If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
While a campfire can certainly go some way to providing light for your campsite, for performing fiddly activities like cooking, cleaning up, brushing your teeth and using the bathroom, it’s always preferable to have one of the best camping lanterns on hand.
When choosing the right camping lantern, you should make sure it’s reliable, bright, easy to use and durable. The best camping lanterns will also work in all different climates, whether you’re camping in the mountains or camping at the beach. Many offer weather resistance so that come rain or shine, you don’t need to worry about your lighting situation.
To help you find the best camping lantern for your needs, here are some of the most important factors you should consider before making your choice:
- Size/Portability – If packing space is at a premium, it’s worth choosing a device that is made with saving space in mind. Some devices are able to fold down into themselves when they aren’t being used to save space. There are also lanterns with soft sides, which allow them to completely collapse down.
- Brightness – It’s worth remembering the primary reason you invest in a camping lantern in the first place. To light things up. With this in mind, always check the number of lumens your potential device offers to your camp. The brightest devices will be capable of around 1,000 lumens. However, for the average user, anything between 150-500 should be sufficient to illuminate close-quarter campsites. Your choice will depend on your needs.
- Additional Functions – It’s getting rarer and rarer that electronics only perform a single task. And this is true with camping lanterns. Some lanterns offer a transforming functionality between a lantern and a conventional flashlight. Others incorporate built-in power banks, which can be handy for charging devices. Plus, you can even get lantern/fan combinations, which are great for warmer climates when you want light and cooling from above.
- Weather Proofing – If you’re going to be facing adverse conditions like rain and snow, you need a camping lantern that can face them, too. If you know you’re going to be getting wet, always check the IPX rating of your potential device and ensure it’s capable of the job at hand.
We’ve chosen the top camping lanterns that will last you through the night and suit any camping destination. Pick a couple of these up before your next trip.
1. Vont LED Camping Lantern Survival Kit
This Vont LED Camping Lantern four-pack is made up of 30 individual LED lights per lantern which will illuminate your campsite during the darkest of nights. It comes with a light control switch that is strategically placed on the outside of the lantern, allowing you to increase or decrease the brightness without blinding yourself. Furthermore, this lantern is battery-charged and comes with a rechargeable battery, making it a great companion for trips where power is limited.
2. LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Camping Lantern and Phone Charger
The LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Camping Lantern and Phone Charger isn’t just one of our favorite camping lanterns; it’s also one of our favorite solar phone chargers. This multi-function lantern is the perfect companion for any camping trip, and it provides warm light that can last for up to 50 hours. The light provides 150 lumens of illumination, while the lithium-ion battery offers a convenient 2.1 Amp output port to charge phones and other small electronics. Finally, this durable camping lantern is also waterproof and drop-proof.
3. AYL Starlight LED Lantern
BEST EMERGENCY LIGHT
The AYL Starlight LED lantern can provide up to six days of light. It’s also water-resistant, shock-proof, LED-lit and battery-powered. This lantern outputs 600 lumens of light and can last for over 100,000 hours of use. Powered by only three D batteries, this lantern can stay on for 144 hours straight. It offers three light modes: low, high, and a flashing strobe. It also comes with a hook at the bottom which allows you to attach or hook it onto any surface when camping. In addition, this is a great backup safety light for your emergency tool kit in the case of a power outage. During an emergency, or camping trip when it’s dark outside, you can easily locate the lantern with its LED indicator button on the front.
4. Etekcity Portable LED Camping Lantern
The Etekcity Portable LED Camping Lantern two-pack is constructed from military-grade plastic, offering durability that will last through the harshest outdoor expeditions. This lantern doubles as a flashlight or lantern by adjusting the placement of the handle. You can carry it from the top like a lantern or hold it from the side the same way you hold a flashlight. These little powerhouse lights are just as bright as gas-lit lanterns but much safer and easier to travel with. They are easy to power too — all you need is three AA batteries per lantern.
