Are you looking for a lantern for your camping needs? If yes, then you have come to the right article. In this lantern buying guide, you will get to know about the best solar camping lantern, and why you might need one.
Then, we’ll end with an FAQ section to answer all of your
Why do I need a solar camping lantern?
The reality is camping lanterns often work much better than flashlights. While flashlights are great and certainly should be in your camping backpack, they do have a couple of structural limitations. The biggest one is that you always have to be holding a flashlight and pointing it at something.
In other words, what you point the flashlight at will be bright, but that’s about it.
A lantern, on the other hand, will always be bright because it will illuminate everything.
But, why solar?
Well, camping lanterns tend to run through their batteries incredibly quickly. For that reason, you could spend a lot of money to replace the batteries frequently. Or, if you go for a camping trip that is longer than a few days, then you might need to bring a spare battery with you.
So, without further ado, here are our five favorite lanterns.
Our favorite lantern: Kizen Solar Powered LED Lantern
This Kizen Solar Powered LED Lantern is one of the most popular solar lanterns currently available in the market, and for good reason. This lantern features a sleek space-saving design, which means you can easily put it in your backpack and can take it anywhere you want. It is solar rechargeable and in case if you want a quick charge, then you can use the USB port to recharge it. The best thing about this solar lantern is that in emergencies, you can use it to charge your smartphone. This makes it perfect for all kinds of outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, camping, etc.
With this best solar camping lantern, you will never have to worry about space issues as you can fold it and make it 2.4x smaller than its full size. It comes with 3 modes, High, Low, and SOS and you can also use it as a powerful flashlight just by folding. A fail-safes feature is also added to prevent it from overcharging. And if you face any problem with this solar camping lantern, then you can apply for a refund.
Pros of Kizen Solar Powered LED Lantern:
- Extremely bright lights with intuitive folding mechanism
- This lantern comes with a 100% money-back guarantee (you won’t need it)
- The anti-safes feature protects it from overheating
- Different lighting modes are available
Cons of Kizen Solar Powered LED Lantern:
- The material is not that durable
Best collapsible lantern: MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Light
If you are searching for a durable solar camping lantern that can easily fit in a backpack, then this solar light from MPOWERD Luci is the best option for you. The best thing about this solar light is that it is quickly and completely powered by the sun so doesn’t require batteries. To charge it completely, you just have to place it directly under the sun. And on a single charge, this solar light lasts up to 24 hours. It features 10 white LED bulbs that provide clean bright lighting even if you are 10 yards away from it.
This solar light comes with four modes, high, low, medium, 1-second flashing, and you can easily use them as per your needs. It also features a top and an adjustable base strap that can be used to clip it onto a backpack, or wherever you want. This is a lightweight solar lantern, which makes it great for different purposes such as hiking, camping, night-outs and many more. It only weighs a qua and you can easily carry it without burdening yourself.
Pros of MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Light:
- It is very portable
- Comes with different lighting modes
- It is water-proof
- Can charge quickly
Cons of MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Light:
- It is slightly smaller in size, illuminating less area than some other options on this list
Best “big” lantern: AGPTEK Solar Ultra Bright Lantern
If your main priority is the biggest possible lantern, then this solar camping lantern has everything that you need. In the case of lanterns, bigger will end up meaning more light broadcast.
It comes with built-in Polysilicon solar panels that are specially designed to provide brighter light without consuming a lot of energy. The best thing about this solar lantern is that it can be charged by using different methods. You can charge it by Sun, 3 x AA battery, USB cable, Crank Dynamo or car adapter. This lantern features two modes, Bright mode, and super bright mode. This makes it unique in solar lanterns in that solar is not the only way to charge it.
The bright mode is best for normal usage at night. And if you are camping in a forest or hiking in hill areas, then you can use the super bright mode. A universal USB charging port is also given that you can use to charge your mobile phones.
Pros of AGPTEK Solar Ultra Bright Lantern:
- Different methods can be used to recharge it
- It consumes less energy
- It features a universal USB charging port
Cons of AGPTEK Solar Ultra Bright Lantern:
- It is bigger in size and much less portable
Best low priced lantern: HISVISION Solar Powered Camping Lantern
This HIVISION lantern is an all-rounder solar camping lantern and it is perfect for everyone. It can be charged either by the sun or a USB plug. It features a battery indicator to check whether the battery is fully charged or not. It is a versatile solar lantern and when fully extended, it works as a camping lantern. And by folding, it converts into a powerful flashlight. It only weighs a quarter of a pound and you can easily take it for camping, picnic, etc. It features four lighting options, low, high, SOS, and flashlight modes.
