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This is a complete guide on the best Camping Lanterns 2021.
In this new definitive review we’ll cover:
- Which are the best Camping Lanterns for your needs;
- A Back to Back comparison; Run time, Lumens, Weight, Durability, etc.;
- Expert Buyers Guide;
- Lots more…
Want to know how many lumens you’ll need for your trip?
Or which is the brightest lantern out there?
You’ll find out soon enough…
Let’s get started.
For nature lovers, camping is always a retreat of sorts. The promise of a few days in the woods comes with a lot of excitement. The thought of spending quality time with loved ones, away from the daily hustle and bustle motivates us to organize our next off grid camping trip.
- Best Solar Lantern
- Best Camping Lantern
- Best Solar Camping Lanterns Collapsible Solar-Powered Lantern
- Best Solar LED Camping Lantern
- Best Gas Lantern
- Best Portable Lantern – Triple Power LED
- Brightest Camping Lantern – Compact And Cordless
- Best Survival Lantern
- Waterproof Lantern – Unique Dimming Switch
- Buyers Guide:
- How to Choose The Best Camping Lantern
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
- The Final Verdict: 10 Best Camping Lanterns
- Conclusion: 10 Best Camping Lanterns
But… Let’s face it…
… none of us are fans of a dark camping ground.
When your basecamp is well-lit, it’s going to be easy to move around, even in the dark.
Whether you’re looking to warm marshmallows by the fireplace or make for extended story-times inside your bivouac, great lighting is a necessity.
Granted, flashlights will come in handy every now and again, but it goes without saying that lanterns will shine much brighter.
You want the kind of lighting that will illuminate the inside of your home away from home and light your path during the wee hours of the morning when you’re off grid.
As you gather your other necessities, don’t leave your lantern at home. Lanterns have proved to be a significant piece of camping gear for any camper. Not only are they rugged enough to withstand rough conditions, but they’ll also ‘light the darkness’ all your trip long.
This article will cover everything about ‘lighting your campsite’ and identify the best camping lantern:
Best Solar Lantern
1 – AGPTEK Solar Lantern 5
- Multiple methods of charging
- Multiple brightness modes
- Energy efficient
- The lantern is not waterproof
- No battery indicator
- Bulky design
The AGPTEK solar lantern is one of the top-rated camping lanterns because it has a great rundown of features and specifications.
Actually it’s also pretty straight forward.
This backpacking lantern is charged through its solar panel or in its hand crank-mode. During cold seasons, a minute of cranking should give this best camping lantern the surge it needs.
Also, when all else fails, its three-AA batteries come in handy.
Think that’s all?
This versatile lantern can also be charged using a USB cable. In fact, this is the quickest way to charge the lantern.
This is neat:
A car adapter is also included with the lantern just for a little extra charging convenience…
With the car adapter charger, the lantern charges during any car camping adventures or when you’re out and about. All of these charging options make the AGPTEK solar lantern one of a kind. When fully charged, it has a run time of up to 12 hours.
Read Full Review: AGPTEK Solar Lantern Review
Best Camping Lantern
2 – Black Diamond Apollo Lantern
- Light and packable
- Glare-free light
- Dimming function
- Doesn’t cast its light very far
Black Diamond manufacturers are known for great innovations, and the Apollo is no exception. It’s a convenient, lightweight lantern that’s handy on any camp trip.
Only eight ounces in weight, this lightweight camping lantern is bright but not blinding. In other words, it provides just the right illumination.
Want to know the best part?
When folded, this lantern flashlight is about the size of a soup can. However, when opened up, it is a 9.5-inch powerhouse. Its pop-up design allows you to place the lantern on a high surface so it can disperse its light in the best way possible.
The fact that this lantern comes with easy adjustability.
This makes it easy to tweak the lighting to ensure its just right. Running on four batteries, the Apollo will let you know when you’re low on power.
With 250 lumens of glare-free lighting, it gets the job done. This means that you no longer have to struggle in the darkness. The lantern disperses light using a plastic lantern globe.
This rechargeable camping lantern is ideal for tent set-up and to light up your night-time tasks.
