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Best Camping Lantern [2020]

LE LED Battery Powered Camping Lantern 2 Pack
  • LED lantern with 1,000 maximum lumens and four light settings
  • IPX4 waterproof rating
  • Backed by a 2-year warranty


This LED lantern by LE is available as a single unit or a value-priced two-pack. Being able to use two at the same time lets you position one light in a key area like the camp’s kitchen while placing another out by the campfire. This configuration can also help minimize shadows.

One of these lanterns runs off 3 standard D Cell alkaline batteries to produce a 360-degree LED light source. At the highest setting, it can produce up to 1,000 lumens. It does have four separate settings for lower reduce lumen output which will also extend the overall battery life. These lanterns also carry an IPX4 waterproof rating to handle modest rain or tent leaks.

These lanterns also have top and bottom both have hooks, which allows you to hang them for the specific characteristics of your camp. For instance, you could hang it upside down in the camp kitchen to fully illuminate the cooking area. Then hang another one from its top hook out by the campfire to prevent light from shining into people’s eyes.

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KYNG Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern
  • The solar lantern that can also recharge USB devices
  • 3 lighting modes with up to 10-hour maximum battery life
  • Backed by a 3-year warranty


The KYNG Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern sets itself apart from many of the other battery-powered camping lights in that it can be recharged via a built-in solar cell. It’s connected to an 800 mAh internal battery, and also comes with a micro USB port, which allows you to charge it off standard electricity or use the stored charge to recharge your phone or other USB devices.

This camping lantern has three lighting modes, low, high, and flashing. On its low setting, it produces a modest 25 lumens and produces 65 lumens on high and flashing mode. With a full charge on the low setting, this solar light can last up to 10-hours.

It’s also worth noting that the lantern body is collapsible. This makes it easy to pack and lets it double as a hand-held flashlight. It even comes with a carabiner that lets you hang this lightweight to keep your hands-free.

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Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern
  • Four LED removable light panels
  • IPX4 waterproof rating
  • Runs on 8 D Cell batteries


Coleman arguably made their name selling a wide range of high-quality propane lanterns. Yet, in recent years they have also carried their philosophy and quality design into the battery-powered camping lantern niche. This Multi-Panel LED camping light is perhaps their best unit in this segment.

It has four removable LED panels that allow you to use them as personal flashlights. Each has a magnetic backer that allows you to place them on metal surfaces like the side panel of a vehicle or over the camp stove.

The central base that runs off 8 D Cell batteries and has its own built-in accessory light. It also includes a USB charging port, that you can use to recharge your phone or other USB devices. On its own, the base can produce soft light for up to 20 hours on 8 D Cell batteries.

How We Picked

Perhaps the first place to start differentiating camping lanterns is by fuel or power type. This essentially breaks down into propane, battery-powered, or white gas/kerosene. Each has its own strengths and potential drawbacks which might gear them toward specific niches.

Propane lanterns are usually designed to run off a 1-pound DOT 39 liquid propane cylinder. The small internal flame heats up a fine mesh ceramic mantle, which then emits light. These lanterns only produce a small amount of heat, which isn’t enough to serve as a primary heat source. Still, it can be enough to warm a small ice fishing shanty on a nice winter day.

With these, we tried to look for a stable design. An included carrying case is also nice for preventing damage to glass and other vulnerable components.

Battery-powered lanterns can be broken down into those that run on alkaline AA and D Cells, or those that come with an internal rechargeable battery. Some will even run off both, which lets you take them off the grid for longer. With these, we tried to keep our eye out for units that had USB features for recharging an internal battery or perhaps for maintaining the charge on a smartphone or similar USB device.

White gas and kerosene lanterns are also on the radar. This is a little bit of an older fuel source, yet it has the reliability of real flame, which can be a factor in deep cold weather where batteries and propane sometimes flounder.

Lumen production was something we also kept an eye out for. Certainly, high lumen numbers above 500, or as high as 1,000 give you a confident brightness throughout the campsite. Though there are some smaller battery-powered camping lanterns with LED bulbs that might have a lower lumen rating on paper but are much brighter in the real world.

A camping lantern that has different lighting modes was also something we kept on the radar. Being able to dial the light lower can extend the life of the battery or the run time of the fuel source. In some cases, red light modes were also important for people who need a functional non-white light.

