The 10 Best Camping Lanterns

Updated April 30, 2018 by Quincy Miller

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Never again worry about what's lurking in the shadows, thanks to these camping lanterns. They feature mighty LED lighting that will brighten up everything around you, while also boasting a variety of power options that ensure you'll always have juice when you need it. Best of all, there's nothing flammable to deal with, so you can take them to Burning Man without becoming a burning man yourself. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best camping lantern on Amazon.

10. Coleman Quad

The Coleman Quad comes in handy on family trips, as it separates into four panels that each provide 47.5 lumens for roughly an hour and a half, which is great for individual quick treks. When a section needs recharging, simply pop it back on the battery-powered base.
  • snaps together easily
  • requires a lot of batteries
  • heavier than comparable items
Brand Coleman
Model 2000024041
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. AGPtek Dynamo

A solid choice for emergency preparedness, the AGPtek Dynamo offers five power options: three AA batteries, solar, hand crank, AC adapter, and car adapter. You’ll be able to choose between two illumination modes, too, and it even has a universal USB charging port.
  • low charge indicated by red light
  • doesn't need much cranking to work
  • not particularly bright
Brand AGPtEK
Model pending
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Black Diamond Moji

Cute and space-saving, the Black Diamond Moji emits a maximum of 100 lumens through its frosted globe. If this is too bright, you can use the dimming switch to adjust the light, or you can take advantage of the collapsible hanging loop to suspend it.
  • available in a range of colors
  • great for tabletop lighting
  • dimming function isn't intuitive
Brand Black Diamond
Model BD620711BLYLALL1
Weight 4.2 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Ultimate Survival Technologies 30-Day

If you’re okay with the low setting, which is a somewhat subdued 29 lumens, then you’ll be able to use the Ultimate Survival Technologies 30-Day for — you guessed it — 30 days. On its high setting, you’ll get 32 hours from its three D-cell batteries.
  • rubberized housing
  • hanging hook on base
  • easy to trigger switch accidentally
Brand UST
Model 20-PL20C3D-15
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. MPowerd Luci

You can leave the batteries at home when you buy the inflatable MPowerd Luci, as it's solar-powered, and can run for 12 hours on a single charge. However, it takes 7 hours in direct sunlight to achieve a full charge, so you may find yourself at the mercy of the weather.
  • great for patio lighting
  • shows how much juice is left
  • not the most durable option
Model 0402
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

5. Rayovac Sportsman

The four-watt LEDs in the Rayovac Sportsman can last thousands of hours, so it will still be going strong years down the road. It's more than capable of dealing with rain and other inclement weather, as it's water-resistant and not prone to corroding.
  • convenient rubber power button
  • extremely bright
  • provides very harsh light
Brand Rayovac
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. MalloMe Camping

You get four lights at a budget-friendly price in this kit from MalloMe Camping, so you can stash one of these in every room of the house in case of a power outage. They don't take up much space, either, so you won't even know they're there — until you're glad they are.
  • easy to replace batteries
  • no buttons or switches to deal with
  • durable metal handles
Brand MalloMe
Model pending
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. AYL Starlight

The AYL Starlight can last up to six days per set of batteries, so it's a great choice for long camping trips, as it won't require you to devote tons of space to spare Duracells. If you live in a place that's prone to natural disasters, you should have one in your garage.
  • beam can be focused or widespread
  • good for reading while in a tent
  • easy to locate due to indicator led
Brand AYL
Model pending
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Streamlight Siege

The Streamlight Siege delivers a range of practical details, including integrated D-rings at the top and bottom, a red SOS flashing mode, an ergonomic handle, and even the ability to float when its outer globe is in place, so it will come in handy in almost any situation.
  • made to be impact resistant
  • can be hung from trees
  • illuminates a large area
Brand Streamlight
Model 44931
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Etekcity Portable

You can keep your whole family illuminated with this 4-pack from Etekcity Portable, or you can just put one up in every corner of your campsite, allowing you to see what you're doing when you set up your tent — and see if anything's watching you from the darkness.
  • good for survival kits
  • lots of light for small stature
  • ships with 12 aa batteries
Brand Etekcity
Model pending
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Ideas For Establishing An Ideal Campsite

Whether you are setting up a bivouac to get you through a cold night in the midst of a mountain climbing expedition or you are establishing a campsite for your family to enjoy for a week of relaxation in the woods or by the river, a proper campsite should provide you a few basic creature comforts at the minimum. And it should feel like a home away from home whenever possible.