Read Full Review: Black Diamond Apollo Lantern Review
Best Solar Camping Lanterns Collapsible Solar-Powered Lantern
3 – Goal Zero Crush Light
- Multiple light settings
- Highly affordable
- Candlelight mode dims the light randomly
- Shorter runtimes
- No battery indicator for low power warning
The GZ Crush is a solar lantern that’s affordable and offers the kind of lighting experience you’d receive from the best backpacking lantern.
Boasting an eye-catching design, the lantern can be spotted a mile away because of its singularity.
It comes with multiple light settings that will give total control over its lighting. The lantern can go bright or dim, depending on what the user is most comfortable with.
For a soft ambiance, the candle mode will do.
Boasting 60 lumens, it has a run time of up to 35 hours when the light is dimmed low. This backpacking lantern charges from a USB port or a micro USB cable.
Here’s the kicker – of course, there is also another splendid charging option…solar.
For charging convenience, all that’s needed is a bit of sunlight as the lantern also charges from a solar panel. This lightweight lantern is as easy to store as it is to use. When packing for a camp trip, you can tuck it amidst your other belongings without worrying about size or space.
At a glance:
This lantern looks simple, but do not underestimate its lighting capability because of its simplicity. No matter the camping adventure, the Goal Zero Crush will be a faithful camping partner.
Read Full Review: Goal Zero Crush Review
Best Solar LED Camping Lantern
4 – BioLite PowerLight Mini
- Handy lantern
- Low lumen output
- Not waterproof
The BioLite PowerLight Mini is much more than a wearable, solar LED light.
It’s a multi-tool that’s portable, convenient and ultra-light. BioLite was one of the first companies to design this kind of innovative lighting.
This is the best camping lantern for those who do not want to physically carry anything.
The lantern comes with four lighting modes; red and white strobe, red light (night) white lantern, and a point light that offers you maximum visibility. This backpacking lantern has a battery life of over 2 hours on low settings.
According to government statistics, your camp lighting should not affect others who are also trying to sleep. That’s why, apart from wearing the lantern, it can be hung off a tree or tent. It delivers soft ambient lighting without blinding other campers.
But that’s not all…
This lantern is highly durable. It’s an all-weather find because it can take on the cold as well as the sunny skies. The lantern will improve any camping experience.
Read Full Review: BioLite PowerLight Mini Review
Best Gas Lantern
5 – Coleman Dual Fuel Lantern (Premium) with Hard Carry Case
- Extra bright
- Low noise emissioEasily adjustable
- Protective carrying and storage
- Must safely store enough fuel at camp as it runs out easily
- Lighting the lantern takes some work
The Coleman Premium Dual Fuel Lantern lights up any campsite in the best possible way. These LED lights runs on liquid fuel or gasoline. A gallon of Coleman liquid fuel lasts up to four hours.
Boasting 700 lumens, this lantern lights as far as 16 meters. If anything, this is as bright as camping lumens get. Even better is the fact that the lantern light is solid.
When lit, the fuel tank offers a steady base on the table. In addition, the lantern can also be hung.
Think that’s all?
The control knob makes it easy to adjust the light depending on preference. This camp lantern can be used in all weather conditions. It will remain standing even in the roughest weather conditions.
On the high settings, it can be used for up to five hours. But if the brightness settings are low then the lantern will serve for a total of thirteen hours.
Read Full Review: Coleman Dual Fuel Lantern
Best Portable Lantern – Triple Power LED
6 – Black Diamond Voyager Lantern
- Easy to hang
- An array of lighting modes
- Great value for money
- The flashlight is not as powerful
- May be difficult to open
The Black Diamond Voyager is one of the best options around. With the combination of non-glaring light and just the right amount of brightness, it will provide a good view of your camping activities. It produces 140 lumens of bright, ambient light,
When used as a flashlight, the lantern produces 50 lumens of brightness. The light from this lantern does not come with any dark spots, due to the user’s ability to fine-tune the light output.
The best bit?
This backpacking lantern covers an area approximately 32ft in diameter.
