Best Camping Lantern 2017

There are few thing more fun to do in the summer and fall months than go camping. From cooking s’mores over an open fire, to hiking through the woods and swimming in a lake, camping is a great way to spend time with family and friends. But, of course, when camping, you’re going to have to deal with the darkness of the night. How are you supposed to get to the restroom, or partake in other things when you’re surrounded by darkness? You should consider purchasing a camping lantern.

Camping lanterns are durable, portable, typically battery-powered devices that can be carried along with you to provide light wherever you go. While you don’t necessarily need one to go camping, they sure make things a great deal easier.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Camping Lanterns

1powerbear-power-bank-waterproof-lanternPowerBear Power Bank Waterproof LanternPowerBear$$4.9
2streamlight-44931-the-siege-lanternStreamlight 44931 The Siege LanternStreamlight$$$4.9
3etekcity-portable-outdoor-led-camping-lanternEtekcity Portable Outdoor LED Camping LanternEtekcity$4.7
4coleman-twin-led-lanternColeman Twin LED LanternColeman$$$4.6
5gridlite-portable-led-camping-lanternGridLite Portable LED Camping LanternGridLite$4.5
6agptek-5-mode-hand-crank-dynamo-camping-lanternAGPtek 5 Mode Hand Crank Dynamo Camping LanternAGPtek$$4.5
7le-600lm-rechargeable-camp-lanternLE 600lm Rechargeable Camp LanternLighting EVER$$4.5
8xtreme-bright-camping-lanternXtreme Bright Camping LanternXtreme Bright$4.4
9thorfire-led-camping-lanternThorFire LED Camping LanternThorFire$4.3
10ayl-starlightAYL StarLightAYL$$4.3

Our Camping Lantern Reviews

ThorFire LED Camping Lantern – Best Cheap Camping Lantern

For a camping lantern in its price range, this ThorFire lantern is extraordinarily versatile and reliable. With the ability to be used as either a mobile flashlight or a sedentary lantern, it can be folded up to accommodate a number of different situations. Though it is typically powered by a USB charger, it can also be charged through manual hand-cranking, allowing you to prolong its use in times of need. At just 5.9 ounces in weight, it is very compact and easy to transport from place to place.


  • Ridiculously versatile
  • Can be charged via hand-crank


  • Overall construction is questionable
  • Short battery life

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Etekcity Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern – Best Camping Lantern for the Money

Boasting rock-solid construction and top-notch storage capabilities, this Etekcity camping lantern is the best camping lantern for the money. With a very light weight and the ability to collapse within itself, it can be transported seamlessly to wherever you need it to go. Equipped with LED bulbs, it illuminates all 360 degrees of its surroundings, allowing you to use it as both a flashlight and a sedentary lamp. If you’re looking for the best camping lantern at an affordable price, this Etekcity lantern is the one to look at.


  • Excellent construction and durability
  • Top-notch illumination capabilities


  • Too bright for some tastes
  • Sometimes turn on at inappropriate times

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PowerBear Power Bank Waterproof Lantern – Best Camping Lantern Overall

Durable construction, excellent performance, and supreme versatility are all characteristics that make this PowerBear lantern the best camping lantern on the market today. With the ability to provide up to 100 hours of light when on its low-light setting, it can be used as both a guiding light and a sedentary, makeshift lamp. Waterproof and lined with tough rubber material, it can withstand a great deal of wear and tear. Equipped with built-in phone chargers for both iPhone and Android, it can provide up to 3 full charges on a fully-charged battery. If you’re looking for the best, this is it.


  • High-quality and long-lasting light
  • Waterproof
  • Has built-in phone chargers


  • Not meant to be taken under water

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Our Top Rated Camping Lanterns


Best Overallpowerbear-power-bank-waterproof-lantern

Best For The Money etekcity-portable-outdoor-led-camping-lantern

Best Cheap thorfire-led-camping-lantern

What Is A Camping Lantern?

A camping lantern is a small, portable device that is capable of emitting light while in dark areas. While most camping lanterns around these days are battery-powered, there are still some gas-powered models available on the market.

The highest-quality lanterns are able to shine light powerfully, drowning out the darkness in their surrounding area. Many of these lanterns sport hooks and clips that allow them to be attached to the top of tents, to the sides of campers, and to the ceiling of awnings, turning them into makeshift lamps.

What Are The Advantages Of Owning A Camping Lantern?

Have you ever been outside on a dark, overcast night out in the country? It’s almost impossible to see things that are even inches in front of you. Camping, which is obviously done in very quiet, remote areas, will expose you to this type of darkness. Having a camping lantern around will allow you to see where you’re going and what you’re doing.

While it’s more than possible to go camping without a lantern, it does make things exponentially more difficult. From finding a change of clothes, to making you way to the bathroom, a lantern is a very useful tool for making light where there is dark.

What Are The Different Types Of Camping Lanterns?

There are 3 different types of camping lanterns you can choose from depending on how you plan to use it.

