The original lantern was designed back in the 1600’s, and in truth, the style hasn’t changed that much since then which we think is a good thing as its reassuringly old-fashioned and gives us a warm fuzzy glow inside. Talking of which, if you want your camp to be in the glow, then you need to be in the know of the best camping lanterns around. While stylistically many of today’s brands have retained that classic shape, technologically wise, there have been tremendous advancements with customizable colored lighting options helping to create an ambiance at your home from home base-camp. With more of us these days opting to vacation outdoors in a tent or caravan, camping lanterns are more popular than ever before. One of the things that always gets us city dwellers when we leave the street lights of our towns behind us for the weekend is just how much darker it gets in the wilderness. If you don’t want to go bump in the night or get lost on your way back from finding the makeshift little boys’ room, then you need the brightest lantern to illuminate the way. So allow us to shed some light on what we think are the best outdoor camping lights available.
The Best Camping Lantern
What’s better than an LED collapsible lantern to illuminate the way through your camp at night? Two of them! That’s what you’re getting here with this Etekcity Portable LED Camping Lantern. You get a pair of lightweight, ultra-bright lanterns which are each powered by military grade 30 LED bulbs. What that means is that they will last for longer and won’t let you down when you need them the most.
These lanterns deliver an intense and long-lasting, 360 degrees white-light which is powered by Lumens and runs conveniently on 3 x AA batteries. If you keep the lanterns on a natural glow, those batteries can deliver 12 hours of bright light. When the battery power is starting to wane, the lamp switches onto an energy saving mode which can provide a further 4 hours of lower level illumination.
Ultra-bright light featuring 30 energy efficient LED lights
Military grade, sturdy construction with convenient collapsible design
Provide 12 hours of continuous light before batteries require changing
Handles allow lanterns to be hung around camp
Emit a full 360 degrees of light
- Weight5.6 ounces
The next LED lantern we’re recommending to you today comes from MalloMe and can be purchased either as a 4 pack or a 2 pack in a choice of colors that are sure to brighten up your camp as well as your life! As with the previous camping light from Etekcity, this is another collapsible design that can be conveniently height adjusted to deliver more or less light as required. There are no switches or buttons to be bothered with operating, you merely open up the handles for easy suspension as well as portability. When not in use, they just collapse and fold back down into a compact design, perfect for packing away.
Each light can deliver 360 degrees of illumination and features 146 lumens for bright and consistent light distribution. The lantern itself is constructed from high quality, military grade ABS materials for long term reliability. They’re built to withstand all kinds of weather conditions which is why they are the perfect outdoor camping lights for your basecamp. The MalloMe Camping Lantern is a versatile and cost-effective option whether you need a reading light, hurricane light, an emergency lantern for your car or home or just to have as fun and reliable outdoor lighting. Make sure you also check our guide to the best large camping tents.
Ultra-light 360-degrees brightness from 146 Lumen LED lights
Collapsible brightness control with adjustable lantern height
No switches or buttons necessary
Handles conveniently allow lights to be suspended
Military grade durability designed for long term reliability
Our next quality camping lantern is brought to you by Streamlight, and it’s their Siege Compact Hand Lantern. It’s available in three different battery style options, a range of attractive and stylish colors as well as three different lumen brightness levels too. Constructed from the highest quality materials, this Streamlight 44931 light has an exceptional run time of up to thirty hours. It’s a very smart and compact looking unit which also feature a movable carrying handle which folds down when not in use.
The lantern is powered by C4 LED technology and come see used in five different output modes as well as featuring a convenient battery level indicator and a built-in on/off button. Changing the batteries couldn’t be easier. Whatever the weather, this lantern is strong enough to withstand what’s thrown at it and is tested to be impervious to shock with an impressive overall lifetime of 50,000 hours of use. It’s even waterproof to 1-meter submersion. For soft and even light distribution of large areas, this led lantern really will take some beating. A super versatile and reliable camping light. Our handy guide to the best camping chairs features more great products like this.
Features 5 C4 power LED lights
Lantern can be used with or without globe and even hung upside down
Fully waterproof and can withstand 1-meter submersion
Features a red light and preservation function for night vision
Rubber molded base for stability on slippery surfaces
- Weight15.2 ounces
From the king of the outdoors, Coleman, we have special edition Ultra Bright 190 Lumens LED Lantern up next which is certainly very innovative. It uniquely features four separate LED panels which can be removed and used separately whenever you need to take some mobile light with you and then snapped back into place onto a single lantern. It’s such a great idea and means that if one of you does need to venture away from camp for a few minutes, to answer your own call of nature, then the rest of basecamp isn’t suddenly plunged into darkness! It’s like having your own camping lantern and personal flashlight combined. The unit also recharges from the base and takes D-cell batteries. Total lantern runtime is 75 hours, and each panel can run for 1.5 hours continually before requiring a recharge. The panels are each 47.5 lumens so lovely and bright.
