The 11 Best Camping Lanterns of 2022

Illuminate the backwoods with the Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lantern

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TripSavvy's Pick

For their overall versatility, we like the Volt 4 Pack Camping Lanterns. These small but mighty lamps can take a beating in the backcountry or front country by withstanding harsh conditions and storms, and they still deliver a reliable light source. Leave the fuel and batteries behind with the Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Powered Lantern.

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.

Best Overall

Vont LED Camping Lantern 4 Pack

Vont LED Camping Lantern 4 Pack

Amazon

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 publication: $40

Max lumens: 140 lumens | Burn time: 90 hours | Power source: 3 AAA batteries | Weight: 10 ounces

Best Budget

Black Diamond Equipment Moji and Moji+ Lantern

Black Diamond Equipment Moji and Moji+ Lantern

Amazon

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 publication: $20 for graphite

Max lumens: 100 lumens | Burn time: 70 hours | Power source: AAA batteries | Weight: 3 ounces

Best Solar

Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Powered Lantern

Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Powered Lantern

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.

Price at time of publication: $25 for Chroma style

Max lumens: 60 lumens | Burn time: 3.5 hours | Power source: Solar | Weight: 3.2 ounces

Best Rechargeable

Barebones Forest Lantern

best camping lanterns

Amazon

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 publication: $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

 Energizer Weatheready LED Camping Lantern

Amazon

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 publication: $20 for ember red

Max lumens: 500 lumens | Burn time: 650 hours | Power source: 3 Energizer Max D batteries | Weight: 14 ounces

Best Battery Life

UST 30-Day Duro 1000 Lantern

UST 30-Day Duro 1000 Lantern

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 publication: $50 for orange

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

LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Power Lantern

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 publication: $50

Max lumens: 150 lumens | Burn time: 50 hours on low | Power source: Lithium-ion batteries (solar rechargeable) | Weight: 8.6 ounces

Best for Car Camping

BioLite Alpenglow Lantern

best camping lanterns
Courtesy of Amazon
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 publication: $59

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

Coleman Classic LED Lantern

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 publication: $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

Coleman Gas Lantern

Amazon

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 publication: $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

BioLite BaseLantern XL Bluetooth Lantern and Power Hub

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 publication: $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.

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