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Best Camping Lantern: Light Up the Dark  Outdoors

Camping lantern review
Jerry Mueller
Written by Jerry Mueller

Don’t you think that using a camping lantern during your outdoor event is actually just phenomenal? We’re not always into watching over the fire in order to keep our “lights on”, right? So, if you’re tired of constantly monitoring your fire welcome to the club. Say hello to your new little friend, the best camping lantern the market offers, which will make sure that your source of energy is safe, and that you have light whenever you need it.

Having a good camping lantern that is user-friendly, rechargeable, portable and safe is nowadays a must, especially if you like spending nights outdoors. Unlike some low grade lamps, camping lanterns are considered to be safer to leave on, without constant monitoring, or to use beneath a tent or any shelter that you would be using during your camping trip.

Image showing a camping lantern and a knife

Each lantern has its weaknesses and strengths, and choosing the perfect one that suit your needs and wishes can be a daunting task. But, don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place, because our research will shed some light and provide you all the necessary info you might need before buying one.

In this article you’ll learn all the important features to consider before buying and reviews of some of the best and popular lanterns on the market today. Feel free to take some time, soak in every fact, detail, compare them and finally choose one that suit your needs the most.

Our Top Picks

Product NameBattery LifeBattery TypeLight OutputPrice
Black Diamond Apollo90 hoursRechargeable NRG battery (4AA batteries)200 lmCheck price on Amazon
Streamlight Siege295 hours3xD battery style340 lmCheck price on Amazon
UST 30-Day-Lantern720 hoursD Cell batteriesUp to 300 lmCheck price on Amazon
Black Diamond Voyager100 hours4AA batteriesUp to 75 lmCheck price on Amazon
Goal Zero Lighthouse 25048 hours2 Lithium batteriesUp to 250 lmCheck price on Amazon
Mpowerd Luci12 hours2 Lithium batteries10 LEDsCheck price on Amazon
Supernova 3006 hours3D batteries300 lmCheck price on Amazon
Coleman Northstar9.25 hoursPropane gas1540 lmCheck price on Amazon
Coleman CPX 650 hours4D batteries or CPX 6 power cartridges350 lmCheck price on Amazon
Vont Ultra BrightOver 48 hours3AA batteriesHigh enoughCheck price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

Your decision will always depend on certain factors. Therefore, having the knowledge of these factors at your fingertips will prove to be useful whenever you are deciding to get a lantern for your next outdoor camp event.

But you must understand that both wilderness experts who are vast in outdoor expeditions and new explorers ask these same questions,because everyone wants a good camping experience and beautiful memories to share.

Size

Camping lanterns could fit into your rucksack or your camp bag easily. They are easy to carry along with you in terms of their size, and they can be light enough to eliminate your concerns about weight.

Image showing three-lanterns-for-camping on a table

Rechargeable lanterns now come in a variety of sizes. So going for the right size is a factor to be considered. Your decision should also be based on what type of event you have got planned out for your camping.

Rechargeable camping lanterns, compared to fuel lamps, are so light that they many weigh less than half a dozen sweet apples. Some lanterns even allow you to dismantle them and then fit them together again when you arrive your camping destination.

Weight

The weight of the great camping lantern you can buy is influenced by its design. However, you cannot overlook this factor. Camping as light as possible with all the necessary gear is the most effective way to camp.

Image showing Oregon Scientific Camping Lantern

Choosing lanterns that are not too light, if you are camping in a very windy area, is ideal. You will need a camping lantern that can stand on steady support design and can withstand the wind.

Battery Life and Durability

This is another striking factor. How long a lantern can stay on could depend on how much fun you can have on a dark night before need an alternative light source. So, it is ideal to go for long lasting batteries for maximum benefit. Nobody wants to be spending cash getting the same kind of products all the time.

Image showing a camping lantern next to a backpack on the grass

It is always good to go for a product that can last for a long time, withstand the elements, and still do its job. Unless you are upgrading your product to suit your needs, it is good for your product to be durable. Sturdiness is one of the major factors to be considered when you are planning on getting the best camping lantern for your adventure.

