs on both USB rechargeable batteries or AA batteries and can even act as a power bank if needed. The Apollo lantern features a convenient dimming setting that allows you to adjust the brightness as needed. It also comes with a handy strobe feature and lock functionality.
Campers everywhere can trust this high-quality lantern from Black Diamond Equipment for all their outdoor lighting needs! And we think after fiddling with this lantern for some time it is going to be one of our favorite ones!
BioLite Alpenglow Lantern
The BioLite Alpenglow 500 Lantern is functional and stylish, powered by rechargeable batteries that can produce a maximum of 500 lumens (there is also a 250 lumens model).
This lantern has a battery life of around 5 hours. This lantern has some really interesting features, including a flickering function and multiple color modes, especially the red light mode can come in handy because it is better for night vision. The red light mode can also be used for emergencies.
There is a rotating color option that cycles through various vibrant patterns, sure to add some fun and excitement to any camping trip or outdoor adventure.
At first, you will love this lantern, however, it is not the most user-friendly lantern present out there. Also, if you are a power user, you will notice some inconsistencies in color production by the different LEDs within the lantern.
And at this price, you would expect something with a little better battery life and brighter output. Even considering all these, it is enjoyable to have this little lamp around your camping site!
Coleman OneSource Lantern
The OneSource lantern from Coleman is a good option for those who want more functionality and technology in their lanterns. It has a maximum brightness of 1000 lumens and also features a led flashlight mode.
However, it has a very low runtime of around 2 hours only, making it impractical in most scenarios. Additionally, at this price point, all the features should be a bit more polished, but this lantern will leave you wanting something more.
Frequently Answered Questions
You're considering buying a camping lantern, but you're not sure which one is right for you.
With all of the different lanterns on the market, it can be tough to figure out which one is right for you.
Do you want a lantern that has disposable batteries or runs on fuel?
What kind of light do you need? How bright does the lantern need to be?
After spending hours researching different lanterns, we have compiled a list of the best camping lanterns for you and compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions users ask before purchasing a lantern to help make your decision easier.
Do I need a lantern for camping?
When it comes to camping, a lantern can be a great option for providing light. Lanterns typically have batteries or propane or solar panels as fuel source, so they can be used without the worry of investing in an external power source.
If you are car camping, you will not have to worry about weight, and you can carry whatever lantern you feel like.
However, if you are hiking or canoeing, weight is of primary concern and you have to choose something really lightweight. During such trips, you can consider using a solar lantern, with integrated solar panels, which can be recharged during the day and has sufficient battery life to give you light at night, and weighs almost negligible.
How do I choose the right camping lantern?
There are several factors that should be considered, most of which are covered in depth below, however, there are a few basic things you need to consider when choosing a camping lantern.
The first is what type of fuel you want to use.
The second thing to consider is the size of the lantern. If you will primarily be using it for backpacking or hiking, then you will want to choose a smaller and lighter model. If you will be using it mainly for car camping, then you can afford to choose a larger and heavier model.
The next thing to consider is brightness. Some lanterns offer adjustable brightness levels while others have preset brightness levels.
Finally, consider price and features.
What is the average battery life of camping lanterns?
These lanterns vary in battery life depending on their size, type of bulb, and other factors. However, as a general rule, most lanterns have a battery life of around 20 hours, when used in low or medium settings.
Some larger lamps come with rechargeable batteries, which can extend their overall battery life.
And LED lanterns tend to have longer battery life than traditional incandescent lanterns.
So if you're looking for a camping lantern that will last you through an extended trip, be sure to factor in the type of bulb it uses and how long its battery lasts.
How many lumens do you need to light a campsite?
It depends on the size of the campsite.
A general rule of thumb is that you need about 10 lumens per square foot. So if your campsite is 10 feet by 10 feet, you would need about 1,000 lumens.
If you're looking for a specific light source, here are some approximate lumens ratings for your reference:
-A 60-watt incandescent bulb puts out 800 lumens
-A 15-watt CFL bulb puts out 450 lumens
-A three-LED camping lantern puts out 300 lumens
How many lanterns do I need for camping?
The number of lanterns you'll need for camping will depend on a few factors, including the size of your campsite and the level of light that you prefer.
