Best camping lantern
When camping and the sun sets, it can get quite hard to see as there are not any street lights and you will find you are in complete darkness. This is why adding a camping lantern to your camping gear is a smart move, as it will give you the ability to see in the dark. It is a helpful piece of gear when you have to cook, go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, or even play a game of cards in the tent with your friends. Adding a camping lantern to your gear is a smart investment and you will be thankful you have one that is part of your gear next time you are camping.
When you begin looking for a camping lantern to choose for your next camping trip, you may not know which one will best suit your needs, be durable enough to last for the long haul, or provide a good light source so you can continue to enjoy your camping experience during the night. In order to help you choose the best possible lantern, we have done the research and listed the top ten camping lanterns on the market, and explained why they are the best of the best. Check out the list and see yourself to your next camping lantern.
- Etekcity 4 Pack LED Lantern
- Comes with four Lanterns
- MAGNETIC BASE
- Streamlight The Siege
- Water Resistant
- Tough Light LED lantern
- Tough design
- Long runtime
10 Best Camping Lanterns
Etekcity 4 Pack LED Lantern
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. 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.
Ease of use
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.
Its water resistant properties are IPX5 certified and this allows you to forget it out on the rain. It will remain undamaged the morning after.
Can be resized
Battery does not last long
Streamlight The Siege
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 a 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.
Long run time
- Not too bright
Tough Light LED lantern
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.
And if you decide to pause this year, you should simply charge the lantern several times a year and it will be ready for when you decide to go on your next adventure.
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.
Long battery time, reliable
360 degrees illumination
Tough design able to withstand dropping accidents
A bit on the heavy side
UST Duro Glow
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.
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.
- Water resistant
- Impact resistant
- Short battery time
Goal Zero Lighthouse 400
Instead of having few brightness levels, this 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 an easy access and a flashing light. Even though the flashings are not too long reaching or too bright, they will get the job done in a case of an emergency since it is able to flash both horizontally and vertically.
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.
- Great for emergency situations
- Adjustable brightness level
- Short run time
Coleman 1000 Lumen CPX 6
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 a 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 this lantern which is 3.4 pounds. This suggests that for longer backpacking distances, it is better to look through our other options.
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.
Not too pricey
Great battery life
A bit on the heavy side
Black Diamond Apollo
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.
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.
It is practical that the Apollo comes with a battery kit which is rechargeable. A car charger is available so that you can use this camping lantern every night when camping.
- Battery kit included
- Dimming option
- Adjustable brightness
- Not too bright
Black Diamond Voyager
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. 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. So 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. You get a lot of great light quality with this lantern, whether you put it in flashlight mode or regular lantern mode. 140 lumens means it can be quite bright when it is working as a lantern, and 50 lumens is the right amount for a flashlight. You’ll be able to get all the light you need when you are camping. While this lantern isn’t large enough or heavy enough to light up your whole campsite, it’s going to get the job done. It will help you feel more submerged in nature. Also, another nice feature about this lantern is that you can fit it in your pocket when you want to carry it along like a flashlight. It is not as bright as a heavy light like the Coleman Northstar, but it is bright enough and far more versatile. Also, it has a very long battery life, and can provide about 20 hours of battery life. Most users of this product find that it lasts even longer than this depending on the settings they decide to use with the light. Many people have commented on how nice it is to have a product with such a long battery life, since often times, if you are just taking a weekend camping trip, you won’t even need to recharge the lantern or replace its batteries.
