Camping is a great outdoor experience that all can enjoy, from hard-core backpackers to families with young children. It’s especially fun when the weather is good, but even when the weather is less than ideal, the right camping equipment will see you through your next camping adventure no matter what conditions nature sees fit to throw at you.
One of the smartest and most practical pieces of equipment to have is a good quality, reliable camping lantern. Make sure to choose a camping lantern with the features best suited for your type of excursion and conditions. Whether a short or long trip, you’ll be outdoors overnight, and you’ll need adequate light for safety and convenience when it gets dark.
A good lantern should provide strong illumination without any harsh glare. It should carry enough power to last for the duration of your trip and be sturdy enough to take a few bumps and spills. Other concerns are how easy it is to pack and carry and what power source is most reasonable.
The main types of camping lanterns available today are either gas-fueled, battery and rechargeable, battery-powered, or solar-powered. There are even new models that offer sound speakers and mobile charging for your other devices. The main thing to remember is to choose a camping lantern that best suits your needs for the type of trip you’re taking.
Will you be driving to your camp spot? Will you be taking long hikes? Or will you be near facilities if you need extra fuel or batteries? Do you enjoy staying up until late in the evening? The ways you like to enjoy your camping experience will help dictate your choice of equipment.
Please note this review will exclude gas-powered lanterns and focus mainly on battery-powered and dual-powered units.
- What to Look for When Choosing A Quality Camping Lantern
- Our Choices for Best Camping Lanterns
- 1) HeroBeam 2x LED Lantern
- 2) Coleman Battery Lock Twist Lantern
- 3) SUBOOS Ultimate Rechargeable LED Lantern
- 4) Lanktoo 2-in-1 Waterproof LED Camping Lantern
- 5) Suaoki “ThorFire” LED Camping Lantern Collapsible Solar Light
- 6) Vango Lunar 250 Eco Lantern
- 7) LE Rechargeable Camping Lantern
- 8) Coleman 360 Degree Sound and Light Lantern
What to Look for When Choosing A Quality Camping Lantern
There are several main aspects commonly measured to judge the quality and performance of camping lanterns. One or more of these qualities will likely be the deciding factor in choosing the best camping lantern for your style of camping.
Power Capability and Running Time
The “burn time” or run time of a lamp is dependent upon the volume of fuel or battery charge and how efficiently the power is drawn from the source. LED lamps have a longer run time than those with conventional bulbs, as they consume less power to illuminate.
Rechargeable lanterns using lithium batteries have an impressively long run time. You should always pack extra batteries and/or fuel in case of emergencies. There are also lantern models with dual power systems for extra dependability and longer use.
Lamp brightness is measured in lumens. Camping lanterns can range from 40 lumens up to 700 lumens and even higher. For general campground use, 100 lumens will be adequate, but you might want to opt for something a little stronger around the 150 – 350 range for optimum visibility. Also, the size of the lens can make a difference. A bigger lens face can provide wider light distribution even though it may have a lower lumen rating.
Camping lanterns that are fuel-powered and those with extra features like mobile chargers tend to weigh more and are best suited for when you are camping with a vehicle. If you are backcountry camping or camping where there is only walk-in access, look for lightweight and compact lanterns so that they are easily and securely carried.
The best quality camping lanterns are made of sturdy, unbreakable, shock-resistant materials and will withstand a moderate amount of impact. Look for a rugged body design with a stable base that won’t tip over.
Since weather can be unpredictable, look for lanterns that are waterproof or water-resistant. If you are boating or will frequently be near open water, consider a lantern that is also float-capable.
USB ports for mobile charging are a practical and useful feature, but remember that air temperature and sunlight conditions will be a factor in how well or quickly devices will charge from a lantern so equipped. For convenience and portability, look for well-designed handles or clips for transporting or hanging and for compact or collapsible body designs.