To make the most of it, hang the lantern using a secure thread from the top of the tree or branches where it provides the best light. The water-resistant construction means the lantern can still function in the rain…
Read Full Review: Black Diamond Voyager Lantern
Brightest Camping Lantern – Compact And Cordless
7 – Streamlight 44931 Siege Compact
- Durable thermoplastic construction
- 360-degrees lighting area
- Multiple light modes
- Uses D-cell batteries
The Streamlight Compact will make you excited for all the right reasons. Everything from its features, to its sturdy design, makes it the kind of lantern that suits every camp trip.
The lantern is compact.
What does this mean to you?
This means that it will only take minimal space in a carrying back.
Think that’s all?
This also makes for easy handling. The Streamlight Siege comes with multiple settings that allow for tweaking of brightness, color and the lighting in general.
It can emit a red or white light depending on what you’re most comfortable with. To get the most out of this lantern, hang it inverted and it will cast its light as far as possible. Even when hanging right-side-up, it still emits soft and even lighting.
The Streamlight Compact uses D-cell batteries. They last up to 30 hours when fully charged.
Carry extra batteries, just in case they run out. The low setting will give 295 hours of lighting.
It’s safe to say that even on the low settings, this lantern can light up your entire camp trip.
Read Full Review: Streamlight Siege Lantern Review
Best Survival Lantern
8 – UST 30 Day Lantern
- Water-resistant housing
- Replaceable batteries,
- Less durable hanging clip (plastic)
- Easy to trigger ‘on’ button even when the lantern is not in use
The UST Duro 30-Day Lantern really is a great camping lantern. It represents the best of tent lighting systems as it promises 700 lumens of bright clean light for camping adventures.
When using this lantern on low settings, it will run for up to 30 days. However, on higher settings, it will run for a total of 22 hours.
The middle ground? There is also a medium lighting option that still gives great lighting while conserving your power source.
The Duro features an impact-resistant, plastic housing which gives it a good level of protection.
The best bit?
Even with a bit of rough handling, the lantern will stay put as the plastic housing is unbreakable. Even better is the fact that this lantern is water-resistant.
There are no dark spots or shadows to contend with.
It gets better:
Duro sweetens the deal by offering a lifetime warranty on the lantern.
Read Full Review: UST 30 Day Lantern Review
Waterproof Lantern – Unique Dimming Switch
9 – Black Diamond Moji Lantern
- Even lighting
- Simple in design
- Comes with hook hangers that are difficult to open
- Needs an extra mode between ‘high’ and ‘medium’
Brought to you by Black Diamond, the Moji is another great addition to the company’s amazing product range.
With a combination of brightness, simplicity, and convenience, this lantern is exactly what’s needed. At maximum setting, it emits 100 lumens of brightness.
It also comes with control settings that enable the adjustment of light.
While this is a pocket-sized lantern, do not underestimate it because of its size.
It goes without saying that it can go head to head with larger options. Despite its size, this lantern illuminates the widest areas. Its sturdy construction ensures durability. When hanging above, it gives the soft ambient lighting.
Read Full Review: Black Diamond Moji Lantern Review
Why Trust Us?
Boasting decades of experience, our team of product testers here at TopNotch are highly experienced camping enthusiasts who brought together all our products – and tested and rated them.
But first, Louisa and the team sifted through hundreds of product reviews to compile their list of the Top 50, which we honed down to these 9 – the best of the best.
Louisa is a highly experienced camper who simply loves the outdoors.
Given her experience in the field, she’s highly qualified to tell you everything there is to know about camping lighting.
When it comes to camping, she knows that good lighting can make or break your trip. It’s an added comfort that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Finally, you’ll see below, we rated our products against a wide range of metrics to ensure that you only make the best possible purchase for your needs.
How to Choose The Best Camping Lantern
Before you decide on your camping lantern, you need great information to help you make the best choice. No matter how much natural light seems adequate for a camping scenario, a lantern will enable you to complete many tasks around the campsite and navigate in the dark.
Wondering which is the best lantern for camping?
We’ve put together this buying guide to ensure you make the best possible choice…
What Are The Different Types of Camping Lantern?
The best camping (or backpacking) lantern is one that provides the right amount of light for your camp trip. Here are the different types:
The majority of campers are using these for their camping trips because of the long battery life. Electric lanterns are those that are battery-operated. They’re one of the best camp lanterns because of their ease of use, lightweight nature, and long battery life.
