Best Camping Lantern
When you head out on your next camping or backpacking adventure, one piece of gear that you do not want to forget is a camping lantern. A camping light is important as when you are in the middle of the wilderness with no surrounding light, it can get quite dark and most of the time you can not see a foot in front of you which makes it hard to do anything. It provides a bright light source so you can illuminate your campsite and allow you to see clearly.
Now if you are looking to invest in a camping lantern and have done some research online, then you know there is a variety of brands and types. Luckily for you, we have done the research and listed the top ten lanterns of 2019, to shed some light.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research
Top Ten Camping Lanterns
1. Coleman Twin
Even on low setting, the light is bright
Another great product from Coleman. The coleman twin led lantern is a highly rated and popular lantern that has a classic design but packs a bright light to illuminate your campsite without issue. Coleman is known for their product quality and durability and this led camping lantern provides just that.Read more
This lantern is fitted with a classic design but packs a punch when it comes to illuminating your campground. It has a simple knob which you can turn on the lantern and adjust the illumination. It also comes with a handle so you can transport it easily around with you.
This lantern is quite effective at illuminating your campsite or tent. Its ability to adjust the light is a great feature a depending on your surroundings, you may want the light to only be so bright. It also has a run time of 85 hours so no matter what situation you find yourself in you will have clear bright light.
Everyone should know the Coleman brand, especially when it comes to outdoor equipment. They have been around for many years and produce quality and durable products which last quite some years without issue. If you are looking to invest in a lantern and the price fits into your budget, Coleman is always a great first choice.
This lantern is great for visibility as it produces 100 lumens on the low setting and almost 400 lumens on the high setting, which will give you a brightness that will extend 32 feet on the high setting and 19 ft on the low setting.
2. Coleman Northstar Lantern
Easy to adjust
Easy to use
The Coleman Northstar Lantern is a nice camping light, and it is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast that wants to find something that is very easy to use. It’s got a simple design with an adjustable knob so that you can adjust it to dim or brighten whenever you need to. The light is manufactured to be extremely bright—in fact, it is one of the brightest lights we have offered on our list. It also comes with a five-year limited warranty and a handy carrying case, both of which are a nice touch.Read more
The Coleman Northstar Lantern is designed to be very easy to use, and it is very adjustable. It comes with a dimmer knob you can turn to adjust so you get just the right light if you don’t want it on high, and you can save some battery life. It also uses the Perfect Flow System to provide the lantern with consistent fuel usage, and the lantern will keep using that fuel level no matter what the weather conditions are like outside. It is propane powered, and also comes with a porcelain ventilator that is built to last. You also get InstaClip tube mantels for even more ease of use. It features an InstaStart Push-Button ignition as well, so it’s very easy to turn on whenever you want to use it, and easy to adjust the light’s output from dim to bright with the adjustable knob.
The Coleman Northstar Lantern comes with a dimmer knob that adjusts, so you get a lot of brightness out of it if you want. You can turn it on an extra-bright 1543 lumens when it is on high, and it is incredibly bright when you set it up that high. It makes a great outdoor light and features EverBrite technology and power.
Another product from Coleman and is built with the durability and quality that Coleman is known for. When holding this lantern in your hands, you can feel the durability of the material and you will know that this may be the last lantern you ever have to buy.
If you run it on the highest, brightest setting, you get 4.3 hours of use out of it, and if you set it on low, you’ll get 9.25 hours of use. It all really depends on how bright you want to make this light when you use it.
3. Coleman 1000 Lumen CPX 6
Great battery life
The CPX 6 is the best camping lantern to purchase when camping with kids. It impacts friendly making it very useful. With its sturdiness and 5 LEDs, it is able to light large areas of an entire room. It is also able to last you for quite some time after charging, which makes it suitable for backpacking.Read more
This lantern is a quite different design than your gas lanterns that you are used to seeing. Its shape is a little more compact and is easily transported and stored. It is a great option if you are looking for a battery powered lantern that you can bring into your tent.
Although the maximum that this camping lantern provides is 1000 Lumens, the battery life with this intensity only lasts you for a couple of hours. However, it does come with 4 lighting settings and they all come with different run time. Luckily, it comes with a car charger so you can use your vehicle to get the job done.