Generally speaking, though, you'll probably want at least two lanterns - one to hang near your tent for heading out on late-night trips to the bathroom, and another to place in the center of your campsite so everyone can see. You can also use string lights powered by disposable batteries or solar panels to light a long stretch of your campsite dimly.
If you have a particularly large campsite or are planning on doing a lot of nighttime activities, you may want to consider bringing three or four lanterns.
What color of the lantern is ideal for camping?
While there are many different colors of lanterns available on the market, there is no definitive answer when it comes to choosing the perfect color for camping. However, there are a few factors to consider that may help you make your decision.
First, think about the purpose of the lantern. If you need it primarily for lighting up your campsite, then a white or light-colored lantern will be the most efficient.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a more decorative lantern to add ambiance to your campsite, then a darker color or something like pink or red light may be more suitable.
Another factor to consider is the time of day that you will be using the lantern. If you plan on using it during the daytime, then a brighter color will be easier on your eyes. However, if you plan on using it at night, then a dimmer light, red light, may help you avoid attracting unwanted attention from nocturnal animals.
Ultimately, the best color for your lantern depends on your personal preferences and needs.
How many lumens do you need to light up a tent?
The number of lumens you'll need to light up a tent depends on the size of the tent and how bright you want it to be.
A small pop-up tent will only require a few hundred lumens, while something like a large bell tent could need a thousand or more. If you want your Tent to be very well-lit, expect to use around 600 – 800 lumens.
How often should gas lanterns be cleaned?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on a number of factors (such as how often the lamp is used, the outdoor environment, etc.). However, as a general rule of thumb, it is probably best to clean your gas lamp once every few months.
If you use your gas lamp regularly, then you may need to clean it more frequently. This is because build-up can occur more quickly when the lamp is in use frequently.
If you live in an area with a lot of dust or other debris in the air, then you may also want to clean your gas lamp more often.
To clean your gas lamp, simply turn off the gas and allow the lamp to cool completely.
Are propane lanterns safe in a tent?
If you're using a propane lantern in a tent, there are a few safety precautions you should take.
First, make sure the lantern is properly ventilated. If not, the fumes can build up and become hazardous.
Second, keep the lantern away from any flammable materials.
Third, don't leave the lantern unattended - if something goes wrong, you want to be there to deal with it.
And fourth, extinguish the lantern before you go to bed - again, for safety reasons.
When used properly, propane lanterns are perfectly safe to use in a tent. Just remember to follow these simple safety guidelines.
How much heat do these lanterns give off?
It depends on the type of camping lantern. Though most lanterns tend to get really hot after prolonged usage, especially at full brightness, some lanterns give off a lot of heat, while others give off very little heat.
For example, a gas-powered lantern tends to give off more heat than a battery-operated or LED camping lantern.
So if you're looking for a lantern that will keep you warm at night, then you'll want to choose a gas-powered model. But if you're looking for a lantern that doesn't produce a lot of heat, then you'll want to choose a battery-operated or LED model.
How long do camping lanterns last?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the lifetime of a camping lantern depends on a number of factors, including the type of lantern, how well it is taken care of, and how often it is used. However, with proper care and storage, most camping lanterns will last for many years.
However, LED camp lights are designed to have a very long lifespan - even when used frequently - and can last up to 100,000 hours. On the other hand, standard incandescent bulbs typically only last around 1,500 hours. If you want your lantern to last as long as possible, you might want to consider investing in an LED light.
Which is a better fuel for lanterns, camping lantern gas or battery?
There are a few factors to consider when choosing between camping lantern gas and battery as fuel sources. Gas is typically more affordable and readily available, while battery power might be more consistent. Here are some pros and cons to help you make a decision:
Gasoline-powered lanterns have been around for generations, providing light in a variety of environments. They are typically easy to find and relatively affordable, making them a popular choice for many campers. However, gasoline can be smelly and messy, and if not used properly, can be dangerous. It's also important to remember that you'll need to replenish your supply of gasoline periodically.
Battery-powered lanterns are becoming increasingly popular as technology improves. They are often more reliable than gasoline-powered lanterns, as they don't require a flame and are less likely to malfunction. Battery-powered lanterns are also typically more expensive than their gasoline-powered counterparts. However, you won't need to worry about running out of battery power in the middle of the night - just make sure to bring extra batteries!
