Light Up The Night With The Best Camping Lanterns In 2022

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At 3 am in the woods, it can get so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face. That’s where quality camping lanterns come in. Super-bright, compact, and weatherproof, they are outdoor essentials.

Below are our choices for the best camping lanterns.

The best camping lanterns

Most versatile: LuminAID PackLite Titan

luminaid packlite titan

  • Collapses for portability
  • Solar panels on top
  • Rechargeable camping lantern via USB or solar
  • Can be used as a phone charger in a pinch
  • 100 hours maximum run time
  • 300 lumens

Any of the top three models on this list could have taken the top spot, it was that close. But the LuminAID PackLite Titan has the best versatility. The collapsibility of this lantern and the fact it only weighs 12.5oz makes it a great option for backpackers and car campers.

It doubles as a phone charger in a pinch and the rechargeable battery can be refilled via solar panels or a USB cord. Each charge can provide 100 hours of battery life or charge your phone two to three times. In testing, I didn’t use the phone charging feature, but this was the group’s favorite lantern at our camp-out. It was bright and easy to pop open and close.

See LuminAID PackLite Titan on Amazon

See LuminAID PackLite Titan on luminAID

See LuminAID PackLite Titan on REI

Best waterproof option: SOL Floating Lantern

sol floating lantern

  • Up to 195 hours of battery life
  • Four settings
  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • Recharge via USB port
  • Bottom carabiner for hanging
  • Large fold-up carry handle
  • 50–520 lumens

The SOL Floating lantern is an exceptionally waterproof model with an IPX7 rating. I love that you can use this tiny-but-mighty lantern for a variety of activities. From nighttime paddles to cooking in the evening at camp, there’s great versatility thanks to the carry handle and carabiner on the bottom.

Additionally, between four light settings, there are 50-250 lumens available. A single charge lasts up to 195 hours, which is an incredibly long battery life. But this lantern’s size may be its only downfall. With so much going for it, I’d love it to be slightly larger.

See SOL Floating Lantern on REI

Best all-rounder: NiteIze Radiant 200

niteize radiant 200

  • 16.5 hours of battery life
  • Powered by four AA batteries
  • Light, compact, and portable
  • Handle carabiner
  • 200 lumens

This 200-lumen lantern earns a spot near the top of our list for its low price, solid features, and durability. The carabiner handle allows you to hang it inside your tent or in a tree. With 200 lumens, it doesn’t have the same lumen count as the models ahead of it, but it still packs quite a punch.

It packs down for additional portability but you will need four AA batteries to get it going. But once set up, you’ll have up to 16.5 hours of run time.

See NiteIze Radiant 200 on Amazon

See NiteIze Radiant 200 on Walmart

Most bang for your buck: Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lantern

vont 4 pack led camping lantern

  • Pack of four
  • 30 bright LEDs, 360º light
  • Waterproof, compact body
  • Integrated hanging hook
  • Up to 90 hours of battery life
  • Four AAA batteries included
  • 140 lumens per lamp

The Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lantern is genuinely weatherproof. It’s excellent value for money and easy to carry. It comes with four AAA batteries included and provides 140 lumens, making it one of the brightest lanterns you’ll find for the price. However, the lumens are low when compared to other models on our list.

The Vont is easy to unfold and is a solid, affordable option.

See Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lantern on Amazon

See Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lantern on Vont

See Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lantern on Walmart

Dual purpose: Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern

odoland portable led camping lantern

  • 18 LED bulbs
  • Integrated fan
  • Two airflow settings
  • 37 hours of runtime
  • Powered by two D batteries
  • Integrated hanging hook
  • 80 lumens

The Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern is a lightweight, low-powered fan and light. The lantern itself is fitted with a whopping 18 bulbs that can light up an entire tent and prove useful around the campsite too. The fan is a handy addition, fitted with high and low settings. There is a hook to attach it to the ceiling or it can be placed on any flat surface inside the tent.

You would expect a product with so many features to be a tad clunky, but not the Odland lantern. It is as lightweight as they come and the hanging hook doubles as a handle. Its source of power is a humble pair of (rechargeable) D cells, yet this lantern has up to 37 hours of battery life on one set. When using both the light and fan, it lasts about 16 hours.

See Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern on Amazon

See Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern on Walmart

See Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern on Newegg

Impressive run time: Streamlight 44931 Camping Lantern

streamlight 44931 camping lantern

  • IPX7 waterproof construction
  • Red and white light modes
  • Integrated D-rings for hanging
  • 2m impact resistant
  • Requires three D disposable batteries
  • 30-295 hours of battery life depending on the setting
  • Up to 340 lumens

LEDs have revolutionized not only residential and commercial lighting but camping lanterns too. The Streamlight 44931 Siege Lantern uses C4 LED technology to produce brilliant white or red light, has five output modes, and is powered by alkaline disposable batteries. Thankfully, it can also operate on rechargeable batteries.

The Siege camp lantern will crank out 340 lumens and there’s a flashing red SOS mode should you need it. If you want to create a softer atmosphere, use the polycarbonate cover for soft light with gentle light diffusion. The Siege is also waterproof and will float when the cover is in place. It will even keep working if submerged under a foot of water.

See Streamlight 44931 Camping Lantern on Amazon

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See Streamlight 44931 Camping Lantern on Bass Pro Shops

Most durable: Coleman Twin LED Camping Lantern

coleman twin led camping lantern

  • 299 hours of battery life on low setting
  • Powered by eight D batteries
  • Water-resistant
  • Five-year limited warranty
  • 100–390 lumens

Coleman’s Twin LED Camping Lantern boasts a classic profile and pumps out an impressive 390 lumens when set on high. It’s also weather-resistant so you don’t have to worry if it’s hanging out in the rain.

It provides 299 hours of illumination when set to low which is more than most people would need if they camped for a month straight. The Twin has a rubber base and seven settings. On high it will create an effective circle of light nearly 10m in diameter.

Since the Twin’s LED lamps generate no heat it’s also perfectly safe to bring into the tent. This camp lantern may boast a long run time, but it does take a lot of batteries – eight D batteries to be exact – which can add significant weight. Still worth the long battery life for most folks!

See Coleman Twin LED Camping Lantern on Amazon

See Coleman Twin LED Camping Lantern on Walmart

High lumen count: LE Dimmable LED Camping Lantern

le dimmable led camping lantern

  • Four lighting modes to choose from
  • IPX4 water-resistant construction
  • One button operation
  • Plastic and rubber housing
  • Integrated hanging hook
  • Integrated handle
  • Runs on three D batteries
  • 12-hour battery life on the highest setting
  • Up to 1,000 lumens

Our next option, the LE Dimmable Camping Lantern, looks simple but offers a massive amount of power. The excellent 1,000-lumen output and four different lighting modes are very useful. Bear in mind that if you end up bringing this in your blow-up tent at the end of the night, you don’t want it on the brightest setting; to be safe, it’s best to switch to a daylight white or warm white mode.

Aside from being super-bright, it is also water-resistant. It’s going to hold up for a short while in the rain. You do have to use three D batteries, which get drained fairly quickly (in about 12 hours). This makes it a little less cost-effective to run. Still, it’s inexpensive and gets the job done.

See LE Dimmable LED Camping Lantern on Amazon

Best for job sites: LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern

le rechargeable led camping lantern

  • Five light settings
  • Side light and front light
  • Irradiation distance – 1,640ft
  • 3,600mAh power bank
  • Red flashing mode
  • Up to 12 hours of battery life
  • IPX4 water-resistant
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Up to 1,000 lumens

Next up, we’ve got a super powerful camping lantern that doubles as a flashlight. It’s designed to hang from the ceiling of your tent or sit on the ground and light up a large area out of the side light. If you’re walking, simply switch to the front light. The front light is especially powerful, with two light modes (400 and 1,000 lumens) and an irradiation distance of up to 1,640ft. It also has a flashing red mode, which makes it useful in an emergency.

This is one of the brightest camping lanterns. The runtime on the side light is five to 12 hours and you get up to four hours of battery life with the front light.

The LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern has been designed for all kinds of outdoor adventures and work. The durable plastic housing is rated IPX4 water-resistant and it weighs just 30oz. It also has an additional function as a 3,600mAh power bank, so you can charge your devices too.

See LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern on Amazon

Best compact model: Bolt Lite Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern

bolt lite solar rechargeable led lantern

  • Solar-powered or USB rechargeable
  • Three light modes, including flashing
  • Collapsible, compact design
  • Lasts up to 10 hours on a single charge
  • Carabiner hook for hanging

The Bolt Lite Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern is a highly versatile camping lantern, providing both solar and USB charging capabilities.

The stable platform means you can place it anywhere. If you need overhead light, hang it from the roof of the tent.

The collapsible style makes it easy to pack, while the multiple light settings help set the mood.

All this sounds great, but unfortunately, this lantern is not that durable. We don’t recommend taking it on longer backpacking treks into the deep bush.

See Bolt Lite Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern on Amazon

Best for emergencies: AYL StarLight LED Lantern

ayl starlight

  • Water-resistant and shockproof
  • Removable reflector cap
  • High, low, and SOS modes
  • Uses three D batteries
  • Up to six days of battery life
  • Up to 1,000 lumens

Providing up to 1,000 lumens of LED light for your outdoor activities, the AYL StarLight Camping Lantern provides up to six nights of LED light from the batteries. This also makes this lantern ideal for outages and emergencies.

You can use it to illuminate your whole site or bring it into the tent. If your car breaks down, the StarLight will provide a no-nonsense emergency light.

See AYL StarLight LED Lantern on Amazon

See AYL StarLight LED Lantern on Walmart

See AYL StarLight LED Lantern on Newegg

Best gas-powered option: Coleman Deluxe PerfectFlow Propane Lantern

coleman deluxe perfectflow

  • Up to 14 hours of light on one canister
  • Compatible with standard propane canisters
  • Dimming switch
  • Stability with custom base
  • Rust-resistant construction
  • Up to 970 lumens on high

A true classic: the Coleman PerfectFlow Propane Lantern. As its name suggests, the PerfectFlow is a propane-powered, extremely bright lantern at nearly 1,000 lumens. A single 16.4oz propane tank will provide up to seven hours on high mode and 14 hours on low mode. The whole apparatus sits firmly atop the customized base and can be transported via the top handle.

The control knob works as a defacto dimmer switch to control light levels. Hands down our favorite gas-powered lantern.

See Coleman Deluxe PerfectFlow Propane Lantern on Amazon

See Coleman Deluxe PerfectFlow Propane Lantern on Walmart

Budget buy: Etekcity 2 Pack Portable Outdoor LED

etekcity 2 pack portable outdoor led

  • Equipped with 30 LED bulbs
  • 10 ounces each, collapsible
  • Powered by six AA batteries
  • Compact battery-powered lantern
  • 60 lumens each

The Etekcity Outdoor LED Camping Lanterns can be set securely on just about any surface, or hung via the collapsible handles from branches or rope.

These come as a two-pack which is handy because they’re not very bright individually. What they are, however, is convenient. They are super-lightweight even with the batteries installed, plus they’re genuinely weatherproof so you don’t panic if it starts to rain. With a full complement of batteries, you’ll get about 12 hours of clear LED light.

See Etekcity 2 Pack Portable Outdoor LED on Amazon

Why trust us

When it comes to all things camping our team shines. We love camping, exploring, and getting outdoors. Outdoor lanterns are must-haves. Whether it’s small LED lanterns for camping tents or ultralight backpacking lanterns, this guide has a bit of everything.

Who this is for

This guide is for anyone looking for a quality camping lantern. Most of the lanterns here feature a rechargeable battery or built-in solar panels, but we have a couple of gas-powered lanterns too.

How we picked

Selecting the best camping lanterns started with our team’s favorites. We then ensured we had a variety of shapes, brightnesses, features, and weights so that there were plenty of options, from the best backpacking lanterns to favorites for car camping, and even a gas-powered lantern.

How we tested

I tested these lanterns with my partner and some friends on a weekend camping trip. We used them for late-night adventures to the creek, for bathroom trips, and while sitting around camp.

camping lanterns

Features to look for in camping lanterns

There are many things to consider when buying a camping lantern, including the power source, brightness, and weight. Here are the main things we recommend you pay attention to.


Camping lanterns should be relatively lightweight. You’ll see an average of one to two pounds, and rarely more than three. You’ll be holding your lantern slightly elevated, so you don’t want too much weight.