On the downside, there is the weight of these camping lights which is 3.4 pounds. This suggests that for longer backpacking distances, it is better to look through our other options.
Another product from Coleman and you can start to see that Coleman makes some durable and quality lanterns. Coleman again is known for their outdoors products and if you decide to go with this lantern, you will not only have it for seasons to come but will have a great lantern.
Even though the 20 meters of light reach in all directions make this lantern a great choice, what’s more, impressive is its water-resistant properties. Now you can fall asleep inside your tent and leave the light outside without having to worry if it would rain.
4. Black Diamond Apollo
Battery kit included
Could be brighter
The black diamond apollo lantern has conquered being highly regarded on many sites pertaining to gear and camping. The reason being is its practicality and durability. Even though it's not the brightest camping lantern on the market, it provides enough light to move around and its light is not at all blinding.Read more
Even though it will not last you forever, it will be your camping buddy for years. However, the surrounding plastic is easily damageable, so this is something that you should be aware of. The other elements are all made from metal which means they will last you a long time.
The Black diamond Apollo is specifically designed in order to disperse the light throughout the space instead of directly blinding those around. In order for the lantern to produce a better lighting quality, a clouded plastic is used around the light. The main focus of the Apollo lantern is not being the brightest. Instead, it focuses on creating a pleasant camping atmosphere. You could even dim the lantern light if it pleases you.
Black diamond has been around for quite some time and they have been known over the years to make some quality outdoor equipment. When looking specifically at their lanterns you can tell they are made to last and can take a beating and continue to journey with you. If you are looking at any products from Black Diamond you will not be disappointed.
This lantern from Black Diamond provides light of 200 lumens which is quite bright. There is also a dimming function in case you do not want the light at max power.
5. UST Duro Glow
Short battery time
Here is one of the top selections for the duration of lighting when it comes to camping lanterns. The manufacturer claims that it can glow for just under a month when placed on the low setting. However, if you are seeking a bright option this lantern may not be the one you are seeking.Read more
The lantern comes in 4 illuminating modes and only 3 LED bulbs. The base of the lantern is quite sturdy and heavy which make it more stable and resistant to wind.
The weight is not its most impressive feature as it weighs around 1.13 lbs. However, it is light compared to many other models on the list. The lantern is able to be powered with a solar charger which is certainly on the plus side.
This lantern from UST is a great quality lantern and is actually quite durable. UST is known for producing outdoor equipment and their equipment is very highly rated and comes to you at an affordable price.
The lowest settings for the Duro Glow is 30 lumens which are enough for you to move around without hitting in objects. On high settings, it features 700 Lumens which is not too impressive, but it is definitely not too low. If you wish to illuminate a larger space, it is recommended that you hang it upside down. However, you should first remove the cover in order to use it this way.
6. Black Diamond Voyager
Can be hung easily
Can be hard to open and insert batteries
The black diamond voyager lantern is an impressive little led camping lantern with a great design. It is very versatile and offers you two different light options, which help make this an excellent product. You can either use this light in lantern mode, which gives you 360 degrees of light all the way around you, or you can set it in flashlight mode if you need direct light. The light is easy to carry when you are walking, and you should be able to see your path easily.Read more
The Black Diamond Voyager Lantern comes designed for brightness. It’s a small lantern, but it’s still very great at lighting up your tent or your campsite. One of the nice things about this particular Black Diamond Lantern is the fact it is very small, lightweight, portable, and easy to use in a variety of ways.
No matter which mode you put the light in, you’ll get a lot of brightness, and having two options with the light in this lantern makes the lantern quite versatile. The combination makes it a very effective light, and it is so small it is very easy to carry. So, you get a two in one deal with this lantern, because you’ll purchase a lantern that can work with direct light like a flashlight, and also give off a 360-degree dosage of light like most other lanterns.
What’s very nice about nearly all Black Diamond lanterns is how easy they are to use. As a lantern manufacturer, Black Diamond has done a great job in making all of their lanterns very simple to use, which is something you are going to want to have when you are out on a camping trip and really need light.
You’ll get about 140 lumens total packed into this portable lightweight lantern. First, you get one double power LED with 140 lumens, which is its max setting, in the frosted globe area of the light that is made to provide very bright, ambient light when you keep the lantern in regular lantern mode. Second, you get one double power LED with 50 lumens on the bottom of the lantern, which allows the lantern to have a straight, accurate beam of light when you switch it to lantern mode.
