Whether you’re trekking, backpacking or camping, this guide to the best lanterns will provide you with a great starting point for your adventure.
For this list we've considered 18 different lanterns for camping. See the full list below.
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The Coleman Twin LED camping lantern is a large, portable lantern that is perfect to take away with you when you’re camping by yourself or in a larger group. It has up to 390 lumens controlled by a dial, so you can choose your own brightness.
On its highest brightness setting the Coleman Twin will light up the area up to 10 meters! It features 4 LED bulbs that emit bright light, conserve energy and should never need to be replaced.
The Coleman Multi-Panel LED, formerly known as the Coleman Quad Pro 800L LED, is the perfect camping lantern for a family camping trip. It has 4 different light panels that can be taken off the base unit to be used as individual flashlights, so that you don’t have to keep lugging a whole lantern around when you or your kids need to get something from your tent.
With individual and customizable controls on each panel, the lantern can be adjusted to various levels of brightness. The base unit will stay lit even when all four panels have been removed, so you can light up multiple places at the same time.
The Coleman Premium Dual Fuel uses Coleman Liquid Fuel to produce up to 700 lumens of light and lasts 7 hours on a higher setting and much longer on a lower one.
It is intended for outdoor use only and should not be brought inside your tent as it is gas-powered.
This lantern is the best camping lantern to use in very cold winter conditions as it performs just as well as it would in warmer seasons. It also gives off quite a bit of heat when in use, for some extra cosy glimmer.
The BioLite BaseLantern XL is a flatback lantern that features 500 lumens to help light up your campsite. It has a rechargeable 12000mAh li-on battery that can keep it running for up to 78 hours on a dim setting.
This lantern is the best Bluetooth camping lantern as it connects to your smartphone through its own app (iOS and Android) to create your own smart grid. It has RGB color features so you can make it whatever color you want it to be.
The Biolite BaseLantern is also constructed with a stainless steel housing, so that it is more durable for camping purposes.
The LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 phone charger lantern is an inflatable solar lantern that is perfect for backpacking or hiking.
It is lightweight, collapsable and charges in the sunlight so it’s easy to carry around while you’re out and about and you don’t need to worry about plugging it in to charge or bringing any extra batteries with you.
It can last up to 50 hours on a full charge if it’s set at a low brightness so you don’t have to leave it out in the sun to charge every day. It can also be charged with a USB cable, which takes a bit quicker to charge than with the sunlight.
The Black Diamond Apollo is a lightweight yet rugged camping lantern that is very easy to use and great to take with you on your weekend camping trips.
It is safe to use in your tent and bright enough to illuminate a small campsite.
The lantern uses a 2600 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, but has a compartment for 3 AA batteries for a backup.
The design is simple and effective, as it has three fold out legs for stability on uneven surfaces making it ideal for camping.
The Goal Zero Lighthouse lantern is one of the most powerful and efficient solar lanterns for camping. However, it does not come with its own solar panel, so you will need to get one separately, like the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel, if this is how you'd prefer to charge it.
The lantern has a 4400 mAh rechargeable battery that can either be charged via a solar panel, USB port or the built-in hand crank for instant use. It has a max of 400 lumens that you can adjust with a small dial.
With its multiple charging options, the Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 ensures that you’ll never be left in the dark.
The Black Diamond Moji is a very affordable option for a camping lantern and is suitable for general campsite use. It is small, compact and comes in a variety of fun colors for you to choose from.
It features a dimming switch, so you can adjust the brightness to your liking. It is also water-resistant and has a collapsible double hook loop for hanging it up.
While its modest 100-lumen max isn’t the most powerful for a camping lantern, the Moji has a long running time and is certainly good enough to provide light around your table or in your tent.
The perfect camping lantern for you depends on the type of your camping trip.
If you’re going for a long camping trip, you’ll need a camping lantern with a longer running time or battery life, like the Coleman Twin LED, Coleman Multi-Panel LED, Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 or the Black Diamond Apollo. These camping lanterns have great run times and use batteries, so you can easily pack extra if they run out of juice.
The LuminAID PackLite Max is more suited to backpacking trips as it is small, collapsible, solar-powered and can easily be attached to your backpack. The Black Diamond Moji can also be used as a backpacking option due to its small size but it is not as powerful as the PackLite Max and is more suited to tent or table top use.
