Best Camping Lantern

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Coleman Twin
Test Winner: Coleman Twin
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When you head out on your next camping or backpacking adventure, one piece of gear that you do not want to forget is a camping lantern. A camping light is important as when you are in the middle of the wilderness with no surrounding light, it can get quite dark and most of the time you can not see a foot in front of you which makes it hard to do anything. It provides a bright light source so you can illuminate your campsite and allow you to see clearly.

Now if you are looking to invest in a camping lantern and have done some research online, then you know there is a variety of brands and types. Luckily for you, we have done the research and listed the top ten lanterns of 2019, to shed some light.

Standout Picks

coleman twin led lantern
Another great product from Coleman. The coleman twin led lantern is a highly rated and popular lantern that has a classic design but packs a bright light to illuminate your campsite without issue. Coleman is known for their product quality and durability and this led camping lantern provides just that.
Amazon Link
$42.50
coleman northstar lantern
The Coleman Northstar Lantern is a nice camping light, and it is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast that wants to find something that is very easy to use. It’s got a simple design with an adjustable knob so that you can adjust it to dim or brighten whenever you need to. The light is manufactured to be extremely bright—in fact, it is one of the brightest lights we have offered on our list. It also comes with a five-year limited warranty and a handy carrying case, both of which are a nice touch.
Amazon Link
coleman 1000 lumen cpx 6 lantern
The CPX 6 is the best camping lantern to purchase when camping with kids. It impacts friendly making it very useful. With its sturdiness and 5 LEDs, it is able to light large areas of an entire room. It is also able to last you for quite some time after charging, which makes it suitable for backpacking.
black diamond apollo lantern
The black diamond apollo lantern has conquered being highly regarded on many sites pertaining to gear and camping. The reason being is its practicality and durability. Even though it's not the brightest camping lantern on the market, it provides enough light to move around and its light is not at all blinding.
UST Duro Glow
Here is one of the top selections for the duration of lighting when it comes to camping lanterns. The manufacturer claims that it can glow for just under a month when placed on the low setting. However, if you are seeking a bright option this lantern may not be the one you are seeking.
Amazon Link
black diamond voyager lantern
The black diamond voyager lantern is an impressive little led camping lantern with a great design. It is very versatile and offers you two different light options, which help make this an excellent product. You can either use this light in lantern mode, which gives you 360 degrees of light all the way around you, or you can set it in flashlight mode if you need direct light. The light is easy to carry when you are walking, and you should be able to see your path easily.
goal zero lighthouse 400
Although the Goal Zero Lighthouse is a bit pricier option than other lanterns suggested in this list, it is certainly worth the price. It is the perfect addition to your backpacking gear and it is especially convenient if you are not camping with your car next to you. The specific feature of this lantern is its multiple options for battery charging.
tough light led
As the name suggests, this camping lantern is indeed a tough one. It is extremely durable and it is able to withstand a drop of few meters height, which is not the case with most competitive models. Even though it is not the brightest one, it gives you many hours of use compared to the charging time.
Amazon Link
$62.95
streamlight the siege
If you are constantly in doubt whether you have turned off the iron or accidentally turned on your camping lantern, the streamlight the siege is the right choice for you. It has a recessed button that prevents you from such accidents. Unlike the Titan, this is a lightweight lantern option that you could feel free to carry it backpacking.
etekcity 4 pack portable outdoor led camping lantern
The Etekcity Camping Lantern might not have an appealing name, but it sure is a tough one. It has a short and wide design which is making it even more stable on an uneven surface and in a case of windy weather conditions. Its design reminds of a thermos with a black base and top. The middle part is covered with an aluminum material with the logo on it. It has a pretty minimalist design and some great features. It is currently on sale, which with a discount of 75%, which makes it the cheapest model in the suggestion list.
Amazon Link
$29.99

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Style

As with every other product on the market, you should start with your own preferences. Are you a camper or do you prefer backpacking trips? Or you need a camping lantern that is universal for every use, even for using it in your back yard?

Once you are able to answer this question, you have the most important feature you should focus on. For instance, backpacking trips require camping lanterns that are not too heavy and they don’t take too much space. There are even lanterns that can be packed in smaller sizes when you are not using them. And if you are going camping, the choices don’t end up there.