Coleman Two-Mantle Propane Lantern with Case

Coleman Two-Mantle Propane Lantern with Case

Specs:

  • Dual ceramic mantles
  • Runs on a 1-pound propane cylinder
  • 1,000 lumens
  • Up to 14-hours of run time
  • Secure base with feet
  • Carrying case included
  • Lights with matches or a stick lighter
  • 5.2-pounds

Coleman is a giant in the camping products industry, and many would argue that they made their name by producing quality gas lanterns for decades. This particular gas lantern was designed to use two ceramic mantles, which produces a more even light source. The end result is slightly fewer shadows and softer shadows than you get from a propane lantern with a single mantle.

The base was designed to be secure with four sturdy, well-balanced feet. It also includes a custom, hard-sided carrying case to brace it against the knocks and bumps that sometimes occur when you are packing a lot of camping gear into the back of an SUV. It also opens into three sections for convenient unpacking.

This Coleman dual mantle propane lantern only weighs in at 5.2-pounds. This means it’s easy to hang. Yet it isn’t so light that a strong wind can blow it sideways.

It’s designed to light via matches or a stick lighter. It runs on a one-pound propane cylinder, which isn’t included in the initial purchase. Coleman rates that it can last for up to 14-hours. Though this is likely based on running it at the lowest possible setting. If you were to crank it up to its highest setting, it will produce up to 1,000 lumens and you would likely get around six hours of runtime.

What We Liked

The dual mantles in this gas lantern mean it produces softer shadows than a single mantle lantern. This probably doesn’t mean much if you are just looking for general lighting around the campsite. Where it’s really handy is if you want to hang it in a pavilion tent to light the camp kitchen area.

The stable feet and the three-piece hard-side carrying case is also a nice touch when safety is concerned. The fact that Coleman backs it with a limited lifetime warranty also speaks to the overall quality of materials and design.

Overall

Coleman has a wide line of propane lanterns, and loyal customers will argue about which one is truly the best. This one sits near the top of their line and has all the features and added extras that you want in a camping lantern that will stand the test of time.

The only knock on this lantern is that you have to light it with matches or a stick lighter. There is no built-in igniter like you find in some Coleman lanterns.

You also need to bear in mind that it will not work properly if one of the mantles is damaged or burns out. So, it’s a good idea to invest in extra mantles to keep in the carrying case.

Coleman Two-Mantle Propane Lantern with Case

  • Dual mantles for softer shadows
  • Secure feet and includes carrying case
  • Runs on a 1-pound propane cylinder

Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern

Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern

Specs:

  • Four LED light panels
  • Magnetic panels are removable as flashlights
  • Superior light distribution
  • IPX4 water-resistant design
  • 3-hour runtime for a single panel
  • 20-hour runtime for base lighting
  • 800 maximum lumens
  • 3.3-pounds
  • USB recharger built into the base
  • Runs on 8 D Cell batteries

Coleman might be the first name you think of when it comes to propane lanterns. Yet, in recent years they have made a point of carving out a piece of the electric camping lantern niche.

Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern

They have some basic, inexpensive models that might deserve your consideration. However, this Multi-Panel LED light is arguably their best battery-powered camping lantern.

Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern

It has a base that runs off of 8 D Cell batteries and includes a USB charging port, which allows you to charge up your phone or other USB devices. The four LED panels easily detach to let you use it as an individual light. They are magnetic, which also allows you to stick a panel on a metallic surface.

Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern on a hiking trip

The base has its own lighting panels that let you easily find it even when all four of the LED panels are detached. In this mode, the base will produce a soft light for up to 20 hours on 8 D Cell batteries.

The individual panels can run for up to three hours on a single charge. At its maximum setting, this battery-powered camping lantern is rated to produce up to 800 lumens.

Buying D Cell Batteries in large batches might save you some money per unit.

What We Liked

The fact that you can detach the four LED panels to use them as individual lights gives you the convenience of a battery-powered lantern, as well as four individual flashlights. You also shouldn’t overlook the fact that they have a magnetic backing. This allows you to position one or two near the camp kitchen or set it on a vehicle’s side panel for changing a tire in the dark.

The IPX4 waterproof rating is also a nice touch that means this camping lantern can stand up to a light rain, or a minor tent leak.

Overall

This battery-powered camping lantern makes a statement about Coleman’s dedication to quality and thoughtful design. It’s also a great option for first-time campers who need a lantern, but don’t want to also buy a bunch of secondary flashlights. The USB charging port is also a nice touch for keeping your phone charged when you’re off the grid.

The one knock here is the fact that it runs on 8 D Cell batteries. Some type of rechargeable internal battery would have been better. But if you’re willing to reinvest in batteries, this camping lantern will certainly take care of you.