There is no clear answer as to which is the better fuel for lanterns, Camping lantern gas vs battery. It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you want a more affordable option that is easy to find, then gasoline-powered lanterns are a good choice. However, if you're looking for a more reliable option that is less likely to malfunction, then battery-powered lanterns might be a better choice.
The Different Types Of Camping Lanterns
Camping lanterns come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, so it's important to choose the right one for your needs.
If you're looking for a lantern to provide light during a power outage, you'll want to choose one that is battery-operated having long battery life. For camping, you'll want a lantern that is easy to carry and stow away. There are also lanterns that are specifically designed for lighting up a campsite. These lanterns are typically larger and have multiple light settings.
No matter what type of lantern you choose, make sure to test it out before taking it on your trip. That way, you'll be sure it's working properly and you'll be prepared for any situation.
Here are some of the common types of lanterns differentiated based on their power source:
1. Solar lanterns
Solar lanterns are a great way to add light to your campsite. They are powered by the sun, so as long as there is sunlight available, they will continue to work.
Solar lanterns are also very efficient, as they can provide a lot of light while using very little power. And because they are powered by the sun, they are completely renewable and environmentally friendly. Mostly these lamps have a solar panel built in them like our Mpowered Luci Base, while some others like our top pick Goal Zero Lighthouse has the option to draw power from an additionally attached solar panel.
Solar camp lights are usually very bright, making them perfect for use around the campsite. They can provide enough light to cook or to read a book.
Some lanterns even have built-in batteries that give them a better battery life, making them great for use during power outages.
Solar camping lanterns are a great way to add light to your campsite without having to worry about batteries. So next time you're planning a camping trip, be sure to pack one of these lanterns!
2. Gas lanterns
Gas camping lanterns are a great way to light up your campsite. They used to be more efficient and brighter than electric lanterns and had even longer battery life. Though this concept has changed a lot over the years. Gas lanterns are also a good choice for emergency lighting.
There are some disadvantages to a gas lantern, however. It can be smelly and can be difficult to light in cold weather. Additionally, gas lanterns can be dangerous if used improperly.
Though these have been greatly reduced now, especially in one of our top picks, The Coleman Dual Fuel Lantern all these problems are absolutely gone, still, make sure to read the instructions carefully before using one.
Overall, a gas camping lantern is a great option for lighting up your backcountry campsites. Just be sure to use them safely and follow the instructions carefully.
3. Battery-operated lanterns
In the past, gas lanterns were the only option available. However, they could be difficult to use and often leave campers struggling with dim light and short battery life. Thankfully, that's no longer the case.
Modern battery-operated lanterns are bright, lightweight, and easy to use. They also provide a much longer battery life than older models, so you can enjoy your camping trip without worrying about running out of light.
There are several types of battery-operated lanterns to choose from. Lanterns can have rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, or they can run on alkaline d batteries or AAA batteries. Each type of lantern has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Rechargeable lanterns are convenient because you don't have to keep buying new aaa batteries, but they can be expensive.
Alkaline battery-operated lanterns are less expensive, but the batteries don't last as long, also they are much heavier when compared to aaa batteries or Li-Ion batteries.
AAA batteries or AA battery-operated lanterns are a good middle ground between the two options. They're not as expensive as rechargeable lanterns, but they last longer than alkaline lanterns. Choose the type of lantern that best fits your needs.
4. Kerosene lanterns
Kerosene lanterns were once a popular choice, but nowadays they are very rare due to their low brightness or polluting nature.
They are easy to find and relatively inexpensive, but they can be smoky and difficult to operate. Kerosene lanterns give off a fair amount of light and can last for several hours on a single tank of fuel, but they are not as bright as a led camping lantern and produce harmful gases when burned.
If you are looking for a very inexpensive camping lantern, a kerosene lantern may be a good option, but be sure to do your research before making a purchase.
Each type of lantern has its own benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to choose the right one for your needs.
These lanterns can also be further classified into the following categories based on their light source :
But if you're looking for the most energy-efficient and longest-lasting option, a LED camping lantern is the way to go. LEDs use far less energy than most other forms, so they'll give more brightness at better cost-efficiency.
They also last much longer than other types of bulbs, meaning you won't have to replace them as often. And because they don't produce heat like other bulbs, they're safer to use and won't add to the temperature inside your tent, especially during summer camping. Moreover, some of them also come with a special flashlight mode, allowing them to be used as proper LED flashlights for you to have directional light.
