The Best Camping Lantern (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

best-camping-lantern-review-guideThere 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 Camping Lanterns of 2016

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.

Related: The Best Camping Tent (Guide)

What are the Benefits of 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.

See also: The Best Camping Chairs (Guide)

Who are the Contenders for Best Camping Lantern?

PowerBear Power Bank Waterproof Lantern – Providing up to 100 hours of light at its low-light setting, this Power Bear camping lantern can be used as a makeshift lamp over long periods of time. Waterproof and equipped with clips to hang it from ceilings and tables, it is both durable and versatile. With built-in cell phone chargers that accommodate both iPhone and Android, this lantern is the swiss army knife of camping lanterns.

Streamlight 44931 The Siege Lantern – When used at its low-light setting, this Streamlight lantern provides a staggering 295 hours of light, making it great for lighting picnic tables and the inside of tents. Powered by alkaline batteries, it possesses clips that allow it to be hung in both inverted and upright positions. Waterproof and as durable as camping lanterns come, it’s an excellent device that will help you get through your camping trips with ease.

Etekcity Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern – With military-grade construction, this Etekcity camping lantern is ridiculously durable, yet very lightweight. Though it only provides 12 hours of continuous light, it does so with superb 360 degree illumination, allowing you to light up your entire surrounding area. With the ability to fold up into itself, it can be stored away and carried without any hassle.

Considerations for Choosing the Right 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.

Size
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.

Fuel Type

PowerBear Power Bank Waterproof Lantern

With tons of battery power, the Power Bank makes use of an 8800 mAh battery, giving you ridiculous amounts of run time and a powerful, illuminating light. Capable of being set at low-light, medium-light, or high-light, the speed that the battery burns down depends on which light settings are being used.

Streamlight 44931 The Siege Lantern

Like the Power Bank, this Streamlight camping lantern is battery-powered. Unlike the Power Bank, the Streamlight makes use of 3 D-Cell Alkaline batteries instead of one 8800 mAh battery. With low-light, medium-light, and high-light settings, the batteries’ burn down speeds depend on how much light you use.

Etekcity Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern

As far as fuel type goes, this Etekcity camping lantern makes use of 6 double AA batteries. While these batteries are not of as high of quality as the ones used by the Streamlight and Power Bank, they are much cheaper and easier to replace.

Size

PowerBear Power Bank Waterproof Lantern

In terms of size, the Power bank is a relatively small camping lantern. Appropriate for both sedentary and carry-along uses, it weighs in around 11 ounces, making it very easy to handle, store, and transport. Of course, the most important thing is that, despite its small size, it’s still capable of illuminating a very powerful light.

Streamlight 44931 The Siege Lantern

Measuring in at 4 inches x 4 inches x 7.2 inches and weighing in at 1.2 pounds, the Streamlight is just a bit bigger than the Power Bank, meaning it’s still easy to carry and transport. Whether you want to use it as a lamp or carry it around as a guiding light, the Streamlight will accommodate you.

Etekcity Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern

Weighing 1.4 pounds and measuring in at 3.6 inches x 5.4 inches x 7.3 inches, this Etekcity camping lantern is just a bit bigger than the Streamlight and Power Bank. This makes it great for both carry-along and sedentary purposes, though it’s designed specifically for its carry-along capabilities.

Run Time

Streamlight 44931 The Siege Lantern

With a staggering 295 hour run time when on its low-light setting, this Streamlight camping lantern almost triples the next closest run time in our top 3. This makes it ideal as a sedentary lamp that can be used to illuminate your camping area.

PowerBear Power Bank Waterproof Lantern

In terms of run time, the Power Bank pales in comparison to the Streamlight lantern in our top 3. However, this does not mean that the Power Bank possesses a poor run time. Capable of lasting up to 100 hours when set at its low-light setting, it’s a perfect lantern for both sedentary and carry-along uses.

Etekcity Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern

Paling in comparison to the Streamlight and Power Bank camping lanterns, this Etekcity lantern possesses only a 12 hour run time. However, because it makes use of AA batteries, it’s relatively cheap and easy to keep powered at all times.

Additional Features

PowerBear Power Bank Waterproof Lantern

When it comes to additional features, the Power Bank is a fairly powerful little lantern. Equipped with USB out ports, it is capable of charging both iPhones and Android phones, allowing up to 3 full charges per fresh battery. It should also be noted that this lantern is waterproof.

Streamlight 44931 The Siege Lantern

While this Streamlight lantern does not possess USB out ports like the Power Bank does, it does possesses a couple of useful features that the Power Bank does not. A red, blinking SOS light setting is a great feature to use if you’re ever in need of urgent help. Additionally, a solid red light setting is perfect for all night use.

Etekcity Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern

In terms of additional features, this Etekcity lantern is lacking. It possesses 30 low-powered LED lights which serve to save energy while sacrificing nothing in the way of illumination. Made of military-grade materials, it can withstand a great deal of wear and tear.

Our Camping Lantern Reviews

ThorFire LED Camping Lantern – Best Cheap

thorfire-led-camping-lanternFor 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.

Pros:

  • Ridiculously versatile
  • Can be charged via hand-crank

Cons:

  • Overall construction is questionable
  • Short battery life

Learn More

Etekcity Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern – Best for the Money

etekcity-portable-outdoor-led-camping-lanternBoasting 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.

Pros:

  • Excellent construction and durability
  • Top-notch illumination capabilities

Cons:

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

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PowerBear Power Bank Waterproof Lantern – Best Overall

powerbear-power-bank-waterproof-lanternDurable 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.

Pros:

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

Cons:

  • Not meant to be taken under water

Learn More

Conclusion

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.