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Camp Lanterns Guide: Our Picks for 2021

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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.

Below, we’ve rounded up top options from brands like Goal Zero, Coleman, and MPowerd that will work for everyone from serious backpackers to casual car campers.

The Best Camp Lanterns

Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Lantern & USB Power Hub
Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Lantern & USB Power Hub Courtesy Image

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]

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MPowerd Luci Solar String Lights
MPowerd Luci Solar String Lights Courtesy Image

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]

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LuminAID PackLite Titan 2-in-1 Lantern
LuminAID PackLite Titan 2-in-1 Lantern Courtesy Image

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]

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Lighting Ever Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern
Lighting Ever Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern Courtesy Image

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]

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UST 7-Day Duro LED Lantern
UST 7-Day Duro LED Lantern Courtesy Image

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]

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Black Diamond Moji
Black Diamond Moji Courtesy Image

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]

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UCO Original Candle Lantern
UCO Original Candle Lantern Courtesy Image

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]

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Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern
Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern Courtesy Image

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]

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