7. Goal Zero Lighthouse 400
Great for emergency situations
Adjustable brightness level
Short run time
Although the Goal Zero Lighthouse is a bit pricier option than other lanterns suggested in this list, it is certainly worth the price. It is the perfect addition to your backpacking gear and it is especially convenient if you are not camping with your car next to you. The specific feature of this lantern is its multiple options for battery charging.Read more
Instead of having few brightness levels, this camping lantern features a dial that is allowing you to adjust the illumination to your own preferences. Although it is not too bright, it does have a long runtime and an emergency switch. This switch is placed on the top of the lantern and it is allowing you easy access and a flashing light.
It is interesting to mention that you could hang this lantern upside down as well and it will still work. The only downside is that if you want to preserve and even prolong the battery life of the lantern, you have to charge it once in a while, even though you are not using it.
Goal Zero produces a lot of electronics and is mainly known for its solar panels. This lantern is built with quality in mind and is quite durable. Even though Goal Zero is not as known as Coleman, if you decide to go with this lantern, you will still end up with a quality lantern.
Even though the flashings are not too long reaching or too bright, they will get the job done in the case of an emergency since it is able to flash both horizontally and vertically.
8. Tough Light LED
Long battery time, reliable
360 degrees illumination
A tough design able to withstand dropping accidents
As the name suggests, this camping lantern is indeed a tough one. It is extremely durable and it is able to withstand a drop of few meters height, which is not the case with most competitive models. Even though it is not the brightest one, it gives you many hours of use compared to the charging time.Read more
The Tough Light LED camping lantern, has only 400 Lumens to show for, but its Li-ion battery is the start component in it. It has several light modes and the brightest one will even allow you to sew if you want to. And what’s best is that if you are not able to figure out the light modes, there is an instruction manual that explains everything thoroughly.
The battery life could for 16 nights with only one charge. However, these are the calculations if you use it on a low light mode. If you need a brighter light, the battery lifetime will significantly shorten. There is also an emergency feature which is blinking if you activate it. There are several emergency modes, red flashings, and SOS light. Both would last you for over 250 hours.
Tough Light makes a durable lantern. When you hold this lantern in your hands, you can tell that it can take a beating and keep on working. They are only known for this lantern but do not let that sway you as if you decide to go ahead with this lantern, it will not disappoint.
It is not a 360 degrees illumination lantern, but in this case, it is an advantage. When the user holds it uneven with the surface, a mode is activated that turns off the lights that are directed towards the user. This way, the light does not come directly into your eyes and you are actually able to see what you wanted to in the first place.
9. Streamlight The Siege
Long run time
Could be brighter
If you are constantly in doubt whether you have turned off the iron or accidentally turned on your camping lantern, the streamlight the siege is the right choice for you. It has a recessed button that prevents you from such accidents. Unlike the Titan, this is a lightweight lantern option that you could feel free to carry it backpacking.Read more
Although it comes with a cover in order to prevent it from blinding you, the cover is completely removable. When detached, its light could reach further if needed. The battery system comes with an indicator which will let you know when you need to start the saving mode. The maximum lightness is 340 Lumens and at this intensity, the battery life is no more than 30 hours. There are 5 LED bulbs in total, of which 4 are white. The last one is allowing the user to turn on the night vision illumination which is quite convenient for some situations.
The Siege is also impact-resistant and it is able to withstand a fall of 6 feet without significant damage. What’s even more impressive is its ability to “swim”. If you accidentally drop it while fishing, it will float and you will be able to easily locate it. You could even try drowning it, but it can withstand being submerged under water and still come out without any damage.
Streamlight is not as known as Coleman or Black Diamond but they are known for their quality of light gear from flashlights, lanterns, bulbs, and pretty much anything else that lights up or glows. So if you have your eye on this lantern, Streamlight has you covered.
This lantern is not your mist visible lantern on our list but if you are looking for a lantern that is affordable and works well to illuminate a small space, then this may be the lantern for you. If you need a light for your tent or small space while in the outdoors, then this is the lantern you want to take a closer look at.