Your campsite helps you to meet one of the most important basic needs for survival, which are generally described as water, food, and -- the operative in this case -- shelter. A campsite offers you a place to take refuge from the rain or to stay warm when the temperature drops or cold winds blow. It is a place to rest in relative comfort and it is a place you and your traveling companions share, so that a sense of security is developed.

And of course a campsite is the spot where those who love being outdoors in nature have some of the most enjoyable times of their lives. It's a good idea to minimize the amount of work you need to do other than enjoying your campsite and your camping companions by taking the time to establish a good campsite as early as possible. The first order of business is always establishing your shelter, so set up your tent (or scope out your cabin) as soon as you arrive; there's no telling when the weather may change.

Next, establish a reliable source of water; whether that means taking stock of the water you brought along or identifying a stream, lake, or spring from which you can draw and then purify water. Then you should figure out where you will do your cooking and, if need be, set up your camp stove, and organize your food stores, which often means tucking them into an animal proof canister and placing the food a good distance away from your camp.

Finally you should make sure you have at least two reliable sources of light. Once the sun has set, you will be dependent on yourself for any illumination beyond the pale light of the moon and stars, so make sure you have good devices at the ready, complete with backup batteries charged. One of the best combinations of light to use at a campsite is a headlamp that offers both a flood and beam option and a camping lantern that can fill a tent or an outdoor area with a plethora of light.

And remember, a great campsite is one where all your needs can be met as easily as possible, yet that is free of most of the clutter of our normal everyday lives. When possible, it's a good idea to leave behind (or at least leave switched off) the phones, computers, and other devices that dominate life on a daily basis and simply enjoy the great outdoors.

Camping Lanterns For The Static Campsite

If you are setting up a campsite that will base your base of operations -- as opposed to a site you will use for one night then break down and continue on your way -- then you have a wide latitude when it comes to choosing the right camping lantern. Especially if you are reaching your campsite by car, canoe, or after only a short overland hike, weight is not much of an issue, so go ahead and consider a large, bright lantern. Even one requiring a separate power source, such as liquid fuel or batteries, is a fine option when you don't have to worry about weight.

And in fact though solar lanterns tend to be lighter in weight and require no energy source other than sunlight, these benefits might not outweigh the drawbacks such options face in a fixed camping location. While many solar charged lanterns glow brightly for a few hours, few will last throughout a night, while many gasoline or battery powered lanterns can burn for hours on end without the need for refueling or new batteries. Camping lanterns that use liquid fuel or batteries also tend to be brighter than solar powered lanterns, making them good for illuminating larger areas.

If you are looking for a camping lantern that you will use in your tent, consider one that can hang from the top of the tent illuminating the whole "indoor" area. And do take note that fuel burning options are not viable for use in a tent. These lanterns are safe and put out minimal fumes and almost zero smoke, but are still not safe for the close confines of a tent. Using them in a larger cabin with decent ventilation should be fine, as of course is outdoor use.

A Camping Lantern For The Hiker

When you are carrying your gear on your back, every ounce matters. Fortunately, there are many camping lanterns out there that weigh only a few ounces. Some of the lightest weight lanterns available are solar charged options with LED bulbs. These lanterns tend to provide many hours of light, provided they have been able to charge for many hours in direct sunlight. If you can clip your lantern to the exterior of your pack during the day's hike, then they may be viable.

Some of the most compact but bright camping lanterns available run off of AAA batteries, which add minimal weight as long as you are only going for a two or three day trek. Add many more days to your journey, and the weight of the batteries will start to add up, though.

Your and your team are establishing campsites simply as places to eat, sleep, and shelter along the way of a longer journey, then ultimately a lightweight solar camping lantern is your best bet. Chances are that you won't be spending long hours sitting around reading or chatting anyway, as sleep will be imperative for a successful journey the next day, so even if your lantern only provides a few hours of light, you'll be turning it off before that long each night anyway.

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Last updated on April 30, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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