The 11 Best Camping Lanterns

Published on 03/29/2023 · 9 min readLooking to keep your campsite well lit beyond just the rays from your headlamp? A camp lantern is the perfect solution! Check out the top 11 camping lanterns below!
Hunter Reed, Camping Expert
By Camping Expert Hunter Reed

Photo by Clarisse Meyer

Are you tired of stumbling around in the dark on your camping trips, trying to navigate through the woods with nothing but the dim flashlight on your phone? It’s about time you add a camping lantern to your gear collection!

We've rounded up the best camping lanterns that will brighten up your next camping trip (literally), from ultra-portable solar-powered lanterns to heavy-duty propane beasts.

Considerations When Shopping for Camping Lanterns

Brightness and Battery Life

Brightness and battery life are crucial factors to consider when choosing a camping lantern. Brightness is measured in lumens and typically ranges from 50 to over 1,000 lumens for LED lanterns. The higher the lumen number, the brighter the lantern. However, higher brightness levels usually require more power, which can drain the battery faster.

Battery life is equally important. The runtime of a lantern will depend on the type of power source it uses and its brightness level. LED bulbs tend to be more energy-efficient than traditional lanterns with incandescent bulbs. A solar lantern is generally the easiest to charge on backpacking trips where weight is a factor since the sun can charge it during the day.

Weight and Size

The size and weight of a camping lantern are also important to consider depending on your type of camping. For backpackers and hikers, portability is a significant concern. LED lanterns are typically lighter and more compact than propane-powered lanterns. In addition, some LED lanterns have collapsible features that make them easy to store in a kit.

Different Types of Fuel Sources

Camping lanterns can run on various fuel sources, including propane, butane, liquid fuel, and rechargeable batteries. Propane lanterns tend to be the brightest but require fuel tanks, which add weight and can be bulky. Rechargeable battery-powered lanterns are becoming increasingly popular, with some solar lanterns offering to recharge via a USB port.

Additional Features to Look For

Additional features for a camp lantern include durability, waterproofness, and ease of use. Some lanterns come with red light options, which are useful for preserving night vision, and some offer ambient lighting options for a more relaxing atmosphere. Buttons and controls should also be easy to use in the dark or with gloves on. Waterproofness is another feature that might be important to you, especially if you are camping in wet environments. Finally, some lanterns double as Bluetooth speakers or power banks to charge small electronics, which can also be useful.

1. Black Diamond Apollo Lantern

The Black Diamond Apollo Lantern is a reliable option for any camping trip. Its QuadPower LED, DoublePower white LED, and DoublePower red LED settings allow customized lighting options, while the collapsible design makes it easy to pack and transport. Additionally, the lantern has a loop for hanging or can be placed on a flat surface for maximum convenience.

Best suited for: Car camping, group camping Pros: Bright, customizable lighting; collapsible design for easy packing; and can be hung or placed on a flat surface. Cons: A bit heavier and bulkier than some other options Fuel source: Rechargeable battery or four AA batteries Weight: 11.4 ounces

2. Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Lantern

The Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Lantern is a versatile, eco-friendly option combining a powerful lantern with a USB power hub. With up to 600 lumens of brightness, the lantern provides plenty of light for any campsite, while the built-in USB port allows for the convenient charging of phones, cameras, and other devices.

Best suited for: Car camping, off-grid camping Pros: Powerful lighting; built-in USB power hub; and easy to use. Cons: A bit heavy and bulky; shorter battery life than some other options Fuel source: Rechargeable battery or compatible solar panel Weight: 1 pound, 2.4 ounces

3. Streamlight The Siege Lantern

Streamlight’s The Siege Lantern is rugged and durable. It’s perfect for camping in tough conditions. With up to 340 lumens of brightness and multiple lighting modes, the lantern provides plenty of light for any situation. In addition, this lantern is waterproof and floats in water, making it a great option for water-based activities.

Best suited for: Backpacking, camping in harsh conditions, and raft or canoe camping. Pros: Rugged and durable; waterproof and floats in water; and multiple lighting modes. Cons: A bit heavier and bulkier than some other options Fuel source: Three D batteries (not included) Weight: 1 pound, 15.8 ounces

4. Coleman Dual Fuel Lantern

The Coleman Dual Fuel Lantern is a classic lantern that has been a staple of camping trips for decades. With up to 700 lumens of brightness and a wide base for stability, the lantern provides plenty of light and is easy to use. Additionally, the lantern can run on either Coleman liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline, making it a versatile option.

Best suited for: Car camping, group camping Pros: Bright and stable; can run on liquid fuel or gasoline; and easy to use. Cons: A bit heavier and bulkier than some other options Fuel source: Coleman liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline Weight: 2 pounds, 9 ounces

5. BioLite BaseLantern XL

The BioLite BaseLantern XL is a great high-tech option for campers who want the latest gadgets. With up to 500 lumens and a built-in Bluetooth speaker, the lantern provides plenty of light and entertainment for any campsite. Also, the BaseLantern XL can be controlled via an app on your phone, allowing for easy customization of the lighting and sound.

