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The 5 Best Camping Lanterns (2022 Review)

Lanterns are typically used during outdoor adventures, such as hiking and camping trips, to produce light once the sun goes down. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best camping lanterns on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home. The products included in this article are available at various retail stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

camping lantern Workshop Media

When the sun goes down, don’t be caught without reliable light. Though headlamps are useful for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities, lanterns provide a stable light source that stays put wherever you place them. Camping lanterns come in a variety of shapes, sizes, brightnesses, and more. To help you sort through the different options, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best camping lanterns on Amazon. Here are our top five recommendations.

Best Battery Life: Vont Camping Lanterns

This pack comes with two lanterns as well as the AA batteries needed to start using them immediately. The lanterns have a collapsible design. You can partially close them to decrease how much light they produce or completely close them when you’re done using them.

Key Features

  • Two lanterns and six single-use batteries
  • Powered by single-use batteries
  • Collapsible design
  • 140-lumen light output
  • 90-hour battery life

What Customers Are Saying

Customers praised the lanterns in this two-pack for being bright, compact, and reliable. They also reported that the lanterns were easy to use. However, some customers found that the bulbs began to flicker after relatively minimal use, while others reported that the included batteries were low-quality and didn’t last long.

Best Lighting Options: Lighting EVER LED Camping Lantern

While this particular lantern comes in a one-pack, you can also purchase other quantities if you have more people in your group or a larger area to light. The lantern has a cover around its bulb for projecting the light as well as a hook on the top for hanging it from a post or branch.

Key Features

  • One lantern
  • Powered by single-use batteries
  • Multiple light settings
  • 1,000-lumen light output
  • 12-hour battery life

What Customers Are Saying

Customers found this camping lantern to be stable in windy conditions even with its light weight. Though many customers appreciated its 1,000-lumen light output, some complained about its non-frosted cover, which caused the light to hurt their eyes. Others found the blinking power light to be annoying.

Best Pack: Etekcity Camping Lanterns

These lanterns come with the AA batteries needed to run them. These batteries last for about 30 hours before needing replacements, giving you enough light for a day and a half. The lanterns are also collapsible, preventing them from taking up too much space in your bag.

Key Features

  • Four lanterns and 12 single-use batteries
  • Powered by single-use batteries
  • Collapsible design
  • 280-lumen light output
  • 30-hour battery life

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers liked the lightweight, intuitive, and attractive design of these LED camping lanterns. Others appreciated the four-pack quantity, which provided plenty of light during camping trips and power outages. However, some customers didn’t like the harsh blue light that the lanterns gave off. Some lanterns also experienced water damage despite being advertised as water-resistant.

Best Power Options: EZORKAS LANTERN Camping Lanterns

The two lanterns in this pack have a flashlight capability in addition to a lantern capability. The lantern uses LED bulbs for enhanced brightness and a longer lifespan, while the flashlight at the base provides directed lighting. Each lantern also has several features that make it more convenient to use, such as a magnetic base for attachment and a collapsible body for transportation.

Key Features

  • Two lanterns and two USB charging cables
  • Powered by single-use or rechargeable batteries
  • Collapsible design
  • Multiple light settings

What Customers Are Saying

Satisfied customers were pleased with the performance and versatility of these camping lanterns. They also found the two-pack quantity to be useful when they were camping or spending time outdoors with a partner. Other users said that the USB charging port was delicate and easy to break and the lantern housing was flimsy and unstable.

Best Multipurpose Lantern: AlpsWolf Camping Lantern

This lantern comes with a cable for recharging its battery once it dies and a carabiner for hanging it to a structure. It also has six lighting modes, including a red warning light, for a customizable lighting experience.

Key Features

  • One lantern and one USB charging cable
  • Powered by a rechargeable battery
  • Multiple light settings
  • 800-lumen light output

What Customers Are Saying

Customers who gave this product a positive review found it to be a compact but complete portable lighting solution, citing the multiple lighting modes and carrying handles. However, those who gave it a negative review expressed concerns about its subpar battery life.

Buyer’s Guide

Read our buyer’s guide below to learn more about camping lanterns and how to choose one for your needs.