Our Choices for Best Camping Lanterns
1) HeroBeam 2x LED Lantern
An impressively bright yet compact LED lantern, the rechargeable HeroBeam 2X weighs only 330g. This small but mighty unit puts out 300 lumens and housed in a collapsible body measuring 124 x 86mm. The ingenious lift-top lamp elements make this lantern simple and easy to turn on or off. With no switches or buttons to press, this lantern is very handy in the dark.
- SUPER BRIGHT - twice the brightness of old tech 30 LED lanterns...
- TOUGH & WEATHER-RESISTANT - Our Original LED lantern is designed...
- COMPACT & LIGHTWEIGHT - At under 5" high and 3.5" wide (124mm x...
- INTELLIGENT DESIGN - The top section simply lifts up to activate...
- 5 YEAR WARRANTY + 30 DAY 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE + ACTUAL...
2) Coleman Battery Lock Twist Lantern
This multi-purpose lantern has a unique lighting feature that adjusts from 50 to 120 to 300 lumens. Varying brightness levels extract an even longer life from its lithium-ion rechargeable battery, and the twist-action battery lock system guards against power drain. Its durable, weather-resistant, compact body measures 28×14.7cm and weighs just under 1kg. This design features a USB port for mobile charging of phones, GPS, and other devices.
- Camping Lantern with battery life extending - Battery Lock...
- Very long lasting rechargeable Lithium Ion battery provides both...
- Robust rugged exterior shield designed to withstand high impact...
- Light output: 300/120/50 lumens (high/med/low)
- Beam distance: 8/5/3 metres
3) SUBOOS Ultimate Rechargeable LED Lantern
For campers with more substantial power needs, this lantern offers dual power modes and a power bank that kicks out up to 19 hours of charging capacity for any device. Featuring four light levels and simple top-lift operation, it also has a unique collapsible body for convenient carrying and storage. This rechargeable unit throws a respectable 185 lumens and is powered by either 3-AA alkaline batteries or 2 lithium-ion batteries. Its four light settings feature super-bright, regular bright, red, and red strobe modes for emergencies.
- 4 LIGHT MODES - You will be pleasant surprised with this...
- SMART COLLAPSIBLE DESIGN - The easy On/Off operation by simply...
- NEVER LEFT WITHOUT POWER - The built in Power Bank with USB...
- 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE- Your satisfaction is our guarantee,...
4) Lanktoo 2-in-1 Waterproof LED Camping Lantern
This ultra-bright LED camping lantern is combined with a power bank for a two-in-one system that features remarkably fast charging for smartphones and other devices. Its lithium-ion battery provides an amazing 18 hours of bright light at the minimum and as much as 70 hours at maximum.
- CAMPING LANTERN WITH REMOTE CONTROL - The lanktoo camping lantern...
- ULTRA BRIGHT & 5 LIGHTING MODES & STEP-LESS DIMMING - 360 Degree...
- BACK-UP POWER BANK & FAST CHARGING - The camping lights is also a...
- MAGNET ADSORPTION & HOOK - Built-in magnets allows you to install...
- POCKET SIZE, STURDY & WATER-RESISTANT - The rechargeable camping...
With 5 brightness modes, including an emergency SOS, and an incredibly compact body measuring 70x106mm while weighing only 295g, this unit is ultra-portable for long hikes and backcountry adventures.
5) Suaoki “ThorFire” LED Camping Lantern Collapsible Solar Light
This super-portable camping lantern is built with a waterproof and virtually indestructible silicone body, making it a safe choice when children are around the campsite. You can rely on it to last your entire trip thanks to a dual power system that switches from rechargeable batteries to solar charging. Its light output features 3 adjustable modes, including night-light (low), table-lamp (high), and flashing (SOS).
6) Vango Lunar 250 Eco Lantern
This terrific all-rounder camping lantern is both solar and USB powered. It features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery as well as solar panels to store power. With a run time of up to 3.5 hours, a brilliant 250-lumen output, and mobile charging capability, this lantern wins in several categories. For eco-conscious and backcountry campers, this lantern meets all expectations.