The BioLite BaseLantern XL and the Coleman Premium Dual Fuel are both designed with more specific purposes and features in mind, so are more suited to campers looking for those features.
Before you buy a camping lantern, you need to consider for what purpose you need it. Are you looking for a bright, general campsite lantern, a tent light or table top lantern, or are you looking for something more compact that you can take hiking with you?
Brightness, run time, power source and durability are all very important factors to consider for any type of camping lantern, but if you need one for backpacking then you need to consider its size and weight as well.
1. Coleman Multi-Panel LED - 800 lumens
2. Coleman Premium Dual Fuel - 700 lumens
3. Streamlight The Siege - 540 lumens
4. BioLite BaseLantern XL Bluetooth Lantern and Power Hub - 400 lumens
5. Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 - 400 lumens
In portable lanterns, lumens vary from 40 and up to 800 for the brightest modes. Most lanterns fall into the 150-500 range. Depending on the size of your camp, 100 lumens should be enough to walk around with or light up a tent.
Many campers will have driven to their camping spot and will have their car nearby. Brighter, heavier camping lanterns are great for car camping, because they can light up the whole campsite and you can store the heavy extra batteries in your car.
Backpacking lanterns need to be small, lightweight and compact, so that they’re easy to travel around with. Solar-powered backpacking lanterns are a great option because they can be charged without using batteries or electricity. Many lanterns have a USB port, so you can keep your cellphone charged in case of any emergencies.
The higher the lumen, the brighter the lantern. If you need a camping lantern to brighten up a large area, make sure you choose one with a higher lumen output. They usually come with a dimming switch, so you can adjust the brightness.
Replaceable battery-operated camping lanterns have their pros and cons. Their run times are generally very long and impressive, but they also require you to pack extra batteries.
Solar-powered camping lanterns are great, but they can take quite long to charge and generally don’t have very long run times.
Built-in batteries mean that the camping lantern is rechargeable, so you won't ever need to pack extra batteries with you. These camping lanterns also usually have a USB port so that you can charge your phone, but they need to be recharged with electricity. Run times for these camping lanterns depend on the size of the battery and the brightness of the lantern.
The quality and warmth of LED light varies from very bright, white light to warm, amber light that emits a softer glow. Whiter light can light up larger areas but is also quite harsh to look at. Warm light is much softer and creates a cosier atmosphere.
Most lanterns have a dial to adjust the brightness of the light and lower it to make the battery run for longer, but you should also consider some other features that you may find useful in a camping lantern.
Some lanterns will have hooks so that you can hang them in your tent and foldable legs to stand on, while others have a more classic lantern design with a simple, solid base. You also get camping lanterns that can change color and be controlled with your cellphone.
Electric camping lanterns are very easy to care for and don’t require a lot of maintenance as long as you keep them safe from the elements.
Camping lanterns that use fuel need regular cleaning to prevent clogs, rust and corrosion.
The durability of a camping lantern depends on what materials it is constructed from and whether it is water- or weather-resistant. Many camping lanterns are made from strong plastic, so they are durable and water-resistant.
Electric camping lanterns are very easy to use and simply require you to press or flick an on/off button. Fuel-powered camping lanterns, like propane/butane lanterns, are a little harder to use and proper safety precautions need to be taken.
The size, weight and packability of a camping lantern is important as you generally want something that won’t take up a lot of space - especially if you’re backpacking. More modern camping lanterns are generally quite small and have collapsible limbs for easy storage.
1. Coleman Twin LED - Best Overall Camping Lantern
2. Coleman Multi-Panel LED - Best Lantern for Family Camping
3. Coleman Premium Dual Fuel - Best Lantern for Camping in Winter
4. BioLite BaseLantern XL - Best Bluetooth Camping Lantern
5. LuminAID PackLite Max - Best Lantern for Backpacking & Hiking
6. Black Diamond Apollo - Best Rechargeable Lantern
7. Goal Zero Lighthouse - Best Solar Lantern for Camping
8. Black Diamond Moji - Best Budget Camping Lantern
9. Black Diamond Voyager
10. Streamlight the Siege
11. Nite Ize Radiant 400
12. Suaoki Collapsible Tent LED
13. Ultimate Survival Technologies 30-Day Duro Glow
14. Black Diamond Zip
15. Princeton Tec Helix Backcountry
16. Primus Micron Lantern
17. UST 30-Day Duro LED Lantern
18. Etekcity Portable LED Camping