Best LED Camping Lanterns

Heather Clouse
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When camping, what you take with you (and what you don’t) can make the difference between a fun camping experience and a miserable one.

But here’s a pretty good general rule of thumb: take as little as you have to. The less you carry, the less you’ll have to remember to bring with you, the lighter it will be, and the less strain it will put on your back and shoulders. The less strain is put on that delicate internal frame, the nicer your camping experience will be.

For example, one of the things that I find myself not needing to bring on my backpacking trips and love to bring on my camping trips is a LED camping lantern.

The first time that I brought a lantern camping was on an overnight, backpacking mission and I found it to be an incredible device. The reason I love this camping lantern is it is super easy to carry and set up. You simply unpack it, open the lantern, and light it.

On my next camping trip I decided that I should definitely bring this lantern. I even managed to convince some friends to bring their lanterns as well. One of my friends even brought two of them so we could make a circle of them to maximize the illumination.

NameCategoryProduct
Etekcity Lantern Camping Lantern Battery Powered LightsBest OverallEtekcity Lantern Camping Lantern Battery Powered Lights
LED Camping Lantern RechargeableBudget PickLED Camping Lantern Rechargeable
Supernova 500 Ultra Bright Camping & Emergency LED LanternUpgrade PickSupernova 500 Ultra Bright Camping & Emergency LED Lantern

1. Etekcity Lantern Camping Lantern Battery Powered Lights

Our rating: 9 / 10

Etekcity Lantern Camping Lantern Battery Powered Lights

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Pros:

  • Batteries included
  • Huge Light Output
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • Not very portable
  • Not waterproof
  • No charge indicator light

No Generator Or Fuel Required.

The Etekcity is a great lantern that can be used for camping, power outages or just a night light in the kids bedroom. It’s also more than up to the task of providing lighting for more serious tasks.

With a traditional battery-powered lantern, you need to worry about expensive or hard-to-find batteries and possibly a power source like a gas generator or solar battery charger.

2. LED Camping Lantern Rechargeable

Our rating: 9 / 10

LED Camping Lantern Rechargeable

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Pros:

  • Great Brightness
  • Affordable
  • Can Charge Other Devices
  • Emergency Strobe Setting
  • Water Resistant Design

Cons:

  • One of the most expensive on the list
  • Bulky
  • Magnetic base makes it flimsy in some cases
  • Can get uncomfortably hot on the back of the hand when holding for long periods of time

There are many camping lanterns to choose from, but what really separates this one from the others is the quality of light and the convenient power bank feature, which allows you to charge your phone or tablet on the go.

The LE LED lantern has a battery capacity of 3000 mAh, which charges via a DC5V input port, and can hold a charge for up to 30 days. Furthermore, the lantern includes a sturdy hanging handle, base, which also makes it possible to stand the lantern on its side. It has an optional red and green lights mode, but the white light is definitely the gem of the group.

3. MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0: Solar Inflatable Light

Our rating: 9 / 10

MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0: Solar Inflatable Light

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Pros:

  • Charges in Five Hours
  • Built-in lights when inflated
  • Emergency light option
  • Comes in different colors

If you love the great outdoors and love solar powered solutions, then the Luci by MPOWERD is the perfect companion for you. Setting up is a snap, and the Luci is super convenient.

It includes a weather-resistant outer lining and a UV-resistant base. A quick five-hour charge in the sun powers up a 25-hour charge in the lantern. A single button push cycles through the LEDs inside the Luci, which makes for easy, one-handed operation. When all the LEDs are on, they produce a bright light that can be used for camping, hiking, boating, and just about any type of emergency lighting you can think of.

The Luci is not as bright as some of our other choices, but it can run on solar power, and can be recharged in a car from an inverter.

4. Streamlight 44931 Siege Compact

Our rating: 9 / 10

Streamlight 44931 Siege Compact

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Pros:

  • Very bright
  • Very compact, lightweight
  • Well built

Cons:

  • Wish it had a hook so it could be hung on a tent or rafters
  • Doesn’t have a red nightlight

The Streamlight Siege is another outdoor product that has a pretty big price tag. But, you will get your money’s worth out of it and more!