So if you're looking for an option that will save you money and keep you safe, LED lanterns are the way to go.
They create a warm and inviting atmosphere, however, lanterns that use incandescent bulbs tend to be less energy-efficient than other options.
Incandescent bulbs produce light by heating a filament inside the bulb to a high temperature. This process uses more energy than alternatives like LED bulbs, which produce light using less power.
As a result, lanterns that use incandescent bulbs can cost more to operate over time. For those looking to save on energy costs, LED lanterns are a more efficient option.
Fluorescent lanterns are a popular choice for camping and other outdoor activities because they are bright and lightweight.
However, they can also flicker or produce a buzzing sound. Some people find this annoying, but it is not generally considered to be a safety hazard.
If you are using a fluorescent lantern, you may want to experiment with different types of bulbs to see if you can find one that produces less flicker or noise.
You can also try hanging the lantern from a higher point to reduce the amount of flicker.
Halogen lanterns produce a crisp, white light that is much brighter than incandescent or LED bulbs. However, this brightness comes at a price.
Halogen lanterns consume more power than other types of bulbs, so they can quickly drain your batteries.
If you'll be using your lantern for extended periods of time, it's important to bring along extra batteries or a backup power source. But if you're just looking for a quick burst of light, halogen is the way to go.
When choosing a battery-operated lantern, consider the type of light you want, the size of the lantern, and the power consumption.
Factors to consider before buying a camping lantern for you
Before you buy a camping lantern, you'll want to consider a few factors to make sure you get the right one for you. Factors to consider include:
One of the most important factors to keep in mind is price. You'll want to make sure that the lantern you choose is affordable and within your budget. It can range from $20 to $200.
Our top picks in this article will help you find a lantern that fits your needs without breaking the bank. With all the research we have put together, you can surely find the perfect camping lantern at a price that's right for you.
The brightness of a lantern is measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light.
However, not all lanterns are measured equally; some are measured inside the lantern at the bulb, while others are measured from outside the lantern (this value is called an “out the front” value).
Overall, a brighter lamp will consume more energy so many models offer multiple modes or brightness levels. For just poking around camp at night a 100-lumen lamp is sufficient. Most lanterns have a switch to toggle between different brightness levels. There should also be a battery indicator light that lets you know when it's time to change batteries.
When choosing a lantern, it's important to keep in mind how far you want the light to reach. Some lanterns are designed to provide bright, focused light on the table or surface they're placed on, while others are designed to cast their light farther out into the room.
The level of brightness you need will be determined by how you plan to use the lantern - if you need it for reading or other close-up tasks, a lantern with a more focused beam will be sufficient, but if you need it to light up a larger space, you'll want one that casts a wider beam.
You should also consider the optics and design of the lantern when making your choice; some lanterns will produce a brighter light, but they may be less focused than others.
All our top picks are ideal for both focused use like reading, and cooking when kept on a surface, or for large coverage of the campsite or inside your tent when hung above the ground.
Size & Weight
When choosing a lantern, it's important to consider both the size and the weight. Generally speaking, larger lanterns will produce more light, but they will also be heavier. This is something to keep in mind if you're planning on carrying the lantern for any significant distance.
For example, a small lantern might be perfect for backpackers, since it won't add too much weight to their pack. However, that same small lantern might not produce enough light to light up an entire campsite. It's important to find a balance that works for you.
Another thing to keep in mind is the weight of the power source. Some lanterns use batteries, while others use gas. Gas-powered lanterns tend to be heavier, but they can also run for a longer period of time. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which type of lantern best suits your needs.
The type of batteries the lantern uses is also a crucial factor that should be considered before buying your lantern. When choosing batteries for your lantern, it's important to pick the right type.
Alkaline batteries are a popular choice, but they can lose capacity in cold temperatures. They are also heavy compared to others. They can lose even half their capacities when temperatures are below freezing point. As such you have to store them properly so as to keep them warm
Lithium batteries perform better in colder weather, making them a better choice if you'll be using your lantern in colder climates.
Keep in mind that not all lanterns can use both alkaline or lithium batteries, so be sure to check before purchasing batteries.
Another option is to use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. These can be used with primary-powered devices and are a great way to save money in the long run.
There are also lanterns that run on aaa batteries, but these are quite low in terms of battery life.
Whichever type of battery you choose, make sure you have enough on hand to power your lantern for the duration of your trip.
