Camping lanterns or camping lights are a must-have if you live off the grid, even if it’s only for a week or a long weekend at a campsite. There are so many camping lanterns you can choose from, so no wonder if you can’t decide which one would be the best camping lantern when you are out in the woods.
There are solar powered / charged camping lights, that can also work as a power bank to charge your devices, there are ones that are dimmable and come with a remote control – the list is virtually endless.
And of course there are those that need propane to operate and if you love ‘old-school’ you could not imagine having anything else than a propane camping lantern.
With this Buying Guide I hope I can help you a bit to find the best camping lantern for 2021 and the years to come.
Best Camping Lanterns 2021
You can just quickly jump to the manufacturers’ website if you click the links below, or – using the Table of Contents above or just simply scrolling down – you can see what we thought about these lanterns.
- Best camping lantern (overall) – Coleman Multi LED Quad PRO 800
- Best camping lantern UK 2021 – Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern
- Best Waterproof Camping Lantern – Streamlight Super Siege 1100
- Best Rechargable camping lantern with power bank – Sinvitron Camping Lantern
- Brightest Camping Lantern – AYL Starlight 1000 (1800 Lumen)
- Camping lantern with the warmest light – Coleman Premium Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern
- Best wind-up camping lantern – GLB Solar / Wind-up Lantern
- Best camping lantern with red light for night vision – Streamlight Super Siege 1100
Let’s have a look at them in a bit more detail, plus a few more that are worth considering when trying to find the best camping lantern!
Streamlight Super Siege 1100
The Streamlight Super Siege rechargeable lantern has many light modes and a powerful 1000+ lumen output. You can customise your light output with 5 C4 LEDs (4 red, 1 white) and use the red lights to maintain night vision.
This portable lantern is made of tough polycarbonate thermoplastic and is built to endure whatever you throw at it.
The 10,400 mAh lithium-ion battery charges in roughly 7 hours and provides 5 – 36 hours of power depending on how you use it. Also included are SOS flashing and USB device charging.
Why you will love it:
- Red Light/Night Vision Mode
- Extremely Durable
- Rechargeable and Portable USB Charger
- Superbright 1000+ lumen
GLB Solar Powered Wind-up Lantern
This small lantern has four different ways to power the light, all rolled into one! The hand crank is easy wind to store power, while the solar panel absorbs natural light with ease and charges up the internal battery in about 5-6 hours.
The internal battery is quite powerful , it lasts for about 12-18 hours, depending on which light mode you select of the three (low, medium, high). There is also a battery compartment for 3 AAA batteries and an AC adapter port.
The 180Lm LED bulbs can last up to 100,000 hours before they burn out and have three brightness settings: high, medium, and low.
This water-resistant lantern has a carrying handle and a hanging hook, allowing you to hang it from a tent, carry it, or stand it on a flat surface. It’s great for camping, hiking, auto repair, and stocking emergency supplies at home.
Why you’ll love it:
- 4 ways to power up – solar, hand-crank, batteries, AC
- Compact size of 10” (H) x 4” (L) x 5.25” (W)
Coleman Multi-panel LED Lantern Quad PRO 800L
The Coleman Quad Pro is a compact and versatile LED choice that provides a lot of brightness (up to 800 lumens) as well as some very intriguing capabilities.
With 20 hours of light in heavy usage mode and up to 400 hours in low usage mode, this packs a big punch for the price, providing excellent value to users. It may not be the brightest camping lantern on the market, but it is versatile and may be used as a single light or four, as the panels are removable and can be used as portable flashlights.
Each panel is waterproof, magnets for attachment to metal objects, and comes with a kickstand for support. The base functions as a beacon light and also houses a USB charger.
While it requires 8 “D” batteries, buying rechargeable ones can help keep your costs down as you will want to use this frequently; however, this also makes it a bit heavier to manage when compared to a solar powered lantern. That said, depending on your situation and environment, bulkiness isn’t always a bad thing.
Why you’ll love it:
- Very versatile 4 Lights In 1
- High Lumen Output
- 20+ hours runtime with heavy usage, 400+ with light usage
The UK version of this Coleman camping lantern only has three sides, but otherwise is as great as the Quad version.
