Camping is one of life’s great pleasures. The ability to get back to basics, soak in nature, and escape from the chaos of modern life is always welcome. It’s something you can do with friends, family, or even by yourself, with countless amazing camping spots around the country worth visiting.
Of course, camping is always much more enjoyable when you come prepared. A suitable tent and sleeping bag are must, as a various other supplies like food, drink, cooking utensils, suitable clothing, and some entertainment to pass the time.
However, there is one piece of camping gear that is surprisingly overlooked - a camping lantern. Despite being out in the wilderness where lighting is hard to come by at night, many people forgot to bring some sort of lighting with them, which can detract from the camping experience - it’s hard to enjoy yourself when you can’t see a thing!
Camping lanterns are an ideal investment for any camping trip. Even one lantern is enough to illuminate the necessary spots whether inside the tent, sitting outside, or nipping out to loo.
Check out some of our top picks below to help you choose choose the best camping lantern.
Campingaz Stellia Lantern CV
The Stellia CV from Campingaz is a propane camping lantern that offers powerful illumination and a robust design. Propane lanterns such this offer some of the best lighting for camping, with bright 160W illumination provided regardless of the fuel levels.
This is achieved through an innovative design feature called Perfect Flow. Basically, the lantern provides a consistent level of illumination no matter the conditions or the amount of fuel remaining in the cartridge. Whether you’re running low on gas or the weather is particularly wild, the Stellia CV doesn’t lose any performance and continues to brightly lighten the space.
Camping lanterns that use fuel sources are often difficult to start without a proper ignition system. The Stellia CV uses a piezo ignition system that provides instant lighting no matter how rainy or wind it is outside, making it perfect for camping trips where the weather is less than perfect.
As a fuel-based camping lantern it is important to remember that you require appropriate fuel cartridges to use the power the lantern. This model requires CV470 Plus cartridge, which is the specific fuel cartridge from Campingaz, although they are relatively cheap and offer a decent amount of run time.
When combined with a CV470 Plus cartridge the Stellia CV provides roughly 6 hours and 10 minutes of light, so you may want to bring a few cartridges if camping for a few days. The cartridge connects to the base of the lantern and helps elevate it, with an extendable stabiliser fitted to the bottom for added stability.
It couldn’t be easier to use either. Simply attach a fuel cartridge, push the ignition and then adjust the dial to the desired light levels. The rugged design of the casing means the lantern will hand the rough and tumble of camping, with a protective carry case included with the product.
Lanktoo 2-in-1 Waterproof LED Camping Lantern & Power Bank
The Lanktoo 2-in-1 camping lantern is a surprisingly versatile product, functioning not just a camping lantern but also a portable power bank. This means you can use the lantern to output power to other electrical devices such as mobile phones, tablets, cameras and anything else you may need to charge during your camping trip.
Bear in mind that using the power bank function will significantly reduce the batter of this camping lantern, although it does have an impressive amount of power that should last a good while. For instance, the lantern features an 800mAh high capacity battery that when fully charged offers up to 84 hours of light.
This is dependent on the lighting mode used, however. The lantern comes with four lighting options that reduce the battery at different rates, with 84 hours of light at the lowest setting, 60 hours at the middle setting, and 18 hours at the brightest setting.
These various lighting options highlight just how versatile a camping lantern this is. Different modes let you adjust the brightness to suit the situation, while there is also a strobe lighting effect that provides and SOS signal for emergencies.
Compact and lightweight, the lantern has a collapsible design for easier transportation, weighing just 0.57lb. It also comes with a retractable hook so you can hang it from your tent, rucksack, or carry it by hand when on the move outside.
The camping lantern is also highly durable. Made from Grade A cells and coated with a rubber casing, it features an IP65 dust-tight and waterproof rating. This means water spray or dust particles won’t reach inside and compromise the components of the lantern, ensuring it lasts for many years.
Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern
Lighting EVER has produced a fascinating LED camping lantern that has several functions, making it a highly versatile and very useful piece of gear for your camping trip. For example, it doesn’t just function as a standard camping lantern, it also converts into two detachable handheld torches, while there is also a fully functional compass on top!
Having a multifunctional camping lantern such as this is always helpful. The smaller torches are easy to remove and come with batteries included, allowing you to use a handheld flashlight while the lantern still functions - nobody needs to sit around in the dark when someone else is using the light!
The brightness of the lantern is also very impassive. It provides 600lm at the highest setting, while the 360-degree design ensures a bigger area is are well illuminated. Also, you can choose to turn on four or two lights when you’re not using the torches, so there is no shortage of lighting options available.
Three AAA batteries are required for the torches but these are included with the product. The batteries are not needed when the torches are inside the lantern however, as the power comes from the lantern’s main rechargeable battery.