- Solar and USB powered Camping Lantern
- Rechargeable Lithium ion battery, 2000mAh
- Can run for up to 3.5 hours
- Includes a hanging hook for ease of use
- Just 0.54kg in weight
7) LE Rechargeable Camping Lantern
When you need serious brightness, this lantern puts out an incredible 1000 lumens that will light up not just your campsite but an entire backyard for BBQ parties if you like. Its built-in rechargeable lithium battery is environmentally friendly and easy on the pocketbook, with no replacement batteries to buy or replace.
- 【Super Bright】Brightness up to 1000 lumens, equal to 75W...
- 【Money Saving & Environment-friendly】Built-in 4400mAh...
- 【Dimmable with 4 Lighting Modes】The light color can change to...
- 【Hanging Light】With a hook on the base and a metal handle on...
- 【Water Resistant】Good for outdoor activities in light rain or...
You can change from super-bright to cool white, to warm white, to flash mode with its 4 lighting modes, and charge your phone, tablet, or laptop from an in-house power bank. A water-resistant body along with a convenient hanging hook and carry handle make it a good performer in wet weather conditions.
8) Coleman 360 Degree Sound and Light Lantern
This all-in-one camping light and wireless speaker provides a 360-degree span of light and up to 20 hours of streaming music via a built-in Bluetooth speaker.
- Led lantern: super bright light 400 lumens, 360 degrees beam...
- Bluetooth STREAMING: built-in Bluetooth speaker streams music for...
- Power bank & rechargeable battery: high capacity Lithium-ion...
- Robust camp light: splash-proof (IPX 4); This speaker-lantern...
- All in one: camping light and wireless speaker, with foldable,...
With an impressive 400 lumens output, this lantern casts a beam distance up to 8m, and its rechargeable lithium-ion battery boasts a high/low run time of 7 to 40 hours. A power bank with a USB port charges your phones, tablets, and other devices and pairs easily from up to 20m away. Water-resistant and compact, this unit is ideal for outdoor camping adventures.
Although the lanterns mentioned here are all great choices, in the end, the best camping lantern is the one that best fits your needs for the type of camping you plan to do.
In general, the most highly rated and best-selling lanterns have the same features in common: Durability, portability, moderate to high lumen output, long run times, and flexible power sources. But which one is best for you and your camping style?
If lighting power is what you need, look for a higher lumen count. The Coleman Battery Lock Twist Lantern and the LE Rechargeable Camping Lantern put out 300 and 1000 lumens, respectively. Both these units will effectively light even a large campsite and provide safety and high visibility for activities.
For dual-power flexibility, look for lanterns that offer solar charging along with rechargeable battery systems. The Suaoki Camping Lantern Collapsible Solar Light fits this bill in addition to being collapsible for easy packing and made of super durable material.
The Vango Lunar 250 Eco Lantern also offers a rechargeable battery or solar power in addition to charging your phone. You can also opt for dual battery models, such as the SUBOOS Ultimate Rechargeable LED Lantern, which comes with both replaceable and rechargeable battery systems.
If the convenience of having an extra power source to charge mobile devices is important to you, both the Lanktoo 2-in-1 Waterproof LED Camping Lantern and the Coleman 360 Degree Sound and Light Lantern have excellent power banks for superior USB charging capability.
Of course, if you love the sounds of music as well as the sounds of nature, the Coleman 360 Degree Sound and Light Lantern offers not only a stellar 400-lumen output but a long-lasting, easy-pairing Bluetooth connection for hours of music streaming enjoyment.
For short camping trips, a battery-operated lantern is uncomplicated and efficient. You might want to have one in addition to another type of unit to use as an emergency backup. The HeroBeam 2x LED meets these needs beautifully while supplying a robust 300-lumen output.
This wraps up our review of the best camping lanterns based on their power capabilities, brightness output, durability, and convenience. Your camping style and budget are the best guides in choosing the best camping lantern for you.
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