Well, it’s safe to say that we are officially old-timers in this business now. Traveling across the globe and living off-grid is what we’ve been into for decades. So, over the years, we’ve been able to test out some of the most important (or essential) camping gear. And, that, of course, includes camping lights & lanterns too! Having said that, we have had both good and bad experiences. But that’s how you learn, right? So, the good experiences turned into valuable recommendations for those relatively young in camping whereas the bad ones became our sincere warnings!
Therefore, in this guide, using all our camping knowledge, we recommend the best lighting sources that you could use while camping out! Plus, with the top options in mind, you can surely steer clear of the lousy options that will only rip you off. Right? So, without ado, let’s dive into this exclusive guide! Shall we?
Table of contents
- Duro LED Portable Lumen Lantern
- MPOWERD Solar Inflatable Light
- Coleman Deluxe Propane Lantern
- UCO Original Candle Lantern
- MPOWERD Luci Outdoor Lantern
- LE 1000LM LED Camping Lantern
- Princeton Tec Helix Lantern
- ENERGIZER LED Camping Lantern
- Klymit Everglow LED Light Tube
- Whetstone LED Camping Lantern
- COAST LED Emergency Light
- Etekcity Camping Lantern
- Censinda LED Camping Lantern
- Our Verdict!
- How to Choose the Best Camping Lights & Lanterns
- How many lanterns do you need for camping?
- How bright is a camping lantern?
- Can you use a lantern in a tent?
Duro LED Portable Lumen Lantern
Best Value for Money. The Duro LED Portable Lumen Lantern exceeded our expectations in so many ways! To begin with, we liked the heavy-duty construction. Made out of strong synthetic material with ergonomic measurements, the lantern proved highly portable and tough enough to withstand unbridled use while camping in the woods. On top of that, we tried it out after midnight, when it was pitch dark at the campsite. To our delight, with a power of 1200 lumens, the lantern turned the site into a light show with its clean bright light! Aside from that, with the help of built-in strategic settings, the light can be fixed to the high, medium, low, and, even SOS modes. So, this feature allowed us to personalize our experience just as we wanted. Also, the device is driven by AC/DC – making sure the light is always accessible. All in all, we had success with this one!
Here’s a super detailed review of the product by Hardcore Camping Gear on YouTube!
- It’s versatile and good for many activities.
- You get lots of value for the buck.
- The case is resistant to water and the elements.
- There’s a hook for hanging.
- It’s not as good as propane lanterns.
MPOWERD Solar Inflatable Light
Presenting you our top choice for camp lights & lanterns, check out the MPOWERD Solar Inflatable Light! A high-end solar-powered lantern suited for all our adventures around the year! Well, the lantern has inbuilt rechargeable 4000 mAh lithium-ion batteries. These power engines provide a strong 360-lumen output of warm white LED light. Recently, when tested, it lasted approximately 50 hours per charge plus there was no glare. That means it is soft on the eye with a matte finish so it won’t affect your sight. Furthermore, the lantern has a mobile charging capability as well. So, the thoughtful feature powers up our devices when we are on the move or staying off-grid somewhere in the woods.
Moving on, being completely solar-powered with a high-efficiency solar panel, the light does not need external batteries. That’s a plus because we won’t be combing the market for the right batteries. Saves time, right? So, to say it all, it’s a super reliable option!
Check out the official website for lots of more options!
- It can be charged with a USB or solar energy.
- The charging time is quick.
- The sturdy make can bear 150 pounds of pressure.
- The solar charge is slow and time-consuming.
Coleman Deluxe Propane Lantern
Best Quality. Carefully constructed to give you the best lighting experience with outdoor adventures, the Coleman Deluxe Propane Lantern is always one of our outright choices! The lantern is an efficient and high-performance light that gives us a whopping 1000 lumens when turned on to the highest degree. On the contrary, we sometimes use the dim mode, when you’re supposed to go low profile, you see. In addition to that, lighting up the propane thing is a piece of cake. You don’t need any fire matches – just push the ignition button and you are good to go. Aside from that, there is this prudent part of a porcelain ventilator that lets us use the lighting season after season without hassle. So, what’s your takeaway? If you are into propane lanterns, you will find this one of the brightest and handiest!
