Camping is one of the best ways to relax and as you start planning your summer trips, don’t forget the lights. No matter where you’re going, lanterns, tea lights, headlamps are a must need item on your list. So start planning, make reservations, and get ready for your trip to the big outdoors. Grab your hiking boots and discover SPY’s picks for the best lights no matter what your adventure: tent camping, night hikes, car camping, or backpacking.
1. LuminAID PackLite Max Phone Charger Lantern
This unique lantern is the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, and it’s quickly become one of the best campaign lanterns among outdoor enthusiasts and casual campers alike. It’s also one of the best portable options for camping or backpacking because it weighs less than half a pound and inflates easily once you arrive at your campsite. It has a lot of light too: it maxes out at 150 lumens. While that’s not quite as bright as some other camping lights on our list, this solar-powered light doesn’t just illuminate your campsite.
The LuminAID also charges phones and other USB ports, which comes in handy when you’re out in the middle of the wilderness. The most unique feature of this lantern is that it floats, so you can take it on the river or in a pool. The material is robust, too. It’s built from thermoplastic polyurethane, which makes this lantern both waterproof and shatterproof. Honestly, this is the go-to lantern of the season. Pick one up for $69 on Amazon, you won’t regret it.
2. Black Diamond Moji Lantern
Find Black Diamond’s newest 3-ounce lantern in a variety of colors suitable to your camping scheme. This little portable light is easy to pack or hang out on a backpack strap for easy access. Illuminating up to 100 lumens, this lantern packs a punch with visibility. Powered by AAA batteries, it holds a charge for 70 hours. It lacks prongs to hold itself up but this may be part of its appeal: it’s mobile and easy to move around. Another unique feature is its memory: it holds the same level of brightness from the last time you turned it on so you don’t end up blinded when you power up again. It’s a steal for under $20, catch the Moji Lantern before they sell out.
3. BioLite BaseLantern XL Bluetooth Lantern and Power Hub
This light is a party within itself: 700 lumens and weighing only one pound and five ounces, this is the light you need to create a festival atmosphere. It has two charging outlets as well as continuous charging for the lantern itself. Other BioLite products are available for further light and illumination: LED String Lights and an LED Lantern. Create a festival in your own backyard with the BioLite, you’ll be the life of the party.
4. Coleman Dual-Fuel 2-Mantle Lantern
If you’re looking for a more old fashioned style lantern, the Coleman Dual-Fuel is lit by white gas or unleaded gasoline, not LED power. Coming in at 3 pounds, this is a great option for car camping but not backpacking because of the extra weight you’ll end up carrying for the gas canister. This light is a great option for the modern car camper and will light up any campsite with a warm yellow glow for up to eight hours on high or fourteen on low.
5. Vont 2 Pack LED Camping Lantern
Constructed with aircraft-grade materials, this ultra-bright 2-pack portable lantern was designed for a longer lifespan and carry 360-degrees of luminous light while saving energy. Constructed with convenience in mind, this extremely lightweight lantern allows you to take your lantern on the go with ease. When not in use, collapse the lantern to a smaller size; in your luggage or backpack, you’ll be able to store it effortlessly as it takes minimal space.
6. Collapsible Clover Style Camping Tent Lantern by Suaoki
Ideal for camping, hiking, fishing or as a light source for late night readings under the stars, this portable, foldable and durable lantern gives you the ultimate flexibility when it comes to light source. You’ll never be without a full battery thanks to its turbo charge design via a micro USB port. This smart camping lantern also comes with a smart protection chip that protects it from overcharging.
7. 3-Mode LED Camping Lantern by Cedar
Whether you’re gazing at the stars or need a lantern to help you trek confidently in the dark, this 3-Mode LED Camping Lantern offers the appropriate setting (low, medium and high) for exploration, night vision and emergency SOS. With 30 days of light, you’ll be able to illuminate your adventures with a single set of batteries.
8. LED String Lights by Coleman
Give your tent a warm and inviting ambiance with these portable tiny LED lanterns. These versatile string lights also add a fun and charming touch to any outdoor festivities and BBQs.
9. StarLight LED Lantern by AYL
Boasting six full days of power, it’s no surprise this lantern is deemed the most reliable lantern in the market. It uses LED bulbs with an output of 600 lumens, guaranteeing you crystal clarity and over 100,000 hours of use. Lightweight, shockproof and water resistant, you can rest easy knowing your campsite well remain lit no matter the weather conditions.
10. Black Diamond Charging Apollo Lantern
In some outdoor situations, a fuel-based lantern is preferable. It will certainly last longer than a battery-based lantern if a power source isn’t available. However, for most situations, a rechargeable battery is an excellent power source for your camping or emergency lantern. Like all the best camping lanterns, the Apollo from Black Diamond provides enough illumination to keep your campsite bright after the sun goes down. The Apollo contains a 225-lumen LED light that runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This collapsible camping lantern can be used in two ways. First, the metal hook on top makes it easy to hang this from a tent, vehicle or rope. There are also three folding legs so that the lantern can be placed on the ground.