Electric lanterns come in the form of:
- i) LED lanterns These have low energy consumption.
- ii) Rechargeable lanterns Charged through a USB port, rechargeable models have a solid level of brightness.
- iii) Solar-powered lanterns These camping lights are versatile. They charge using a solar panel, a USB cable or batteries.
- iv) Battery-powered lanterns Just as their name suggests, battery-powered options rely on batteries to function. Once the batteries charge, you can count on these lanterns for long operational hours.
If you don’t have access to electrical output then fuel lanterns may come in handy. They include:
- i) Butane lantern While they produce a bright light, these lanterns also produce a fair amount of heat. They’re easy to handle and allow you the exact light output you want – as they’re also easily adjustable.
- ii) Propane lanterns The propane in these lanterns keeps them burning. They’re also durable because they’re resistant to heat cracks.
These are also popular lanterns for camping. They’re reliable and are easy to ignite and/or adjust at any time.
These lanterns have an operational time of up to eight hours. They’re reliable and with minimal maintenance, they’re also durable.
Features To Look For When Choosing The Best Camping Lanterns
First up – this is the most important consideration when choosing your lantern. This is because the battery life determines the amount of illumination you will achieve. It’s best to choose a lantern that boasts a long battery life.
Size and Weight
A large and heavy lantern won’t suit a small camping tent. If you’re in a small tent, you should carry an LED lantern which is small in size or a lantern flashlight. Large lanterns are the perfect fit for larger tents.
Last but not least:
Your ideal lantern should have an adjustability knob(s) that’ll allow you to control the light output. It should be easy to dim the light or allow full brightness, depending on the kind of illumination you need.
Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Camping Lantern
Most importantly, the best tent lantern is one that can weather rough conditions and still remain intact when mishandled. Remember the words, ‘fragility’ and ‘camping site’ do not go hand in hand.
If your lamp is delicate, it may break in the mayhem that comes with setting up a tent or moving things around. To determine whether an lantern is durable, it shouldn’t have many moving parts to shatter or lose.
Ease of Use
When choosing your lantern, simplicity is key.
The last thing you need:
During a dark, camp evening is a complicated lantern that won’t turn on. As such, lanterns that are easy to operate are the ideal choice. With these products, you’ll ease into the dusk.
Type of Camping
There are different types of top-rated camping lanterns which will be beneficial depending on your overnight trip. As we say in all our lantern reviews, one size won’t fit all.
Multi-functional lanterns will also bring a high level of convenience to short adventures.
If you have a long camping trip ahead, then go for lanterns that have a higher brightness level and are energy efficient at the same time. In this case, it’s best to carry more power sources to keep your lanterns going.
The brightness your lantern will emit depends on its lumens.
This is the measure of the total brightness of your lantern.
While lanterns with a high number of lumens tend to be bright, they can also be costly.
Even so, it’s best to invest in a costly but worthwhile camping lantern that’ll serve your needs and remain in good condition for many years to come.
There are high-end companies that manufacture lanterns with a multitude of bells and whistles. These lanterns tend to be expensive.
On the other hand:
There are cheaper brands that are more affordable but manufacture lanterns with only a few features.
Once you decide on the lantern you need, shop around to find the best deals from the best manufacturers.
7 TOP TIPS
It’s essential to carry a lantern when going on your camping expeditions. Apart from your flashlight, camping cot, and stove, a lantern will give off plenty of light to illuminate the area you’re in.
Here are 7 top tips for choosing the best camping lantern:
1. Choose a weatherproof lantern
If your lantern isn’t weatherproof it won’t be able to withstand the rough conditions that you may experience during your camping expedition.
Remember, weather conditions change.
If it’s pouring down but you still need to use your lantern outside, it has to be weatherproof. Such lanterns double down by emitting the brightest light in rough conditions whilst also producing some much-needed heat to keep you warm through the night.
2. Focus on durability
Arguably, this is one of the most important factors you should consider when choosing the right lantern. It’s wise to go for a lantern that’s high-quality and durable.