Besides the single lantern itself having a convenient carry handle so that it is the ultimate in portability, each of the panels features it’s own handle too as well as having its own on/off switch so you can choose to operate all or just isolate a couple of panels at once. The LED’s which have been fitted inside the panels will last and lifetime and never need replacing so while this might not be the cheapest of the camping lanterns on our list, it definitely represents value for money over time. Those LED’s are also cool running too, and so they’re safe to touch and deliver a soft but bright diffused light which won’t cause any painful glare. Your Coleman Quad LED lantern is also splash proof and water resistant as well be being covered by a generous 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. It’s a fantastic option if you do want the power of a lamp with the portability of a flashlight. Love this product? Check out our review of the best camping tables for our top picks.
Four individual LED powered panels snap onto a single lantern
Powered by D-cell batteries sitting in the base
Light range of 26 ft
Lantern and individual panels feature carry handle and own on/off switch
Lifetime LED’s never require replacing
- Weight2.15 pounds
If you love spending time outdoors camping and hiking and need a reliable, waterproof and shock resistant bright LED lantern, then our next recommendation from AYL Starlight is an excellent, cost-effective option and it looks very smart too. It delivers long-lasting, super bright illumination thanks to 600 lumens bulbs that guarantee crystal clarity for up to an impressive 100 000 hours of use. The design also features a removable convex reflector cap which when removed, delivers a more targeted and focused distribution of light if you prefer not to have the usual 360 degrees of lighting for whatever reason.
The AYL Starlight can easily be located even when not in use thanks to an LED indicator on the front of the unit, and besides an on/off switch, it also has 3 lighting modes which you can toggle between with the soft touch switch button. Choose from either High, Low or a Flashing Strobe setting. The lantern is, of course, waterproof as you would expect from a lamp designed to be used outdoors and sturdily constructed too. It features a reinforced plastic and rubber folding on the base of the lantern which gives it stable support when placed on the ground but also prevents any water from also seeping through. Finally, let’s just have a quick mention of its battery power. With one set of fresh 3 D batteries, you can power your AYL Starlight Water Resistant Camping Lantern for 6 days solid so more than adequate for a weekend camping trip. If you are on the hunt for a camping lamp that is reliable, versatile as well as portable, then this is an excellent choice. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best hammocks.
Uses LED bulbs with 600 lumens output
Guaranteed crystal clarity for up to 100,000 hours of operation
3 lighting modes included high, low and flashing strobe
Provides 360-degree lighting or can be used without reflector cap for focused effect
Watertight and highly durable construction
- Weight14.6 ounces
We’ve handpicked a Suaoki LED solar camping light for your next which besides being powered by the sun, can also be charged via a USB depending upon which one is more convenient, or should we say accessible at the time! If you’re in the back of beyond without power or access to sunshine then sorry! Otherwise, this Suaoki LED rechargeable solar powered light is an impressive and inexpensive option which is also fully collapsible so that not only does it take up limited space, but it can also be used a personal flashlight. Overall it’s shorter than an iPhone 6, but it can be folded completely flat to fit into your backpack.
Don’t think that because it’s small though it’s not going to be powerful enough for you or that it’s going to be lacking in features. Quite the contrary. This Suaoki LED light actually has three different lighting modes; high, low or an SOS flashing mode in case of an emergency. Or a camp disco perhaps! It’s also fitted with a smart protection chip which prevents your lantern from overcharging, short-circuiting or over discharging and ensures that it’s always safe to use. There is a USB output port, a micro USB input port, on/off switch as well as a charger indicator. It’s versatile, dependable, and robust and can be used either compressed or expanded. The choice is entirely yours with this environmentally friendly “green” powered camping lamp. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best camping mattresses.
Accordion shaped solar powered lantern
Use as a regular lamp or compress to use as a personal flashlight
Three lighting modes; High, Low, Flashing
Safety protection chip prevents overcharge
Fitted with micro USB port
- Weight6.4 ounces
If you are looking for an outdoor camping light that delivers an impressive amount of bright visibility, then you are going to be blown away by this Energizer Waterproof LED Lantern. It’s super durable and rugged in construction and can withstand plenty of weather conditions, hence why the manufacturers describe this light as being “Weatheready.” It can deliver 360 degrees of light to illuminate an entire room and features three separate lighting modes which are easy to toggle between. You can select either High, Low or a more muted Night Light function. The unit itself features a waterproof housing which can withstand splashing.
