What Makes the Best Camping Lantern?

What Makes the Best Camping Lantern

When you are a nature explorer or just an outdoorsy type of person, nothing beats the feeling of going out to camp and enjoying what nature has to offer.

Outdoor camping often entails staying outside in the dark – and the primary concern, in this case, is always lighting. Lighting is necessary not only for some convenient and obvious reasons but also for safety and security.

Trudging along an unexplored path or unfamiliar terrain in the dark can be quite disastrous for anyone. Hence, a true and practical camper will always have a handy and dependable camping lantern with them at all times.

If you are a first timer and you want to procure the best camping lantern you can get hold of before you go exploring the great outdoors, you would initially be swamped by the huge number of camping lanterns available on the market.

It can be overwhelming at first but, once you know what to look for and what you want, picking the best camping lantern that is tailored for you will be an easy task.

So here is a rundown of the things you have to look for in researching the best camping lantern:

How much does it weigh?

This question addresses the weight of a camping lantern. If you are camping, depending on how far you will go and how will you travel, the most convenient option is to find the lightest, portable & compact camping lantern.

It is usual that you will take other stuff with you when you go out camping – such as tent, sustenance, clothes, communication devices, and others – so bringing a heavy camping lantern will not make things easier.

The lighter the camping lantern, the better it is for you – although quality and performance should not be left unconsidered.

How long will it last?

This question covers the battery life of the camping lantern. When you are enjoying the great outdoors and are far removed from civilization, you want to have a camping lantern that can last for hours – and even days – without needing to be recharged.

Depending on how long you are planning to stay, there are camping lanterns that can run for at least 12 hours straight and there are even some heavy duty camping lanterns that can operate continuously for a week.

In looking for the battery life, the number of lumens a camping lantern can create should also be considered. This is due to the fact that the more lumens a lantern creates, the faster it drains the power reserve.

It is better to look for a camping lantern that runs on low power consumption or one that has a power reserve in case of emergency situations.

Can it with stand the rain?

This question ventures into the capacity of the camping lantern to be water resistant or waterproof. When you go camping, you will be exposed to weather elements – rain being the most common. It is not something that can be prevented, especially when you are enjoying the outdoors.

Apparatus and devices, including camping lanterns, are prone to malfunction and to break down when exposed to water. And since rain cannot be avoided when you are outdoors, it is practical to find a camping lantern that is water resistant or waterproof.

How bright is it?

This question considers the light output capacity of the camping lantern. With brightness, we talk about lumens, design, and optics. The number of lumens is not the sole gauge of the brightness capacity of a camping lantern, although it is one of the determining factors.

As a rule of thumb, the more lumens a camping lantern can provide, the longer the illumination scope or the further the light travels. How many lumens are needed for a camping lantern depends mainly on your purpose.

If you want to go on a camping with a group of 2 or 3 campers, a camping lantern that gives 100 lumens is sufficient. If you plan to go on a search or rescue or camp out with a bigger group, you would definitely need a camping lantern with a higher number of lumens.

Brightness is more determined by the design and how the light is projected by the camping lantern. Also, brightness alone is not enough. The quality of light is also important. A camping lantern that produces a bright light that is not offensive or glaring to the eyes is a sound choice.

How easy is it to use?

This question inquires into the user-friendly set up of a camping lantern. An easy and no-brainer operation is the most practical choice for a camping lantern. A complicated camping lantern will only take more time and effort –time which should be used in enjoying your camping instead.

Furthermore, bringing a complicated lighting apparatus along with you would run counter to the basic idea of camping – which happens to be back to basics or keeping things simple.

Does it have a long service life?

This question seeks to find out whether or not the camping lantern is durable. If you are the type of person who often goes outdoors or goes camping, you will appreciate a heavy duty and durable camping lantern to accompany you.

On this note, the materials used to make the camping lantern are important. Buying a camping lantern that has an approved military grade is always a good choice, because the quality of the product lives up to the standard.

A camping lantern with a warranty and guarantee is also a plus because, with these schemes, consumers get full satisfaction and are spared from receiving defective camping lanterns.

What other features does it offer?

This question tries to find out what other features a camping lantern can offer, aside from the must-have basics. There are accessory features that you would want from the best camping lantern. One feature is an adjustable light setting that you can tinker with to suit either an indoor or an outdoor scene.

An enclosed area needs lesser brightness than an open field and a good camping lantern allows you to make the adjustments accordingly. Another feature that you want is a 360-degree design that will help in the optimal illumination of the surrounding area.

A 360-degree design does away with unwanted impediments or obstructions of the light being emitted by the camping lantern.

Yet another nice feature is a pulsing location detector. This comes in handy when there is a sudden power outage and you forget where you last placed the camping lantern. A camping lantern that runs on solar power can also be a plus – especially for those environment lovers.

A solar powered camping lantern will also save you some dollars because you are spared from recharging your lantern or replacing your dead batteries. A foldable handle or collapsible camping lantern is also convenient for storing and handling your light source.

The more additional features a camping lantern provides, the better. And the more likely for it to be the best camping lantern. It is worth noting, however, that no camping lantern fits all shoes perfectly. What is excellent for one can be a let-down for the other. What is best for one can be just okay for another.

Ultimately, the best camping lantern is one that fits your purpose perfectly and suits all your needs and specifications, as well as the camping lantern that falls within your allocated purchase budget.

To make your search for the best camping lantern easier, we recommend the following five (5) leading camping lanterns in the market right now:

Coleman Quad (TM) LED Lantern

Lanterns are important instruments you have to have at arm’s length while exploring outdoors or when emergency situations occur. Whichever it may be, having a reliable lantern like the Coleman Quad (TM) LED Lantern is a must.

This rechargeable camping lantern is composed of four (4) individual – and removable – light panels that can last for 1.5 hours separately. It is powered by eight (8) D cell batteries that can run for 75 hours straight.

It gives 190 lumens – 47.5 lumens for each light panel. This red camping lantern weighs only 2.5 lbs. and its dimensions are 12.88 in x 7.75 in x 7.69 in.


  • Can run continuously for 75 hours
  • Rechargeable light panels – four (4) in one lantern
  • 190 lumens that create extra bright light
  • 360 degree light
  • Twenty (24) LED bulbs that will last a lifetime – no need for replacements
  • Long service life
  • Runs cool even if already operating for several hours – safe to touch
  • Flashlight mode and hands-free operation
  • Automatic recharging when lantern is placed back on its base


  • All or nothing four (4) light panels – turning off one will result to the shutting down of all other 3 panels unless you remove the panels from the lantern itself
  • No night life feature – locating the lantern in the dark is difficult
  • Recessed handle of the lantern – grabbing the handle will also result in grabbing the break-away light panels

Etekcity 4 Pack Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern

A portable, durable and reliable camping lantern is hard to get these days. Light your way with the ever handy Etekcity 4 Pack Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern that has thirty (30) LED bulbs. The lantern is collapsible and has a foldable handle that is run by AA batteries.

It is compliant with the military grade standard and is compact and lightweight with its 12 oz. weight and 5.3 in x 3.6 in x 3.6 in dimensions. Also, the lantern can run for twelve (12) hours straight.


  • Portable & collapsible – for easy storage
  • Lightweight & compact
  • Long service life
  • 360-degree ultra-bright light – optimal lighting scope
  • Thirty (30) LED bulbs on low energy consumption – energy saving
  • Military grade standard – made of durable materials
  • Can run continuously for twelve (12) hours – no need to recharge it every now and then
  • Ten (10) years warranty – will provide full customer satisfaction with no manufacture or hidden defects
  • Comes in four (4) lanterns – you can use the lanterns in different places at the same time


  • Not water resistant – has to be protected well when you go outdoors
  • Smaller camping lantern compared to standard lantern size
  • Has a smaller illumination scope

MalloMe LED Camping Lantern

Bringing a portable and high performing camping lantern if and when you decide to explore the great outdoors is a must. Enjoy the outdoors even during night time with MalloMe LED Camping Lantern.

This camping lantern can provide a 360 degree unimpeded ultra-bright light that reaches up to one hundred forty-six (146) lumens from the LED bulbs.

The lantern is ROHS & CE military grade compliant with its ABS materials. It can be purchased in a gift set composed of four (4) lanterns and runs with AA batteries as power source.


  • Collapsible – easy to control and store
  • Multi-purpose light source – both for indoor and outdoor activities
  • Provides ultra-bright light – 146 lumens can beam up a wider scope
  • Durable – ABS materials with military grade approval
  • Water-resistant – not sensitive to constant climate changes
  • Compact & lightweight – easy to carry around
  • 360-degree design for unimpeded and optimal illumination
  • With 100% satisfaction guarantee from hidden and manufacture defects
  • Comes with free e-books about making smores and roasting
  • Can be purchased in a gift set composed of four (4) lanterns


  • The very bright light can be harsh on the eyes
  • Moving the lantern around will affect the brightness output of the lantern
  • No intermediate setting – just on and off set-up
  • Pulling the lantern from its collapsed position automatically turns on the lantern – no option if the user wants it to remain inoperative

Image Solar Lantern

Stay lighted outdoors for long periods of time with the Image Solar Lantern. It is a light weight, at 1.78 lbs., plastic camping lantern that runs on low energy consumption and solar power with its built-in polysilicon solar panels.

It has five (5) different charging methods and two (2) interchangeable brightness modes. It can run on AA batteries, electric power or solar energy. The dimensions of the lantern are 10.2 in x 4.9 in x 4.9 in and it is composed of thirty-six (36) LED bulbs.


  • Runs on solar power
  • Environmental friendly product
  • Cost efficient – runs on free solar energy and crank dynamo
  • Convenient charging with five (5) available methods – car adapter, AC adapter, crank dynamo, solar energy & three (3) AA batteries
  • Super bright light from thirty-six (36) LED bulbs – wider scope of illumination
  • Low energy consumption
  • Has a universal USB port with DC 5V/1A output – can charge devices like tablets & mobile phones
  • Two (2) interchangeable brightness modes – bright mode & super bright mode depending on purpose and location


  • Light shines horizontally – light emitted goes straight to your eyes
  • Too bright light that can be glaring when stared at
  • Slow solar charging – small and flat surface area
  • More cranking is needed to create bright light

Blazin’ Bison Brightest LED Camping & Hurricane Lantern

Be assured that you have a light source that can last you almost a week even, if you are far from civilization. There is nothing more dependable than Blazin’ Bison Brightest LED Camping & Hurricane Lantern that offers 500 lumens of ultra-bright light.

With three (3) D batteries, the lantern can run for 140 hours straight. It offers three (3) light modes and a pulsing location light for easy detection.

It is lightweight at 15 oz. and 3 in x 3 in x 7 in dimension. It comes with an “S” hook for hanging and it is made of waterproof rubber and plastic materials.


  • Battery operated
  • Can run continuously for one hundred and forty (140) hours
  • No need to recharge every once in a while or every day
  • Produces ultra-bright light
  • Can create 500 lumens to cover wider scope of illumination
  • Offers adjustable light brightness
  • With three (3) lighting options – High (500 lumens), Low (300 lumens) & Strobe for emergency situations
  • Has a pulsing location light, convenient when locating the apparatus in the dark
  • Portable, compact & lightweight
  • Water resistant & made of rubber materials
  • Offers lifetime warranty, no-risk guarantee from defects


  • Electronic control operates even when the lantern is off – it drains the power reserve even if not in use
  • No manual switch
  • Battery holder design makes it difficult to put the battery cover back after replacing batteries