10. Etekcity 4 Pack LED Lantern
Can be resized
The battery does not last long
The Etekcity Camping Lantern might not have an appealing name, but it sure is a tough one. It has a short and wide design which is making it even more stable on an uneven surface and in a case of windy weather conditions. Its design reminds of a thermos with a black base and top. The middle part is covered with an aluminum material with the logo on it. It has a pretty minimalist design and some great features. It is currently on sale, which with a discount of 75%, which makes it the cheapest model in the suggestion list.Read more
The batteries are located at the bottom part of the lantern and since it is waterproof, in order to change the batteries, you should detach the bottom by unscrewing it. The power bank is also located at the bottom part. The battery can be charged with your smartphone, a car charger or a regular one.
Even though the lantern is pretty short, you are able to change the size of the illuminated part by turning it on one side and setting it up to the height that you prefer. It is interesting to mention that once you turn it off, the light’s intensity is resetting to the highest possible level. If you want to turn it off a bit, you must readjust the lighting mode.
Etekcity is not the most known brand on our list but they do produce a highly rated set of lanterns.
The brightness time, however, is a bit lower than competitive models and it could only provide you about 4 hours of brightness and 12 when the light mode is set to low.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
As with every other product on the market, you should start with your own preferences. Are you a camper or do you prefer backpacking trips? Or you need a camping lantern that is universal for every use, even for using it in your back yard?
Once you are able to answer this question, you have the most important feature you should focus on. For instance, backpacking trips require camping lanterns that are not too heavy and they don’t take too much space. There are even lanterns that can be packed in smaller sizes when you are not using them. And if you are going camping, the choices don’t end up there.
Are you planning a camping trip that includes your vehicle or not? If you are going camping with your vehicle, a camping lantern that is electric, with a car charger will be the best choice for you. On the other side, if you are camping with your bike, you should probably avoid the bulky lantern designs. That said, there are also those products that satisfy more of your needs, so if you prefer multiple activities, don’t despair, there is still a great choice for you on the market.
Sometimes, a headlamp might be much more suitable than a camping lantern. If you only need the lantern to work around the tent or set it up, a headlamp is the better choice since, with it, you will be able to direct the lighting in one direction. With a camping lantern, someone would need to follow you around and act like a tree. Or if you are a lone camper, you would need to hold the lantern with one hand and cook, for instance, with the other. Even though this is manageable, it is not as satisfying as a hands-free cooking experience.
Lanterns are mostly required for group camping. They usually provide illumination in all directions, so they are the perfect choice for when you are camping with the entire family or friends. A headlight in this situation would be unbearable since it would provide illumination for only one person.
Each brand on the market is focused on creating a product for a specific outdoor activity. Some of them are focused on backpacking gear and other value camping practicality. If you haven’t already planned your next trip and you have many outdoor interests, you should probably go for a more versatile lantern that will prove as useful in every situation. Amongst our suggestions, there are lanterns that have a combination of features, therefore they are suitable for multiple outdoor activities.
Many campers believe that if the lantern illuminates more space, it is somehow better than competitive options. However, this is not entirely true. Sometimes having a lantern that is too bright can cause headaches. In order to avoid this, look for lanterns that have the dimming effect. This type of lanterns does not make you feel uncomfortable and at the same time, they illuminate a large area. Nevertheless, if you are convinced that you want a bright camping lantern, then look for the one with the highest Lumens.
Lumen is the unit that signifies how bright a lamp is. It is used for every type of lamp, not just the camping lanterns. It is important to mention that a lantern could have many lumens and still not be the brightest among lanterns. In order to measure the brightness effect, you must also consider the design of the lantern. Some lantern models, have a cap on the top in order to cause the light to spread at 360 degrees instead of spreading in height where you don’t even need it.
Just for orientation, if you are only two people, 100 Lumens would be more than enough. If you are with a larger group of people, more Lumens would be required. However, this level of brightness would be enough for you to locate your objects and see your faces when you talk to each other. But it will not provide enough brightness for reading for instance. Also, if you are in a closed space, such as a tent, fewer Lumens are required. On the other side, if you are using the lantern out on the open, you could not go wrong with more Lumens.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
When looking to invest in a camping lantern, check to see the number of lumens that the lantern offers, as the more lumens the brighter it will be. If you are looking for a standard lantern for camping you will not need a lantern with more than 100 lumens.