Best suited for: Car camping, glamping Pros: High-tech features; bright and customizable lighting; and built-in Bluetooth speaker. Cons: A bit expensive; heavier and bulkier than some other options Fuel source: Rechargeable battery or compatible solar panel (not included) Weight: 1 pound, 13.9 ounces

6. LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger Lantern

The LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger Lantern is versatile, combining a powerful lantern with a USB power hub. With up to 150 lumens of brightness and the ability to charge your phone or other devices, the lantern provides plenty of light and convenience for any campsite. In addition, this lantern is waterproof and can be charged via solar power or USB.

Best suited for: Backpacking, camping in remote areas Pros: Lightweight and compact; waterproof and floats in water; and charges your phone or other devices. Cons: Not as bright as some other options; shorter battery life Fuel source: Rechargeable battery or compatible solar panel (not included) Weight: 8 ounces

7. Goal Zero Crush Light Lantern

The Goal Zero Crush Light Lantern is a lightweight and collapsible option that is perfect for accompanying you on backpacking trips and other activities where weight is a consideration. With up to 60 lumens of brightness and a built-in solar panel, the lantern provides plenty of light and convenience without weighing you down. If you have a few rainy days and this lantern isn’t charging from the sun, you can also use the USB as a backup.

Best suited for: Backpacking, camping in remote areas Pros: Lightweight and collapsible; built-in solar panel; convenient and easy to use. Cons: Not as bright as some other options; shorter battery life Fuel source: Rechargeable battery or compatible solar panel (not included) Weight: 2.4 ounces

8. Black Diamond Moji Lantern

The Black Diamond Moji Lantern is simple, effective, and perfect for camping trips of all kinds. With up to 100 lumens and a compact and lightweight design, the lantern provides plenty of light without taking up too much space. In addition, it features a hook on the top so it can be hung in a gear loop in your tent or placed on a flat surface for maximum convenience.

Best suited for: Car camping, group camping Pros: Simple and effective design; compact and lightweight; and can be hung or placed on a flat surface. Cons: Not as bright as other options; shorter battery life Fuel source: Three AAA batteries (not included) Weight: 3 ounces

9. Primus EasyLight Lantern

The Primus EasyLight Lantern is both compact and reliable. It’s great for backpacking since it relies on a butane canister for fuel, which you’ll likely already have for your backpacking cook setup. With up to 80 lumens of brightness and a compact and streamlined design, the lantern provides plenty of light and isn’t too bulky to pack in a backpacking bag. The Primus EasyLight also features a hook on the top so it can be hung in a gear loop in your tent or placed on a flat surface for maximum convenience.

Best suited for: Backpacking, camping in remote areas Pros: Compact and lightweight; reliable and easy to use; and can be hung or placed on a flat surface. Cons: Not as bright as some other options; shorter battery life Fuel source: Butane canister (not included) Weight: 5.8 ounces

10. SOL Camp Lantern

The SOL Camp Lantern is simple, reliable, and versatile. It’s durable, has up to 80 lumens of brightness, and doubles as a power bank for charging small electronics. The SOL Camp Lantern can be hung or placed on a flat surface for maximum convenience.

Best suited for: Car camping, group camping Pros: Simple and reliable design; lightweight and durable; can be hung or placed on a flat surface. Cons: Not as bright as some other options; shorter battery life Fuel source: Three AA batteries (not included) Weight: 4.8 ounces

11. Nite Ize Radiant 314 Rechargeable Lantern

The Nite Ize Radiant 314 Rechargeable Lantern is a powerful and versatile option perfect for camping trips. With up to 314 lumens and a rechargeable battery, the lantern provides plenty of light without needing extra batteries. Additionally, the lantern can be hung or placed on a flat surface for maximum convenience and has multiple modes for different lighting needs.

Best suited for: Car camping, group camping, backpacking Pros: Powerful and versatile; rechargeable battery; and can be hung or placed on a flat surface. Cons: Heavier than some other options; shorter battery life on higher brightness settings Fuel source: Rechargeable battery Weight: 9.8 ounces

Final Thoughts

Photo by Matthew Brodeur

With these top recommended camping lanterns, you'll be well on your way to a well-lit and comfortable camping experience. Remember to consider factors such as brightness, battery life, size and weight, fuel source, and additional features when choosing the right lantern for you. Whether you're a seasoned camper or a first-timer, there's a lantern out that's perfect for your needs. And if you have any camping gear questions or need additional recommendations, feel free to reach out to a Camping and Hiking Expert here on Curated. Happy camping!

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Written by:
Hunter Reed, Camping Expert
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Hunter Reed
Camping Expert
10 Reviews
103 Customers helped

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