Take a look at the official brand listing for real-time customer reviews!
- It’s unique and old-style with modern ignition.
- The foldable base offers lots of stability.
- It’s coming from Coleman, a brand with history.
- You may not be interested in propane lights at all.
UCO Original Candle Lantern
So, what’s our best answer for emergency lighting when we are on the move – backpacking, hiking, or camping? It’s the UCO Original Candle Lantern! Designed to provide you with dependable lighting, the classic candle lantern makes a must-have camping gear. However, what made an impression on us was not merely the unique candle-burning design but the overall high-value package that we received. For example, the kit comes with two emergency candles that will last nine hours plus a light reflector and a thoughtful cocoon case for extra protection. There is much more…
It’s an aluminum construction which is highly durable with a powder-coated finish for protection against weather. On top of that, the candleholder has a spring-loaded base so that the candle stays in place and gives a steady burn. Considering the value, we believe, you will find it a delight to carry with you – just like us!
- There’s a heat shield for user safety.
- The lantern is collapsible for easy storage.
- Swapping the candles will be a breeze.
- Some users have had issues with the reflector.
MPOWERD Luci Outdoor Lantern
Let’s introduce you to our personal favorite, the MPOWERD Luci Outdoor Lantern! A solar-powered buddy that illuminates our wild escapes in style! It’s an all-purpose lantern that has been essentially crafted to be durable, and wholly self-reliant. The device comes with a built-in battery that can run on one charge for about 24 hours, and that too while giving a radiance of 75 lumens. Awesome, right? Well, moving on, another upside is that with this light we can steer clear of the messy business of batteries. That’s because the high-efficiency built-in solar panel charges in just less than seven hours.
Furthermore, this sophisticated piece was engineered specifically for a life full of adventures. That’s particularly why it’s built so powerful, versatile, and ever adventure-ready! In a nutshell, with multiple lighting modes and camping-oriented features, the MPOWERD is definitely worth a try!
- It’s compact and easily portable.
- The design is waterproof and weather-resistant.
- It can provide 24 hours of light in one go.
- The battery will collapse if not used for months.
LE 1000LM LED Camping Lantern
Best Power. Alright, so let’s explore the environmentally friendly and user-centric lighting solution, the LE 1000LM LED Camping Lantern! On one of our trips to the highlands recently, we unpacked the thing and decided to put it through its paces. Well, for the first thing, it allowed us to go to 1000 lumens of brightness at a time. And, all we had to do was press a button to adjust the power. Besides that, the lantern showed exceptional ability to adapt to our needs with four lighting modes. So, there is this quick-press function and you can opt for one of the following: daylight white, warm white, full brightness, and a dynamic flashing mode. Cool, ain’t it?
Moreover, the longevity was something of a feat itself. The three D-alkaline batteries provided as much as 12 hours of operation at a stretch – and that too at full brightness. Plus, it was a breeze to carry. Needless to say, it made a sensible choice!
On a side note, you might also be interested in the best propane lamps for camping. Check them out!
- It’s waterproof from all angles.
- The lantern has hanging hooks for better lighting.
- It’s suited for use in all kinds of weather.
- The brightness adjustment could be tricky.
Princeton Tec Helix Lantern
The Princeton Tec Helix Lantern has been on trial with us for some time now. And, honestly speaking, so far so good! Let’s tell you why we like it. First of all, this is an all-rounder lamp with a remarkable 360-degree coverage. Therefore, it’s best suited for setting up at the campsite or general outdoors. We usually turn it on for nighttime fishing and it does nicely. Well, besides that, the dynamic mechanism allows us to adjust the brightness as per our wishes. For example, the dimmable mode is good for low-profile chores when you want to save energy. The second mode is Maxbright white LED which gives off a bright and effective radiance that’s useful for numerous activities.
Last but not least, let’s not forget the Ultrabright Red LED. It is a wide-beam light that is perfect for close to mid-range gigs! Apart from all that, the lantern is water resistant and certified as IPX6. That means, it can easily tolerate quick dunks, rain, and storms. So, yeah, it’s been a pretty worthy buy for us!