If you want a lantern to illuminate your entire campground you’re going to want a propane lantern or one of the more powerful (600 lumens and up) LED lamps. If you’re fishing and need light for your gear, or you need something to illuminate your ski hut for the night, you’ll want a softer, dimmer light. Lumens generally translate to brightness but in some situations, soft light or ambient light is a better fit.


This usually comes down to weight distribution. If a lantern is awkwardly heavy on one side or doesn’t possess a large enough handle, it’s not very portable. If you expect to use a lantern for late-night bathroom trips or exploring, then portability should be a consideration.

Type and number of batteries required

Flashlight batteries are more expensive and heavier than AA or AAA batteries. Rechargeable camping lanterns are usually quite lightweight, as are solar-powered lanterns.

Light duration

How long the camping lantern will operate on a full charge, full tank of fuel, or a new set of batteries is crucial. Generally, the longer the battery life, the better. However, easily rechargeable camping lanterns like solar-powered options may not need as long a run time.

Light modes and functions

Having several light settings is a benefit. A red light mode, for example, won’t disturb others. Multiple brightness settings are standard in any camp lantern and many have a dial to adjust the brightness. A blinking setting can be vital in an emergency too.

Water resistance and IP ratings

If you intend to bring your camp lantern on a kayak or raft trip, a snowy ski hut outing, or anywhere there is a chance of moisture, water resistance and IP ratings matter. You need a lantern that can tolerate its intended environment.


Generally, the larger the camping lantern, the less appropriate it will be on long treks. Smaller lanterns may not be bright enough for large spaces or campgrounds. A night with a full moon will also need less illumination than one with a new moon.


Stability can be a make-or-break feature. A lantern you intend to hang or carry around may not need to sit on a table well, but any camp lantern that will be standing on its own must be stable enough to withstand some wind and movement.

Additional features

Additional features like phone charging are always a plus, but not a necessity.

Types of camping lanterns

Electric lanterns

The battery-operated lantern has been around for a while but has become increasingly popular following the advent of affordable LED technology. Today they’re the fastest-growing segment of the market. Some of the benefits of electric lanterns that use LED technology include long battery life, great light output, and quiet operation. Another big plus is that they’re safe for indoor use.

Fuel-powered lanterns

There are several different types of fuel-powered camping lanterns including:

  • Propane: Propane-powered camping lanterns give precise control over the amount of light and shine like the sun if that’s what you want. Many folks also carry propane for their camp stoves, making it an accessible fuel source.
  • Butane: Butane-powered lanterns are not huge sellers because they don’t always perform well in cold weather. They do have the advantage of lighter fuel canisters than propane and they’re typically self-igniting.
  • Kerosene: Kerosene lanterns are old-school. Typically made of metal with a heavy glass lens, they can weigh quite a bit. On the other hand, you have a lot of control and they’re very dependable. There is a greater fire hazard here though, but these are still some of the most dependable gas lanterns.
  • Wind-ups: Wind-up lanterns use a crank system to charge a battery that powers what are typically LED lights. They’re great because they never run out of power and are easy to recharge. Some of these models don’t hold their charge for long, though.
  • Solar: Solar-powered rechargeable lanterns provide a more sustainable way to illuminate your surroundings. The only drawback is the obvious one: cloudy days. Still, some of the best camping lanterns are in this category. Many of these models make for a compact lantern that is great for backpacking.

camping lantern indoor

Camping lantern FAQ

Q: How to maintain camping lanterns?

You’ve got a fairly easy task when it comes to maintaining your camping lantern. There’s very little damage that can occur (apart from dropping it), so following these steps will keep it in out-of-the-box shape from day one to day one thousand.

Clear dirt from base – Bits of dirt and dust are going to find their way inside your camping lantern. Simply detach the lens, clean out anything that’s fallen in, and ensure to clean the exterior. People don’t often correlate general cleanliness with maintenance, which is exactly how things get damaged quickly.

Clean interior of lens – If you get a simple lens cleaning rag or individual lens wipes, you’ll be good to go. Take the lens off during disassembly and general cleaning, and wipe down the inside and out. Light eventually bleaches/damages plastic lenses, which are most common among camping lanterns. You can slow that effect immensely by doing this, which will keep things nice and bright as time goes on.

Q: How often should I clean my camping lantern?