3. Only buy glass lanterns when they’re absolutely necessary
Look: Glass breaks.
And going out in the woods with a fragile, glass lantern that requires a lot of extra care isn’t the perfect choice. A little mishandling and your lantern may break.
To ensure your lantern remains functional, make sure it doesn’t come into contact with water. Also, these lanterns can give serious burns when their glass gets too hot.
4. Go for battery-style lanterns inside the tent
If you’re looking for the best camping lantern to illuminate the inside of your tent, then battery-style lanterns are the best bet. They offer solid lighting and a bit of warmth in the tent. They’re best used inside the tent, away from the cold because their batteries will run down faster in harsh weather
5. Power type
Each different type of camping lantern comes with a different power source.
Did you know?
While rechargeable batteries are the most common power source, there are lanterns that charge using USB cables or even solar power.
Choose a power source that works best for you depending on where you’ll be camping and the convenience factor. Battery-powered lanterns are common because the batteries are easy to swap out.
When your lantern is easy to carry or transport you can easily move from one place to another.
It’s safe to say that heavy lanterns aren’t as practical on the camping ground unless they remain steady in one place.
If you need to move around, heavier lanterns may hinder your movement.
Last but not least…
While this is a complicated light measurement unit, it’s one you need to know before purchasing.
It’s the amount of light your lantern emits.
In other words:
The higher the lumens, the brighter the lantern.
Remember, when choosing the right lantern, you should consider your basecamp, the weather conditions you’ll be facing and what you’ll be doing while you’re camping.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How many lumens do I need for a camping lantern?
A: A lumen is a unit that measures the amount of light that a particular source of light emits. The more lumens your lantern has, the further light will travel.
However, if your lantern has a higher number of lumens and is shining bright, then this will also cause high battery consumption. So how many lumens are enough for your camping expeditions?
While even the best camping lantern here is well beyond 60 lumens, 30-60 lumens is enough lighting for your camping area. In fact, it’s advisable to go for a lantern with an average number of lumens so as to save on your battery consumption.
When you’ve a good idea of the size of your campsite set up, you can focus on the number of lantern lumens you need. The trick here is to focus on energy-efficient lighting options. Then, even if you choose to purchase a lantern with a higher number of lumens, it’ll still be energy efficient.
Q. How many lumens are bright?
A: We already determined that lumens are a measure of light output. Lighting is all about lumens, and lumens equal brightness. 35 to 65 lumens is ideal for camping. This means that the lantern will emit a bright light that’s just right for your camping site. The lighting is enough for you to maneuver around the campsite.
If you’re looking to make the inside of your tent bright, then 100 lumens is more than enough. Additionally, if you’re using a flashlight alongside your lantern, 10 to 30 lumens is just right.
Q. How long do LED lantern lights last?
A: According to the US Department of Energy, there are bulbs that can burn for thousands of hours. How long can depend on factors such as the bulb’s operational temperature, the type of bulb itself and the fixture type. In comparison to incandescent bulbs, LED’s are known to burn longer and last longer.
Let’s break it down-
The best quality LED lantern lights should last at least 30,000 hours and 50,000 hours at most.
A bit of research will show you the best type of LED lighting for your camping trip. In general LED lanterns are not only energy-efficient but also affordable AND long-lasting.
Q. What is the brightest camping lantern?
A: In this review, the Black Diamond Apollo is the brightest because it has a significantly higher number of lumens.
However, it’s important to note that not all lanterns are measured equally. A lantern with slightly lower lumen measurements can shine brighter because there are lumens that are measured outside the lantern (out the front value) while others are measured inside the lantern.
Overall, the brightest lantern will have the highest lumen measurement but this means that it will consume more power. But apart from lumens, brightness can also be affected by design as well as optics.
There you have it.
You now have all the knowledge you need to buy that all-important lantern with confidence.
We want you to know that you’re buying the right lantern for your needs and to short cut this process, we’ve also included the top 10 choices to satisfy whatever your needs may be.
We’ve included links to the Top 3 both at the beginning and the end of this review.
Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
Our experienced team of reviewers analyzed these camping lanterns and rated them on the following metrics.
