The 8 Best Solar Tent Lights
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in April of 2016. Although these solar tent lights are perfect for illuminating your makeshift abode when camping in the wilderness, they are also a great option to have on hand at home in case of a power outage. Offering numerous hours of continuous operation, these lanterns are not only an environmentally friendly way to brighten things up, but some are also capable of charging your electronic devices, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 15, 2021:
We ran into several availability issues and a couple of long-term reliability problems. The problem items were removed and we were able to replace the out-of-stock items with similar upgrades. For example the D.light A2 is about as small as they get, although the Lighting Ever Lantern is just a touch larger and has a large battery inside that can even recharge other devices. We also upgraded to the newest Goal Zero Lighthouse 600, which is a really nice lantern, although you'll need a separate solar charger for it. The Goal Zero Crush Light Chroma is another relative newcomer, and despite its fun multicolor design, is actually low priced, lightweight, and compact when not in use.
April 08, 2020:
Unfortunately, at this time, we've had to remove a few options due to availability problems, including the AGPtek Dynamo, the Outlite 180, and the Bigfoot Outdoor BOP-121. But we have kept a range of inflatable and standard options that are great for both tent camping and backpacking. As for collapsible units, we've upgraded our pick from the Luci 2.0 to the MPowerd Luci 2.0 Pro, a supremely lightweight unit that's bright and waterproof. If you like its overall functionality, but want something more fun, there's the LuminAid PackLite Spectra, which has a total of nine color modes. Like the former, it can be charged via solar and USB, but unlike the MPowered model, it doesn't act as a power bank.
As for non-inflatable, standard choices, we've added two models from Goal Zero, the Goal Zero Crush and the Goal Zero Lighthouse 400. The Crush is a small, collapsible unit, whereas the Lighthouse 400 is a robust camping lantern that, although it can be powered by the sun, does not actually come with a solar panel. Since you'll need to provide your own, and the unit itself is already pricey, this option is more of an investment than many. If you like its size and brightness but have a tight budget, consider instead the Suaoki Clover. The Clover isn't built to be quite as hardy, but for the cost, it's tough to beat.
BioLite BaseLantern XL A flatpack lantern, the BioLite BaseLantern XL is a smart model that connects to your phone via Bluetooth to offer a sleep timer, proximity activation, and more. It functions as a USB power bank, as well, and can even be set to different colors for achieving a relaxing mood or preserving your night vision. bioliteenergy.com
Why You Should Invest In A Solar Tent Light
Bring one into your home as a backup light source that you can rely on in the event of a power outage.
If you're planning a camping trip, don't forget to pack a solar tent light. These useful products are designed to soak up the sun's rays during the day so you can enjoy an illuminated tent at night. Here are a few of the many reasons to purchase a solar tent light.
Tent lights will make your camping zone a safer place. At night, it's smart to have at least one light source nearby that you can switch on in case you have to get up or search for something. They're perfect for lighting the way when you need to use the bathroom, and they can make great nightlights for children's tents.
These products aren't strictly for camping, either. Bring one into your home as a backup light source that you can rely on in the event of a power outage. Solar tent lights are much more versatile and easier to tote around than candles.
Not only can a tent light illuminate your surroundings in those moments you're away from the campfire, it also allows you to do all kinds of things in the dark, like read, prepare food, and craft. With solar tent lights, the fun doesn't have to stop at sundown.
No electrical outlet? No problem. This style of lamp is much more dependable than other light-emitting devices since it's powered by the sun. You won't end up kicking yourself for forgetting to bring batteries when you have one of these lights in tow.
Finally, let's not forget about how awesome solar-powered products are for the environment. You can lower your energy consumption even further by picking up a solar tent lamp. Sunlight is, for all intents and purposes, an inexhaustible resource, so you really can use as much as you want.
Features To Look For In A Solar Tent Light
With so many solar tent lights available, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for your needs. But, if you keep these common features in mind as you shop, finding the perfect option will be a cinch.
The first thing you'll want to consider is how long the light will run once it's all charged up. Some models are crafted for use over just a few hours, which is ideal for anyone who simply needs a light to read by before bed. For long-term illumination, choose a device that will run for eight hours or more.
Others can be hooked up to electronics via a USB cable for quick and easy charging.
Similarly, you should assess how the product powers up. If you're looking for something compact, go for a light that comes with small solar panels or panels that fold away when not in use. You'll notice that the size and shape of the panels on these devices vary significantly by brand and design.
Besides drawing power primarily from the sun, many options also come with rechargeable batteries just in case. Others can be hooked up to electronics via a USB cable for quick and easy charging. Even more dynamic are those that can actually charge your other electronics. Some can even be lit up by operating a nifty hand crank when all else fails.
Don't forget practical concerns. If you want to be able to hang your lamp up inside of your tent, be sure to choose one that has an attached hook. Additionally, inspect the construction of your potential purchase before you pull the trigger. Most solar tent lights are built to withstand accidental drops and water exposure, so you don't have to concern yourself too much with protecting your lamp when you're roughing it.
Those who prefer to have control over the amount of light emitted by their device should pick one that comes with adjustable settings. There are selections that have buttons enabling users to quickly switch the level of light from bright to dim, depending on the situation.
Finally, keep size in mind. Larger models are suitable for illuminating more expansive areas for safety, while smaller versions are more appropriate for individual use. There are plenty of different colors and designs to choose from, too, so you're certain to come across a solar tent light that suits your style.
Other Tips For Happy Camping
Anyone shopping for a solar tent light probably has some experience with outdoor safety, but just in case, here's a brief refresher course.
Before you set out on your camping adventure, don't forget to research the weather ahead of time and pack accordingly. There's nothing worse than filling your backpack with swimwear and tank tops only to discover too late that it will be pouring rain at your destination.
Just because you're only taking off for a day trip doesn't mean you don't have to be prepared in case of an emergency.
Always keep first aid supplies on hand. Just because you're only taking off for a day trip doesn't mean you don't have to be prepared in case of an emergency. Even if you end up with a simple scrape or poison oak rash, you'll be relieved to have a first aid kit in your bag.
Just because a particular location looks like an appropriate spot for a campsite doesn't mean that it really is. Before you set your stuff down, review the area thoroughly for hazards and evidence of animal activity. Cliffs, rising tides, and falling rocks are all dangers to be carefully avoided.
One of the most useful tools you can bring along is a lighter (preferably wind and water resistant). With a lighter, you'll be able to start a campfire on the first try. A controlled fire will keep you and your fellow travelers warm, allow you to cook raw foods, and deter bugs and predators. There are other methods for creating a fire, but you'll be hard-pressed to find an easier approach.
Other things you might want to remember are to bring securely packaged snacks and plenty of water. Also, don't forget to pack reliable tools for navigating remote outdoor areas, such as a durable GPS device or a good old-fashioned compass. With these tips in mind, your next camping trip will be a fun, stress-free experience.