• 10 Best Lanterns for Camping in 2022 (Outdoor Guide-Reviewed) 1
  • 10 Best Lanterns for Camping in 2022 (Outdoor Guide-Reviewed) 2
  • 10 Best Lanterns for Camping in 2022 (Outdoor Guide-Reviewed) 3
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10 Best Lanterns for Camping in 2022 (Outdoor Guide-Reviewed)

There's no doubt that a lantern is essential for a camping trip. Whether you sit down for card games at the campground or inside a tent, or you're indulging in some cooking spree, a lantern will be a significant help. Also, if you're moving around your campsite in the darkness, it can be handy as a flashlight! 


That's why we searched e-commerce sites like Amazon for both freestanding and hanging lantern types for camping. Our favorite pick is the Vont LED Camping Lanterns. With a power pack of 30 LED bulbs illuminating the lantern, each runs for 90 hours. Check out even more great options in our 10 best list, and read on until the end for some things to keep in mind while browsing on your own.

Featured in this article

Pak, Eugene
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 09-05-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Lantern for Camping - Buying Guide

Choosing a camping lantern is not always simple. Different lanterns serve different purposes. For example, big lanterns are better for car camping whereas smaller lanterns work for backpackers who like to pack light. And that's not the only criteria to look for when buying a camping lantern. 


While you can't expect the focused beam of light a flashlight throws your way, a lantern is essential for tasks in and around your tent and campground. If you're planning to buy one, read on! 

Choose a Type That Suits Your Camping Needs

The most common types of lanterns for camping are the electric, but it's not uncommon to find models that run on fuels like kerosene or ones that use candles. Each model has different perks and drawbacks to consider when you make your choice.

Electric Lanterns Are Portable and User-Friendly

Electric Lanterns Are Portable and User-Friendly

Electric lanterns are operated using alkaline batteries, lithium batteries, rechargeable batteries, or an external power source, like solar energy. Electric lanterns are safe, ideal choices for camping with kids and pets. They are quiet, have a significantly high light output, and are safe to use indoors. 


Single-use alkaline batteries are popular, inexpensive power sources, but they will need frequent replacements as they die out. Also, alkaline batteries could lose their power capacity while camping in below-freezing temperatures. Lanterns with lithium or lithium-ion batteries perform much better in colder climates.


A lantern with removable and rechargeable batteries will be more convenient if you're camping in your car or RV. You can use your vehicle to charge your lantern's batteries. Many electric lanterns have USB ports to charge other electronic devices. 

Electric Lanterns Are Portable and User-Friendly
Solar-powered lanterns are great for multi-day camping trips where you can’t always bring surplus batteries or charge the rechargeable batteries. They're suitable for ultra-light backpackers and long summer camping trips, as well. These lanterns have a solar panel affixed to the top. 

They're safe for children and pets and are more eco-friendly than propane or oil lanterns. Solar-powered lanterns are also chargeable via USB or batteries in the event that the solar panel malfunctions or you're dealing with a string of cloudy, rainy days. 

Fuel-Powered Lanterns for Better Light Output

Fuel-Powered Lanterns for Better Light Output

Fuel-powered lanterns operate on fuel sources like liquid fuel, propane, and butane. They use cloth mantles to emit light.


Though most fuel-powered lanterns aren't as bright as electric lanterns, they can burn rather bright. Kerosene burns the brightest, but it can produce a pungent smell when burned. Fuel-powered lanterns also emit noise and heat during their operation. They're made of glass and metal instead of plastic, making them heavier and more fragile. A fuel-powered lantern may not be ideal for rough terrain. 


These lanterns shouldn't be operated near flammable materials or inside compact spaces that lack ventilation. They aren't the safest option when camping with kids and pets. But, they're great for use while camping in cold weather! They make great lanterns for camping during winter if used carefully.

Candle Lanterns for Ambiance and Minimal Light

Candle Lanterns for Ambiance and Minimal Light

Candle lanterns are a traditional light source with a soothing glow. They are silent, and the light emitted is soft, which won't be sufficient for some tasks at a campground. 

 
This type of lantern also generates heat and shouldn't be used near flammable materials. They can be hot to touch, especially when used for a long time. With their minimal lumen output, they work best for small tasks within the camp. Some campers use these to create a relaxing atmosphere around the campsite.

Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

There are also electric candles that can be used for your lantern. These emit similar lighting without the danger of using real candles. Most of the time, these come in bulk packs and can be used until their battery runs out. There are also electric lanterns that have a setting that mimics lighting similar to a candle source.

