TOP Camping Lanterns

Black Diamond Apollo Product Image

Black Diamond Apollo

  • Useful collapsible design with folding legs
  • Light
  • Can go up to 90 hours on the lowest setting
  • External USB for charging your electronics
  • Strobe mode

The Black Diamond Apollo is a great lantern to take with you when you are backpacking. It has a great, collapsible design, with folding legs and a light weight. It can put out up to 250 lumens and on its lowest brightness setting can last for up to 90 hours. Aside from the fact that it is not waterproof, we can’t really find anything to dislike about this lantern.  



Dorcy 41-1017 Mini LED lantern Product Image

Dorcy 41-1017 Mini LED lantern

  • One of the lightest and easiest to carry camping lanterns on the market
  • Affordable
  • Very easy to use
  • Batteries can last up to 70 hours
  • Attractive design; comes in a variety of colors

The Dorcy 41-1017 is a very cute looking, colorful and popular mini LED lantern. It is very affordable, easy to use and one of the lightest camping lanterns on the market. It is extremely easy to carry around and figure out, which makes it a perfect choice not only for camping or other outdoor activities, but also for your household. The only downside to this mini lantern would be its durability. Dorcy 41-1017 is made of plastic and it is quite easy to break. Its handle in particular is very fragile.



Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern Product Image

Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern

  • Can recharge it in three ways (via USB, via a solar panel, via its hand crank)
  • Light weighted
  • Foldable legs; easy to pack and carry
  • Has a USB port where you can recharge your smartphone, tablet, etc.
  • Bright (400 lumens on its highest setting)

The Lighthouse 400 is the brightest camping lantern manufactured by Goal Zero. It is a wonderful lighting device that provides up to 400 lumens, it has a USB port that you can use to charge your smartphone or other mobile devices and it is light weighted, weighs only around one pound. The only drawbacks are the fact that it is a bit expensive and it doesn’t have replaceable batteries, so you have to be able to recharge it via USB, solar panel or using its emergency hand crank.



Coleman Premium Dual Fuel Product Image

Coleman Premium Dual Fuel

  • Very solid, quality materials
  • Very bright
  • Lower consumption than with propane fueled lanterns
  • Behaves very remarkable in harsh weather conditions, especially at lower temperatures

The Coleman Premium Dual Fuel lantern is a legendary lighting device that should be part of anyone’s camping gear. It is one of the most solid, durable lanterns on the market and it can literally last you a lifetime. It can go up to 861 lumens on its highest brightness level and a can of fuel lasts you for 7 hours on the brightest setting. You can also use it with regular unleaded gasoline. While it may not be the smallest and lightest lantern you can buy, it is a reliable piece of equipment for several outdoor activities.



Princeton Tec Helix Backcountry  Product Image

Princeton Tec Helix Backcountry

  • Small and lightweight
  • Collapsible and with folding legs
  • Water resistant (IPX6 rated)
  • Affordable
  • 5-year warranty

The Helix Backcountry from Princeton Tec is a really handy lantern, great for camping purposes and more. It has a cool and efficient design, it is collapsible and has folding legs. It is lightweight, small, puts out 150 lumens and it is water resistant. And on top of all, it has a decent price.


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Coleman Quad LED  Product Image

Coleman Quad LED

  • Powerful light for camp use
  • Versatile (you’ve got 4 additional lanterns thanks to the detachable panels)
  • Easy to use
  • Impressive runtime
  • The panels use rechargeable batteries

The Coleman Quad LED is a versatile camping lantern because it consists of 4 detachable panels that can work as independent lanterns. The Quad LED produces 190 lumens and runs on 8 long-lasting D-cell batteries. Some of its main drawbacks are its size and weight.


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Suaoki Collapsible Clover Style 18 Led Camping Tent Lantern Product Image

Suaoki Collapsible Clover Style 18 Led Camping Tent Lantern

  • Eco-friendly, solar powered
  • Affordable
  • Very light and small; collapsible model
  • Can also be charged via USB
  • Versatile

The Suaoki Collapsible Clover Style 18 LED Camping Tent Lantern is a solar powered, eco-friendly camping lantern, best suited for tents. It comes with 18 LEDs, it can also be charged via USB, it folds and it is no bigger than a smartphone. It weighs only 0.37 pounds, thus extremely easy to store and carry, which makes it a valuable addition to your camping kit or your emergency kit. You can get it for under 20 bucks and it gets fully charged in 3 hours and a half in bright sun. It can be used both as a flashlight or a lantern, although the latter is recommended.  