Convenience

Carrying along the appropriate tools for your camping is one the most important factors that determine your convenience, especially in the wild. Preserving your energy for a longer time, and being able to easily reawaken your light when it goes off is also something to consider.

A camping lantern next to a tent

Just find what is most suitable for you in terms of energy transfer ports, as some come with USB ports, solar panels, DC plugs, AC Plugs, or gas cans. You can also carry with you some spare energy sources for maximum convenience.

Lumens

How luminous or bright your lantern can be is a function of what is called the measure of its Lumen. Now this is argued by many as the most important factor in choosing your best camping lanterns, because a lantern is debated to be as good as the light it shines.

Although you do not want a light that will make you wear protective eye gear or cower in protecting your eyes, you need a lantern with the right Lumen suitable for the purpose you desire the most because you do not want a meager night light when you need it the most.

Image of Fenix CL25R Rechargeable Lantern and some friends around it

The Lumen is the measure of the amount of light that your lantern can produce or does produce, which can be misunderstood for the Watts, which is a measure of energy, not Lumens. But, more Lumens will most likely consume more energy.

So, the brighter your light bulb is, the faster your battery may go out. But that also depends on the battery life and the battery type. It is most advisable to go for a mid-range brightness in terms of Lumens if you are not very sure of what you want.

Guarantee

You cannot be too sure of what sort of guarantee you will get from such products, but it is always important to investigate if you can return the product if you find out that they are performing below expectation or that they are faulty. Many manufacturers have their guarantees on the label of the product or listed in its specifications if you’re purchasing online.

Image showing a camping lantern next to a lake

But you can put your mind at ease when you read the reviews and comments associated with the lantern of your choice. Just go for what you want, and worry less about guarantees for these products. In fact, think more about how they can be easily preserved and maintained.

Price

When it comes to the price of lanterns that can be bought today, they’re pretty various, but considering the fact that you’re buying something that might save lives in emergency situations it’s worth to pay a bit extra.

Image showing the Goal Zero Camp Lantern

Lanterns are not that expensive, they are sold in a price range from approximately $10 to $50, even $60, but the price doesn’t necessarily be equal to quality. So if you think that the old one “you get what you pay for” works here, you’re wrong. Let us surprise you with our top 10 choice below.

Best Products on Today’s Market

It is not wrong to feel like you still do not know which lantern to go for, even at this point. However, you may probably be able to choose a suitable lantern from one of the finest camping lanterns we shall be exploring below.

The Black Diamond  Apollo Lantern Black Diamond 2015 Apollo Lantern

Price: $35 – $77

Lumens: 200

Battery life: 90 hours

Weight: 1.44 pounds

Size: 5 x 3 x 3 inches

Battery type: Rechargeable NRG battery (4AA batteries)

Specific features: 200 Lumens, fold-down legs, dual reflector system, QuadPower LED, double-hook hang loop, dimming function

Description: Just when you need a lantern for your outdoor activity that can illuminate comfortably and also impress your pals, the Black Diamond Apollo Lantern should come to mind. It looks like a space object and one that drives away the darkness around you warmly.

It is a unique lantern with three fold-down legs, which can be used not just to stand the lantern, but also reduce the lantern’s height, or to increase the height in order to increase the dispersion of the light and drive the darkness around you.

A QuadPower LED that glows warmly, is engulfed in a cool designed, globe-like covering, that looks frosted and has a dual reflector system which maximizes the light output by capturing the light and reflecting it again. This design Black Diamond argues, is responsible for the bright, ambient light that this lantern produces. The Black Diamond 2015 Apollo Lanterns is pretty affordable and comes in three colors Matte Black, Process Blue, and Vibrant Orange.

PROS:

  • 3 fold-down legs
  • QuadPower LED
  • Price
  • Dual reflector system
  • Available in 3 colors

CONS:

  • Low quality battery

Related: Considering the fact that the lantern might have some battery issues (you never know) the same brand offers two more products that might be the perfect camping combo, the Moji Lantern, a pocket size lantern, and a Spot Headlamp that is sleek and waterproof. So in case that your main Apollo lantern,by any chance, doesn’t work, you’ll have two quality backups.