Decide Your Preferred Light Output and Duration

Decide Your Preferred Light Output and Duration

The light output of a lantern is measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the greater the brightness of the lantern will be. Higher output also means that the lantern has a shorter run time or battery life.


Most lanterns have a low setting and a high setting so you can adjust the output. The output for propane, candle, and oil lanterns depends on the size of the candle, amount of fuel, and wick length.


For individuals, a lantern with 100 to 200 lumens will be ideal. This range is also great for lighting up tents. However, for large groups and campsites, you need a lantern with 300 lumens or more. Or, large groups can use multiple smaller lanterns to light up their camping ground.

Decide Your Preferred Light Output and Duration

Gas lanterns have their light duration measured in burn time, and electric ones measure it in run time. The light duration tells you how long you can expect your lantern to provide light.


Most gas and battery-operated lanterns come with adjustable light intensities that help save power. Electric lanterns tend to have a longer runtime than candle or gas lanterns. Typical runtimes are about seven hours on high settings and 30 to 70 hours on a low setting. Some lanterns can last for as long as 500 hours!

Pick a Size That Matches the Type of Camping

Pick a Size That Matches the Type of Camping

The size and weight of a lantern are directly proportional to its light output. Try to find the best balance for the kind of camping you do. For single campers, backpackers, and hikers, small and lightweight lanterns are ideal. Any lantern that weighs around half a pound and is collapsable or inflatable is best for campers that need to keep their loads light. Low-output lanterns give just enough light to read inside a tent or eat meals. 


For a campground, car, or RV, you need a larger lantern with powerful light output to illuminate a wider area. A suitable lantern that weighs two pounds or more could be ideal. These lanterns may also use heavier batteries or require you to carry extra fuel, which will be easier for those camping with a vehicle. 

Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

If lanterns aren't enough of a light source, another alternative is using "fairy lights" or string lights. These can provide more light in a greater range but will be dimmer overall compared to a lantern that has concentrated light.

Consider a Water-Resistant Lantern for Better Protection

Consider a Water-Resistant Lantern for Better Protection

Some lanterns can malfunction when they're exposed to moisture or icy weather conditions. A water-resistant lantern will be most suitable for all weather conditions. Completely waterproof lanterns can be fully immersed in water without damage.


A lantern's water resistance is measured as per Ingress Protection standards (written as "IP") and followed by a number. It indicates how much protection the lantern can offer against solid objects as well as water.

Consider a Water-Resistant Lantern for Better Protection

An IPX0 rating means that the lantern offers no protection against water. IPX1 indicates the lantern offers protection against dripping water. If it offers protection against solid objects like sand, the "X" will be replaced by a number up to 6. If there's no protection, it will be listed as X or 0.


For casual camping needs, an IP44-certified lantern is sufficient. It offers protection from splashing in all directions. A lantern with IPX8 can be immersed in water deeper than one meter. If a lantern has IP68, it offers total protection against the ingress of solids and water.

Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

But it is best practice to not leave your lantern out in adverse conditions as the moisture can destroy the internal mechanisms or eventually corrode the battery. Either of these are best avoided to keep your lantern running as long as possible.

Look for Practical Additional Features

Lanterns may have additional features to make their use easier. This can include legs or hooks to place them safely around your campsite or tent, an adjustment feature for light output, and a display for extra information like remaining runtime. 

Legs or Hooks for Easy Placement

Legs or Hooks for Easy Placement

One of the other essential features to look for is a hanging loop or a hook to hang your lantern. Most lantern models have them, regardless of how they're powered. Some inflatable and solar-powered models only have a thin loop or don't have a hook at all. 


Most models are also freestanding with a wide, flat base for support. However, there are some that have adjustable or pop-out legs to place on uneven ground. Other models have hooks built into the base so they can be hung upside down, as well. 

Multiple Light Settings for Versatility

Multiple Light Settings for Versatility

A light-adjustment button on a lantern helps you to control the brightness level. This is a great way to save power and increase the run time of the lantern. Most battery-operated lanterns don’t have a varying adjustment feature and instead have an on-off switch.


Lanterns with adjustable settings will have a control knob or preset settings built into the lantern. The light intensity of fuel lanterns can be controlled by adjusting the mantle. Also available are lanterns that can double as a flashlight and strobe. Some lanterns even have a red SOS feature in case of an emergency. 

Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

Many electric lanterns also have a spectrum of colors from red all the way to purple. These options are great for different scenarios; for example, red light can provide a great source for when you're with others as it won't blind anyone as white light would. Other color lights can be great for not attracting bugs to your light source.

Displays for Additional Information

Displays for Additional Information

Some lanterns feature an LCD that displays time, temperature, battery level, and more, though these aren't as common. These models often have USB ports to charge your other electronics. Make sure to set the time before first use, and check the temperature display with other devices to ensure that it is correct before heading out.

10 Best Lanterns for Camping

Have a look at our 10 best lanterns for camping and see what you would want to buy. We made our choices based on the points listed in the buying guide below, as well as reviewer comments when available.


*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Pak Eugene.

Image
Vont  LED Camping Lanterns 1

Vont

Sinvitron  Tent Light With LCD  1

Sinvitron

Black Diamond  Moji Lantern 1

Black Diamond

LuminAID Packlite Max 2-in-1 Power Lantern 1

LuminAID

Coleman Carabineer Classic Personal Lantern 1

Coleman

Lighting Ever 1000-Lumen LED Lantern 1

Lighting Ever

Whetstone Solar-Powered Crank Dynamo 1

Whetstone

Amacool  Camping Fan With LED Lantern 1

Amacool

Coleman Deluxe Propane Lantern 1

Coleman

UCO Original Candle Lantern 1

UCO

Name

LED Camping Lanterns

Tent Light With LCD

Moji Lantern

Packlite Max 2-in-1 Power Lantern

Carabineer Classic Personal Lantern

1000-Lumen LED Lantern

Solar-Powered Crank Dynamo

Camping Fan With LED Lantern

Deluxe Propane Lantern

Original Candle Lantern

Features

Best Set of Lanterns for Overall Use

Best Lantern With Extra Features

Best Lantern for Backpackers

Best Waterproof Lantern That's Highly Portable

Best to Light up the Whole Campsite

Best Lantern With Removable Top

Best Lantern for Versatile Power Sources

Best Lantern for Summer Camping

Best for Winter Camping and Lighting Really Large Sites

Best Candle Lantern for Backup or Keeping Bugs Away

Price$17.97$34.89$19.95$49.95$19.89$22.99$22.79$19.99$38.98$26.22
TypeLEDLEDLEDLEDLEDLEDLEDLEDGasCandle
Lumens1402401001504001000180Not specified; 12 LEDs1000 -
RuntimeUp to 90 hrs.Up to 500 hrs.70 hrs.Up to 50 hrs.Up to 70 hrs.Up to 25 hrs.20 minutes of light per 1 minute of cranking40 hrs. with fan only, 18 days with light onlyUp to 9.25 hrs.9 hrs.
Best forCamping, emergencies, groupsCamping, emergencies, indoorsHikers, backpackers, tent useBackpacking, camping, hiking, water activitiesRV camping, car camping, single-person use Large groups, RV campingCamping, emergencies, indoor useTent camping, car camping, warm weather campingWinter camping, large campsites, rv campingEmergencies, backup, RV camping, vehicle camping
Weight7.6 oz.0.88 lbs.3 oz.8.6 oz.2.76 lbs.14 oz.1.45 lbs.11.3 oz.3 lbs.6.4 oz.
Water resistanceIP44IP65IPX4IP67IPX4IPX4Water-resistantNot specified--
Additional featuresHanging hooks, collapsibleCarabiner clip, USB, reversible lightCollapsible hanging hookInflatable, USB charger, solar-power and USB-chargingCarabiner handle, rechargeable battery option4 light modes, stepless dimming, bottom hook, top handleCrank, USB charger, hanging hookHanging hook, fan, aroma diffuserFoldable base, hanging hookTwist lock base, carrying handle, hanging hook
Link
TypeLED
Lumens140
RuntimeUp to 90 hrs.
Best forCamping, emergencies, groups
Weight7.6 oz.
Water resistanceIP44
Additional featuresHanging hooks, collapsible

Sinvitron Tent Light With LCD

$34.89

TypeLED
Lumens240
RuntimeUp to 500 hrs.
Best forCamping, emergencies, indoors
Weight0.88 lbs.
Water resistanceIP65
Additional featuresCarabiner clip, USB, reversible light
TypeLED
Lumens100
Runtime70 hrs.
Best forHikers, backpackers, tent use
Weight3 oz.
Water resistanceIPX4
Additional featuresCollapsible hanging hook

