Taking a lantern on your camping trip offers a safe and reliable light source that is useful in a number of scenarios. Whether you are needing to go outside when it’s dark and need to light your way, or if you just require some general illumination within the tent, they are an excellent resource to carry.
Let’s take a look at some of the best options:
- · Etekcity 2 Pack Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern with 6 AA Batteries (Black, Collapsible)
- · Image Portable LED Camping Lantern with Ceiling Fan
- · 2 Pack E-TRENDS Portable LED Lantern
- · Vont Bright 2 Pack Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern, Black, Collapsible
- Gold Armour Brightest Camping Lantern – LED Lantern
How to choose the best camping lantern
When choosing a camping lantern you are going to need to consider how serious a camper you are in terms of whether you just want light in a tent, or something more heavy duty that will emit a very strong beam, not to mention any additional features to help in an emergency. This is dependent on factors such as how long you will be spending in camp, as well as how many people you are going with, and the typical weather conditions.
Speaking of the weather, if you are choosing a solar-powered lantern, be sure you have the right weather to be able to charge it before hand, especially if it does not have battery-power capabilities as well. If you tend to camp somewhere with poor overcast weather, then solar might not be the right option for you. Therefore, a battery-powered lamp is generally more advisable for camping purposes.
Another consideration are lanterns which have an adjustable dial to choose the level of power the beam is emitting, therefore saving energy. This is great as you won’t always need the full beam, and if you can’t turn it down, it might waste precious energy.
You should also consider the weight of the lantern and any additional batteries. After all, with all the other equipment you have to carry, not to mention the energy required to set up camp in the first place, it could add an unnecessary burden on your shoulders and back.
The advantages of camping lanterns
Though camping lanterns can sometimes get overlooked in terms of importance when compared to having a good tent, bed and materials to light the fire, having a camping lantern is extremely useful in many aspects of camp life. For starters, should the weather be bad and you are struggling to keep the fire going, a camp lantern may be your only source of light, especially as the sun retreats into the night. This may prove vital in finding your way back to camp, or exploring to gather materials and in case of an emergency.
Lanterns are also very practical, as they are much less of a risk to use as a light source over fire, which means they can also be safely used by children.
Another positive aspect is that they can be reused for each trip, as opposed to a campfire or matches. Therefore, if your other sources of heat and light fail, you know you will always have a backup.
Things to look for
Starting with the lumens, the lumen rating will tell you how wide an area your lantern will illuminate. The higher the rating, the wider an area your lantern will light. Typically lanterns are in the 200/300’s, though can go anywhere up to 1,000 lumens. How far up the scale you wish to go of course depends on if you are only looking to light a small area, or if you are looking for something that is more heavy duty.
Another important factor is the hours of operation your lantern will give you, and what power supply is required, such as solar, battery or manual powered, such as with a hand crank. Also, depending on the method of power, this may affect how long the runtime will last, and the level of brightness you are able to achieve.
Finally, look for any additional features your lantern may have. Some have USB ports for charging your devices, as well as a red light for night vision, a yellow light to not attract bugs and even an SOS mode for emergencies.
The best way to use a camping lantern
While you will have a light supply from the campfire itself, there are many ways you can use your lantern when out camping. For example, it can be used as a beacon to guide you through the woods at night, or left outside, can show you where you have set up camp so you can always find you way back if it’s too late to keep the fire going, or if the weather is inclement.
Lanterns are also ideal for inside a tent, whereby real light in the form of a fire or candle would obviously be far too hazardous, not to mention toxic in the air you are breathing.
You can use it to help you carry out tasks after the sun has gone down, but also to ensure safety in the camp without having to worry about it being a risk. After all, depending on when you are camping there may be limited daylight hours, so having a constant light source is always going to be helpful.
Etekcity 2 Pack Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern with 6 AA Batteries (Black, Collapsible)
This lantern from Etekcity is actually part of a two pack, and is ready supplied with fully charged batteries ready to go. Each lantern has 30 energy-saving LED bulbs, which give 360° of illumination. The low power consumption means you will be able to get 12 hours of regular light, and when the battery starts to run low it will switch to energy-saving mode to provide a longer-lasting illumination.
The lanterns are battery powered and will require 6 x AA batteries, so is something to keep in mind as you will have to keep a supply with you because you can’t rely on solar power.
On the plus side, these lanterns are extremely lightweight and have collapsible handles to save space for storage. Therefore, they are ideal for carrying in conjunction with a heavier backpack for example, as well as being ideal for the elderly and children to carry with ease.
