Ask any outdoor junkie about how handy a lantern can be and they’ll tell you to wait till it gets dark out there. It’s obvious that you will need to light up your tent or campsite, as well as the surrounding area.
While a flashlight can do the job, it does not allow you to work hands-free light a lantern that you’ll just hang somewhere. Even a headlamp will start becoming a bother on your head over time and so a standalone headlamp is quite convenient to use.
The problem as always comes when you want to choose the best camping lantern from the hundreds of models available on the market.
Usually, many people will go through customer reviews to find the ratings of products, but you can’t trust all the reviews because some are left by fake persons.
Fret not anyway as below is a comprehensive guide that is sure to help you find a decent camping lantern for your needs.
Top 9 Best Camping Lanterns to Buy
As the name suggests, this lantern uses 12 AA batteries to light up a campsite.
It also includes 30 individual low powered LED bulbs that can carry 360° of luminous light while saving energy.
The LEDs are designed to last long and so is the lantern itself which is constructed from military-grade ABS material.
This product is extremely lightweight too, allowing you to use it on the go with absolute ease.
Moreover, it’s designed to collapse into a compact size for effortless storage when not in use.
With enough battery capacity, you’ll benefit from 12 hours of continuous lighting, which is basically the whole night.
The lantern is incredibly easy to use; simply unfold the handles, pull it out fully for 360° luminous and maximum brightness, and control the brightness by adjusting the height.
This product comes with 90-days money-back guarantee plus a 2-year warranty so you can trust the quality.
Along with an overwhelming 7,000+ customer reviews, no wonder it’s the best-selling product on the market.
This lantern has 30 bright LEDs that cut through 360 degrees of darkness on the darkest nights.
It easily lights up an entire tent with a battery that lasts more than 30 hours, which is twice longer than the competition.
Boasting a compact and lightweight design, this lantern is easy to expand and collapse after use for space-saving storage.
It’s actually as small as a smartphone when collapsed, meaning it easily fits in an emergency kit or backpack.
It also makes a perfect gift for a friend that loves cool gadgets or a family member who loves camping.
The construction features aircraft-grade materials that make the lantern waterproof and indestructible.
To put it into perspective, this product can withstand a 10ft drop, temporary submersion in water as well as survive caffeinated toddlers.
Beware of inferior copies on the market as this one is the original patented version which is CE/ROHs certified and with a lifetime warranty.
This 600-lumen lantern boasts an exceptional design with a camping lantern on two sides and two detachable flashlights on the other two sides.
That means if you need light outside your tent or even light up your path, simply detach one of the flashlights and you’re good to go.
You get up to 600 lumens on full brightness mode and the beam angle is an impressive 360 degrees for sufficient brightness.
IPX4 water-resistant construction means the product can be used in heavy rain but cannot submerge in the water though.
Also, the camping lantern comes with a car charger so you can charge it while driving.
Charging time is around 4 to 5 hours. There’s even a compass on it to give you the direction.
Apart from that, you’ll love this light for a wide range of applications including camping, repairing, hiking, and fishing.
Arguably the most reliable camping lantern on the market, this product offers 1,000 lumens that guarantee exceptional clarity and up to 100,000 light-hours from its LED bulbs.
This thing can provide continuous power for 6 days on a single set of 3D batteries, making it such a handy accessory for extended camping trips.
It also benefits from a shockproof, water-resistant and lightweight design, thus can survive some knocks as well as withstand the elements.
A hook at the bottom makes it easy to set up almost anywhere and you can customize brightness from low, high to flashing strobe, depending on your needs. Simply rotate a switch button to choose any of them.
What’s more, the lantern has a removable convex reflector cap that offers 360-degree lighting and it can even be removed for more focused light.
It also features a green LED indicator that lets others see you from in the dark from a distance.
Last but not least, the product comes with a money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty. What more could you ask for?
Awesome brightness is what the tag says but no doubt that’s what you get from this 400-lumen rechargeable lantern.
Its 6 light modes of white and red light ensure the lantern is suitable for various environments.
It also offers 360-degree coverage, making it ideal for lighting up an entire room or for when there’s a power outage.
Claiming to offer the longest run time available, the lantern can charge from a car, wall or PC.
Also integrated is an indicator lamp to show the power level so you don’t worry about the battery running flat in the middle of a storm.
The use of rechargeable batteries makes the lantern economical to use too unlike the one that uses disposable batteries.
Also, the built-in 6000mAh Li-Ion battery can charge your smartphone or tablet.
The body itself is solidly built to be virtually indestructible and drop-proof from five feet, as well as water-resistant.
On top of that, there’s a 100% lifetime guarantee and a money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk purchasing this lantern.
Looking for the best value pack lanterns? Try this Gold Armour 4 Pack LED Lantern. It’s one of the best sets for anyone seeking a high-quality, super-bright, great value lantern for camping.