- Ease of use
The lanterns were manually tested and our team of experts highlighted the following results:
This determines the light output of the lantern. The system is based on how bright the lantern shines and the amount of light output it gives. A lantern that’s dim isn’t really worth buying as it won’t be able to illuminate the campsite effectively.
This is how our camping lanterns rated for brightness, from the brightest to the least.
There were two clear winners in the brightness category, scoring top marks:
- AGPTEK Solar Lantern
- UST 30-Day Duro
We were particularly impressed with the Black Diamond Apollo and the GZ Crush Light Solar Powered Lantern for their high brightness level and adjustability features.
The BioLite Powerlight Mini is also a strong contender.
But at the end of the day…
We’re still not convinced about the Black Diamond Moji. If you’re looking for a high level of brightness then it’s best to look elsewhere.
Durability is an important factor for campers – there’s nothing better than buying camping equipment that weathers every storm.
This is how the camping lanterns ranked for durability:
In this category, the Black Diamond Apollo and the GZ Crush Light take the lead. They are great choices for those who want ‘one and done’ purchases.
The AGPTEK Solar Lantern comes in second place in the durability rating.
Lanterns that have an array of features bring the convenience that campers need. These make the best lanterns because they allow for dim or bright lighting. They also mean you can enjoy different lighting modes.
This is how the products stacked up against each other:
The Streamlight Siege compact, the Black Diamond Apollo and the AGPTEK Solar Lantern are clear winners in this category.
The Black Diamond Voyager and the Black Diamond Moji lanterns are easiest to use because they only come with basic features.
Ease of Use
A lantern that’s easy to use makes for the best camping companion. It’s equally easy to maneuver and the settings are easy to use. Ease of use is a factor that differentiates lanterns that are hard to handle from those that are simple to use.
This is how our lanterns rated on ease of use:
Ease of Use Rating
The clear winner: AGPTEK Solar Lantern is the easiest lantern to use. Despite the fact that it comes with an array of extra features, it’s still easy to operate even for camping beginners.
The GZ Crush Light and Black Diamond Apollo come in second and third respectively.
The lighter the lantern, the easier it will be to carry with you on those long-distance hikes.
I’m happy to say that none of these lanterns are particularly bulky (it’s why I chose them!) but naturally, there are those that are lighter than others.
Here’s how our lanterns rated on weight:
The Black Diamond Apollo, BioLight Powerlight Mini and GZ Crush Light are the lightest in the list.
The AGPTEK Solar Lantern and Black Diamond Moji Lantern are the close competitors in this category.
Finally, the Coleman Premium Dual Fuel lanterns are heaviest in this category because of the sturdy build – adding that bit of extra weight.
The Final Verdict: 10 Best Camping Lanterns
Phew, we made it – brilliant!
Now you can be confident you’ve seen the very best lanterns the market has to offer.
…you have our comprehensive TopNotch Buyers Guide at your fingertips which you can refer to ‘at a glance’ to help you make the best choice of lantern – showing you exactly what to look for.
The AGPTEK Solar Lantern is indeed the best camp lantern. It boasts a high level of brightness and equally great features that make it a dream come true for any camper.
Conclusion: 10 Best Camping Lanterns
We’ve researched, tested, and reviewed the very best Camp Lanterns on the market to clear the way for you to make your choice.
And now you’ve acquainted yourself with them you’re more than well equipped to make your decision.
So, here are our top 3 All-Time best Camping Lanterns:
Editor’s Choice– The AGPTEK Solar Lantern
Amongst all the lanterns listed here, the AGPTEK Solar Lantern is solid in features, sturdy in construction, and reliable in its light output. It also doubles down as an affordable camp and hiking lantern that’ll see you through your many adventures.
Top Pick– The GZ Crush Light
The Goal Zero Crush is our top pick because of its glare-free and flawless. Needless to say, this lantern stands out in every way. It will also leave you a very happy camper – courtesy of its many features. Although it comes with a hefty price tag, it’s well worth the extra.
Best Value – The Black Diamond Apollo – Great Price!
The Black Diamond Apollo is the best value campsite lantern at a price you can afford. It’s innovative, versatile in design, features, and capabilities. It’s a great purchase; the best value lantern for your money.