The lumen rating is 60, though as you are getting two lanterns, this is technically double if you were to use them both at the same time. Even if you don’t, the advantages are double the run time to ensure you always have a backup, and you can light up different areas of the camp at the same time.
Image Portable LED Camping Lantern with Ceiling Fan
It is often the case that camping lanterns are often equipped with other helpful features to enhance the outdoor experience, and the Image Portable lantern, with a built in ceiling fan, is no exception.
There is a switch panel on the back to control the speed and settings of both the fan and the light, and whether you want them both on at the same time or not. Although this lantern runs on a battery, it will provide up to 37 hours of use, depending on the settings you have activated.
This isn’t a lantern to be carried around, rather to be hung on the ceiling of a tent or placed on the ground. In many ways, this is convenient especially for nighttime reading/cooling down, though it is not going to be useful if you have to walk around outside and need a light to carry.
Speaking of the light, it has 18 individual low-powered LED bulbs which act similar to a ring light. Although it doesn’t give 360° lighting, the position is adaptable so you can adjust the angle to suit.
2 Pack E-TRENDS Portable LED Lantern
Once again offering you two for the price of one, the E-trends portable LED lantern is actually smaller than the iPhone 6. Though the smaller size is excellent for traveling, keep in mind it is designed for hanging on other objects, rather than standing alone or being carried like a traditional lantern.
Each lantern requires 3 x AAA batteries, and has a 150-lumen output that can be adjusted to either low, high or flashing modes. The light power is extremely strong, and with the lanterns being so lightweight, they are ideal for hanging anywhere where you require that extra boost of light, such as the entrance to your tent, or perhaps on a tree nearby, or tied to a rope.
The lanterns are designed using waterproof materials; they also have an SOS mode, so is an excellent choice for outdoor use, and won’t be affected by bad weather like some lanterns.
Vont Bright 2 Pack Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lanterns
Boasting ultra-bright 30 LED lights which give 360° illumination, these lanterns are also water resistant and come with a 10-year guarantee. As well as being water resistant, each lantern is powered by 3 x AA batteries (not supplied) and will give up to 12 hours of light.
Interestingly, this model also has the option to reduce the light, meaning you can adjust how much light you want to emit, therefore making it ideal for a number of different scenarios.
Overall, these lanterns are excellent if you require an ultra-bright light. Therefore, it’s ideal for camping if you don’t have another light source to rely on, and as it’s collapsible, it would also be ideal for the inside of the tent, as you can reduce the amount of illumination so it wouldn’t be overpowering.
Gold Armour Brightest Camping Lantern – LED Lantern
This lantern is actually supplied as a four pack, and emits an incredible 350 lumens per lantern, hence it is named the “Brightest camping lantern.” To power up, each lantern requires 3 x AA batteries that are supplied.
These lanterns feature chips onboard LED technology, which illuminates a greater area than the light found even in other 30-LED lanterns. The design is also new and improved from a previous model and now emits a warmer-colored light which, aside from eliminating the cold and harsh feel, will also help prevent against insomnia that can be caused from exposure to white light, especially before bed.
Gold Armour promises 100% satisfaction with these lanterns and offer a 15-year guarantee. As well as offering 12 hours of runtime, as well as being water resistant and having an adjustable light strength, these lanterns have also been constructed with approved military-grade material.
It’s difficult to find fault with these lanterns, especially as they offer double the amount that leading competitors do. Though, one consideration to note is that if you wish to use all four lanterns, you are going to have to keep a large supply of batteries with you as it will need 12 at a time. These lanterns also don’t have an SOS mode, though all in all, do provide excellent value and most importantly, a strong and reliable light source.
The type of lantern you choose to go camping with may well depend on several factors, such as if you need it just for reading in the tent, or whether you want something which has an SOS mode for emergencies.
Overall, the lantern of choice is the Gold Armour Brightest Camping Lantern. Granted, this lantern does not have an SOS mode, although in reality there are other ways to send out a distress signal, so this should not take away from what is not only an excellent product, but is actually four products sold as one.
The main priority with your camping light is to provide a light source, and with 350 lumens emitted per light, when compared with other models, this brand will give you the best performance. The light this product delivers is truly exceptional; even if the viability is poor due to the weather and darkness, you will still be able to see exactly what you are doing.
As there are four lights supplied, you could even light your way leaving one light at the tent and taking another with you.
Though the other lights excelled in being compact and having a hook to be hung up in the tent, with camping, you will require a light that is versatile and can be used outside just as much as inside; after all camping is all about that outdoor life.