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Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern

  • Four LED removable light panels
  • IPX4 waterproof rating
  • Runs on 8 D Cell batteries

Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lanterns

Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lanterns and batteries

Specs:

  • 12-hour battery life
  • 60 to 140-lumen range
  • Patented collapsible design
  • 30 LED bulbs per lantern
  • 360-degree lighting
  • Aircraft-grade materials
  • IP44 waterproof rating
  • 10-year warranty
  • 100% satisfaction

Vont is a relatively new company in the portable lighting industry. Their roots only extend back to 2014 when they started offering lights for cyclists. Yet you shouldn’t let their newness lure you into thinking they’re a fly-by-night manufacturer. There is a lot of quality and innovation infused into their product line, and you see it in this four-pack of collapsible LED camping lanterns.

Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lanterns

Each lantern has 30 LED bulbs and runs off 3 AA batteries with a maximum battery life of up to 12-hours. That means you will need 12 AA batteries to fully run this four-pack of camping lanterns. To adjust the light level, you simply turn the top and raise it. This will give you a range from 60 to 140 lumens.

Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lanterns

At first glance, 140 lumens might not seem all that bright on paper. Yet the 360-degree lighting design and the nature of the LED bulbs make these lights seem a whole lot brighter than their technical specs describe.

 

These LED camping lanterns are made from aircraft-grade materials and tested to withstand an accidental drop of up to 10-feet. It also carries an IP44 waterproof rating, which allows it to endure a modest rainstorm. Vont also backs these lanterns with a 10-year warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

What We Liked

The small size and collapsible patented design certainly make these lights portable and easy to use. The fact that they back it with a 10-year warranty and use aircraft-grade materials is also a very nice touch.

Overall

These camping lanterns are infused with quality and thoughtful design at every level. They are a little bit on the small side for times when you need to light a large campsite. If you have a group of four or fewer hikers, and you need an inexpensive way to make sure everyone has a light, then Vont’s four-pack of LED camping lanterns might be right in the sweet spot!

If you are concerned about the cost of chewing through replacement batteries, you might want to consider getting rechargeable ones with a battery charger. There are several options on the market that will pay for themselves in short order. You can check these and EBL Rechargeable AA Batteries 2300mAh.

Vont 4 Pack LED Camping Lanterns

  • Four pack of high-quality LED lanterns
  • Collapsible design
  • Backed by 10-year warranty and 100% satisfaction guarantee

LE LED Battery Powered Camping Lantern 2 Pack

LE LED Battery Powered Camping Lantern 2 Pack

Specs:

  • 1,000 lumens per lantern
  • LED Bulbs with 360-degree lighting
  • 4 lighting modes
  • Runs on 3 D Cell Batteries
  • 12 to 25 hour run time
  • IPX4 waterproof rating to handle rain
  • 2-year warranty
  • Top and bottom hooks

LE technically offers this LED lantern as a single unit or in a two-pack. However, the price of the two-pack maximizes the value with a very friendly two-pack.

LE LED Battery Powered Camping Lantern 2 Pack

This allows you to position one light in the camp kitchen or cooler area, and leave another out by the campfire to keep the entire site lit and minimize the shadows that can sometimes be produced by a single high output LED light.

LE LED Battery Powered Camping Lantern

A single lantern runs off 3 standard D Cell alkaline batteries. It can produce up to 1,000 lumens at the highest setting. Though it does have four separate settings that reduce lumen output and affect the overall battery life. This includes the 700-lumen cool white, a 300 lumen warm white, the 1000 lumen cool white and a 1000 lumen flash mode for emergency situations.

LE LED Battery Powered Camping Lantern in a tent

The top and bottom both have hooks, which allows you to hang it conveniently. For instance, you can hang it from the bottom hook near the camp stove to let you see the food you’re cooking and surrounding prep items without a shadow. You could then hang it from the top hook if you wanted to hang a general light near the fire pit, that wouldn’t shine in everyone’s eyes.

What We Liked

The adjustable lighting settings and 360-degree lighting profile, with the top and bottom hooks, allow you to create exactly the type of lighting that is right for your campsite.

You also shouldn’t overlook the IPX4 waterproof rating, which makes it water-resistant enough to handle a gentle rain or a tent leak.

The fact that LE backs this lantern with a 2-year warranty is also a statement of quality materials and thoughtful design.

Overall

This camping lantern was designed to be bright and versatile. Yet it’s also priced affordably, with a nice little per unit discount price if you go with the two-pack option. You will inevitably go through a fair number of D Cell batteries.

One way to shave down this long-term cost is to invest in rechargeable D cell batteries and a charger.