- The ultra-modern design can be compressed.
- It is nothing but a breeze to carry.
- The lantern appears like a high-tech gadget.
- See the original listing for more info.
- A buyer went on about receiving a defective piece.
ENERGIZER LED Camping Lantern
For reliable performance in all situations, we rate the ENERGIZER LED Camping Lantern as an excellent option! This hands-free lantern is a solid construction of plastic. Plus it features a shatterproof lens – making it a straightforward lighting solution for wild adventures. In addition to that, the lantern has multiple modes of brightness allowing us plenty of versatility. For instance, for intensive DIY work, we usually go for the high-power option that gives off as much as 1150 lumens around 360 degrees. On the other hand, however, there’s a strobe mode that you can make use of in extreme emergencies to send signals for help (thank Goodness we’ve never needed to use it, though). Also, the lantern has a hanging hook which we often use to hang it up on the trees or camper back. All in all, it makes a sensible thing for the price quoted!
In case you’re interested, go through our expert guide on the best candle lanterns!
- You get a fully charged battery in eight hours.
- It has a USB port to charge other gadgets.
- The result is much brighter than standard LED.
- There are no proper instructions on use.
Klymit Everglow LED Light Tube
Best Versatility. With an extremely ergonomic design, the Klymit Everglow LED Light Tube completely bowled us over! Made of lightweight and flexible material this outdoor lantern was just the perfect choice for nighttime adventures in the back of beyond. It packed down so small that we had no issues whatsoever including this powerhouse of a gizmo in our camping gear. Plus, did we not mention that you can inflate and deflate this state-of-the-art lighting device for ease of carriage? Dope, right?
We were very lucky to have packed this thing with us. It really brought us a lot of value! In addition to offering convenience, the light gave us a sense of security during cold camping nights!WOW Travel
Furthermore, the lantern has the capacity to offer 270 lumens of brightness which is more than enough to illuminate your tent or limited camping territory. Topping things off, featuring easy controls for brightness this option has the potential to meet your lighting needs with precision!
- The lantern is no sweat to inflate.
- It can plug into any USB power source.
- The tube has magnetic attachment points.
- The brightness may be somewhat harsh.
Whetstone LED Camping Lantern
Well, figuratively speaking, if you are allergic to batteries, don’t worry, we present you the Whetstone LED solar camping Lantern! It’s a purely solar-powered lighting device (no batteries), suited for both outdoor and indoor use. Constructed from heavy-duty durable plastic, the lantern is a lasting product. Also, it is safe to use for kids. In fact, just the other day we gifted it to one of our little camping enthusiasts. And, he’s loving it! Apart from that, since there are no batteries, it’s a no-brainer that you will have to do some handwork to get this thing going.
It requires cranking at approximately 120 RPM. However, when tested, just one minute of cranking gave us as much as 20 minutes of bright light to cast away the darkness of the dense woods. Superb, isn’t it? What’s more, it’s a pretty lightweight item. So, it makes a lot of sense for us to take it on our camping trips when packing small is our priority!
Also, here’s our guide on the best decorative lights for camping. Sounds interesting? Go over it then!
- There’s a handle for hanging it up.
- The material can bear rough use.
- It’s a simple and compact option.
- It’s not the best choice for emergency lighting.
COAST LED Emergency Light
A top-of-the-line equipment for camping as well as other outdoor occasions, the COAST LED Emergency Light proved a foolproof pick! The light is battery-powered and extremely powerful. We experimented with both the high and low modes to come up with a critical opinion on this product. Well, with the high-energy option, we got about 330 lumens of output which was pretty impressive. On the other hand, the low option gave us only 20 lumens but also saved the battery life, which is realistic enough, we guess.
Additionally, we found the carefully crafted light a rare kind, why? That’s because the all-white beam blends in with a red anti-glare beam to prevent hitting directly in the eye. That’s not all. The light also has a high-value emergency mode. It lets you get much-needed attention in case you get into trouble and need help. So, yeah, it’s a top choice for a reason – or, reasons!