When looking for your next camping lantern for this summer season, keep in mind that you not only want a lantern that is bright but one that is durable and can take a beating and keep on going. When you bring anything with you into the wilderness, be prepared for the unexpected and be prepared for the unexpected.
Other Factors to Consider
A camping lantern should be able to withstand a couple of crashes and droppings. After all, camping is an outside activity that is everything but a gentle one. For this reason, you will need one that is manufactured with high-quality materials that are durable and if possible, corrosion-resistant. You should also consider that moisture will be present on your camping trip. For this reason, it is also convenient if your camping lantern is waterproof as well. If you are camping near a lake or a river you will need a waterproof lantern with a high waterproof coefficient.
On the other side, if you are going on a backpacking trip in the mountains you would only need a water-resistant lantern. This type of lantern will be able to withstand the light or even heavy rain, but it will get damaged if it gets submerged underwater. What’s even more impressive is that there are lanterns that are able to float if you accidentally drop them in the water. And since they are still active once they are floating, you are easily able to locate them in the water.
The hardest feature to figure out is the battery’s lifespan. Manufacturers always claim the starting life of the battery. However, in time, it tends to wear off and the battery’s life shortens. For instance, if you have purchased a led camping lantern that will last you for a week, over time, it might only be useful for a 24h before having to charge it again.
Ease of Use
Even though we are not reviewing emergency lamps, when it is dark outside, you need a reliable lantern that will work every time you need it to. Campsites usually have toilets at a certain distance from your tent, so carrying a lantern with you won't require any waste of time. Or when cooking, for instance, you will need to see how your dinner is going without having to charge the battery for a while before using it.
Another thing to look at is their stability. A camping lantern is a practical item which means you are going to use it around the camp for various activities that require the use of both of your hands. For this reason, you will need to set it up somewhere or hang it on a branch. Either way, it should be stable and not fall if a light breeze appears. Some camping lanterns have rubberized legs that will help in keeping the lantern stable. This will improve its stability even if the surface is not flat. Other camping lantern models are able to be hanged upside down. This feature, however, is connected with the brightness instead of the stability of the lantern.
However, when it comes to the ease of use, the crucial factor to consider is the modes. While some lanterns have one button for all modes, others have multiple ones. If you get a lantern whose modes you find frustrating this could really spoil your whole camping experience. For this reason, it is better to inform yourself before making the purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How to light a camping lantern?
Different types of camping lanterns have different ways of lighting. The fuel lanterns, for instance, have the most complicated method of lighting. However, those are the ones that create the most natural atmosphere. Coleman is a well-known brand that sells and promotes this type of camping lanterns. In order to light a Coleman camping lantern, the first thing you need to do is to fill it up to the recommended level. However, when doing so, make sure you get the right kind of fuel, which is recommended by the manufacturer.
After this, you should pressurize it. In order to do so, you should turn the knob for a certain amount of time which is different in every camping lantern. Once you turn the camping lantern on, the pressure will be forced out and it will cause it to light.
Note: If you have used the camping lantern and you want to refuel, make sure you wait for a while before removing the fuel cap or use heat proof gloves in order to avoid burning yourself. It is also important not to make this process very quickly since the lantern could be pressurized.
The electric lanterns on the other side, are much easier to handle. They are usually battery powered and the only thing you have to do in order to use such lantern is to make sure that the battery is full. This is not too difficult since some models also offer car chargers and most electric lantern batteries could last you for days with one charge.
There are also candle lanterns that are not too bright but they also don’t attract mosquitoes. Candle lanterns are not the best choice if you are looking for a lantern that will help you work around the camp. However, if you are only looking for a lantern that will create a pleasant atmosphere while this is the choice to go for. It is also the perfect type of lantern for campsites that are located near a river with less aeration. These locations tend to attract mosquitoes and other bugs and candle lanterns might be the perfect solution for this kind of situation.
q: How can I make a camping lantern?
Even though this might seem like an impossible mission, making a camping lantern is easier than you think. However, it requires a lot of time and effort for supplying yourself with all the parts that are necessary for making one. In fact, it is cheaper and more time effective to purchase one, than to make one. Nevertheless, if you are a capable craftsman, you could attempt building a camping lantern.