Candle camping lanterns use 1 or more candles to provide soft, natural light. Optionally, reflectors can be used to maximize the relatively minimal glow. Candle camping lanterns provide hours of warm, reliable light. There are no batteries to go dead and discard, no bulbs to burn out and no switches to fail. Candle lanterns work very well in cold conditions where battery powered lights fail quickly. Candle lanterns produce significant heat, which helps reduce tent condensation during winter camping trips.

Candle lanterns operate silently, unlike gas and propane lanterns which are generally quite loud. The warm golden colored flame of a candle lantern is much more pleasing to the eye than the harsh white mantle of gas and propane lanterns.

Fuel-burning camping lanterns are best when weight is not a concern and more light is needed. Gas lanterns come in two varieties: liquid fuel and propane. Liquid fuel, or white gas, is the same fuel used in many cooking stoves, and propane lanterns use the same canisters as many backpacking stoves. Liquid fuel lanterns are the absolute brightest lanterns out there, but also the heaviest and most expensive. Many liquid fuel lanterns are bright enough to light up an entire campground and are usually adjustable so you can dial the brightness to your liking. Disadvantages of this system include the potential mess of pouring the fuel, and the need to occasionally pressurize the gas by pumping.

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Propane lanterns are a step down from liquid fuel in terms of brightness, but they also usually cost and weigh less. These lanterns are easy to use; you simply screw the lantern onto a fuel canister, light it up, and that’s it. Both styles of gas-powered lanterns use mantles. These are small fabric bags that encompass the burner and are essential for light production. While mantles are more durable then they used to be, it’s definitely worth having an extra mantle or two when you go on trips. Another tip is to choose a lantern with the same fuel as your stove; that way you don’t need to fuss with multiple fuel types.

It’s important to note that neither of these lanterns are meant to be used in enclosed spaces; they are only for use in well-ventilated areas. They also produce a lot of heat and care should be taken around flammable materials, children, and pets. While too heavy and bulky to take on backpacking trips, gas-powered lanterns are the answer when light output is your number one priority.

Electric camping lanterns are all similar in that they use an electric power source to power an LED bulb. Where they differ is in the type of power source and their size and weight. Electric lanterns can be powered by alkaline batteries, rechargeable batteries, or even an external power source. Their sizes can range from those that will fit in your pocket and illuminate your tent to others as big as a gallon milk jug.

Alkaline batteries (known as “primaries” in the flashlight world) are the most familiar power source. They are relatively inexpensive, reliable, and easy to swap out once they are depleted. A downside to this power source is the added cost of replenishing dead batteries. Some alkaline powered lanterns can be converted to run on rechargeable battery packs.

Overall, electric lanterns are great because they are long-lasting, durable, lightweight, inexpensive, and safe. Many lanterns have different modes to allow you to adapt the lantern to your lighting needs. On the other hand, even the larger electric lanterns aren’t quite as bright as their gas-powered counterparts. Electric lanterns are not a great choice for cold temperatures because the electricity-producing chemical reaction that takes place in batteries (whether alkaline or rechargeable lithium-ion) is hindered by low temps.

Considerations for Choosing the Best Camping Lantern

At first glance, all camping lanterns appear to be just about the same. Though they might be different colors and made of different materials, they serve essentially the same purpose. However, there are a number of features found in camping lanterns that make all the difference in their uses and functionalities. From the lantern’s size, to the type of fuel it uses, to its overall run time, to a bevy of additional features, each lantern provides its very own benefits and drawbacks.

Fuel Type

Typically, camping lanterns make use of two different fuel types. These fuel types include gas and battery power. These days, most lanterns make use of batteries as they are cheaper to purchase, easier to handle, and because they last longer. However, while most lanterns make use of battery power, there are still some gas-powered models available on the market.


It goes without saying that the bigger a lantern is, the more light it’s going to be able to illuminate. Of course, bigger lanterns are also heavier and more difficult to carry around than smaller ones. When considering a lantern’s size, think about what exactly you’re going to do with it. If you’re going to keep it hung up in one place, it can be larger and heavier than one that you might carry around with you from place to place.

Run Time

Different camping lanterns possess run times of different lengths. The longer a lantern’s run time, the longer you can use it without having to replace batteries. While low-end lanterns usually possess around a 12 hour running time, high-end lanterns can run for up to 250 hours and beyond.

Additional Features

Camping lanterns, for the most part, are fairly basic devices. But there are some lanterns out there with additional features that serve to make your life easier. From built-in phone chargers to SOS lights, these features can certainly help you out along the way.


There is no more reliable way to keep your camping area well-lit than with a camping lantern. Whether you need to sift through your suitcase to find some clothes, or are just trying to make your way to the bathroom unscathed, a camping lantern will serve to make your job as easy as possible.

Small, compact, and powerful devices such as the PowerBear Power Bank Waterproof Lantern provide you with both superb illumination capabilities and top-of-the-line durability. If you want to avoid a bevy of hassles while camping, you should definitely invest in a camping lantern.

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