Check the price on Amazon

Streamlight Siege Lantern Streamlight Siege Lantern

Price: Approx. $40

Lumens: 340

Battery life: 295 hours

Weight: 1.9 pounds

Size: 4 x 4 x 7.2 inches

Battery type: 3xD battery style

Specific features: 4 white C4 LED, 1 red C4 LED, IPX7 rated, ergonomic handle, 3 types of brightness, 3 colors, incorporated D-Rings on the bottom and top of the lantern, red SOS flashing mode, limited lifetime warranty

Description: We believe that Streamlight Siege Lantern is a fantastic product. This is mostly because whenever you think night boat riding or walking in the rain or mild sowing conditions, one product that can be considered is the Streamlight-44931 Siege Lantern. The product has a special feature, it Floats and its Water Resistant.

The Streamlight has an ergonomic handle, which is designed in such a way that it could lock up in a stowed or upright position. Its brightness can be measured in three categories, low (33 Lumens), Medium (175 Lumens) and High (340 Lumens).

So, depending on your need, you can always opt for the Streamlight. When in position, the Streamlight is argued to preserve night vision with its unique feature of four white C4 LED bulbs and one red C4 LED bulb.

The lantern is IPX7 rated and be submerged for up to one full meter while it is switched on. The power button is designed in such a way that could prevent accidental actuation and the switch indicates the on or off state of the lantern. It mostly comes in green, pink, and yellow colors.

PROS:

  • Price
  • Ergonomic handle
  • C4 LED technology
  • Waterproof
  • Removable globe cover
  • D-rings
  • Limited lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • Batteries are sold separately
  • It can turn off when moved

Related: Considering the fact that the batteries are sold separately, the only logical related product would be batteries. AmazonBasics D Cell Everyday Alkaline Batteries are affordable and comes in a pack of 12 batteries with a 3-year shelf life so you can use it immediately or prep it for some unexpected emergencies.

 Check the price on Amazon

UST 30-Day-Lantern UST 30-Day-Lantern

Price: Approx. $35

Lumens: Up to 300 Lumens

Battery life: 720 hours

Weight: 1 pound

Size: 7.25 x 3.5 × 3.5 inches

Battery type: D-cell batteries

Specific features: 3 1.4-watt Nichia white LEDs, removable globe, rubberized plastic housing, IPX4 water resistance

Description: The UST 30-Day-Lantern is a ‘hit’ in the world of lanterns. The great feature of this product cannot be overstated. The UST 30-Day-Lantern can stay on for about 30 days on the low settings, giving-off a luminosity of 29 Lumens, is versatile and long lasting. It comes with a removable globe, impact resistant construction (unbreakable lifetime LED) and integrated hanging hook so you can hang it pretty much anywhere you like.

It has an SOS flash light, which makes it rather cool, and it can also be converted from its warm lightening to a striking light post, by removing the cover in a quick twist. The UST 30-Day-Lantern now goes for approximately $35, and it is definitely a great product to go for!

PROS:

  • SOS flashlight
  • Durable
  • IPX4 water resistance
  • 4-mode electronic switch

CONS:

  • Batteries not included

Related: Another lantern that doesn’t have batteries included so we definitely advise buying AmazonBasics D Cell Everyday Alkaline Batteries so that you can use your lantern. They have a 3-year warranty, so you can either store them for later or use them right away.

Check the price on Amazon

Black Diamond Voyager DiamondBlack Diamond Voyager Lantern

Price: Approx. $35

Lumens: Up to 75 Lumens

Battery life: 100 hours

Weight: 0.47 pounds

Size: 6.25 x 3 x 4.2 inches

Battery type: 4AA batteries

Specific features: 2 double power LED (75 and 50 Lumens), dual reflector system, extended height, 3 modes

Description: The Black Diamond Voyager Lantern combines a powerful and precise flashlight with a well-tuned bright light that provides an ultra-versatile lightening ability suitable for post-sunset outdoor and camping activities.

It was designed to have three modes, the first mode is where the lantern produces a 75 Lumens bright light, that is non-glaring but ambient and dimmable. The second mode is a flashlight mode, where the lantern produces a 50 Lumens warm light, that has a strong beam that is suitable for reading relaxing materials or stories for recreation. The third mode, however, is a dual mode where the lantern and the flashlight are both on. An interesting thing is that these are all controllable with from a single switch.