The easiest way to do so is to make a LED lantern. For the process, you would require two jars, preferably plastic, because glass could easily break and it weighs more, therefore it is not the favorite camping material. You would also require a power circuit that will be connected with a switch. The switch should be placed outside the jar, the power circuit inside the inner jar and the LED bulbs should be stuck between the jars.
You could use how many LEDs you want and their brightness is also optional. However, this is not a solid construction and it could be easily broken or separated into parts if you are not careful. A homemade camping lantern is also not too reliable since it usually does not contain metal parts which are much more durable. In addition to this, you could add a wire that will act as a half ring and you could hang the lantern on a tree.
q: How can I make a candle lantern?
If you have chosen to keep those mosquitoes away and you need a camping lantern that will light up the tent, a candle camping lantern is a perfect choice. Even though we agree that a purchased one will look better inside the tent, a homemade one will do the job. It will create a cozy and warm atmosphere, especially if the weather outside is cold.
In order to make a candle camping lantern, you are going to need a bit of more complicated construction. The best materials for this purpose are aluminum base combined with a glass jar. The glass jar should be placed inside the aluminum jar and it should be removable in order for you to be able to replace the candle every once in a while. However, in order for the candle to burn, oxygen is needed, so you should leave the cap of the jar open in order for this to happen. The other option is to make holes in the aluminum base as well as the glass jar. This alternative is better if you plan on using the candle camping lantern outside where there is a possibility for rain.
q: What is the best camping lantern?
Camping lanterns like every other product, have many features that characterize them. Even though most camping beginners are looking for the brightest camping lantern, this might not be the most appreciated feature. A high level of brightness attracts a lot of bugs, and if you use such a product inside the tent, make sure that all windows are fully covered with a net. If used outside, we recommend combining it with a candle that will take care of this issue.
A candle camping lantern on the other side will not cause such a problem, but it will be the less bright form of light. It is more recommended for inside use, than outside. Candle camping lanterns are also not waterproof which might be an issue.
Fuel powered camping lanterns are the best choice according to our camping experts. They provide enough illumination so that you can even work around the tent and they don’t attract some unwanted company. However, using a fuel camping lantern might be a challenge, especially if you haven’t used one before. The process is explained in the questions above!
q: How can I ensure my camping lantern is bright enough?
Brightness is a very important factor to consider when you are purchasing a camping lantern. After all, if you aren’t getting the brightness you need from the lantern you purchase, how often are you really going to use it? You want something that will work right for you, and you need to make sure the lantern you purchase will illuminate any area well enough so you can see it when you are outdoors.
Some lanterns can be very bright, but if the lantern is too bright and almost blinding, then it really won’t help. Very bright lanterns that feature adjustable knobs are a real plus, because that way if you can’t handle the brightness, you can still turn the knob down on the camping lantern. However, you don’t want a lantern that is so bright it blinds you and is difficult for you to control or dim it down. Being able to control the brightness on a lantern is a real plus, and lanterns made with dimming features are always great additions to have by design.
Many of the Black Diamond lantern models on the market today give you the ability to adjust the brightness or dimness of a light, which can be a huge bonus when you are camping and don’t want a blinding light. Another thing you need to consider is not only whether or not the light allows you to control its brightness and dim it out effectively, but you also want to check out how well the light actually projects itself when it is bright. You don’t want to stare right at the light to get the brightness, or you’ll blind yourself yet again. A lot of the globe or lampshade type lanterns are designed to avoid this, and many come with three settings.
You want to make sure you get a lantern that won’t make you stare right into it and instead projects the light well. That will make things easier to see and you won’t feel the light is blinding. The best lanterns feature a combination of great light projection and an adjustable dimmer switch for ease of use. These are the types of lanterns you’ll want to have with you and rely on when you are outside on your next outdoor adventure.
So, as you are looking around for the next lantern you want to purchase, make sure you get something that offers great projection and an adjustable dimmer knob. While some lanterns still come with different light mode buttons, if you first set the lantern on too high with the modes, the thing will blind you anyway. Lanterns that allow you to adjust the dim or brightness on the light are the easiest to use and will create far fewer problems for you when you need to use them for camping or anything else outside. So, keep yourself happy, and avoid those blinding headaches when you are outdoors camping so you can make sure you see well and have a great time with your friends or family.