The Siege is a super bright lantern that’s head can be aimed in whichever direction you want. The slender body gives the Siege a great look, but it’s also what makes it so handheld friendly. It’s easier to hold while walking around at night than others due to its skinny design.

We’re big fans of the Siege’s “click-press-click” function, rather than the twist-click-turn-click you have to do with the majority of lanterns.

5. Supernova 500 Ultra Bright Camping & Emergency LED Lantern

Our rating: 8 / 10

Supernova 500 Ultra Bright Camping & Emergency LED Lantern

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Pros:

  • Great for camping or emergency preparedness
  • Bright enough to easily light areas up to 10 square feet
  • Battery charge indicator
  • Comes with a 12-month warranty
  • Water resistant
  • Easy to use On/Off switch
  • Easy to use pull-out light
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Weighted base
  • Does not kink the cord

Cons:

  • The green lantern is a little less bright than the others
  • The green lantern is a little less bright than the others

The Supernova 500 Ultra Bright Camping & Emergency LED Lantern features a 500 lumen output, making it great for outdoor camping and emergency preparedness situations.

As most of us have experienced, traditional lanterns can be a hassle to clean up after a camping trip. The Supernova 500 uses LED lights, which do not produce any heat, meaning they do not burn out, and they will never go out due to dust or soot.

Let’s be honest, lets say you own a black bear, and a black bear comes into your tent one night while you’re asleep and puts its paws on top of your lantern. A traditional candle/oil lantern would go out. This lantern will illuminate the forest and scare the bear off if it happens to get too near.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best lantern for camping?

If you are looking for the best LED camping lantern, you've come to the right place. Since starting our online company, we have had the opportunity to test dozens of lanterns.

In our opinion, a camping lantern is one of the most important necessities you can bring with you in the wilderness. You simply can't say you were able to have the best camping trip without a camping lantern. The dark is scary especially if it isn't a campground or city hotel with street lights.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of dragging a big generator with me. I don’t like having to worry about the noise it will make or its sound will begin to annoy my companions.

That leads me to the next problem, it can get really awkward having to carry a diesel generator around on a camping trip! There is only so much you can do to a diesel generator to make it lighter and quieter.

How many lumens do I need for a camping lantern?

It’s always difficult to get that information from manufacturers. It’s not a simple particle measurement like you might think if you’re used to looking at the specs for LEDs in flashlights. Some manufacturers think lumens and power are equivalent, but remember that you also need to take into account the beam angle

It is also important to take into consideration the distance you are keeping light off of your lantern.

When it comes to output lumens, any 250 lumens and upward can do a good job of being a camping lantern, but if you are looking for something specific, then I would recommend at least 450 lumens.

What is the brightest camping lantern?

The brightest camping lantern has to be the Coleman LED lantern. It packs a huge punch, it’s cheap, and it’s extremely well-reviewed.

What is the best lantern for power outages?

Camping lanterns are quite popular. A lot of people love to bring their lanterns into their homes and use them in the event of a power outage. So, if you are shopping for a lantern to use in your home, it’s important to know which one would be best for this purpose.

This is a somewhat narrow question, so it’s best to list what makes the best lantern for a home outage in a separate section from the best overall. Your power outage lantern should do the following things well

Conclusion

LED lanterns are practical choice for camping, which is why this article covers buying tips, reviews and detailed how-to's. The good news is that LED lanterns has come a long way in a short time and there are a lot of them to choose from for camping.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Etekcity Lantern Camping Lantern Battery Powered LightsBest OverallEtekcity Lantern Camping Lantern Battery Powered Lights
LED Camping Lantern RechargeableBudget PickLED Camping Lantern Rechargeable
Supernova 500 Ultra Bright Camping & Emergency LED LanternUpgrade PickSupernova 500 Ultra Bright Camping & Emergency LED Lantern