LuminAIDPacklite Max 2-in-1 Power Lantern

$49.95

TypeLED
Lumens150
RuntimeUp to 50 hrs.
Best forBackpacking, camping, hiking, water activities
Weight8.6 oz.
Water resistanceIP67
Additional featuresInflatable, USB charger, solar-power and USB-charging

ColemanCarabineer Classic Personal Lantern

$19.89

TypeLED
Lumens400
RuntimeUp to 70 hrs.
Best forRV camping, car camping, single-person use
Weight2.76 lbs.
Water resistanceIPX4
Additional featuresCarabiner handle, rechargeable battery option

Lighting Ever1000-Lumen LED Lantern

$22.99

TypeLED
Lumens1000
RuntimeUp to 25 hrs.
Best forLarge groups, RV camping
Weight14 oz.
Water resistanceIPX4
Additional features4 light modes, stepless dimming, bottom hook, top handle
TypeLED
Lumens180
Runtime20 minutes of light per 1 minute of cranking
Best forCamping, emergencies, indoor use
Weight1.45 lbs.
Water resistanceWater-resistant
Additional featuresCrank, USB charger, hanging hook

Amacool Camping Fan With LED Lantern

$19.99

TypeLED
LumensNot specified; 12 LEDs
Runtime40 hrs. with fan only, 18 days with light only
Best forTent camping, car camping, warm weather camping
Weight11.3 oz.
Water resistanceNot specified
Additional featuresHanging hook, fan, aroma diffuser

ColemanDeluxe Propane Lantern

$38.98

TypeGas
Lumens1000
RuntimeUp to 9.25 hrs.
Best forWinter camping, large campsites, rv camping
Weight3 lbs.
Water resistance-
Additional featuresFoldable base, hanging hook
TypeCandle
Lumens-
Runtime9 hrs.
Best forEmergencies, backup, RV camping, vehicle camping
Weight6.4 oz.
Water resistance-
Additional featuresTwist lock base, carrying handle, hanging hook

Pak's Recommended Lantern for Camping

TypeLED
Lumens150
RuntimeUp to 50 hours on low setting
Best forGood weather camping and hiking, emergencies, and more
Weight6.1 oz.
Water resistanceIP67
Additional features
Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

This electric solar light is the perfect lantern to use. Since it's inflatable, you can store it easily in its non-inflated state Not to mention, it can charge it via solar while providing a 2000 mAh battery so you can charge your electronics with it. It has a IP67 water rating and has a wonderful handle so you can hang it around camp.

More Camping Essentials for Your Next Trip

The urge to get out in nature doesn't go away, no matter the season. That's why we have some great recommendations for a nature getaway without having to compromise any homey comforts. 

Amazon's Best Selling Camping Lanterns

Interested in looking into more options? Check out Amazon's list of bestselling electric camping lanterns below!

Buying Guide Reviewed by Outdoor Guide Pak Eugene

Pak, Eugene
Outdoor Guide/Videographer/Writer
Pak, Eugene

This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.

Author: Biji Ravindran

Updated by: Catherine Ford, 3/3/2022


  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more mybest recommendations! For questions or comments, leave us feedback via a Google Form on our Contact Us page.

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    A waterproof case is a great way to protect your Apple Watch from moisture! Whether you're looking for a case that can keep up with your day-to-day routine, or if you need something as tough and rugged as you are, there is a waterproof Apple Watch case out there for you. That's why we put together a list of the top five best waterproof Apple Watch cases available online! Our favorite is Spidercase's Waterproof Case for Apple Watch Series 3 because it's easy to put on, incredibly durable, and comes with different-sized watch bands! See what else we picked in the rest of our top five list, and read our buying guide for tips on what to look for when buying a waterproof Apple Watch case.
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  • 10 Best Air Mattresses for Camping in 2022 (Outdoor Guide-Reviewed)
    10 Best Air Mattresses for Camping in 2022 (Outdoor Guide-Reviewed)
    Camping can be much more comfortable when you have the essentials to sleep and relax on. These days, camping mattresses are available in various types, and air mattresses are the best considering that they pack light and are easy to maintain. We searched all over the web to gather the 10 best air mattresses available. Our favorite was the King Koil Luxury Air Mattress because it has vertical air chambers, is double-height, is flocked, has a quilted top, and has the ability to inflate in under three minutes. Be sure to check out the whole list and read our accompanying buying guide, which was reviewed by an outdoor guide, for how to choose the perfect camping mattress!
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