Are you planning a camping trip that includes your vehicle or not? If you are going camping with your vehicle, a camping lantern that is electric, with a car charger will be the best choice for you. On the other side, if you are camping with your bike, you should probably avoid the bulky lantern designs. That said, there are also those products that satisfy more of your needs, so if you prefer multiple activities, don’t despair, there is still a great choice for you on the market.

Effectiveness

Sometimes, a headlamp might be much more suitable than a camping lantern. If you only need the lantern to work around the tent or set it up, a headlamp is the better choice since, with it, you will be able to direct the lighting in one direction. With a camping lantern, someone would need to follow you around and act like a tree. Or if you are a lone camper, you would need to hold the lantern with one hand and cook, for instance, with the other. Even though this is manageable, it is not as satisfying as a hands-free cooking experience.

Lanterns are mostly required for group camping. They usually provide illumination in all directions, so they are the perfect choice for when you are camping with the entire family or friends. A headlight in this situation would be unbearable since it would provide illumination for only one person.

Brand

Each brand on the market is focused on creating a product for a specific outdoor activity. Some of them are focused on backpacking gear and other value camping practicality. If you haven’t already planned your next trip and you have many outdoor interests, you should probably go for a more versatile lantern that will prove as useful in every situation. Amongst our suggestions, there are lanterns that have a combination of features, therefore they are suitable for multiple outdoor activities.

Visibility

Many campers believe that if the lantern illuminates more space, it is somehow better than competitive options. However, this is not entirely true. Sometimes having a lantern that is too bright can cause headaches. In order to avoid this, look for lanterns that have the dimming effect. This type of lanterns does not make you feel uncomfortable and at the same time, they illuminate a large area. Nevertheless, if you are convinced that you want a bright camping lantern, then look for the one with the highest Lumens.

Lumen is the unit that signifies how bright a lamp is. It is used for every type of lamp, not just the camping lanterns. It is important to mention that a lantern could have many lumens and still not be the brightest among lanterns. In order to measure the brightness effect, you must also consider the design of the lantern. Some lantern models, have a cap on the top in order to cause the light to spread at 360 degrees instead of spreading in height where you don’t even need it.

Just for orientation, if you are only two people, 100 Lumens would be more than enough. If you are with a larger group of people, more Lumens would be required. However, this level of brightness would be enough for you to locate your objects and see your faces when you talk to each other. But it will not provide enough brightness for reading for instance. Also, if you are in a closed space, such as a tent, fewer Lumens are required. On the other side, if you are using the lantern out on the open, you could not go wrong with more Lumens.

Top Ten Camping Lanterns

1. Coleman Twin

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$42.50
coleman twin led lantern
Amazon Link

Another great product from Coleman. The coleman twin led lantern is a highly rated and popular lantern that has a classic design but packs a bright light to illuminate your campsite without issue. Coleman is known for their product quality and durability and this led camping lantern provides just that.

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Style
This lantern is fitted with a classic design but packs a punch when it comes to illuminating your campground. It has a simple knob which you can turn on the lantern and adjust the illumination. It also comes with a handle so you can transport it easily around with you.

Effectiveness
This lantern is quite effective at illuminating your campsite or tent. Its ability to adjust the light is a great feature a depending on your surroundings, you may want the light to only be so bright. It also has a run time of 85 hours so no matter what situation you find yourself in you will have clear bright light.

Brand
Everyone should know the Coleman brand, especially when it comes to outdoor equipment. They have been around for many years and produce quality and durable products which last quite some years without issue. If you are looking to invest in a lantern and the price fits into your budget, Coleman is always a great first choice.

Visibility
This lantern is great for visibility as it produces 100 lumens on the low setting and almost 400 lumens on the high setting, which will give you a brightness that will extend 32 feet on the high setting and 19 ft on the low setting.

Amazon Link
$42.50

2. Coleman Northstar Lantern

Where to buy
Amazon Link
coleman northstar lantern
Amazon Link

The Coleman Northstar Lantern is a nice camping light, and it is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast that wants to find something that is very easy to use. It’s got a simple design with an adjustable knob so that you can adjust it to dim or brighten whenever you need to. The light is manufactured to be extremely bright—in fact, it is one of the brightest lights we have offered on our list. It also comes with a five-year limited warranty and a handy carrying case, both of which are a nice touch.