Ideally, you’ll wipe your lantern down every time you’re about to put it away and again right before you use it. If you’re one of those who throws your camping gear into a bag in a hurry and heads home, you’re bringing the great outdoors in, and nobody wants that.

If you just use your lantern in the backyard or have it set for emergencies, you should check it out every six months to clean off any dust or dirt that’s gathered. Give it a little test too.

Q: What are lumens?

In short, lumens equal brightness.

Thanks to new light bulb labeling standards and laws, it’s easy to determine how energy-efficient a light bulb can be. You take the lumens (listed on packages) and divide by the watts that the bulb or light source takes. You’re able to get a figure of watts per lumen, and on portable light sources like these camping lanterns, it gives you a better idea of how quickly you’re going to run through the battery.

More lumens, more light; this is especially useful for your campsite. Too many lumens can be a bad thing, mind you. In a moment, we’ll discuss how many lumens you’re actually going to need. With tactical flashlights, for example, a high output of lumens is used to temporarily blind your adversaries in a survival scenario. High lumens can damage your eyesight, so be careful.

Q: How many lumens do you really need?

You want to light up the campsite, but you don’t want to burn your retinas out. For the indoors, you’ll want 5,000 lumens per 250 square feet. Outdoors, you’re left with a loose formula to determine what you’re going to need.

Determine how many people you’re going to have on your camping trip. If it’s you and three mates, envision a 1,000-square-foot space, requiring about 20,000 lumens. You’re basically left with the need to light up a large apartment or enormous connecting living room in an open floor plan. Keep in mind, this is a rating for widespread, non-concentrated light, and not realistic for the outdoors. How that light travels is different. You’ll have tents set up, your car and your equipment are blocking some light. You want to illuminate the space without having too many shadows. For this, we recommend grabbing two of the same lanterns and placing them strategically.

Stick with a couple of lamps in the 200-300+ lumens range, and you’ll have plenty of low-bearing light in key areas of your campsite.

Q: I’m grabbing this for emergency situations, does that change my lumen needs?

Absolutely. In this case, you’re going to want to stick to about 1,000 to 5,000 lumens at most. Take into consideration how long it takes for devastated areas to get power back: three weeks, ten hours of night per 24 hours, means about 310 hours of light that you may need. So, for emergency scenarios, we recommend getting a long-lasting lantern with multiple light modes and brightness settings, including a low light setting.

Q: What’s the difference between a lantern and headlamp?

The main difference between the two is light output. You can have a lantern and a headlamp with the same lumens, but how that light is directed will change everything. Headlamps usually shine the beam of light all in one direction, lighting up one specific target instead of emitting a light source around you.

Lanterns are more often used for camping because your campsite isn’t a narrow little strip of ground.

Another reason lanterns are preferred is the dimming effect. As that light source expands, the light strength lowers since it’s being focused on a 360-degree space. Headlamps focus that light, so you’re going to damage your eyes. It’s like having a little sun staring you in the face whenever you need a little bit of illumination.

But headlamps do have their advantages. If you’re traveling in the woods at night, a lantern is going to help with your personal surroundings, but not with what’s up ahead. If you had to abandon the campsite because of a bear, you want both: some light around you and your friends, and a clear beam of light looking straight ahead so you’re not walking into trouble.

Last but not least, camping lanterns tend to emit less heat. If grab a lantern by the lens, you’ll feel heat, but you’d still be able to hold it without burning yourself or injuring your hand.

Q: Can a camping lantern get hot enough to cause a fire?

We’ve read just about every dumb story online that you could possibly think of, and we’re convinced that you could use just about anything to start a fire.

Having said this, if you’re using propane or butane, be sure to pack your common sense. You can 100% avoid the outbreak of a fire if you keep your placement smart, don’t put flammable items nearby (the casing can get hot enough to light paper on fire), and make sure to turn it off before hitting the hay.


  1. How To Choose A Lantern – REI Co-Op
  2. Lumens And The Lighting Facts Label – Department Of Energy

Tuesday Kirby Kahl

Tuesday Kirby Kahl is a native Texan now residing in Portland, OR. In addition to her work as a writer, she’s a competitive climbing coach for youth and adult athletes. When she’s not working, you’ll find her rock climbing, exploring, skiing, and paddle boarding all over the Cascades. When at home, she’s usually tending to her collection or houseplants or painting with a cup of tea in hand.