This lantern is water-resistant and made up of high-quality plastic. With this solar lantern, you will get a charging cable that can be used to charge tablets and mobile phones. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and if you spot any errors and problems, you can apply for a full refund.
Pros of HISVISION Solar Powered Camping Lantern:
- It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee
- It is cost-effective
- Highly durable and water-resistant
Cons of HISVISION Solar Powered Camping Lantern:
- Takes more time in recharging
Best lantern for inside your tent: d.Light S30 Solar Camping Lantern
If you want a simple, powerful and budget-friendly solar lantern, then this solar camping lantern from d.Light will provide you everything. This lantern comes with 360-degree lighting and 3 brightness settings. Its battery capacity is 450 mAh and on a single charge, it can last up to 12 hours.
The best thing about this lantern is that it comes with an integrated solar panel that helps in charging it even on cloudy days. Coming to design, it is very simple looking and the carry handle makes it very mobile. This lantern comes with a 2-year hassle-free warranty, which means, if this product fail due to normal cause, then you can contact the customer support team and ask for a replacement.
Pros of d.Light S30 Solar Camping Lantern:
- It is a budget-friendly solar lantern
- It is very lightweight
- Come with 2-year warranty
- Perfect for small areas inside your tent
Cons of d.Light S30 Solar Camping Lantern:
- Made of average quality material
FAQ about solar camping lanterns
We know that camping lanterns, especially when solar, are beginning to quickly grow in popularity. For that reason, many people haven’t heard about them or have lots of questions. For that reason, we think it’s important to provide an overview of the different types of solar lanterns out there in order to make sure you have answers to all your key questions.
What are the different types of camping lanterns?
You probably noticed from above but there are several different types of lanterns. In our experience, we’ve come across:
- Blow up lanterns These lanterns typically have a plastic base that you blow air into when ready to use. They then deflate when not in use. The big benefit here is they’re often very cheap and easy to transport in a backpack when compressed. However, they don’t last incredibly long as the plastic will eventually rip. The MPowered lantern above is a blow-up lantern
- Compression lanterns: These lanterns typically include two solid plastic disks. When compressed, the lantern is not very tall. When you twist the top disk, they pop apart to reveal a lantern in the middle. These are typically the best option as they perfectly balance the portability of blow-up lanterns with the durability of the solid lanterns.
- Solid lanterns: These lanterns are what you classically imagine a lantern. They are one solid piece of plastic or metal. Here, you get quality but completely lose all portability. For that reason, people prefer these lanterns only if they don’t need to transport the lanterns.
For almost all people, the best type is the compression lantern that will balance quality and durability with portability.
What features should I care about in a lantern?
We highlighted a bunch of features above that point out what the most important parts of a camping lantern are when you are thinking about buying one. Here is the complete list you should care about.
Remember, the key benefit is that you don’t need to deal with batteries. Traditional lanterns often require new batteries after only a few days of use because the brightness of lanterns will quickly run the batteries dry. Not only is this expensive, but it could force you to bring extra batteries with you on a longer camping trip.
The key features to think about are:
- Brightness: The lantern should be capable of casting a very bright net, which will be incredibly useful if you are camping in an incredibly remote area
- Area of illumination: A bright lantern is great, but it needs to illuminate a large area at the same time. If you’re only bright in a small area, then you need to carry the lantern around with you. In that case, then it’s essentially a flashlight!
- Portability: A lantern for camping is something that, by definition, you need to carry around with you. If it’s too big, heavy, or bulky, then it will become much less fun to put in your backpack.
- Durability: Camping lanterns can get hit and beaten up very easily. You want something that can take damage from the elements and continue to keep working.
How long does it take to charge?
The short answer is that it depends on the lantern. However, we’ve found through testing that most of them can charge completely in about 4-6 hours of direct sunlight.
How best can I charge it?
The best way to charge any portable solar device is to find a direct view of sunlight and simply leave it there for 4-6 hours. Of course, this can be difficult while camping because there is often tree cover. Look for a clearing you can leave your lantern.
As a tip, if you plan on going out on a boat/canoe/kayak, bring your lantern with you. There is no cloud cover on the water soo it will get maximum sunlight and charge quickly.
How do I charge a camping lantern if it’s cloudy outside?
This is a common question, but it’s actually still possible to charge a lantern if it is cloudy. When it’s cloudy, there is still some sunlight during the day. As a result, your charging period could take much longer, but your lantern will still be able to charge through the day.
If you are going camping and it looks like it might be cloudy the whole time, it could be worth bringing multiple lanterns. One might not get enough sunlight to charge fully so it’s worth having a back up.
We’ll see you at the campsite!