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Style
The Coleman Northstar Lantern is designed to be very easy to use, and it is very adjustable. It comes with a dimmer knob you can turn to adjust so you get just the right light if you don’t want it on high, and you can save some battery life. It also uses the Perfect Flow System to provide the lantern with consistent fuel usage, and the lantern will keep using that fuel level no matter what the weather conditions are like outside. It is propane powered, and also comes with a porcelain ventilator that is built to last. You also get InstaClip tube mantels for even more ease of use. It features an InstaStart Push-Button ignition as well, so it’s very easy to turn on whenever you want to use it, and easy to adjust the light’s output from dim to bright with the adjustable knob.

Effectiveness
The Coleman Northstar Lantern comes with a dimmer knob that adjusts, so you get a lot of brightness out of it if you want. You can turn it on an extra-bright 1543 lumens when it is on high, and it is incredibly bright when you set it up that high. It makes a great outdoor light and features EverBrite technology and power.

Brand
Another product from Coleman and is built with the durability and quality that Coleman is known for. When holding this lantern in your hands, you can feel the durability of the material and you will know that this may be the last lantern you ever have to buy.

Visibility
If you run it on the highest, brightest setting, you get 4.3 hours of use out of it, and if you set it on low, you’ll get 9.25 hours of use. It all really depends on how bright you want to make this light when you use it.

Amazon Link

3. Coleman 1000 Lumen CPX 6

Where to buy
coleman 1000 lumen cpx 6 lantern
Amazon Link

The CPX 6 is the best camping lantern to purchase when camping with kids. It impacts friendly making it very useful. With its sturdiness and 5 LEDs, it is able to light large areas of an entire room. It is also able to last you for quite some time after charging, which makes it suitable for backpacking.

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Style
This lantern is a quite different design than your gas lanterns that you are used to seeing. Its shape is a little more compact and is easily transported and stored. It is a great option if you are looking for a battery powered lantern that you can bring into your tent.

Effectiveness
Although the maximum that this camping lantern provides is 1000 Lumens, the battery life with this intensity only lasts you for a couple of hours. However, it does come with 4 lighting settings and they all come with different run time. Luckily, it comes with a car charger so you can use your vehicle to get the job done.

On the downside, there is the weight of these camping lights which is 3.4 pounds. This suggests that for longer backpacking distances, it is better to look through our other options.

Brand
Another product from Coleman and you can start to see that Coleman makes some durable and quality lanterns. Coleman again is known for their outdoors products and if you decide to go with this lantern, you will not only have it for seasons to come but will have a great lantern.

Visibility
Even though the 20 meters of light reach in all directions make this lantern a great choice, what’s more, impressive is its water-resistant properties. Now you can fall asleep inside your tent and leave the light outside without having to worry if it would rain.

4. Black Diamond Apollo

Where to buy
black diamond apollo lantern
Amazon Link

The black diamond apollo lantern has conquered being highly regarded on many sites pertaining to gear and camping. The reason being is its practicality and durability. Even though it's not the brightest camping lantern on the market, it provides enough light to move around and its light is not at all blinding.

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Style
Even though it will not last you forever, it will be your camping buddy for years. However, the surrounding plastic is easily damageable, so this is something that you should be aware of. The other elements are all made from metal which means they will last you a long time.

Effectiveness
The Black diamond Apollo is specifically designed in order to disperse the light throughout the space instead of directly blinding those around. In order for the lantern to produce a better lighting quality, a clouded plastic is used around the light. The main focus of the Apollo lantern is not being the brightest. Instead, it focuses on creating a pleasant camping atmosphere. You could even dim the lantern light if it pleases you.

Brand
Black diamond has been around for quite some time and they have been known over the years to make some quality outdoor equipment. When looking specifically at their lanterns you can tell they are made to last and can take a beating and continue to journey with you. If you are looking at any products from Black Diamond you will not be disappointed.

Visibility
This lantern from Black Diamond provides light of 200 lumens which is quite bright. There is also a dimming function in case you do not want the light at max power.