5. MalloMe Lanterns LED Camping Lantern
The great thing about this four-pack of MalloMe Lanterns LED Camping Lanterns is being able to assign a color to each friend or family member. This means you always have your own source of light and know if someone has taken yours. Functionally, the lights are made from a weather-resistant and military-grade material which can be used in harsh conditions and offers long-term durability. The LED bulb in each lamp delivers up to 146 lumens of light in 360 degrees to prevent dark spots. In addition, the handles and bulb fold down into the base for a more compact, easily stored device when it’s not being used.
6. Lighting EVER LED Camping Lantern
BEST FOR HANGING
If you’re looking for a camping lantern that is designed to hang and illuminate the surrounding area, the Lighting EVER LED Camping Lantern might fit the bill. It’s a rechargeable device that also incorporates a 3000 mAh power bank, meaning you always have a place to recharge your phone. From a full charge, the lantern can provide five hours of light on the full setting or up to 12 hours when on the strobe setting. The smart and compact design also features a hanging loop and magnetic base for multiple options when it comes to mounting your IPX4-rated device.
7. Wsky LED Camping Lantern
BEST FLASHLIGHT/LANTERN COMBO
If you like the idea of quickly switching from a lantern to a flashlight, you may want to consider the Wsky LED Camping Lantern. The design includes a translucent body which allows it to function as a lantern as well as a front-facing bulb for more conventional use as a flashlight. You’ll also find a 4400 mAh, high-capacity power bank, side handles and a hanging loop to complete this lantern’s impressive user-friendliness.
8. Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern
Yep, you read that right. This Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern features a built-in fan, meaning you can stay both illuminated and cool with it in your camping space. You can choose between a high and a low fan speed and enjoy up to 38 hours of light coming from the 18 LED bulbs mounting in a ring. Additionally, the smart design includes a hanging hook while you can also face the lighting ring down to act as a base if you prefer a table-mounted fan.
9. Kizen LED Camping Lantern
If space is at a premium, try this Kizen LED Camping Lantern. By incorporating a translucent tube that can completely fold down on itself, the lantern can compact down into an impressively small space when it’s not in use. It’s available in either blue or yellow and features a hanging loop, a charge indicator, a micro USB port and a built-in solar panel for on-the-go charging when a socket isn’t available. Additionally, the top of the lantern sports a light, allowing you to use the lantern as a traditional, while smaller-than-average, flashlight.
10. LE LED Camping Lantern
By offering up to 1,000 lumens of light, the LE LED Camping Lantern is one of the brightest options included on our list. The device sports a more traditional lantern style, which includes a built-in, top-mounted handle, a button-mounted hanging hook, a silicone on/off button and a smattering of anti-slip rubber for better in-hand grip. Plus, you’ll also be able to choose between four different lighting modes including both daylight and warm white options.
11. Eveready 360 LED Camping Lantern
This pack of Eveready 360 LED Camping Lanterns contains four individual devices which are ready to light up your campsite. Each device can transform between an area light and a directional light, depending on your needs at the time. They also incorporate both a hanging hook and a built-in handle for greater convenience. Plus, the base includes a magnetic mount for an alternative way to attach each device. These 280-lumen lanterns offer up to 16 hours of light from full batteries as well as four different lighting modes.
12. LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern
While it’s more of a flashlight first, the LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern is still more than capable of lighting your campsite. It offers up to 1,000 lumens of light and the front spotlight can reach up to 500 meters in the right conditions, making it a reliable choice for emergencies and outdoor searches. The lantern incorporates a 3,600 mAh rechargeable battery which can also function as a power bank for charging smartphones and other electronic devices via the USB port. For comfortable carrying, the design features an easy-carry handle and comes with an adjustable-length shoulder strap for the option of hands-free carrying. Furthermore, you can choose between five different lighting modes, one of which is the side panel flashing red.
13. FLY2SKY Portable LED Tent Light
With a compact design and a price under $15, the FLY2SKY Portable LED Tent Light is a simple and budget-friendly way to illuminate your camping area. Whether it’s your dining area or inside your tent, this pack of four lights should be everything you need to enjoy a well-lit setup. Each 150-lumen light offers either a low, high or strobe setting and incorporates a user-friendly hanging loop in the design for added convenience. They run off three AAA batteries each and will deliver up to 15 hours of lighting from a fully charged set.