It’s lightweight and pretty small in size, which might be one of the weaknesses, but considering the fact that is sold for about $40 and the Black Diamond Voyager Lantern is a great tool to actually light up your dark moments.

PROS:

  • Silent
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable one button dimmer switch
  • Integrated flashlight

CONS:

  • Batteries not included
  • Size (might be too small for some)

Related: Most buyers also opt for this Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System. So, if you’re a camping fan that spends more time outdoors, then you’ll need a good quality water filtration system to keep your water drinkable and bacteria-free.

Check the price on Amazon

Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Portable Lantern Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Lantern and USB Power Hub

Price: Approx. $80

Lumens: Up to 250 Lumens

Battery life: 48 hours

Weight: 1.6 pounds

Size: 6 x 15 x 3 inches

Battery type: 2 Lithium batteries

Specific features: Adjustable brightness levels, Goal Zero solar panels, USB Power Hub, foldable legs

Description: The Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Portable Lantern is super fabulous wilderness gear. You can have it delivered in less than 13 hours as soon as you make your order.

The gear is described as the Goal Zero 32001 Lighthouse 250 Portable Battery Charger USB Power Hub and Lantern, but it has special ‘crank feature’ that enhances the chances of keeping it powered for longer use.

You can recharge your smart gadgets with it because it has a USB port, and also uses a solar panel to recharge its battery in the daytime, but Goal Zero solar panels are not included so you’ll have to buy them separately. The Goal Zero 32001 Lighthouse 250 Portable Lantern is a great tool and if we compare it to other lanterns with similar features, the price of approximately $80 is a bit too high, but it also has adjustable brightness levels and 3 legs so you can easily transport it this so this is another plus.

PROS:

  • Adjustable brightness levels
  • Portable
  • USB Power Hub

CONS:

  • Goal Zero solar panels not included
  • Price

Related: For all the preppers and camping lovers out there, Goal Zero has a powerful and Portable Power Station. It’s a bit costly – approximately $460, but it’s a nice, large capacity and convenient power bank that will run your light, smart gadgets and other appliances. Another related product is definitely solar panels that have to be bought separately. So, if you want to avoid spending big bucks on a power station, Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar Panel is a cheaper and eco-friendly alternative.

Check the price on Amazon

Mpowerd Luci Inflatable Solar Light Mpowerd Luci Inflatable Solar Light

Price: Approx. $18

Battery life: 12 hours

Weight: 2 pounds

Size: 5.25 x 1 x 5.25 inches

Battery type: 2 Lithium batteries

Specific features: 10 powerful white LEDs, 2 Lithium batteries, 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, fully waterproof, 3 settings

Description: The Mpowerd Luci Inflatable Solar Light is a simple but fantastic tool. It does the job! The gear is designed to be a clean, reliable source of light that is absolutely durable and waterproof.

The MPOWERD Luci Original Inflatable Solar Light has got 10 powerful white LEDs that shines in 3 settings, a 1 second flashing, a bright, and super bright light. Another great thing about this lantern is that you don’t need any batteries as it says that it’s 100% solar so you won’t need to spend extra money on buying batteries.

The finely designed light has a light indicator that lets you know how much life is left and it can last for up to 12 hours. It is easily rechargeable if you leave it in the sunlight. Its clean energy for just less than $20 and is a nice addition to any bug out backpack bag.

PROS:

  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • No batteries needed
  • Durable

CONS:

  • Works only if charged by sunlight

Related: If you want to throw in some colors, then we advise you go with the Mpowered Luci Color Changing Inflatable Solar Light. It has the same features and comes in multiple colors, so if you’re planning an outdoor party these little helpers will create a nice atmosphere.

Check the price on Amazon

Supernova 300 Emergency Lantern Supernova 300 Emergency Lantern

Price: Approx. $20

Lumens: 300 Lumens

Battery life: 6 hours

Weight: 14.6 pounds

Size: 3.2 × 3.2 × 7.2 inches

Battery type: 3D batteries

Specific features: Slow-pulse LED indicator light, rubber shield, water resistant, removable top

Description: The Supernova 300 Emergency Lantern is such a great tool, so if you want a light that can be used in emergency situations this one will do just fine. Although it’s called “an emergency light”, and we understand why, it’s great for any other outdoor activities such as camping, outdoor parties, etc.

