Best Camping Lanterns

10 Best Camping Lanterns in 2021

A camping lantern is one of those essential items to pack for your next outdoor tenting adventure. Good lighting is an important factor at night, and may also be essential protection against evening predators.

Yet, with so many different types and models for camping lanterns available in the market, choosing the ideal one for your needs and budget can indeed be a daunting task.

This is why in this buying guide, we will review our top 10 picks for the best camping lanterns available right now. Let us begin by discussing the factors you should consider when choosing between different camping lanterns.

How to Pick the Best Camping Lantern?

1. Lamp Type: LED vs Incandescent?

In a general summary, LED is more energy-efficient and can produce more light with less wattage, but typically the upfront cost is more expensive.

However, it can be 75% more efficient than comparable incandescent lamps.

Here are some important things to consider when choosing between the two:

IncandescentDifferencesLED
Heating a wire filament to a certain temperature until it literally ‘burns’ theHow they workSemi-conductive diodes that can emit lights when electric current passes through them
Very inefficient, 90% of the energy consumed goes into generating heatEnergy EfficiencyVery efficient, wastes very little energy to generate heat
Around 1,200 operating hoursExpected LifespanUp to 50,000 to 100,000 operating hours
Really cheap to manufactureCostMuch more expensive initial cost
Very good at rendering colorColor renderingAlso very good at rendering color, can produce much more color variations
Omni-directionalDirectionDirectional

2. Brightness and Adjustability

A camping lantern’s brightness is measured in lumens: more lumens means brighter lantern.

On a campsite (outside your tent) you don’t have any ceiling to reflect the light back, and thus you’ll need an adequate amount of brightness to illuminate the site in total darkness.

A camping lantern that can produce between 400 to 600 lumens is ideal although you might want brighter lanterns for specific needs (i.e. navigating rough terrains). This is where adjustability comes in.

If your lantern produces high brightness levels, adjustability is important so you can lower your output when needed (so it won’t disrupt your neighbor’s campsites, for example) and also to conserve energy.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • You’ll need only under 100 lumens to lighting a tent
  • 200 to 300 lumens is ideal for most campsite
  • 300+ is ideal if you have several people in your campsite

3. Power Source

Most lanterns offer either rechargeable or disposable batteries as their power sources.

Disposable batteries (AAA, D, or others) are more common, but it’s important to note that batteries will add to the lantern’s weight, and there’s an ongoing cost of replacing batteries once they run off.

Rechargeable batteries are obviously more versatile, and some might even offer extra features like the ability to charge your phone and other mobile devices.

However, they are typically more expensive, and you have to remember to charge the lantern before each camping trip.

What is the Best Lantern for Camping

Although there are so many good camping lanterns in our test, and all 10 products we are going to review are all really good quality, our pick for the best lantern for camping goes to the: Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern.

It is versatile, compact, lightweight, but is also durable with pretty decent brightness of 400 lumens. It can also function as a USB power hub (so you can use it to charge your phone) and is also solar panel-ready.

However, if you aren’t sure the Goal Zero Lighthouse is the right pick for you, here are our reviews for our top 10 picks.

Top 10 Best Camping Lanterns in 2021

#10. Energizer LED Camping Lantern

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Key Features

  • Works with 3 Energizer MAX D batteries for maximum power, or 3 Energizer MAX AA batteries for lower power
  • Up to 500 lumens in high mode, delivering bright, brilliant visibility for a variety of tasks, from nighttime camping to blackouts during storms, or work around the house.
  • Switches between 3 light mode settings: high, low, and night light with the click of a glow-in-the-dark button.
  • Runs up to 650 hours in low mode for a portable, handheld light that lasts.
  • Durable and rugged, the water-resistant construction withstands splashing.
  • Provides 360° of extraordinary room-filling area lighting indoors with the push of its glow-in-the-dark button.

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • The glow-in-the-dark button is pretty handy so you can power it on in total darkness
  • Versatile with three different modes, the night light mode is handy for your eyes to first adjust to the darkness
  • High mode is bright enough (up to 500 lumens) for most camping needs
  • Water-resistant, very durable build
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons: 

  • Batteries can be a little hard to replace
  • The power button is quite flimsy, might break down after lots of use

Our verdict

A rather bulky-looking lantern, but actually pretty compact and lightweight while offering very decent features.