Tough Light LED Rechargeable Lantern
While it is not the cheapest lantern on the market, the price is more than reasonable when considering what it can perform.
The top-of-the-line Cree LED lights provide roughly 200 hours of illumination with 400 lumen brightness. The 6000mAh Li-ion battery lasts an absurdly long time, and the Tough Light has emergency beacon/flashing danger lights.
The lantern can be charged by any USB connection, and an assortment of hooks round out the unit’s functionality.
The Tough Light lantern is drop-resistant, waterproof, and can charge your electronics on the go, standing 7 inches tall and built of military-grade rubber.
Why you’ll love it:
- Holds Charge For a Long Time
- Versatile Charging Options via USB
Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern and Ceiling Fan
This circular camping lantern is a hybrid light/fan that is around 6.4 inches in diameter and is ideal for campers who tend to overheat or camp in warmer countries.
The fan and light, which run on two “D” batteries, provide a variety of possibilities, functioning in tandem or individually in both high and low modes.
Depending on the functions you choose, you can receive anywhere from 5-15 hours of fan usage and 20 hours of light, and the complete unit can be hung or orientated in a variety of ways to maximise your comfort.
It’s a nice little tool to add to your camping gear, and it literally costs peanuts.
Coleman Twin LED Lantern
With approximately 85 hours of high power utilisation and 300 hours of low output usage, you get very acceptable runtimes from the 8 “D” batteries required to power up this classic camping lantern. With up to 390 extra-bright lumens of blinding white light, four strong LEDs illuminate the night at distances ranging from 19 to 32 feet.
The lantern’s sturdy construction provides stability and longevity, the dial on the front sets your power output, and it is also waterproof for any downpours you may experience. Although at first sight, this LED lantern from Coleman could be mistaken for their iconic gas lantern due to its retro styling, it’s a very modern, dimmable camping lantern for a very reasonable price.
Why you’ll love it:
- Retro Look
- Bright LEDs
VONT 4 pack LED Compact Camping Lantern
Vont’s folding lanterns are about the size of a smartphone and include 30 miniature LED lights for full 360-degree lighting even in the darkest of conditions.
With a durable and waterproof construction made of high-quality materials, 3 “AAA” batteries ensure around 30 hours of use, making this one of the best alternatives when it comes to finding the best camping lantern that lasts long.
It takes up only minimal space in your backpack, yet it is easy to use. To light your lantern, simply unfold the metallic handles and pull up.
You’ll notice the light from your lantern as soon as you start drawing up. If you want a dimmer light, you can only pull halfway.
Once you’ve pulled all the way up, you’ll be greeted with 360-degree illumination from 30 high-quality LEDs. You are welcome to hang your lantern on a nearby tree.
With a 10-year / lifetime warranty, it not only works well as a camping light, but it is also a viable solution for any form of survival crisis.
Why you’ll love it:
- Foldable Design
- Lifetime Warranty
- Aircraft-grade materials
The UK has the LEPRO camping lantern that is identical to the one I just reviewed above.
SINVITRON LED Waterproof Camping Lantern
Sinvitron’s LED camping lantern may be small, but it delivers a powerful punch. It stands 5 inches tall, weighs less than 1 pound, and is made of military-grade materials.
The LEDs are bright (but dimmable), and you can obtain over 500 hours of use in its low function mode, making it one of the only lanterns on the market with a display panel with a clock and power consumption-tracking functionality.
The built-in SOS feature will keep you safe in an emergency, and the 15,000mAh battery also functions as a power bank. This adaptable alternative may be hung indoors or outdoors with the included carabiner and can resist temperatures below freezing as well as hotter conditions.
Why you’ll love it
- Bright but dimmable
- Extremely durable and waterproof
- Long-lasting battery, can be used as a powerbank
- LCD display
- 4 lighting modes: warm white, natural white, cool white and RED SOS
In the UK you can find this camping lantern under a different brand name, but otherwise it is the same great lantern.
Coleman Premium Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern
The Coleman Premium Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern can light up the campsite in any weather. Dual Fuel technology allows you to use either Coleman Liquid Fuel or unleaded gasoline.