5. UST Duro Glow

Where to buy
Amazon Link
UST Duro Glow
Amazon Link

Here is one of the top selections for the duration of lighting when it comes to camping lanterns. The manufacturer claims that it can glow for just under a month when placed on the low setting. However, if you are seeking a bright option this lantern may not be the one you are seeking.

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Style
The lantern comes in 4 illuminating modes and only 3 LED bulbs. The base of the lantern is quite sturdy and heavy which make it more stable and resistant to wind.

Effectiveness
The weight is not its most impressive feature as it weighs around 1.13 lbs. However, it is light compared to many other models on the list. The lantern is able to be powered with a solar charger which is certainly on the plus side.

Brand
This lantern from UST is a great quality lantern and is actually quite durable. UST is known for producing outdoor equipment and their equipment is very highly rated and comes to you at an affordable price.

Visibility
The lowest settings for the Duro Glow is 30 lumens which are enough for you to move around without hitting in objects. On high settings, it features 700 Lumens which is not too impressive, but it is definitely not too low. If you wish to illuminate a larger space, it is recommended that you hang it upside down. However, you should first remove the cover in order to use it this way.

Amazon Link

6. Black Diamond Voyager

Where to buy
black diamond voyager lantern
Amazon Link

The black diamond voyager lantern is an impressive little led camping lantern with a great design. It is very versatile and offers you two different light options, which help make this an excellent product. You can either use this light in lantern mode, which gives you 360 degrees of light all the way around you, or you can set it in flashlight mode if you need direct light. The light is easy to carry when you are walking, and you should be able to see your path easily.

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Style
The Black Diamond Voyager Lantern comes designed for brightness. It’s a small lantern, but it’s still very great at lighting up your tent or your campsite. One of the nice things about this particular Black Diamond Lantern is the fact it is very small, lightweight, portable, and easy to use in a variety of ways.

Effectiveness
No matter which mode you put the light in, you’ll get a lot of brightness, and having two options with the light in this lantern makes the lantern quite versatile. The combination makes it a very effective light, and it is so small it is very easy to carry. So, you get a two in one deal with this lantern, because you’ll purchase a lantern that can work with direct light like a flashlight, and also give off a 360-degree dosage of light like most other lanterns.

Brand
What’s very nice about nearly all Black Diamond lanterns is how easy they are to use. As a lantern manufacturer, Black Diamond has done a great job in making all of their lanterns very simple to use, which is something you are going to want to have when you are out on a camping trip and really need light.

Visibility
You’ll get about 140 lumens total packed into this portable lightweight lantern. First, you get one double power LED with 140 lumens, which is its max setting, in the frosted globe area of the light that is made to provide very bright, ambient light when you keep the lantern in regular lantern mode. Second, you get one double power LED with 50 lumens on the bottom of the lantern, which allows the lantern to have a straight, accurate beam of light when you switch it to lantern mode.

7. Goal Zero Lighthouse 400

Where to buy
goal zero lighthouse 400
Amazon Link

Although the Goal Zero Lighthouse is a bit pricier option than other lanterns suggested in this list, it is certainly worth the price. It is the perfect addition to your backpacking gear and it is especially convenient if you are not camping with your car next to you. The specific feature of this lantern is its multiple options for battery charging.

Read more

Style
Instead of having few brightness levels, this camping lantern features a dial that is allowing you to adjust the illumination to your own preferences. Although it is not too bright, it does have a long runtime and an emergency switch. This switch is placed on the top of the lantern and it is allowing you easy access and a flashing light.

Effectiveness
It is interesting to mention that you could hang this lantern upside down as well and it will still work. The only downside is that if you want to preserve and even prolong the battery life of the lantern, you have to charge it once in a while, even though you are not using it.

Brand
Goal Zero produces a lot of electronics and is mainly known for its solar panels. This lantern is built with quality in mind and is quite durable. Even though Goal Zero is not as known as Coleman, if you decide to go with this lantern, you will still end up with a quality lantern.

Visibility
Even though the flashings are not too long reaching or too bright, they will get the job done in the case of an emergency since it is able to flash both horizontally and vertically.

8. Tough Light LED

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$62.95
tough light led
Amazon Link

As the name suggests, this camping lantern is indeed a tough one. It is extremely durable and it is able to withstand a drop of few meters height, which is not the case with most competitive models. Even though it is not the brightest one, it gives you many hours of use compared to the charging time.