Three different light modes are pretty distinct from each other for extra versatility, and another unique feature to mention is its glow-in-the-dark power button.

500 lumens power, so it’s one of the brightest camping lanterns on this list.

#9. LE LED Camping Lantern Rechargeable 600LM

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Key Features

  • Two detachable handy torches (1 front light and 1 side light)
  • Up to 600 lumens on the full brightness mode, easily light up a family tent or a room without a power supply
  • Car charger included
  • Compass function
  • The main lantern can be charged via USB cable or powered by 3pcs D batteries (not included).
  • The handy torches are powered by 3pcs AAA batteries (included)
  • Charging Time: 4-5 hours, 2 hours operation on full brightness mode

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • Versatile with 2 detachable hand torches (flashlights), great for both camping and emergency
  • Great 600 lumens brightness
  • Intuitive design, the handle makes the lantern easy to carry
  • Handy compass on the top, great for outdoor camping
  • You can hang it with the top and bottom hook to light a small and big space as needed

Cons: 

  • The plastic loop holding the flashlight is a little flimsy
  • Blinking indicator lights are always on unless you take out the batteries

Our Verdict

As an LED camping lantern, this is quite powerful with up to 600 lumens brightness. A unique highlight, however, is the two detachable handy flashlights so you’ll get more functionality from this lantern.

You also have a built-in compass on this lantern as a bonus, which is actually quite handy for outdoor camping in secluded areas.

#8. Black Diamond Moji Lantern

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Key Features

  • One TriplePower LED emits up to 100 lumens (max. setting)
  • Unique dimming switch provides adjustable brightness
  • Frosted globe produces bright, ambient light
  • Includes collapsible, double-hook hang loop and uses three AAA alkaline batteries
  • Protected against water immersion

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • Very affordable
  • Simple design, compact and light
  • Up to 100 lumens of light with frosted plastic rounded cover, producing soft and wide light
  • Intuitive design with the hanging hooks (two semi-circular wire pieces fold out from the top)
  • Water-resistant despite its compact design

Cons: 

  • Power button might be hard to find in the dark since it’s recessed into the edge of the unit
  • No magnetic functions

Our Verdict

The most compact camping lanterns on this list, so this can be a great choice if portability is your main concern. Simple in design, and we can see right away how it prioritizes ease of use and simplicity at the first glance.

Only 100 lumens, so it might not be a great choice for camping activities in extreme terrains, but if you are only looking for a lantern to light up your tent and simple lighting, this can be a great, cost-effective choice.

#7. Etekcity Lantern LED Camping Lanterns

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Key Features

  • Includes 30 individual LED bulbs carrying 360° of luminous light while saving energy
  • Easily expand or collapse the lantern to turn on or off the lantern,and to adjust the light you want
  • Light up at least to 30 hours of regular, continuous use with enough battery capacity (batteries pre-installed in the lantern)
  • The top lid of the lantern contains a small room for storing some small things like some change, your keys, some spare batteries, etc.
  • Military-grade ABS material,promising long-time durability; FCC Certified, RoHS Compliant. Some accidental slight collisions or water splashing are acceptable.
  • Extremely lightweight build(10oz)

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • 360-degrees coverage
  • Versatile with two modes: lantern and flashlight
  • Pretty decent battery life, 20 hours in flashlight mode and 12 hours in lantern mode
  • Easy on/off by pulling the lantern top or closing it to turn it off
  • Military-grade sturdy material, suitable for harsh camping environments
  • Affordable

Cons: 

  • Brightness is not adjustable so it’s not very versatile
  • Opening the battery case might be difficult

Our Verdict

An affordable, budget-friendly choice with a minimalistic design that looks quite good. Not the most versatile (only 1 brightness setting) and not the best regarding battery life (only up to 12 hours in lantern mode), and only offers 60 lumens of brightness.

However, if you are looking for a simple lantern that focuses on ease of use, this is probably the best choice with its intuitive open/close design (pull the top of the lantern to turn it on).

One of the best picks if you are looking for a cost-effective, easy-to-use camping lantern.

