When ditching the city lights for a few nights camping under the stars, darkness is part of the charm—until the sun sets and you can barely see your dinner. Beyond outdoor essentials like a tent, sleeping bag, and camp stove, a high-quality camping lantern is an absolute must.
While old-school campers may fondly remember the days of kerosene lanterns and canvas tents, today’s camp lanterns have made some serious leaps in technology. Whether it’s recharging via built-in solar panels or using the lantern itself to charge your smartphone, today’s camp lanterns can do a lot more than just illuminate your campsite.
The Best Camp Lanterns
1. Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Lantern & USB Power Hub
Goal Zero’s Lighthouse offers a ton of functionality. It can be fully charged via USB port, hand-crank, or solar panel (sold separately), and it also doubles as a power hub for your phone or other devices. It can light up your whole campsite with 600 lumens of 360-degree LED light, and the internal lithium battery packs enough juice for 320 hours of light on the lamp’s lowest power setting.
[$70; goalzero.com]Get it
2. MPowerd Luci Solar String Lights
Add a festive vibe to your campsite with these solar-powered string lights from MPowerd. Featuring 10 nodes on an 18-foot cord, the Luci will generate 100 lumens of warm light to illuminate your outdoor (or indoor) space. It can be recharged by either a built-in solar panel or a USB port, and it can operate for up to 20 hours on low and five hours on high. Once the night is over, the lights pack up neatly within the compact unit for easy storage.
[$45; mpowerd.com]Get it
3. LuminAID PackLite Titan 2-in-1 Lantern
If you’re a backpacker or simply want a great collapsible lantern, the LuminAID PackLite Titan 2-in-1 is a top choice. Weighing only 12.5 ounces and featuring a clever twist-to-open design, the Titan puts out an impressive 300 lumens of light on its highest setting, lasts over 100 hours on its lowest setting, and can also charge your phone. It’s waterproof and dustproof, and the adjustable Velcro straps and carabiner loops make it easy to strap onto your pack. Plus, with its large solar panel, it’ll recharge its batteries while you hike.
[$75; luminaid.com]Get it
4. Lighting Ever Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern
This model from Lighting Ever is like the Swiss Army knife of lanterns; its 1000-lumen light makes it the brightest option on this list. The carry handle allows you to use it as a powerful flashlight, while the side lights––equipped with both white and flashing red modes––are great for lighting up a wide area or serving as a hazard light during a roadside emergency. The lantern is rechargeable via USB and also doubles as a power bank to charge your devices.
[$39; amazon.com]Get it
5. UST 7-Day Duro LED Lantern
The 7-Day Duro lantern made the list thanks to its simplicity, durability, and affordability. About the size of a can of soda, it’s powered by four AA batteries and produces 320 lumens on high mode or lasts an impressive seven days on low mode. The Duro also converts into a hanging area light thanks to its built-in recessed hook on the base and removable globe.
[$25; amazon.com]Get it
6. Black Diamond Moji
Don’t let its small size and even smaller price tag fool you: The Black Diamond Moji is a perfect choice for illuminating your tent or table. It produces 100 lumens of light, can be fully immersed in water, and runs on three AAA batteries. Its double-hook hang loop is perfect for lighting up your tent, while the dimmer switch makes it a great nightlight, too.
[$20; blackdiamondequipment.com]Get it
7. UCO Original Candle Lantern
While electric camp lanterns certainly have their benefits, you’ll be left in the dark if you run out of juice. This candle lantern from UCO is great for both an emergency kit or regular camp kit, as it’ll burn for nine hours with a single candle (and a three-pack of candles will only set you back five bucks). Plus, it also gives off warmth and removes condensation.
Simply slide the glass down to light the candle and its spring-loaded system will keep the candle at a consistent height. Added bonus: Swap in a citronella candle to keep bugs at bay.
[$25; ucogear.com]Get it
8. Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern
This classic Coleman lantern is a great all-weather pick that runs on either Coleman Liquid Fuel or unleaded gasoline. It produces 800 lumens of powerful light, but it can be dimmed when you need a softer glow. It lasts up to five hours on high and 20 hours on low, and as long as you have fuel on hand, refilling the canister takes just a few seconds. We also like its old-school aesthetic; it’ll really put you in the camping mood.
[$110; basspro.com]Get it
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