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9 Different Types of Camping Lanterns (Which Is The Best One For Your Camping Site?)

A tent in pitch darkness with a cat inside illuminated by a lantern at night.

If you want to have a memorable camping trip, it is essential to invest in a quality camping lantern to illuminate your camping site. The best type of lantern you can get is one which will ensure that you don’t spend the night stumbling around in the dark. It needs to be strong enough to light up the campsite, allow you to read a map in your tent, or assist during cooking.

There are many options to choose from which is why it can be difficult for beginners to choose the right one. Here is a detailed guide to help you choose.

Electric Lanterns

More and more campers are choosing electric lanterns for their camping trips. They come in a variety of choices such as LED, solar, rechargeable, and battery-operated. They are the best lantern to use because they are lightweight, durable, and bright. They also have long battery life and hence assist campers well in their trips. They are also safe to use in the tent and are children-friendly. The only con for such lanterns is that they may need a change of battery after a lot of use.

LED Lantern

Supernova Orion Ultimate Survival Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern and Power Bank - Most Versatile, Brightest Lantern for Emergency, Recreation and Hiking Lantern

Source: Ebay

Supernova Orion LED Camping Lantern has a really simple, retractable, and collapsible design. This makes it perfect for campers who don’t want to carry too many bulky things. It will turn into a compact form of 5 inches when you turn it off.

It is also a perfectly safe tool that you can use in extreme weather as well. It has four independent lighting modes, which ensures that you can use it in all sorts of situations such as navigating a trail, cooking at night, in the middle of a storm, or in an emergency. You can click the power button to switch between Red, Bright, Ultra Bright, and Flashing Red light modes.

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The Sonic LED lantern can run for hours at a time. You can use advanced Dual 18650 Lithium Batteries, Single 18650 Lithium Battery or 3 High Capacity Intervene AA Batteries on the lantern. This means that even if you run out of batteries, there are plenty of options that you can easily purchase in local hardware stores. The lantern also comes with a micro USB cable that recharges the battery in no time at all.

The lantern also comes with a 5200mAh power bank. This means that you don’t have to be out of touch at all since you can charge your smartphone or any other USB powered device with the lantern power bank. It is also a good idea to take tools with you that have multiple uses so that you don’t end up carrying all the extra weight without reason.

The lantern is also water-resistant, lightweight, and portable. When you are off backpacking, you need tools that can handle anything that the outdoors may have in store for you; this lantern will survive in rain or snow. The foldaway handle of the LED lantern also lifts up so that you can hang it easily from the tent, branches, or poles.

Solar-Powered Lantern

TANSOREN 2 PACK Portable LED Camping Lantern Solar USB Rechargeable or 3 AA Power Supply, Built-in Power Bank Compati Android Charge, Waterproof Collapsible Emergency LED Light with"S" Hook

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The Tansoren Solar Camp Lantern is a versatile product since it has three different kinds of power supply methods. You can charge it via the solar panel or USB cable. You can also utilize 2 AA batteries to supply power. Since it has multiple ways of recharging, this can be the best camping lantern for you. You need such versatility when you are in a remote location.

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There is also a small power bank built into the canister. This will allow you to charge your Android phones or devices in case of an emergency situation. This can be really helpful on a camping trip when you don’t have readily available electrical outlets.

The solar lantern is collapsible and can easily fit into your backpack. It turns on when you pull the handle up and a simple push will adjust the brightness levels for you. This makes it a really convenient design. On low power, this lantern produces a good amount of light for up to 8 hours. It is a great power source since it is military-grade and water-resistant.

Rechargeable Lanterns

LE LED Camping Lantern Rechargeable, 600LM, Detachable Flashlight, Perfect Lantern Flash Light for Hurricane Emergency, Hiking, Fishing and More, USB Cable and Car Charger Included

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Lighting EVER LE LED Rechargeable Camping Lantern has camping LED light on both sides with two more detachable flashlights on the other two sides. Whenever you need a torchlight to help you read a map at night or while cooking, you can simply take off the flashlight to meet your needs.