The light itself is a bit smaller comparing to other lanterns, but the construction is pretty good. It’s lightweight, but when you add its batteries, it’s pretty solid and stands firmly.

Another great thing about this lantern is that it has a rubber shield, which is great if you’re clumsy, plastic hook and a metal handle so you can place it hang it wherever you want.

When it comes to the light, it’s very bright considering the size of the lantern. It generates a little heat, which can add to warming up your tent, and the great thing is, it stays bright for long. The product is guaranteed to stay on for up to 6 days and it has a Slow-pulse LED indicator light which makes it easier to find when it is urgently needed. It is perfect for camping and is affordable at about $20.

PROS:

  • Bright light
  • Durable
  • Metallic handle
  • Lightweight
  • Price

CONS:

  • Low quality base battery contact
  • Blinking LED feature which can be annoying
  • NOT solar-powered

Related: This lantern works on either D Cell Batteries or AA Batteries, so if you opt for either one of these packs you won’t be sorry. Both types of batteries can be stored for later, which makes a nice addition to your emergency kit.

Check the price on Amazon

Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern

Price: Approx. $50

Lumens: 1540 Lumens

Battery life: 9.25 hours

Weight: 0.22 pounds

Size: 12.9 × 8.5 × 6.5 inches

Gas: Propane gas

Specific features: Adjustable dimmer knob, propane-powered, Insta-Clip® tube mantles, PerfectFlow™ system, InstaStart™ push-button ignition, metal guard, five-year warranty.

Description: The Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern is an easily adjustable high temperature lantern with an exceptional design that is outstanding from other gas lanterns. Suitable for adults with a great sense of style and with an explorer soul.

This lantern is a masterpiece with lots of exciting features to attract experienced wilderness explorer. It gives off a very bright light and easily operates on a 16.4 oz cylinder of the same brand propane which is not included and should be bought separately.

It is very suitable for indoors and outdoor camping activities selling for about $50 as the brightest Coleman NorthStar Lantern.

Interestingly, it uses a matchless lighting system called the InstaStart ignition and adjustable dimmer knob so you can control the burn time and adjust the brightness. It also has a hard case opening that is convenient because there’s three sections of the opening, so you can easily load it and porcelain vents that prevent rusting.

PROS:

  • Ultra bright
  • Adjustable dimmer knob
  • Hard case opening
  • Porcelain vents
  • Lights electronically

CONS:

  • No cylinder
  • Price
  • It can happen that the lid doesn’t sit straight

Related: As we mentioned above, the lantern doesn’t come with the cylinder that has to be purchased separately, so if you plan on choosing this propane lantern you’ll surely need this Propane Fuel Pressurized Cylinder from the same brand. Another great thing you might need is the Coleman Lantern Stand so you have something to hang your lantern on.

Check the price on Amazon

Coleman CPX 6 LED Lantern Coleman CPX 6 LED Lantern

Price: Approx. $40

Lumens: 350 Lumens

Battery life: 50 hours

Weight: 3 pounds

Size: 8.3 × 8.4 × 13.2 inches

Battery type: 4D batteries or CPX 6 power cartridges

Specific features: 4D batteries, CPX 6 power cartridges, diffuser tube, weather resistant, grip handle

Description: The Coleman CPX 6 LED Lantern is indeed a rugged gear with a rugged body that is weather-resistant and great for outdoor activities. It is a tool for the outdoor professional with bright LED diffuser tubes that reduces glare while giving off a perfect beam.

A great reason to get this lantern is the fact it is impact resistant. Also, when running on low power it can stay on for as long as 113 hours. However, even if you are reading or mapping, or dealing with tiny details that needs a full beam, it can stay on for up to 23 hours. Now, that is amazing!

It is a flexible gear with two power systems and goes for just about $40. It’s a good lantern for the money. The battery pack is a bit weak point of this lantern, but you can easily buy the recharge pack or batteries.

