The great outdoors will never cease to amaze us. We are all so drawn to it. Almost in the same way a dog is helplessly drawn to howling. Making campfires and listening to folklore as we get warm under a beautiful sky is pretty cool, but there are several things that we also need to do when we are out camping that just aren’t possible with fire. Reading under the light inside your tent, or carrying a fire down the trail to find your way back in the dark, or worse, charging your phone all seem like bad ideas. As much as we love a good fire, they just aren’t the safest and sometimes don’t fit your needs. This is why we have proffered the best camping lanterns in 2021 as an alternative solution for you.
The luminance of the Internova rechargeable camping lantern punches right through the competition. The stand-out feature of this product is the built-in 2000mAh battery that can also be used as a power bank to charge your phones and other devices. Included are four D batteries for more power and increased run time. In addition, the award-winning ergonomic handle design and the convenience of easily hanging it from a branch or your tent while camping makes this product noteworthy.
Red LED mode is well suited for astronomy and stargazing
SOS mode is useful for alerting help in emergencies
Guaranteed durability with its rugged build
Ergonomic rubber handle ensures a comfortable grip
With its 360-degree folding design, the Energizer camping lantern is incredibly compact and conducive to the great outdoors. The 360 design helps create versatile lighting patterns, and its multiple light modes can suit various situations. Whether you want to build ambiance or want your surroundings brilliantly lit, there’s a mode for you. A USB port is featured on this lamp to help you charge devices, especially in emergencies.
If the Lighting Ever LED camping lantern is used only for camping, its application would be grossly limited. This lamp’s IPX4 water resistance makes sure splashing water from every angle does not matter, whether in the snow or the rain.
Its unique design also features a metal handle on the top, a removable cap that allows you to use this lantern upside down for direct overhead lighting. With these features, it is evident that this camping lamp can also be used while fishing, hiking, or doing repair work outdoors.
1000 lumens of brightness to light up a vast space
This LED camping lamp is crazy bright, but this is not the only area it shines. If you love simplicity, you will love its patented and unique collapsible design. When collapsed, these lanterns are as portable as a phone, so they can easily slip into an emergency kit or pack to be quickly utilized when needed as a lifesaver. In addition, they are entirely waterproof, lightweight, and are fitted with a foldaway handle.
Aircraft-grade materials make it virtually indestructible
The Alpswolf camping lantern has an impressive six light modes: low and high modes, steady and strobe red light modes, lantern mode, and 360-degree flashlight mode. This lantern is also fitted with two built-in lithium-ion batteries that make it long-lasting and help it function as a 4000mAh power bank for phones and other smart devices. In addition, it is versatile, and helpful in emergencies such as power outages and hurricanes.
Military-grade materials make it drop resistant
The two-way grip means it is easily hung anywhere
IPX4 rated water resistance
Only one button to toggle through all settings and modes
Best Camping Lantern Buying Guide
Look, stop thinking of us as nature haters or some spoilsport blog trying to steal a fulfilling camping experience away from you. We love a good fire as much you do. But we cannot look away from the safety hazards a campfire poses and the possibilities that have been embedded in camping lanterns. And hey! We are not just offering you the best camping lanterns in 2021 and leaving you to suffer through the bunch; we have prepared a guide that will lead you through the whole shopping experience in a little over three minutes. So whether you are here looking to change your old lantern, or you were excited by our review and want to get into the world of multi-functional camping lanterns as quickly as possible, you’ll find our in-depth buyer’s guide very useful.
What Are the Types of Camping Lanterns?
Lanterns come in various sizes and shapes, with camping lanterns leading the way in recent years. Before choosing a camping lantern we believe you will need good information about the types of lanterns and their properties, so you know what you are looking at.
Compact Camping Lanterns
Campers who don’t pack like they’re moving out and anyone who likes to travel light will find compact lanterns as an ideal match for them. These portable and easily packable convenient lanterns can serve as an alternative source of light. They are also quite useful under the tent and can serve as inside lighting for reading and keeping warm in your tent. Some backpacking lanterns are bright enough to reach out of your tent so that any rabid animal lurking around would be scared off. Their portability makes them easy to carry around, and whenever nature calls at odd hours, you are prepared with a light in hand to lead you to a place of ease.
Rechargeable Camping Lanterns
Rechargeable camping lanterns are an excellent alternative to traditional gas-powered lanterns. A rechargeable LED camping lantern can stay at full brightness for long hours after it has been charged, and some will keep on for many days. Rechargeable lamps are a camper’s favorite because they don’t interfere with your camping experience but instead, add to it some security and assuredness. A rechargeable camping lantern is the chief of all lanterns and will fit into any camping trip.