#6. Blazin’ Sun 1500 Lumen Rechargeable Lantern

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Key Features

  • 10″ x 5″ dimension
  • 18 ounces weight
  • Frosted Anti-Glare Cap that provides softer lighting that is easier on the eyes over long periods
  • Four power settings: 1500, 900, 500, or 200 lumens.
  • Water-resistant professional grade materials
  • Operates up to 200 hours (4 D not incl)
  • Metal carry handle and “S” hook

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • Impressive 1500 lumens brightness
  • 4 power settings (200 to 1500 lumens) for extra versatility, great for camping but also for emergency during blackouts
  • Rugged and durable, fully water-resistant
  • Great battery power, up to 200 hours of light
  • Diffused light with frosted anti-glare cap, won’t hurt your eyes with its diffused light

Cons: 

  • Battery compartment rather hard to access
  • Sometimes flickers during use

Our Verdict

The key highlight of this Blazin’ Sun camping lantern is obviously its 1500 lumens brightness while being rather compact and lightweight.

Four different brightness settings (1500, 900, 500, or 200 lumens) offering extra versatility, and it is equipped with a diffuse filter so its brightness won’t hurt your eyes when it lights up.

Water-resistant and also very durable with 200 hours operation time. Great value for money, definitely one of the best camping lanterns available today.

#5. UST 60-DAY Duro LED Portable 1200 Lumen Lantern

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Key Features

  • Up to 1200 lumens of bright, clean light
  • Running continuously for up to 60 days on Low mode (20 lumens)
  • Flashing SOS mode for emergency signaling
  • Includes a removable globe, enabling you to shine forward area light to illuminate a path
  • Built-in hook at lantern base so you can hang it as a downlight in your tent or cabin
  • Impact-resistant, rubberized ABS housing, and an unbreakable lifetime LED
  • Four lighting modes: High, Medium, Low, SOS
  • Three 1.4-watt Nichia white LED bulbs
  • Powered by six D alkalines (not included)
  • Measures 9.5 x 5 inches (HxW)
  • Weighs 3.1 pounds (with batteries)

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • Sturdy, high-quality build
  • Excellent 1200 lumens brightness
  • Versatile with four different modes (20 lumens on low mode)
  • Impressive 60 days of runtime
  • Simple design and easy to use

Cons: 

  • Need 6 batteries instead of the usual 3 or 4, and batteries not included
  • The battery compartment door is sometimes hard to open and close

Our Verdict

The UST Duro offers an impressive 1200 lumens brightness, one of the brightest on this list, and another key highlight is that this camping lantern is very durable, so it’s a great choice if you are planning to go camping in areas with harsh environments.

There are four different lighting modes to balance out the 1200 lumens brightness, and the lowest mode can run for 60 days straight.

A very sturdy and heavy-duty choice of a camping lantern.

#4. Coleman LED Lantern

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Key Features

  • Customizable brightness settings ranging from high to ultra-low
  • 390 extra-bright lumens on high. 100 bright lumens on low
  • 32-ft. (9.75 m) beam distance on high and 19-ft. (5.79 m) beam distance on low
  • Up to 85 hours runtime on high setting and Up to 299 hours runtime on low setting
  • Powered by eight D-cell batteries (sold separately). Water-resistant against rain and splashing water
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • Weather-resistant construction
  • LED is located in a textured tube to broadcast an even all-around beam pattern
  • Dimensions: 13.6 by 7.2 inches (HxW)

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Affordable price
  • Remains cool while in use, can be used inside the tent without making it warm
  • Far-reaching light
  • Versatile, dial-controlled brightness up to 390 lumens

Cons: 

  • Might not be bright enough
  • Relatively heavy
  • Not rechargeable

Our Verdict

Coleman is one of the most renowned brands in the camping equipment industry, and the Coleman Twin LED lantern is currently one of the best-selling camping lanterns available on the market.

It’s not the brightest with only 390 lumens brightness, but it is quite versatile with a dial-controlled brightness function so you can choose between seven different brightness levels.

It also offers great battery power, and according to Coleman, can last for up to 299 hours in its lowest setting and 85 hours in the highest setting.

One of the best camping lanterns available right now.