PROS:

  • Durable
  • Weather resistant
  • Handle grip

CONS:

  • Low quality battery pack
  • Not as bright as expected

Related: Considering the fact that the batteries are the weakest point of this lantern we advise you opt for Coleman CPX 6 Rechargeable Power Cartridge so you don’t unexpectedly find yourself in the dark. You never know what might happen so it’s better to have a backup plan, right?

Check the price on Amazon

Vont Ultra Bright LED Lantern Vont Ultra Bright LED Lantern

Price: Approx. $10

Lumens: High enough Lumens

Battery life: Over 48 hours

Weight: 0.65 pounds

Size: 3.5 × 3.6 × 5.2 inches

Battery type: 3AA batteries

Specific features: Military-grade materials, 100% satisfaction guarantee, advanced collapsible design, lightweight, compact

Description: The Vont Ultra Bright LED Lantern is a marvelously remarkable multi-purpose gear suitable for hiking, hurricanes, storms, outages, and for emergencies. A military grade tool with fabulous guarantees.

Another stimulating feature of this model, is that it collapses from a height of a 9.8 inches, to 4.8 inches. Also, its compact design allows it to be comfortably fitted into a camping bag. It’s light, durable, water resistant, affordable, it’s everything you need for the perfect camping voyage and it’s less than $10. And, Vont offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and 10-year warranty.

The battery life is pretty long as it has 30 premium (individual) LED lights for maximum brightness effect and is compatible with all batteries that are rechargeable. The only thing that bothered us is that it’s mostly sold out, so you have to be quick if you want one, although that doesn’t surprise us considering the fact that it’s a pretty good product for such a low price.

PROS:

  • Bright
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • 10-year warranty
  • Price

CONS:

  • Not the brightest lantern as advertised
  • No dimming options

Related: This Ultra Bright CREE LED Flashlight would be a nice addition to your prepping kit. It is zoomable, has an adjustable Focus (XOR) and is extremely durable. It’s pretty quality LED Flashlight Torch that you can use when you don’t want to turn on the lantern on.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

Finally, we hope we have not confused you even more, in trying to help you make the unsurpassed decision for your best camping lantern. Hopefully, it’s pretty clear now that having a good, durable lantern is important, especially if you spend a lot of your time outside or preparing for unexpected emergencies.

An ideal way to go about this ordeal is to list out exactly what qualities and specifications you will want your best camping lantern to have, and then search diligently to see if you can find one lantern that is close to what you desire, and that can also fit around your budget.

Image showing a camping lantern hanging on a tree

Are you ready to choose the most suitable camping lantern for your next great outdoor experience? Feel free to share your experience and comments in the comment section below as we’d love to hear (and see!) your new best camping lantern.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Mueller
Jerry Mueller

Jerry ‘Boy Scout’ Mueller spends 99% of his time camping or teaching others how to live in the wild. He became an Eagle Scout which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting division when he was 17 and after that he still lives the scout life. Jerry always plans neatly every trip, takes leadership very seriously and if you listen to his tips and stories, you can learn tons of useful things.

  • Alex Lauther

    It is not included here, but I really love my ThorFire LED Camping Lantern. The weight is unnoticeable in your pack. It has 2 light modes (high and low) which are spaced well enough. The low is usable but low enough for those times when you want a “low light” that won’t blind you. I also played with it in the rain and still works fine.

  • Jerry Mueller

    You might want to take a look at the Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern which is so bright – 1540 lumens. The Coleman brand is really a great brand and one I’ve used throughout the years.

  • Patrick Calhoun

    We saw kids using the Ultra Bright LED Lantern for trick or treating before. The light is outstanding and a 4 yr. old could carry it. We tested it several times and never had any problem with it. We usually go camping and it can be used for just about any activity.

  • Jerry Mueller

    That’s cool! I’ve never thought of using this LED lantern for Halloween so this is great. That means yule carolers can probably use the lamp for their needs, which is just as cool. It’s very affordable, bright and gives you over 48 hours of battery life so you don’t have to worry. When you’re out in the woods, sitting in the dark is a no-no!

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