You can use a USB cable or a car connection to charge the batteries, which is very useful for people that plan on using the lantern for several days. Charge time does take 4-5 hours, however, so be sure to recharge it fully before you head out.
In fact, the lantern also holds disposable batteries should you not have a way to recharge it, with 3 D batteries providing an alternative power source. These aren’t included, so be sure to buy them prior to your trip if you think you’ll need them.
HeroBeam 2 x LED Lantern
Why settle for one camping lantern when you can have two? That’s exactly what you get from this great deal from HeroBeam, who are selling two of their best camping lanterns for an exceptional price. Doubling up on lanterns is a good idea for larger groups camping that require more lighting, as well as solo campers that can use one while the other run out of batteries.
The LED camping lanterns of an impressive brightness by utilising the latest COB LED lighting technology. This offers bright illumination across 360-degrees, meaning you’ll rarely struggle for light when using the lanterns.
While not rechargeable, disposable batteries are included with each lantern, so you should have enough power for at least 8-12 hours. The lanterns take AA batteries which are the cheapest around, so running costs should be moderately low when buying new batteries. You could also buy rechargeable AA batteries, which eliminates the need to buy fresh batteries for every camping trip.
The lantern sports a very useful design too. It’s compact and lightweight, with the collapsible design helping to save space when stored in your rucksack. This also makes it easy to use, as you simply lift the top portion of the lantern to reveal the illuminated LED bulbs and then push it down to turn off.
There’s no fumbling for a switch or anything like that, which is especially useful when inside a pitch-black tent! Don’t worry if you accidently drop it in the dark however, as the lantern has a very robust design, including a durable ABS body that is shock resistance, while there is no glass to smash. It also has an impressive IPX4 waterproof rating
Better still, the lantern also comes with a five-year warranty, so if it happens to fail at any point in the next five years you get your money back.
SUBOOS Ultimate Rechargeable LED Lantern and 5200mAh Power Bank
The SUBOOS Ultimate Rechargeable LED Lantern is another great buy for camping trips. It’s great because you have two options for powering the LED lantern, including rechargeable and disposable batteries.
Both are included with the lantern, which takes 3 AA batteries or 2 lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. This offers a great amount of flexibility for campers. You can use one source or the other, although its best to use both - fully charge the lithium-ion batteries and then bring some AAs in case it runs out of charge.
A both-way cord is included with the lantern and is used to recharge it using any USB output. Better still, this connects to other devices to let you use the lantern as a power bank, so if your phone or tablet needs charging you can use the lantern.
Four light modes provide another useful feature for campers. The highest brightness provides an impressive 185 lumens, while the soft brightness offers 60 lumens. There is also a night vision that provides a soft red light and a red emergency flash.
The brightest setting lasts for 4.5 hours, the soft brightness lasts for 9 hours, the night vision lasts 19 hours, and the red emergency flash lasts 4 hours. Each setting has its uses, allowing campers to get the right type of lighting for every situation.
By using a collapsible design, the lantern remains compact when stored for easier transporting, while being simple to turn on and off. Simply lift and lower the lantern to switch it on and off - you can also attach it to a tent ceiling or a tree using the metal hook provided.
Most camping lanterns are battery operated, which is a good option as it offers the most value for money and is quite convenient. However, there are other options available, with some lanterns using other power sources like fuel while another option is to use camping solar panels as a power source.
These may be costlier than battery lanterns, and the fuel source is usually harder to come by than standard batteries, but they offer a few advantages. For instance, fuel powered camping lanterns burn longer than a battery powered lantern and a generally more hard-wearing.
Consider which is type is more useful for your camping needs - battery operated lanterns are easy to come by and very convenient, but you may prefer the power and performance of a fuel operated product.
Should you opt for a battery-operated camping lantern you have the option of rechargeable, disposable batteries, or possibly both.
Many people find disposable batteries more convenient for camping as you can always change the batteries if it dies, providing you bring spares, while a rechargeable battery may take a while to recharge.
Disposable batteries to have a worst impact on the environment however, while there is always the chance of forgetting to bring spares along with you. Also, battery technology has greatly improved in recent years, so many camping lanterns hold a charge for several days depending on the battery type.
Size and Weight
While a bigger lantern offers more illumination it’s also going to add weight to camping supplies and can be difficult to fit inside a backpack. A lightweight and compact lantern is always a good choice, as you don’t want to add unnecessary weight to your camping supplies, especially if your trip involves a lot hiking.
Always go for a camping lantern with 360-degree illumination as you don’t want the light to only cover one side of the tent. A spot light is far less useful for a camping lantern, although most manufacturers are aware of this and create lanterns with 360-degree lighting.