When shopping for an outdoor lantern or light, it's important to consider its water resistance.
The International Protection Marking (IP) rates how well a device is protected from water ingress. IPX-0 means there is no protection, while IPX-8 guarantees functionality after/during submersion in up to 3 meters of water.
For casual outdoor use, a water-resistant rating of IPX-4 is sufficient; it offers protection from splashing in any direction. Keep in mind that few lanterns or lights are full-immersion waterproof, but many offer water and splash resistance.
All of our top picks given above are water-resistant so that you can have peace of mind without having to worry about sitting in the dark when you are camping even if it rains.
Some more features you should consider
All the above features are the most important features you should consider, but there are also a few others that cannot be ignored :
- Loops, hooks, or clips
These can hang your lantern from a tree branch, tent pole, or any other object, freeing up valuable space and preventing your lantern from tipping over.
In addition, hanging your lantern makes it easier to find in the dark. No more fumbling around in the dark looking for a flat surface; simply follow the light to your lantern.
Some lanterns even come with a magnetic base, making it easy to attach them to several surfaces. Having this neat feature is surely handy.
These are simple things and are usually pretty easy to use, however, you shouldn't take them for granted though. Many times you'll be trying to turn your light on in total darkness at the end of a long day.
It's not the time to fiddle with small knobs and enter cheat codes to get your light to work. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the dark, feeling around for a tiny knob. So, when you're shopping for a lantern, make sure to choose one with big, easy-to-use buttons. That way, you'll be able to find and use it quickly and easily, even in the dark.
During these times it feels safe to have something like the Le LED Lantern because its big switch with its flickering green light will help you find the lantern even in complete darkness.
- Wide, adjustable legs
When choosing a camping lantern, it is important to consider its stability. Wide, adjustable legs provide a stable base and allow your lantern to conform to uneven terrain.
You'll also be able to get creative with where you set up your lantern! Whether you're looking for a spot to read by the light of the moon or trying to find the perfect place to hang your lantern from a tree branch, having a stable base will give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your lantern won't tip over.
- Apart from all these above, there are plenty more little tricks specific to different lanterns. Some of them are
- The ability to use them as power banks to charge other devices: Many modern lanterns come with built-in USB ports, so you can easily charge your phone or other electronics. Power banks can be a lifesaver if you're dry camping in an area with limited or no electricity.
- A flashlight mode: A lantern with a flashlight mode is handy for those times when you need a narrow beam of light, like when you're looking for something in your tent or walking to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
- The ability to collapse down for transport: Some lanterns are designed to be compact and easy to carry in a backpack. This is helpful if you're tight on space or doing a lot of hiking on your trip.
-Red light mode: very few lanterns, like our Biolite AlpenGlow come with a dedicated red light mode. Initially, it feels like a gimmick, however, this can be an important factor as it preserves night vision. Especially on a campsite with many campers, a lantern having red light mode is considered courteous, as it aids in night vision and is also less jarring for fellow campers.
-Glow in the dark mode: many lanterns now come with a "Glow in the dark" mode, which helps campers find their lanterns in the dark. However, some campers find this light to be a bit awkward or even scary in the middle of the night.
If you're one of those campers, there's no need to worry - there are plenty of lanterns on the market that doesn't have this feature. Instead, look for lanterns that emit a softer, more diffused light. These lanterns will provide enough light to see around your campsite, without feeling too bright or intrusive in the middle of the night.
So what are The Best Camping Lanterns for you?
A Camping lantern is a necessary piece of camping gear for anyone who wants to enjoy a camping trip. They provide light when you need it and can be used to signal for help if necessary.
With so many lantern choices available, it can be difficult to choose the right one. This article provides a guide to help you choose the best camping lantern for your needs.
So, if you need to take a look at our popular choices, here you go!
Best Overall Pick - Goal Zero Lighthouse 600
Best Budget Choice - Le LED Lantern
Best Solar Lantern - Mpowered Luci Base
Best Gas-Powered - Coleman Dual Fuel
Best Of The Rest - Black Diamond Apollo Lantern
Also Great - Biolite AlpenGlow
So what are you waiting for? Click the “Check Price on Amazon” buttons and add them to your cart!
Thanks for reading our long guide, we hope you will have a brighter and more joyful campsite with your new camping lamp!
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