Read more

Style
The Tough Light LED camping lantern, has only 400 Lumens to show for, but its Li-ion battery is the start component in it. It has several light modes and the brightest one will even allow you to sew if you want to. And what’s best is that if you are not able to figure out the light modes, there is an instruction manual that explains everything thoroughly.

Effectiveness
The battery life could for 16 nights with only one charge. However, these are the calculations if you use it on a low light mode. If you need a brighter light, the battery lifetime will significantly shorten. There is also an emergency feature which is blinking if you activate it. There are several emergency modes, red flashings, and SOS light. Both would last you for over 250 hours.

Brand
Tough Light makes a durable lantern. When you hold this lantern in your hands, you can tell that it can take a beating and keep on working. They are only known for this lantern but do not let that sway you as if you decide to go ahead with this lantern, it will not disappoint.

Visability
It is not a 360 degrees illumination lantern, but in this case, it is an advantage. When the user holds it uneven with the surface, a mode is activated that turns off the lights that are directed towards the user. This way, the light does not come directly into your eyes and you are actually able to see what you wanted to in the first place.

Amazon Link
$62.95

9. Streamlight The Siege

Where to buy
streamlight the siege
Amazon Link

If you are constantly in doubt whether you have turned off the iron or accidentally turned on your camping lantern, the streamlight the siege is the right choice for you. It has a recessed button that prevents you from such accidents. Unlike the Titan, this is a lightweight lantern option that you could feel free to carry it backpacking.

Read more

Style
Although it comes with a cover in order to prevent it from blinding you, the cover is completely removable. When detached, its light could reach further if needed. The battery system comes with an indicator which will let you know when you need to start the saving mode. The maximum lightness is 340 Lumens and at this intensity, the battery life is no more than 30 hours. There are 5 LED bulbs in total, of which 4 are white. The last one is allowing the user to turn on the night vision illumination which is quite convenient for some situations.

Effectiveness
The Siege is also impact-resistant and it is able to withstand a fall of 6 feet without significant damage. What’s even more impressive is its ability to “swim”. If you accidentally drop it while fishing, it will float and you will be able to easily locate it. You could even try drowning it, but it can withstand being submerged under water and still come out without any damage.

Brand
Streamlight is not as known as Coleman or Black Diamond but they are known for their quality of light gear from flashlights, lanterns, bulbs, and pretty much anything else that lights up or glows. So if you have your eye on this lantern, Streamlight has you covered.

Visibility
This lantern is not your mist visible lantern on our list but if you are looking for a lantern that is affordable and works well to illuminate a small space, then this may be the lantern for you. If you need a light for your tent or small space while in the outdoors, then this is the lantern you want to take a closer look at.

10. Etekcity 4 Pack LED Lantern

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$29.99
etekcity 4 pack portable outdoor led camping lantern
Amazon Link

The Etekcity Camping Lantern might not have an appealing name, but it sure is a tough one. It has a short and wide design which is making it even more stable on an uneven surface and in a case of windy weather conditions. Its design reminds of a thermos with a black base and top. The middle part is covered with an aluminum material with the logo on it. It has a pretty minimalist design and some great features. It is currently on sale, which with a discount of 75%, which makes it the cheapest model in the suggestion list.

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Style
The batteries are located at the bottom part of the lantern and since it is waterproof, in order to change the batteries, you should detach the bottom by unscrewing it. The power bank is also located at the bottom part. The battery can be charged with your smartphone, a car charger or a regular one.

Effectiveness
Even though the lantern is pretty short, you are able to change the size of the illuminated part by turning it on one side and setting it up to the height that you prefer. It is interesting to mention that once you turn it off, the light’s intensity is resetting to the highest possible level. If you want to turn it off a bit, you must readjust the lighting mode.

Brand
Etekcity is not the most known brand on our list but they do produce a highly rated set of lanterns.

Visibility
The brightness time, however, is a bit lower than competitive models and it could only provide you about 4 hours of brightness and 12 when the light mode is set to low.

Amazon Link
$29.99

Sources

  1. Jordan Carter , The Best Camping Lanterns,