On high mode, your Energizer Waterproof lantern can deliver 500 lumens of light, so it’s perfect for even the darkest of wilderness campsites or for emergency blackout situations at home. It’s a fully folding and compact design so it really is ideal for travel plus there’s an integrated carry handle for easy portability. The lantern requires 4 D-cell batteries to power it and overall is an excellent choice for camping trips or to enjoy night-time hikes. With its sub $20 price point too, it won’t break the bank, and you won’t break your neck, stumbling in the dark trying to find your way back to camp. If you like a good nights sleep while camping check out our guide to the best camping pillows.
Folding portable LED lantern design
Delivers up to 500 lumens of bright visible light
Features 3 lighting mode settings: high, low and night light function
Rugged, durable and waterproof construction
Features integrated carry handle for easy portability
- Weight 1.4 pounds
We’ve come back to Coleman for our next product recommendation which happens to be one of the brightest LED lanterns around. It’s their twin design LED lantern, and it features not one but two super bright Cree Xlamp XR-E bulbs. What’s special about those is that they can deliver literally thousands of hours of continuous light. The each shed an impressive 390 lumens of light when used on the lanterns high setting but can easily be adjusted if you prefer a softer light with the rotary dimmer switch.
This Coleman Camping Lamp can run for 229 hours on its low setting and 85 hours on the high setting and is operated using eight D-cell batteries. The traditional and iconic looking lantern housing is durable as well as being water resistant, so that makes this a solid and dependable choice for anyone spending time outdoors. It’s been built to washstand the elements so is the perfect, portable led camping light. It can emit a beam up to a distance of 32 ft so you really can light up your basecamp for the night while you enjoy a meal around the campfire. Be sure you also check our guide to the best bivy sacks.
Rotary dimmer switch delivers customizable brightness
390 lumens of extra bright light on its highest setting
Runs for up to 229 hours on the lowest setting
Powered by D-cell batteries
Sturdy and robust, weather resistant casing
- Weight 2.87 pounds
For those of you that really do like to do things old school, then you will certainly appreciate the rugged good looks and construction of this propane-powered lantern. When you think about traditional camping lanterns, this is the style and design which no doubt first comes to mind. It’s a powerful propane lantern that can deliver a steady stream of light in all weather conditions thanks to that PerfectFlow technology. It lights up the old-fashioned way, with a match, and can then be adjusted to the appropriate brightness level.
There’s a collapsible footed base which gives this Coleman Deluxe PerfectFlow Lantern plenty of solid stability, no matter where you set it down, whether it’s on the floor or a tabletop. With a secure handle, it can also be hung from a tree branch for example. The lantern is able to deliver 13 hours of consistent light from one 16.4-ounce propane cylinder. This is a super powerful bright lamp which delivers up to 967 lumens of brightness and delivers excellent and consistent outdoors performance no matter what the weather conditions.
Produces 967 lumens of ultra-bright light
PerfectFlow pressure control technology delivers consistent performance
Reliable in all weather conditions
Powered by propane and can burn for almost 14 hours on the lowest setting
Stable foot base keeps the lantern securely grounded
- Weight 3 pounds
Today’s final product recommendation also happens to be our Premium Pick. It’s another excellent example of an LED lantern from the extensive range which popular outdoor brand Coleman offers. Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern is a quad design which means that it not only functions as one central lantern, but it also has 4 removable LED panels each with a powerful 800 lumens of bright light. That means that everyone in the camp can have their own light should they need one. This is especially helpful at night when people hear off to their own tents and means that everyone can have their own personal flashlight. Even when all four panels are removed, the base section which houses the battery power still remains illuminated, so it acts as a camp beacon.
The panels themselves also happen to be magnetized so they can be used hands-free when attached to metal or a steel frame. They also feature individual fold-down handles which can be used as kickstands to prop up the light on a flat surface, say for example if you wanted to read a book back in your tent. They’re also water resistant too and can withstand splashes of water. Besides all of that, with the Coleman Multi Panel LED Lantern, there’s even a multi-use docking station with a USB port so that you can also power up your mobile devices back in camp. With a running time of twenty hours for the base and three hours each for the panels, you shouldn’t have to worry about a sudden loss of light.
Features 4 removable and magnetized 800 lumen light panels
Each panel can be operated and adjusted individually
Water-resistant design and sturdy construction
Unit doubles up as a mobile USB charging hub
Portable, convenient and super versatile design
- Weight 3.3 pounds