The rechargeable lantern has a 1800mAh Lithium battery that can be charged through a USB port. It comes with a charger that you can use while you’re camping. You can also use three D-batteries in the lantern if you are going for a longer trip and don’t want to deal with a rechargeable battery.

Backpackers prefer this high-quality light since it has multiple functions. The lantern has a built-in compass, metal handles, and detachable flashlights for hands-free use. It has 200 lumens of light in each sidelight and a lumen output of 20 in the headlight. There is enough brightness to provide enough light to light up the whole campsite. It has marginal water resistance and is safe around mild splashes of water.

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Battery-Powered Lantern

Quntis Portable LED Camping Lantern, Solar Powered or USB Rechargeable Lanterns with 3 Lighting Modes, Collapsible Mini Flashlight Emergency Power Bank for Camping Hiking Fishing Tent (Incl. Bracelet)

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The battery-operated lantern by Quntis is really lightweight and easy to carry while you are hiking or camping. The lantern is shaped like a telescope and you can hang it anywhere when you need hands-free light. The light is made from green colored plastic ABS and is an eco-friendly product. It has good water resistance and provides maximum durability wherever you go.

The LED cold light is an efficient source of light. It saves energy so that the light lasts longer. It has a one-charge run time of 15 hours. You can use it for over 100,000 hours without replacing the battery, which means that it has a reliable battery life too.

Fuel Lanterns

Fuel-powered lanterns are also another great option for campers who won’t have access to electrical outputs. There are many traditional types of lanterns that have different fuel types such as butane lanterns, propane lanterns, gas lanterns, and kerosene lanterns. Fuel lanterns burn really bright, even more than LED camping lanterns.

However, they do come with their disadvantages like any product. They can be dangerous to use in a tent and can even emit fumes. They also generate a lot of heat which means that you need to keep an eye on children and pets while using them. Other than that, they are the best camping lanterns for cold weather, so it’s perfect if you are going camping in the snow

Butane Lantern

eoocvt Bulin Portable Ultralight Compact Camping Gas Lantern

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Eoocvt Bulin Butane Lantern produces a bright light but also releases a fair amount of heat. It is great for winter camping since it makes the camp cozier for the guests. It has a hanging handle which makes it easy to carry around. You can use the adjustable valve to switch the lantern on and off, as well as tweak the brightness of the lamp. It is important to use it in a well-ventilated area, which means you can hang it from a tree to light up the campsite with its bright light.

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Propane Lantern

Coleman Deluxe PerfectFlow Propane Lantern with Hard Carry Case

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The Coleman propane lantern is one of the most popular fuel camping lanterns and is an efficient light source. It has an advanced system called PerfectFlow which provides consistent gas flow so that you have an efficient light output. The InstaStart ignition system means that you can light up the lantern even if you forgot the matches. This is also safer since you can turn it on from a safe distance. The high-temperature globe that the lantern is made from resists cracking from the heat, making it a safe option.

Gas Lantern

Balight Mini Gas Lantern is an integrated lamp that can reach a brightness level of 60lux. It is made from stainless steel material and lights aluminum alloy, which makes it a durable and reliable product. The lamp is made from high-temperature resistant glass, which protects it from shattering. The lamp is also made from corrosion-resistant metal, which increases its life span.

The high-energy piezoelectric ignition system is really efficient and unique. It always results in a successful ignition, which can come in handy while you are out camping. The hanging chain attached to the lamp is adjustable so that you can make it longer or shorter according to your needs.

Kerosene Lantern

TFCFL Portable Pressure Oil Lantern Outdoor Camping Kerosene Paraffin Hurricane Lamp for Garden.

Source: Championmove

This liquid fuel lantern by TFCFL is able to operate for at least 8 hours on minimal kerosene. It is long-lasting and will work for years to come with minimal maintenance. The lamp is great for fishing or camping in the cold since it provides a bright light with heat. The light output tube is similar to a light bulb. It isn’t dual fuel compatible; it is advised to only use kerosene for the lamp since other sources such as diesel, alcohol, and gasoline can produce smoke.

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Candle Lanterns

GSI Outdoors Fiesta Candle Lantern in blue.