Power Source

Lanterns get power in one of three ways.

Fuel

These lanterns run on liquid propane or butane. If you’re opting for a fuel-powered lantern, consider what fuel the rest of your camping equipment uses. For example, if your camp stove uses propane, purchase a propane lantern, as this prevents you from having to buy several types of fuel. While fuel-powered lanterns produce a lot of light and heat, they are noisy and pose safety risks. They can start a fire if they’re tipped or poison you if they’re used in enclosed spaces.

Battery

Battery-powered lanterns have slots for single-use or rechargeable batteries. This type of lantern is the most convenient because it works in all situations, but you have to remember to always have either the charger or backup batteries on hand.

Solar

Solar-powered lanterns are an eco-friendly alternative to fuel- and battery-powered lanterns, turning energy from sunlight into power. They typically also have a backup battery in case their panel doesn’t absorb enough solar energy.

Portability

Lanterns should be small in size and light in weight. Some also have a collapsible body to fit in your backpack or a handle to carry them.

Adjustability

Some lanterns have different light settings. This option is useful if you want to change the color or brightness of the light depending on what you’re doing. For example, you may want a warm, low light as you get into the tent to prepare your eyes and brain for sleep.

Runtime

This refers to how long the battery, solar energy, or fuel lasts. You can always keep extra fuel or batteries on hand in case your lantern dies, but the best lanterns have a long enough life that you don’t need to use your spares during your trip. Keep in mind that using the lantern at a lower brightness level also extends its life.

Durability

Lanterns are used in outdoor spaces, so choose one that can withstand harsh conditions. The best models are water-resistant or waterproof to withstand rain and shockproof or impact-resistant to withstand falls.

How To Prepare for the Great Outdoors

Whether you’re planning a trip with your friends under the stars or sleeping with your kids in a tent in the backyard, camping lanterns are the perfect lighting solution. To get the most out of your camping lantern and ensure a safe and successful outing, here are some camping safety tips to keep in mind before you hit the road with your friends and family.

Pack the 10 Essentials

Whether you’re going on a quick overnight camping trip or a multi-day backpacking excursion, the 10 essentials ensure that you’re comfortable and prepared for emergencies. The 10 essentials include:

  • A navigation system
  • A light source
  • Sun protection
  • A first aid kit
  • A pocket knife
  • A fire source
  • A shelter source
  • Extra food beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra water beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra clothes beyond the minimum expectation

Know Your Surroundings

Look for landmarks at the campsite and on the trail. While you’re hiking, look at the trail as well as a map to familiarize yourself with any twists, turns, and forks.

Share Your Itinerary

Providing a brief overview of your trip itinerary can help your loved ones determine when something is wrong. They can call for help if you’re out in the wilderness without a signal and not back when you said you would be.

Avoid Wild Animals

To keep wild animals at bay, seal all of your food in airtight containers. If you spot an animal, watch carefully and respectfully from a safe distance, and avoid feeding or touching them.

Leave No Trace

More of an environmental tip rather than a tip for your immediate safety, make sure to leave the trail and campsite exactly as you found them. Bring any trash with you until you can find a proper place to dispose of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between lanterns and flashlights?

Lanterns and flashlights work better in different situations:

  • Lanterns: Lanterns light a larger area. You can also hang them on a post or branch for hands-free light.
  • Flashlights: Flashlights create a concentrated beam of light to see details. They’re also more portable.

How do I safely use my lantern?

Here are some safety tips:

  • Use the right type of battery for your battery-operated lantern.
  • Avoid using fuel-powered lanterns with children around.
  • Don’t use fuel-powered lanterns indoors.
  • Don’t place fuel-powered lanterns near flammable items.

What are candle lanterns?

This type of lantern uses candles as a light source as opposed to fuel, sunlight, or batteries. While these candles have an aesthetically pleasing look, they don’t produce a lot of light, and they pose a fire risk.

Can a camping lantern illuminate an entire campsite?

Most camping lanterns hover around 100–400 lumens of brightness, so you may want multiple lanterns if a soft glow is too dim. However, powerful lanterns that deliver at least 1,000 lumens of brightness can provide ample light for a relatively large area.

Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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