The product includes 30 individual energy-saving LED bulbs, designed for a long lifespan.
It offers complete 360-degree lighting from 135 lumens. A set of 12 AA batteries are provided so you can start using your lantern straight out of the box.
Made from the highest quality CE and ROHS approved military-grade ABS material, this lantern is sure to last the test of time including heavy rain and shock.
Advanced foldable design makes it lightweight and compact for easy storage and transportation.
Also, the base has a magnetic feature that allows you to stick the lantern on your car or refrigerator at home.
Designed in the U.S, this lantern is convenient for hiking, backpacking and camping excursions. You can buy with confidence knowing there’s a 90-day money-back guarantee plus 15-year warranty.
This lamp features 3 modes in the form of low, medium and strong to suit various needs.
These are all easy to adjust via an intuitive button, with 5, 17 and 60 LEDs used for low, medium and strong modes, respectively.
Whether you want to read or work, simply adjust accordingly to meet the required intensity.
It also illuminates a wide-angle and its white shade makes the beam comfortable for people around it.
The body is made of ABS material, which is extremely durable, impact-resistant and lightweight.
Consequently, this lantern is easy to carry and grip. A great design feature is the S-clip hook that lets you hand the lantern steadily in a tent, backpacking or any sort of hanging place.
And because of the foldable design, you can easily choose the suspension angle. Whether camping, fishing, car repairs, or any other outdoor activities, this lamp is good to go.
The Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern presents a brilliant design that features four magnetic light panels.
This allows you to use the whole thing as a lantern and whenever you need light elsewhere, just pop off one of the panels to use it as a flashlight.
It’s such a multi-functional product that’s probably worth the hefty price tag on it.
Even more, the panels are rechargeable and you just need to put them back to the main body/docking station for charging.
The docking station also features some USB ports where you can easily charge your mobile devices too.
Besides, the battery-operated remains lit when all the panels are removed and this makes it for you and friends to find your way back to the campsite.
Thanks to their magnetic bases, the light panels can be attached to metal objects for hands-free working.
Each panel also has a fold-down handle to use as a stand on flat surfaces.
Rain or splashes of water won’t do any damage to the panels because they are water-resistant. If you’re going family camping or in a group of four, this Coleman can come very useful.
This another lantern that’s popular with many outdoor enthusiasts. It outputs 540 lumens and has multiple light modes; high, medium and low, along with white and red light options.
On the highest setting, the lantern can run continuously for 30 hours, medium for 70 hours and low for an incredible 295 hours.
There’s even flash SOS mode for emergency alerting and it can run for up to 430 hours.
The construction features robust polycarbonate thermoplastic with elastomer over mold, solid polycarbonate lenses, and a rubber molded base that offers stability on uneven or slippery surfaces.
The product is also IPX4 rated meaning it can survive up to 1m water submersion. It can also withstand impact from a 2m drop.
The camping lantern uses three D cell alkaline batteries but they have to be bought separately.
Thanks to a keyed battery door, replacements are easy even in the dark. There’s even an ergonomic handle for easy carrying.
All things considered, this a great buy for longer lighting hours.
How to Choose the Best Camping Lantern
Almost every camping lantern these days uses LED lights. What you need to check is how many LEDs a lantern has and most importantly, how long they can last.
Good LEDs can last up to 100,000 hours after which you can buy another lantern. That’s a lifetime anyway!
Adjustable light levels are almost a must-have feature. You want to be able to customize between low, medium and high settings to suit the environment you’re in.
Emergency lights such as strobe and SOS lights are also great to have.
Measured in lumens, it tells the size of the area you can adequately illuminate. Ideally, the larger the area, the more brightness is needed.
If you just want something to use inside a tent, a lantern with 200-300 lumens is sufficient. To light up a whole campsite, you’ll need around 1,000 lumens.
Some models are simply designed to function as lanterns while others can double up as flashlights. Some even incorporate USB ports allowing you to charge your smartphone on the go.
Analyze such functionalities carefully to choose a lantern that exceeds expectations.
Here you have a choice between rechargeable and disposable batteries.
With rechargeable batteries, you’ll never have to buy replacements plus they also allow nifty additions such as mobile charging.
Make sure to charge your replaceable battery before every trip, otherwise, you’ll be doomed for a long night.
Disposable batteries, on the other hand, provide room for carrying backups though some models use several batteries that can be bothersome to carry.
Camping gear is susceptible to many forms of abuse. Your lantern may drop, get rained on or tossed in the back of your car.
It should be able to withstand bumps and knocks, as well as resist water to a good extent.
Our Final Conclusion
That’s it as far as buying the best camping lantern is concerned. As you have seen, every camping lantern above has a distinct design and different capabilities, and that’s what you’d expect to find out there.
All in all, choose a lantern that falls within your budget and one that best meets your camping needs.