Source: Sunnysports

Candle lanterns have become outdated since electric powered lanterns are more reliable and fuel-powered lanterns burn brighter. They can create a lot of heat, which is why it is important to be careful when you are handling candle lanterns. They utilize a candle as the main source of light, which is protected by the lantern body. They provide warm, pleasant light which results in a relaxing atmosphere.

GSI Outdoors Blue Candle Lantern is an 8-inch tall lantern in which you can easily put a candle to light the way. It has a 2 inches hanging loop through which you can hang it on a tree branch or pole. It is inspired by the traditional marksmanship of graniteware. It is made from enamelware that blends functionality and charm into one cute package. The lantern is sturdy and can bear the trip into the great outdoors easily.

The heavy-gauge steel has a unique speckled finish, which looks simply amazing against the candlelight. The lantern is fired in the kiln twice at 14000 degrees. This process makes it highly durable, which is why the lantern can stand up to chipping and scratches. The lantern lights from the candle look amazing on the campsite and can create a really soothing atmosphere. It is important to never leave a burning candle unattended in the wild though since the tent can be flammable.

Important Features to Help You Choose

There are some factors that will impact your decision to choose the right lantern for your camping trip. Here are some of the most important features that will dictate the effectiveness, usability, and durability of the camping lantern. You should base your search around them so that your camping trip goes smoothly.

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The brightness of flashlight, lamps, or lanterns is measured in lumens. Most backpackers and campers will need around 100-200 lumens of light per lantern to assist them during the trip. If a large group of campers is traveling then you may need lanterns that emit 200-400 lumens.

Size and Weight

It is important to invest in compact and lightweight items while you are camping. This makes it easier to transport the items, as well as during use. The small models are also pretty great for backpacking since they can easily fit in with the other equipment and tools. Car campers don’t have any weight and space issues to fit everything into the small space. This is why heavy and large camp lanterns are fine for car campers but not for backpackers.

Fuel Type

There are three main types of camping lanterns as described above: fuel, electric, and candle. Electric lanterns are usually the most popular option for campers since they are efficient, light, and safe. However, the biggest problem is that they aren’t as bright as fuel-burning lamps can be and remote camping locations don’t come with electrical outlets. It can be quite amazing for campers to buy solar panel lanterns since they won’t have to worry about charging the lamp.

Run Time

Run time is how long the lantern will emit light in a single charge. This is applied for both electrical and fuel-burning lanterns. The run time is also interchangeable with battery life for those lanterns that operate on charging. If you are going on camping, the run time can have a huge effect on your camping trip.

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Battery Type

Camping lanterns often use the most efficient option of alkaline batteries. However, they don’t really perform that well in cold temperatures such as under 20°F. If you are traveling in cold regions, it is better to opt for lithium or lithium-ion batteries. They are much more efficient as well, saving power until the last second.


Camping lanterns need to be highly durable to make it through the intense traveling and hiking portion. They should be designed to stand up to the wear and tear you can accumulate in the outdoors. You should look out for lanterns that are made with strong, reliable materials. They should also be waterproofed or water-resistant. This is because you will definitely find yourself going across streams or getting stuck in the rain if you are an avid hiker or camper.

Light Adjustability

It is important to find a lantern with more than just a single on and off switch. You should be able to adjust the brightness beyond that so that the lantern is more effective on the trip. Lanterns come with control settings that allow you to adjust the brightness and even have multiple light modes. This ensures that you can turn down the light when you don’t need a lot of it to save energy.

Other Features

Many camping lanterns are designed with other features that make them more versatile tools. Useful features can include a built-in compass, detachable lights, hanging hooks, legs, power banks, strobe modes, and so much more. This makes it great for campers who want to make sure that the weight of their backpack is as low as it can be.

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Brand Reputation

It is safer to buy a camping lantern from a brand with a strong reputation. This helps you ensure that the lantern is made of high quality. Reputable brands also have great warranty plans and return policies on their products.

Camping is always a fun experience but will only be enjoyable if you have the right preparation. A lantern can assist you with a lot of your trip in several ways. If you find a lightweight, durable lantern for all your camping trips to come, it can help in more ways than you might be able to count.