Browse through the brand website for many more lighting options!
- The lantern is sturdy and storm-proof.
- It has carabiners to attach to cords, hooks, loops, etc.
- You can deploy the diffuser to dim brightness.
- You might find it a bit pricey.
Etekcity Camping Lantern
A high-quality, super-productive lantern, the Etekcity Camping Lantern had us in awe within a few hours. The lantern contains 30 LED bulbs for the best lighting experience, emitting as much as 140 lumens in a go. Also, we loved the long-lasting burn time. The last time we used it, it was continuously on for 50 hours and we didn’t notice a flicker in its performance. Furthermore, the kit comes with 3 AA batteries that are built to deliver results no matter how tough the conditions are. Well, not only that but the overall construction is quite impressive. The body is made from military-grade ABS material that can withstand heavy storms plus it won’t be much of an issue if you drop it accidentally. Topping things off, with the revolutionary feature of a 14-inch LED display, the lantern is easy to navigate and control. No doubt, it becomes a must-have gear, once you experiment with it!
- It’s a great solution for power outages.
- The lantern is travel-friendly and packable.
- The charging time is pretty fast.
- A user found the overall quality poor.
Censinda LED Camping Lantern
Best Overall. Coming with a range of utilitarian features, the Censinda LED Camping Lantern is a lighting gadget par excellence! We had a great time with it! The lantern is made from durable and top-quality ABS material – that’s the reason it has been able to withstand harsh weather situations wherever we have taken it. Apart from that, the lantern features unique lighting options and all of them have specific usage. For instance, the strong light emits about 300 lumens for full-on brightness in the dark. The weak light, on the other hand, option has 150 lumens for illumination on a limited scale.
Moreover, this lantern was a breeze to carry, and you know what, it just weighs around 4.4 Oz or 0.275 lbs. What’s more, the lantern can be perfectly positioned with ease with either the magnetic base or the hanging hooks. Therefore, considering the value for money, we sincerely recommend this one to all adventurists out there!
- It has a built-in battery that lasts long.
- This mini lantern can also be used as a power bank.
- It’s versatile and suited for several events.
- It could crack with accidental drops.
We have chosen the Censinda LED Camping Lantern as our Best Overall option, given the amazing features and ultimate user-friendliness. However, there are other camp lights & lanterns that we found very interesting in terms of value for the customer. So, let’s take a look at them below!
- Best value for money: Duro LED Portable Lumen Lantern
- Best quality: Coleman Deluxe Propane Lantern
- Best versatility: Klymit Everglow LED Light Tube
- Best power: LE 1000LM LED Camping Lantern
How to Choose the Best Camping Lights & Lanterns
When we picked the best lanterns and camping lights for this exclusive guide we had three important features on our minds. Taking these key factors into notice, you can also find the best fit for lighting your camping adventures. So, what are the features? Check them out!
This is, of course, a no-brainer factor that you will need to consider when buying a lantern or camping light. So, first, you will have to decide how much brightness you will need every night while you are camped out. Then you can read through the specs of each option and ensure that you get the right level of illumination for your nights out.
A camping light has to be as durable and sturdy as possible. The reason is pretty obvious. Since you’re going to take it out and use it in wild adventures the lantern has to be built for that kind of rough usage. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself buying a new light every time you plan a camping trip.
It’s imperative that the camping light can last for hours and keep you sufficiently lit throughout the night. Therefore, when you go to purchase lanterns for outdoor adventures make sure that you go over the specs, customer reviews, and expert opinions on battery life and burn time before making a decision!
How many lanterns do you need for camping?
You may need several lanterns to light your camping nights. In general, at least one lighting source inside the tent, and two around the site will help sufficiently illuminate the campsite for night-time activities.
How bright is a camping lantern?
Camping lanterns can have different capacities when it comes to brightness. They go from producing 150 lumens to 1500 lumens of illumination. So, what fits the bill for you is totally on your specific requirements.
Can you use a lantern in a tent?
Camping lanterns or lamps are usually safe to use in a tent. They are specially made to light up your camping nights so they come with built-in protection in the case of candle-lit ones.