#3. Black Diamond Equipment – Apollo Lantern

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Key Features

  • QuadPower LED with 250 lumens (on the max setting) enclosed in a diffuser globe for bright, glare-free light
  • Runs on internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery (2,600 mA hour capacity) or 3 AA batteries
  • USB port charges handheld electronics (cord included)
  • Power meter displays for both alkalines and internal rechargeable battery
  • Strobe mode and unique dimming function for adjustable brightness
  • Collapsible, double-hook hang loop and redesigned folding legs for multiple lighting options

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • Reliable internal Li-ion battery and you can also use 3 AA batteries to power it
  • Compact and lightweight, great lumens-per-size ratio
  • Light dispersion is really good, won’t hurt your eyes even in total darkness
  • Very easy to use with intuitive design
  • Great battery level indicator that is also cool-looking

Cons: 

  • Albeit its compact size, relatively heavy
  • Not the brightest with only 250 lumens maximum brightness

Our Verdict

One of the best camping lantern choices if compactness and portability are your main concerns.

The Apollo lantern features quite a unique, modern look that might be its biggest selling point. It is wrapped with opaque plastic material to allow for better diffusion, so the unique design isn’t solely for aesthetics purposes.

Not the brightest with only 250 lumens brightness, but it has really good battery life while also being very durable and water-resistant.

Intuitive and easy to use with its simple design, one of the best camping lanterns available today.

#2. Streamlight 44947 Super Siege

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Key Features

  • Compact and rugged with multiple light modes (White LED, Red LED)
  • Rechargeable 10,400 mAh Lithium Ion battery. Fully recharges in 7 hours.
  • Portable USB charger – four full charges for smartphone.
  • Removable, polycarbonate, glare-reducing cover provides soft, even 360-degree light distribution.
  • Recessed power button prevents accidental push.
  • Features battery level indicator that changes from green, to yellow, to red, then to flashing red
  • High for brightest light; 1100 lumens
  • Medium for bright light and longer run times; runs over 36 hours

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • Versatile with its removable polycarbonate cover
  • Able to provide 360-degree light distribution
  • Easy to use with intuitive design, you can easily hang it anywhere with the D-rings attachment
  • Portable USB charging built in
  • Very sturdy, waterproof and can withstand 2-meter impact fall
  • Long battery life

Cons: 

  • Requires AC power to recharge
  • Battery life could be an issue in freezing temperature

Our Verdict

The Streamlight Super Siege’s unique values are its intuitive design allowing ease of use, as well as durability.

It has a red light mode which can be handy in certain situations where you don’t want to hurt your night vision (i.e. hunting or astronomy observation), and has three different settings for extra versatility.

Offers pretty decent brightness (1100 lumens) although it’s not the brightest, but it is also very compact.

A great sturdy and versatile camping lantern suitable for most camping needs.

#1. Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern and USB Power Hub

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Key Features

  • Dimmable and turbo settings for adjustable light, up to 400 lumens
  • Internal lithium battery boasts 4,400mAh with a 1.5A USB output
  • USB power hub can recharge phones and tablets
  • Collapsible legs provide a stand for maximum light dispersion and fold in for convenient storage. Built-in handle for easy carrying and hanging
  • Utilize 360° of bright LED light, or save on power and extend runtimes by illuminating half the lantern. Unique reflection design allows for the optimal amount of quality, usable light.
  • Run Time (2. 5 – 48 hours), Weight (1. 1lbs), LED Output (2x3w, warm white LED, 400 lumens)
  • Dimensions: 4. 5 x 5 x 6. 5”

Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • Functions as a USB power hub and solar ready. You can recharge it with a Goal Zero Nomad foldable solar panel
  • Lightweight and compact without any disposable batteries, only around 1 lb in total weight
  • Long battery life
  • Fully waterproof and also very durable
  • Being very compact, quite bright with up to 400 lumens brightness

Cons: 

  • The power button is quite hard to find and press in the dark
  • Not the brightest option available

Our Verdict

The only downside we can think of for this Goal Zero lantern is that it can only provide 400 lumens. However, it is also very compact (4. 5 x 5 x 6. 5”) and only weigh a pound, so the size-to-lumens ratio is actually pretty decent.

Very durable, and the wire legs allow the lantern to stay in virtually any terrains with their anti-slip rubber legs.

Can also function as a USB power hub, and it is also solar ready. In our opinion, the best camping lantern in 2021 especially if you are looking for portability and functionality.

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this article as much as we enjoyed writing it. Finding the best camping lantern for your next outdoor adventure will bring years of “illumination”.

If you enjoyed this article, we’d recommend checking out some of our other articles here on the site: