Planning a Camping Trip: The Complete Guide SEE FULL GUIDE prev next Camping Pillows Air Mattresses Camping Stoves Hiking Snacks Tips for First-Time Campers Camping on a Budget Top Camping Destinations Best States to Camp Top National Parks Camping in the Fall Spring Camping Getaways How to Go Backpacking Complete Checklist Backpacking Destinations Setting Up Camp FAQs About Camping Tips for Non-Campers First Aid Packing List Tents Camping Chairs Hammocks Camping Accessories Lanterns Planning a Camping Trip: The Complete Guide close Overview Outdoors Camping The 11 Best Camping Lanterns of 2023 By Justine Harrington Justine Harrington Twitter University of Arkansas Justine Harrington is a TripSavvy writer based in Austin, Texas, where she covers topics spanning travel, food & drink, lifestyle, culture, social advocacy, and the outdoors. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 11/09/22 Share Pin Email We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Camping is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the outdoors and truly appreciate Mother Nature’s majesty. Whether you’re an experienced backcountry expert or a confirmed non-camper, some essentials can make your outdoors experience more comfortable. Camping lanterns, which light up your ultra-dark campsite, help you extend your evening after the sun sets and allow you to see trip hazards across the site. Married camping couple Derek and Tonya Jones, who capture their travels on Instagram @Fabulous.Jones, advise looking for a low-maintenance, durable lantern, and one where accessing fuel or batteries will be relatively easy. We’ve found the top lamps for every occasion. Read on for the best camping lanterns of the year. The Rundown Best Overall: Vont LED Camping Lantern at Amazon Jump to Review Best Budget: Black Diamond Equipment Lantern at Amazon Jump to Review Best Solar: Goal Zero Crush Light at Amazon Jump to Review Best Rechargeable: Barebones Forest Lantern at Amazon Jump to Review Best LED: Energizer LED Camping Lantern at Amazon Jump to Review Best Battery Life: UST 30-Day Duro 1000 Lantern at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Backpacking: LuminAID 2-in-1 Power Lantern at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Car Camping: BioLite Alpenglow Lantern at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Tent Camping: Coleman LED Lantern at Amazon Jump to Review Best Portable Gas Lantern: Coleman Gas Lantern at Amazon Jump to Review Table of contents Expand Our Picks What to Look For FAQ Why Trust TripSavvy Best Overall Vont LED Camping Lantern 4 Pack Amazon View On Amazon View On Walmart What We Like 360-degrees of bright LED lighting Waterproof and durable if dropped Batteries included Great lifetime warranty What We Don't Like Light doesn't illuminate longer distances The Vont LED Camping Lanterns deliver reliable use in a compact package that will please many shoppers. The lamps’ compact size means they’re a go-anywhere workhorse that can easily be toted along backpacking, set up in a campsite, or kept at home for emergencies. They are constructed with aircraft-grade, waterproof materials, so these hardy little lanterns (they’re 4.8 inches tall) can survive 10-foot drops and be temporarily submerged in water. Coming in a set of four, they can easily be set throughout a campsite or brought into tents to create a fully lit space; however, they also have a carrying arm for portability. Price at time of publish: $46 Max lumens: 140 lumens | Burn time: 90 hours | Power source: 3 AAA batteries | Weight: 10 ounces Planning a Camping Trip: The Complete Guide Best Budget Black Diamond Equipment Moji and Moji+ Lantern Amazon View On Amazon View On Backcountry.com View On REI What We Like Very lightweight Rings to hang the light Dimming switch for brightness What We Don't Like Low light source This compact lantern offers no-frills illumination at the just-right price. It illuminates only 100 lumens, which is just enough for a tent or to carry around with you in the campsite—which you can do easily because it weighs just a few ounces. Rings at the top of the ball-like dome help you hang the portable lamp wherever needed. The lantern also has a dimming switch to adjust brightness, and a frosted dome casts a gentle, ambient light. Price at time of publish: $25 Max lumens: 100 lumens | Burn time: 70 hours | Power source: AAA batteries | Weight: 3 ounces Best Solar Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Powered Lantern Amazon View On Amazon What We Like Solar powered and USB charging Collapsable for travel Comes in several colors What We Don't Like Short amount of burn time Whether backpacking or hanging around a fixed campsite, you won't have to worry about batteries or fuel with this solar-powered lantern. You can charge the Crush via USB before you hit the trails if you're faced with cloudy days or are snow camping. The collapsible pop-up design makes this a handy and compact addition to any packing list. Max lumens: 60 lumens | Burn time: 3.5 hours | Power source: Solar | Weight: 3.2 ounces Tested: The 8 Best Family Camping Tents of 2023 Best Rechargeable Barebones Forest Lantern Courtesy of Amazon View On Amazon View On Food52 What We Like Rechargeable with micro-USB Easy on/off switch with dimmer Vintage-inspired design What We Don't Like Heavy in weight The Barebones Rechargeable USB Lantern delivers up to 80 hours of burn time in just six hours of fast-paced recharging via micro-USB. A durable stamped steel body means this lamp can take a beating in outdoor conditions. A simple on/off switch doubles as a dimmer to create more ambiance around the campsite while you’re solo or entertaining. Plus, this lamp is extremely photogenic with its vintage-inspired design in antique bronze or red. Price at time of publish: $80 Max lumens: 220 lumens | Burn time: 4-80 hours | Power source: Rechargeable battery | Weight: 1 pound, 2 ounces Best LED Energizer Weatheready LED Camping Lantern Amazon View On Amazon View On Hardwareworld.com View On Home Depot What We Like Long burn time Three brightness settings to save battery Water-resistant plastic construction What We Don't Like Batteries not included With bright 500-lumen light and 360 degrees of illumination, this LED camping lantern will quickly become a go-to for the campsite and beyond. Grab this handheld lantern on the go around the camp or even during an emergency at home. Thanks to the LED, it won’t heat up and can easily be carted into tents and kept safely around children and pets. It offers three brightness modes, with the lowest setting extending the burn time up to 650 hours. It’s a durable, all-weather choice thanks to its water-resistant and plastic (rather than glass) construction. Price at time of publish: $20 Max lumens: 500 lumens | Burn time: 650 hours | Power source: 3 Energizer Max D batteries | Weight: 14 ounces Tested and Reviewed: The 11 Best Camping Chairs of 2023 Best Battery Life UST 30-Day Duro 1000 Lantern Amazon View On Amazon What We Like Exceptionally long burn time 5 different mode settings Durable plastic case What We Don't Like On the heavier side With a burn time (on low) of 30 days, this lantern surges to the front of the pack when it comes to run time. That’s all courtesy of D-cell batteries, which on high cast a bright 1,000-lumen glow that may have your campsite neighbors asking you to dim it. Built-in folding hooks allow for hanging anywhere, whether off the rearview mirror of your RV or a tree branch. A rubberized plastic case means the removable globe and base can take a beating and stand up to the elements. Price at time of publish: $50 Max lumens: 1000 lumens | Burn time: 30 days on low | Power source: 3 D-cell alkaline batteries | Weight: 1.9 pounds Best for Backpacking LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Power Lantern REI View On Amazon View On Luminaid.com View On REI What We Like Solar rechargeable batteries Five brightness levels Adjustable strap to hang Can be collapsed to 1-inch tall What We Don't Like Not great as a battery backup for phones Offering solar recharging and a long burn time in a lightweight package, this lantern checks all the boxes for the backcountry. Users can choose from five brightness settings, with the lowest setting allowing the lamp to run for 50 hours—in other words, throughout evening use on a several-day backpacking trip. However, with its solar recharging capability, backpackers never have to worry about running out of a charge. The collapsible light stands in a six-inch cube when inflated, but it packs down to one inch tall, making it easy to stash in packs. An adjustable strap allows you to hang the lantern in trees, tents, or daisy chain them together to create string lights. This lamp is also safe around kids and pets thanks to its LED light. Price at time of publish: $50 Max lumens: 150 lumens | Burn time: 50 hours on low | Power source: Lithium-ion batteries (solar rechargeable) | Weight: 8.6 ounces Tested and Reviewed: The 11 Best Camping Chairs of 2023 Best for Car Camping BioLite Alpenglow Lantern Courtesy of Amazon View On Amazon View On REI What We Like USB charging port Versatile Light and packable What We Don't Like Not as bright as other options Illuminate your campsite with this petite and practical lantern. High-efficiency ChromaReal LEDs emit broad-spectrum light so you can see accurate colors in low-light conditions—perfect for nighttime cooking or card games. There are plenty of light modes, including cool and warm light, plus special settings can be accessed by shaking the lantern. Thoughtful features such as a USB port for charging other devices and a built-in loop for suspending overhead set the Alpenglow apart. Price at time of publish: $60 Max lumens: 250 lumens | Burn time: 200 hours on low | Power source: Rechargeable battery | Weight: 7.6 ounces Best for Tent Camping Coleman Classic Rechargable LED Lantern Amazon View On Amazon What We Like Charges quickly with indicator light Wide, stable base What We Don't Like Heavy Short burn time Every campsite should have a bright and reliable lantern—enter the Coleman Classic. Any home outlet can power up its integrated rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and its 400 lumens shine over 12 meters on high. The wide base, which doubles as storage for the charger, allows this lantern to stand perfectly on its own in your tent and cool burning LEDs make it extra safe. A USB port and cord keep your other devices powered up too. Price at time of publish: $65 Max lumens: 400 lumens | Burn time: 20 hours on low | Power source: Rechargeable battery | Weight: 1 pound 12 ounces Best Portable Gas Lantern Coleman Gas Lantern Amazon View On Amazon View On Opticsplanet.com What We Like Casts light up to 23 meters Good for extreme weather conditions Ventilator resists corrosion Base can be propped up anywhere What We Don't Like Heavy in weight Requires propane This lamp is a classic if you’re looking for a non-battery-powered lantern. It delivers ample brightness and burn time. Plus, its pressure-control technology and high-temperature-tolerance glass globe deliver consistent, safe performance even in extreme weather conditions. The lantern will stand the test of time due to a porcelain-coated two-tier ventilator that resists corrosion and rust. It’s useful around the campsite thanks to a collapsible footed base that can be propped anywhere and a bail handle for convenient carrying and hanging. It comes with a three-year limited warranty. Price at time of publish: $45 Max lumens: 1,000 lumens | Burn time: 7.5 hours on high | Power source: Propane | Weight: 3 pounds Best for Group Camping BioLite BaseLantern XL Bluetooth Lantern and Power Hub Amazon View On Amazon What We Like Adjustable brightness in multiple colors Doubles as power-bank to charge tech gear Pairs with other BioLite products What We Don't Like Charging multiple devices quickly drains battery This lamp can illuminate a large campsite thanks to its elevated base and bright, even light. Added features like a color-changing LED spectrum also bring a party atmosphere to group gatherings. The lamp also doubles as a rechargeable power-bank battery, which can help multiple people charge phones, tablets, or other gear while camping. Just keep in mind using it that way will sap the battery life. It can also pair with other BioLite products, such as SiteLights (overhead string lighting), to light an even larger area. Price at time of publish: $170 Max lumens: 500 lumens | Burn time: 55 hours on low | Power source: Rechargeable battery | Weight: 4.6 ounces What to Look for in a Camping Lantern Lumens Lumens measure the output of light, with higher numbers indicating brighter light. For lanterns, lumens begin around 40 and may top 700 in the brightest models. Weight The heavier the lantern, the less portable it is. If you’re car camping or RVing, this may not be much of a concern. However, if you’re backpacking or tent camping, you’ll want to opt for a lighter lantern. Keep in mind that more lightweight lanterns will also generally put out less light. Keep in mind the power source when considering the overall weight. Batteries or fuel will only make it heavier, but it’s useless without anything to power the lantern. Fuel Accessing fuel in the backcountry may be difficult. It may be easier to find batteries even in remote areas. If you’re opting for a battery-powered lantern, keep in mind the battery life to ensure it will last the duration of your needs during a trip, preferably even longer. Conditions Derek and Tonya Jones, who capture their travels under @Fabulous.Jones on Instagram, recommend keeping the environment in mind when choosing a lantern. For example, if you’re camping in the desert or where there’s a high fire risk, you may not want an open flame. If you’re tent camping, you won’t want to use an open flame or a lantern that generates heat when using it around flammable materials. Frequently Asked Questions What are the types of camping lanterns? In general, there are three types of camping lanterns: electric lanterns powered by LED lights, fuel-burning lanterns, and candle lanterns. LED lamps have a long battery life, good light output, can handle rugged use (read: they don’t easily break), and are quiet and exhaust-free. Fuel-burning lamps may be powered by liquid fuel, propane, or butane (often the same fuel as camp stoves). These lamps are generally brighter than LED lanterns; however, they need ample ventilation, generate heat, are noisy, and can be heavy. Candle lanterns provide soft, natural light with no noise; however, they generate little light, and you must keep them far from flammable materials. How many lumens do you need? Anything around 100 lumens will be sufficient for traipsing around a dark campsite at night. This level is also recommended for use within a tent. Opt for around 200 lumens if trying to illuminate an entire tent site and about 300 lumens if you’re having a campsite party. How do you hang a lantern inside a tent? Some lanterns incorporate handy features such as a loop, hook, or clip, which allow you to hang your lantern inside your tent. Most tents have interior fabric loops and/or mesh pockets that also allow hanging items. When in doubt, a carabiner can save the day. Why Trust TripSavvy Justine Harrington is a freelance writer whose topics include travel, food & drink, the outdoors, and more. Her travels have brought her all over the world from France to Mexico City and more. She has been contributing to TripSavvy since 2018. For this article, she consulted with married camping couple Derek and Tonya Jones, who capture their travels on Instagram @Fabulous.Jones. The Ultimate Backpacking Gear Checklist Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Continue to 5 of 11 below. Continue to 9 of 11 below.