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Streamlight The Siege Product Image

Streamlight The Siege

  • Waterproof
  • Ergonomic design
  • Multiple lighting modes
  • Inexpensive
  • Impressive runtime

Streamlight The Siege is a great value for the money. It is LED-based, affordable, lightweight, waterproof, has an ergonomic design and has several lighting modes, including an SOS one. It has a max. output of 540 lumens.


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UST 30-day DURO LED  Product Image


  • Great battery life
  • Affordable
  • 4 lighting modes (including the SOS one)
  • Glow in the dark feature

The 30-day DURO LED is popular for its stamina, as it has an impressive runtime of 30 days on the low setting. It is an affordable lantern, it has an ergonomic design, it is water resistant and it also has an SOS mode. It is not the smallest and lightest lantern out there, but it can be used for various outdoor/indoor purposes.


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Black Diamond Titan Lantern Product Image

Black Diamond Titan Lantern

  • Collapsible model, you can compress it and save up space
  • Sturdy
  • LED powered, meaning less consumption, long-lasting bulb and brighter light
  • Double-hook hanging system
  • Ideal not just for outdoors but indoors too, because it is not gas powered (no smell, no risk of carbon monoxide, etc.)

The Black Diamond Titan is one of the most powerful and sturdy camping lanterns from Black Diamond. It can put out a maximum of 250 lumens on its brightest setting and the four D-cell batteries last for 24 hours on high and up to 168 hours on the lowest setting. One of the best  features of the lantern are its double-hook hanging system and the fact that it is collapsible, meaning you can compress it to make it smaller and easier to fit in your camping gear. The Black Diamond is LED powered, which means it will last you longer, both battery and bulb wise.



Last updated April 15, 2024

All About Camping Lanterns

Camping Lanterns

What is more fun than taking a break from the city turmoil, throwing your backpack on and leaving all the noise and pollution behind you? Camping is one of the most popular and embraced outdoor activities and it can be done in any combination: by yourself, with your loved one, with your kids, friends or family. You get to sit around a campfire, do some hiking, breath some fresh air for a change and relax.

However, no matter how much you want to free yourself from anything ‘man made’ and reconnect with Mother Nature, you’ll still need some equipment with you, for basic necessities. One of the main components of any camping kit is a light source, because nature’s ‘electricity’ might not be enough for you during nighttime, bad weather and so on.

Camping lanterns are a must for any outdoor enthusiast. They’ve developed considerably over the years and nowadays, they don’t exclusively rely on gas anymore in order to operate. They can also be completely flameless, safe to use even around children and they can prove to be a valuable addition even to your home, for times when the power goes out. Lanterns are also useful in case of bad weather, storms, etc. and should definitely be a part of any survival kit.

Because they evolved a lot since the first models, lanterns are now less bulky, they last more on a single charge and they are more durable. There is also a wide variety of camping lights to choose from: from plain old flashlights, to headlamps and lanterns. The main difference between them? Well, flashlights are designed to project the beam of light at a distance; the most professional ones have a throw distance of more than 1,000 meters. They are smaller than camping lanterns/gas lamps, easier to carry around and come in a myriad of types, sizes and models, each with its own complex set of features. Headlamps are exactly what they sound like: lamps you put on your head. Their main advantage is of course the fact that they free your hands, so you can do/carry something else with them. Headlamps are even smaller and lighter than flashlights, they can easily be mounted on your head and while their light is not as powerful as that emitted by flashlights, they do have their benefits and are especially practical for individual purposes than for larger groups.

Camping lanterns are the biggest and most static type of camping lighting gear. You can still find lanterns that are gas-powered (with either propane or liquid gas), and while they do provide the best light, they are also heavy, pretty expensive and more difficult to use. There are also plenty of electric, solar and mechanical lanterns to choose from, depending on the size, type of the batteries and style you prefer.

Camping lanterns are specifically designed to be used outdoor. They are not easily breakable, they are resistant to the elements (water and more) and they provide a 360-degree field of view, meaning you can see pretty much everything around you. That does affect the brightness and you can’t really focus the beam on a specific spot, but that’s why there are flashlights out there too. Another great benefit of the camping lantern is the fact that you can place it upright and the lantern lights up your surroundings.