This lantern’s 2-mantle design emits a steady, bright glow of up to 800 lumens of light that can be seen from up to 22 metres away. A single match is all that is required to light your lantern, after which you can adjust the brightness with the adjustable control knob.
Thanks to its fuel tank base it stands steady on the ground, and the bail handle makes carrying and hanging the lantern easy.
Why you’ll love it
- Propane or gasoline fuel
- Adjustable up to 800 lumens
AYL Starlight 1000 LED Camping Lantern
This camping lantern has 46 LED light bulbs that produce an astounding 1800 lumens. LED light bulbs, as we now know, are among the best in the industry in terms of brightness, energy-saving and low energy consumption, as well as longevity. To allow for more focused lighting, the bulb cap can be removed. After removing the cover, the lantern can be used upside down for emergency lighting or for any other outdoor activities.
It has a rechargeable 4400mAh battery built in, which, when fully charged, can last up to 12 hours. In an emergency, the lantern can be used to charge a smartphone or tablet.
This lantern comes with 4 light modes- daylight, warm light, both, and flash mode. Additionally, these modes are also dimmable and this brightness can be adjusted by pressing down on the ON/OFF switch.
Why you’ll love it
- 1800 lumen brightness, dimmable
- built-in battery
- 4 light modes (daylight, warm light, both and flash mode)
It is sold under the brand name of Light EVER (LE), but otherwise the same lamp.
Buying Guide and Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s everything you need to when searching for the best camping lantern that suits all your needs.
How many lumens do I need for a camping lantern?
For most campers, 100 lumens or higher is sufficient to illuminate many camp areas. If you prefer a gentler glow, 50-75 lumens will suffice. Electric lanterns with less than 50 lumens may be suitable for in-tent use, but a full campsite needs something in the 700+ lumens range. In some cases, multiple lanterns maybe your best option to keep the area well-lit.
You may have noticed, that most camping lanterns on this list can emit well over 100 lumens, with the brightest producing over 1800 lumens. So how big a difference it is? And is more the better?
I prefer more lightsources that may emit less lumen, than one lightsource with a strong bright light. With one lightsource, that is very bright, the shadows will be very distinct too, which afterall does not help a lot, especially if it is pitch black anyways. When I have multiple light sources there’s less shadowy area.
Of course, 1800+lumen camping lanterns have their purpose too, if you need an emergency light for peace of mind. You can always adjust the brightness, so it is not a big issue.
What is a lumen?
By definition 1 lumen equals the light emitted by 1 candle…I know it does not help a lot and it actually does not tell the whole story. The frequency of the light (apologies for the layman’s guide explanation) also matters, I personally prefer warmer light cause it feels more natural.
Gas / Propane vs. Battery-Operated Electric Lanterns
Battery-Operated camping lanterns use LED lights, which eliminates the need for fuel and allows for infinite use due to rechargeability. Power output is adjustable. There are only minor or no safety concerns.
Gas / Propane camping lanterns use gas and fire for the light source requires fuel to be carried with you. Gas camping lanterns can equal or beat the brightness of battery-operated lanterns. They also have an old school appeal, which I very much like, even though there is a potential safety issue/fire hazard when using gas camping lanterns.
Lantern size should be considered because you will be carrying it for extended periods of time.
Obviously, the smaller the lantern, the less space it takes up in your backpack or car, the lighter it is, and the happier you are.
The best lanterns will be well-made and will last for years, no matter what you throw at it.
When you’re camping, your tools are likely to get knocked around a lot, so a tough and durable lantern should be at the top of your list.
Gas lanterns can be more delicate, so if you’re not particularly worried about the condition of your tools, you might want to consider LED options.
There are a plethora of camping lantern options available, as well as a plethora of features packed into the current models.
While gas lanterns have nostalgic value, the future is really geared toward environmentally friendly, multi-function LED lanterns that can produce bright lumens while also providing flexible technology and device charging capabilities.
With basic safety features like red-light SOS blinking, it’s no surprise that gas lanterns are becoming the dinosaurs.