Ease of use
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. 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. Getting the batteries in and out is easy, and you simply need to unscrew the bottom and put four AA batteries inside of the lantern. Once you have the batteries inside of the lantern, all you need to do is push the power button one time to get the lantern on. You can dim the lantern by holding the same button down, which will dim the light as low as you want it to go until you take your finger off that power button. If you want to turn the lantern off, just push the power button one time again. If you push the lantern three times, you are then able to switch it into the flashlight mode, and the flashlight will also dim if you hold the same power button down until the brightness on the flashlight dims. Once you get the flashlight to the level you want, simply take your finger off of that power button. You also get another feature with this lantern that is also easy to use. If you want to get the flashlight and lantern on at the same time, you just double click on the power button and both lights come on. Above the power button, you will also find a small green light that lets you know your batteries are working fine. When that light turns to red, then you are low on battery life and should consider swapping the batteries out. What we really like about this lantern is its flashlight mode, which really helps make things easy when you need to walk with the light. That’s what makes this lantern a bit of a better option than some of the other products on our list, since many lanterns can be hard to walk with, and won’t provide you with that direct beam of light you’ll want when you walk out. Without the direct beam of light, it can be hard to see where you are going. However, this isn’t true with the Voyager and its nice little flashlight mode. Also, to make this lantern easy to hang, you get two metal hooks on the top of the lantern that let you hang the lantern on a branch or other materials, and the lantern is so light it will stay without falling off. One thing we don’t like is that the base has a small diameter, so it doesn’t always stand upright on difficult surfaces. So, if you know you’ll be camping in uneven terrain, you might want to think about that.
You get some nice bonus features with this little lantern, and that’s one of the reasons why we like this lantern so much. First, you get the two-light option, so you can turn both lights on at the same time, or use them separately as you see fit. The lantern mode gives you the 360-degree light pattern you’ll want to illuminate everything around you. The flashlight mode gives you the direct light you’ll want to have when you are walking out of the camp site. Also, you get a rubberized base that helps make the lantern a bit more stable, even though the base of the lantern is a bit small. You can also purchase a separate NRG2 Rechargeable Battery kit for this lantern if you don’t want to burn through all of your AA batteries when you use this light.
- Adjustable lights
- Can be hung easily
- Can be a lantern or a flashlight
- Can be unstable
- Can be hard to open
- Flashlight doesn’t go far
Coleman Battery Lock Twist Lantern
The exterior of this lantern is built with quality materials that are durable and shields it from weather. The perk of having a lantern that is weather resistant is huge on those stormier nights out in the wild.
This particular lantern offers three selections of light options. It offers low, medium, or high. And the beam distance is 3, 5, and 8 meters.
Overall, if you are looking for a lantern that offers durability, weather protection, and a decent amount of lighting options, this is a fantastic choice.
- Power efficient
- Very bright light
- Water resistant
- Impact resistant
A bit pricier than competitive options with similar features
Coleman Northstar Lantern
The Coleman Northstar Lantern coms 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. 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.
Ease of use
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 is designed with a high-temperature globe so the light won’t crack even if you turn it on its brightest setting for a long time, since heat won’t affect the light. You’ll also get a metal guard so the light stays quiet and won’t rattle around and become noisy. There is a durable porcelain ventilator features on this product, which helps cool the light down even when it is on the highest power possible. You also get a couple of extra bonuses with this lantern, including a carrying case that makes the lantern easy to pack and store. The lantern also comes with a five-year limited warranty, so you get some peace of mind knowing the manufacturer stands behind this product.
Easy to adjust
Easy to use
Glass feels heavy
Here Is How We Evaluated The Best Lanterns
Type of usage
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 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.
Do you even need a lantern?
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 as 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.
Type or brand of camping lantern
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 a 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. Having the brightest camping lantern that will cause you a headache won’t do you much good. In order to avoid this, look for lanterns that have the dimming effect. This type of lanterns does not make you feel uncomfortable and in 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.
How important is the durability?
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 a light rain, or even a heavy rain, but it will get damaged if it gets submerged under water. 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 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.
Easy to use lanterns
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 doesn’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 are 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.
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 the 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 tent 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 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 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 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 a 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.
There are various choices on the market and each one of them offers some quality. They come in different price ranges and styles. Even though you should focus on choosing a camping lantern that matches your preferences, the safety comes first! Make sure you avoid fuel powered lanterns for inside the tent. If you decide to do so, make sure someone is always present inside the tent while it works. Also, place it on an even surface, so there is no possibility of it falling. Even so, if you are looking for an inside the tent lantern, we recommend that you pick a LED camping lantern choice since they are not a heat source and there are no safety risks when using them inside.