Camping Lanterns - What To Look For

Camping Lanterns

There are several things you should take into consideration when shopping for a camping lantern. You should first familiarize yourself with the terms used to describe a lantern’s capabilities: lumens, size and weight, power type and consumption, run time (hours of use), features and more.

Lumens are units of measurement for light, along with candela and lux. In easier words, lumens basically determine how powerful the light emitted by your lantern is. A lumen is defined as a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a specific source of light (Wikipedia). What should that mean to you? The more lumens your lantern has, the brighter the light. Take it like this: a candle has somewhere around 12 lumens. Camping lanterns can go from 40 to even 1,000 lumens. The brighter lanterns are the gas-powered ones, such as the Coleman Premium Dual Fuel (861 lumens on its highest mode and it can last for 7 hours). For your information, a tent can have more than enough light with even under 100 lumens. With 300 lumens you can have a real party on the entire campsite.

The power type of the lantern also varies from lantern to lantern: you can have gas-powered lanterns, solar ones, hand-cranked or electric ones. If you are going with the latter, more options arise: do you want one that has to be plugged in, one that works on batteries, what kind of batteries, how many, are they rechargeable or not. If you are going camping near your RV, you can go with a model that requires an outlet. Battery powered lanterns are also a popular choice. You can go for alkaline, lithium or lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Lanterns that use alkaline batteries tend to lose from their power when temperatures go below 0, unlike lithium ones, which cope better with cold. You should also see how many batteries the lantern uses, what type of batteries are they, how common and expensive are they?

Gas-powered lanterns might be a wiser choice if you are going in a remote place, where you don’t have access to electricity and you can’t buy batteries on every corner. It might be smarter to just have an additional can of fuel and just eliminate the need for batteries or electric power. However, gas lanterns are more expensive and they require some experience in using them. They can also emit toxic fumes, so you might want to be careful when using them inside a tent, or better yet, don’t use them inside the tent at all.

Hand-cranked models are mechanically powered lanterns that work by winding, shaking the lantern’s handle or performing other repetitive motions. While they don’t require any batteries or fuels to operate, it can be pretty exhausting to keep working your muscles in order to get the lantern to work, so they’re mainly suited for emergency situations, when you don’t need continuous light for a longer period of time.

Another aspect to take into consideration, and this is a really important one, is how many hours of operation can the lantern provide. How much can you use the lantern with a single charge, be it fuel, battery and so on. Camping lanterns can go from just 2 hours and a half to almost 300 hours of use on a single charge. Lanterns powered by batteries have the longest run time, while hand cranked and solar ones are on the opposite side. You have to pay attention though to the adjustment of the brightness feature, because if you use a lantern on its highest level of brightness, you’re going to run out of juice a lot faster.

The dimensions and weight of the lantern are another important factor. It is very important to know exactly where and how you are going to use the lantern: are you going hiking? Are you climbing rocks? Are you just going camping in your backyard with your kid for fun? Are you going by foot or by car? How big is your backpack? How much room does the lantern need, etc.? Some camping lanterns can be quite bulky and heavy (more than 3 pounds) and you want it to be a helpful addition to your camping kit, not a burden, especially if you know you have to hike for 12 miles to get to your campsite. Don’t forget to take into account any additional batteries or cans of fuel when you calculate the final weight. If you know that size and weight are an issue for you, try to go for a lighter model, a collapsible model or one with folding legs, to save up some space (for instance, the Black Diamond Apollo).

Other aspects to pay attention to are the cost of the lantern and the quality of the materials. You know your own budget, but also be aware of this: if you just pay a few dollars on a lantern, you will only get a few dollars quality lantern, so don’t be too cheap, because you’ll only end up spending more on the long run.

Last, but not least, you should browse through the features of the lantern. There are a lot of offers on the market and you have to know what your priorities are before making a choice. Is the lantern water resistant? Does it come with those indispensable hanging hooks? Does it have folding legs? Can you adjust the brightness level on it? Does it have a USB port? Some prefer lanterns that have one, so they can charge their music player or smartphone from it. How about the colors of the light? Some lanterns come with a yellow light so it doesn’t attract insects, others have a red light, suited for night vision. Does it come with an SOS mode to be able to signal in case of emergencies? All these and more are features you can find in a camping lantern. Do your research before spending your money on anything, so you’ll be sure you made the right decision and you’ve purchased the camping lantern that best meets your needs.