Battery-Powered Camping Lanterns
Rechargeable camping lanterns in all their power and might are still rivaled by the humble alkaline battery. These types of lanterns are simple in design and convenient to use. At any given time, you can swap out the replaceable batteries for new ones. Most notably, they serve longer than rechargeable lanterns. They may not have a USB port, music players, headphone jacks, and other modern conveniences boasted of by rechargeable lanterns, but these lanterns hold their own.
Solar Camping Lanterns
Remember when we decorated rechargeable lanterns as a convenient alternative? Well, all of the reasons we gave for that and more can be attributed to solar lamps. These innately convenient lanterns feature the same lithium battery technology that rechargeable models have and still have the option to be charged using the sun’s rays. And because of their modernistic design, they can dissipate all of their stored solar energy into your phones, tablets, or GPS devices for a quick recharge. We recommend solar lanterns for long-distance backpackers.
Gas-Powered Camping Lanterns
Hands down the oldest, most common type of camping lantern. This tried-and-true cult classic brings a little more warmth and exciting nostalgia to your camping experience like none other. They tend to be heavier than the other lanterns we previously mentioned, and are not as portable. Gas lanterns may not charge your phone, but what they bring is beyond all modern distractions. They take you back to the old days when camping was not just fun but necessary. The nostalgia that comes with lighting up a rugged gas lantern is incomparable.
How Do You Choose a Camping Lantern?
Ultimately, we need camping lanterns for roughly the same purpose (you know, lighting your campsite up). Technology has made it a bit more challenging to choose between lamps because nowadays, the average camping lantern can do much more than light up. There are a few features that set the good ones apart, and we will be discussing the essential determinants of a good lantern below.
This one goes without saying, but not every lantern deemed “super bright” by the manufacturer is, you know, super bright. So to be able to firmly tell if lamp A is brighter than lamp B, you need to know about a standard light measurement for brightness called “lumens.”
To save you the long-winding mathematics and the rest of the boring stuff on how lumens are calculated, you only need to know one thing; the more the lumens, the brighter the light. When shopping, you shouldn't get a light below 400 lumens, and more is always better than less. But more than 1,000 lumens is not quite better than less because lanterns that bright are just too bright for reasons we will discuss in our next topic.
The versatility of adjustable brightness is something that some camping lanterns can achieve with a dial (the same purpose your dimmer switch serves at home). This property of lanterns is key to a great camping experience. Some camping lanterns also have pre-set brightness modes for different lighting situations like medium, low, or even strobe.
Good camping lanterns like the ones we reviewed are extra bright and subtle as mood lights. Adjustable lanterns also tend to live longer, save more energy, and give you control over your day-to-day energy usage, which is something that should be taken very seriously when camping. You don't want to run out of light on your first night. This brings us to our next point.
A lantern's runtime is how long it has been proven to last after a full charge without swapping, refueling, or recharging. The longer the runtime the better. A lanterns runtime is also affected by its adjustability.. For example, a rechargeable LED lantern using a lithium-ion battery with a runtime of 10 hours on its highest setting may serve for 60 hours on its low setting.
Size and Weight
In a perfect world, lanterns with the same brightness, adjustability, and runtime would be just as portable and heavy as the other, but every lantern has extra features that tend to tilt the balance of size and weight. We recommend you take this into consideration when making a purchase. For example, car camping will require a lamp that doesn’t need to be backpacked or carried for long distances, giving you a higher selection of runtimes and brightness. On the flip side, a more portable or compact lantern will offer less brightness levels and runtime.
Camping Lanterns FAQs
Q: Does the power source of a camping lantern affect the runtime?
A: The runtime does dwell on a lantern's power source. So while an LED lantern may last for 48 hours on its lowest setting, at the same brightness, a propane lantern will serve for much less before it needs to be refilled, repressurized, and relit.
Q: Is a gas camping lantern better than an electric one?
A: There’s no argument here. Electric LED lanterns that have rechargeable batteries have become the golden standard. And wit the constant improvement of battery technology, campers can be assured of battery capacity.
Q: Are all camping lanterns waterproof?
A: An “IP” rating is a test of the waterproffness of a lanttern. IP ratings are designated on a scale of 0-8, with an “IPX-0” rating signifying no water protection whatsoever, and an IPX-8 rating signifying that complete submergence in water for any time period won’t do any harm. Camping lanterns with have an IP rating of at least IPX4, are safe to be splashed or rained on for short periods without being damaged by moisture.
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