LE LED Battery Powered Camping Lantern 2 Pack

  • LED lantern with 1,000 maximum lumens and four light settings
  • IPX4 waterproof rating
  • Backed by a 2-year warranty

KYNG Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern

KYNG Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern

Specs:

  • Solar rechargeable
  • 800 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 3 lighting modes from 25 to 65 lumens
  • Up to 10 hours on a full charge
  • A USB port for recharging light or charging devices
  • Carabiner included for hanging
  • 3-year warranty

One of the big complaints with gas, kerosene, and alkaline battery powered camping lanterns is that you are constantly having to buy replacement power sources.

KYNG Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern and charging cable

Of course, it also means you have to pack them with you, which can be a major hassle for hikers, climbers, and other outdoor activities where space is at a premium.

KYNG Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern

KYNG steps up to answer this niche need with its LED camping lantern with solar recharger. In its heart is an 800 mAh battery that can be powered by the small built-in solar panel or connected to a USB power source. The available micro USB port can also be used to partially charge a smartphone or similar device.

Charging phone with the KYNG Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern

It has three lighting modes, low, high, and flashing. Low produces a modest 25 lumens, while high and flashing produce 65 lumens. With a full charge on the low setting, this solar light can last up to 10-hours.

The lantern body is collapsible, which makes for easy packing. It also means you can use it as a hand light. There is a carabiner that lets you hang this lightweight lantern for convenience.

What We Liked

The solar recharging is certainly a nice way to eliminate the cost of replacement batteries. Yet where it really sets itself apart is the USB port. This means you can charge it when you have access to reliable power, or it can help charge your phone, handheld GPS, or other USB devices for the times when you are truly off the grid.

You also have to tip your hat to the three-year warranty it comes with.

Overall

This is more of a flashlight that doubles as a small camping lantern. It’s meant more for lighting your tent or giving you some extra light around the camp stove. If you are driving up to a campsite, this unit is probably a little underwhelming for your needs. If you are hiking into a remote campsite or climbing to your basecamp then this little solar-charged light ticks a lot of boxes at the same time!

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KYNG Solar Rechargeable LED Lantern

  • The solar lantern that can also recharge USB devices
  • 3 lighting modes with up to 10-hour maximum battery life
  • Backed by a 3-year warranty

Internova Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern Power Bank

Internova Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern Power Bank

Specs:

  • 1,000 maximum lumens
  • LED
  • Built-in 2000mAh rechargeable battery
  • Micro USB for charging or using as a power bank for USB devices
  • Up to 70-hour runtime on the lowest setting
  • Red LED feature

Internova recognizes the need for a rechargeable camping lantern and puts it into practice in full force with this unit. It has a built-in 2000mAh rechargeable battery, which can also be used as a power bank to charge USB devices. You can charge it through the included USB port, or you can augment by adding four D Cell alkaline batteries.

Internova Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern on a tree

The LED bulb configuration provides 360-degree lighting. There are also multiple lighting modes including brilliant white for maximum brightness at 1,000 lumens, as well as a fully dimmable mode and red LEDs for stargazing or nighttime angling. It also has an SOS function for emergency situations. On its lowest setting, it is rated to last up to 70-hours.

Internova Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern red light

It was specifically designed to be durable. It has rubber feet for superior stability. It was also designed to be water-resistant with an IPX4 rating to handle a modest rain shower. Yet it only weighs an impressive 1.5 pounds.

What We Liked

The 1,000 maximum lumens are impressive and not all that common in rechargeable camping lanterns. The red feature is also nice for times when you don’t want to attract insects, stargaze or night-fish.

Overall

If you are looking for a lightweight, durable camping lantern that you can use as a power bank for your USB devices, then the Internova needs to be on your list. Just bear in mind that it’s most attractive features and maximum lumens typically come from the built-in batter augmented with the runtime of the options D Cell batteries.

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Internova Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern Power Bank

  • Up to 1,000 maximum lumens
  • 2000 mAh rechargeable battery with USB connections
  • Four lighting settings

EZORKAS 2 Pack LED Camping Lanterns, Rechargeable Led Lanterns

EZORKAS 2 Pack LED Camping Lanterns

Specs:

  • 1865 rechargeable built-in battery
  • USB charger or 3 AA batteries
  • Magnetic feet
  • 4-lighting modes
  • Hand light, emergency beacon, or camping lantern
  • COB LED bulbs for superior lifespan
  • Water-resistant and durable material construction

Ezorkas offers this camping lantern and light as a 2-pack, for a very friendly price point. It’s incredibly lightweight while being designed from durable water-resistant ABS materials.

EZORKAS 2 Pack LED Camping Lanterns

There is an 1865 mAh built-in rechargeable battery with a USB port. It can also run off of 3 AA batteries. This means you can charge it up before you leave on a trip and if it runs out of charge in the internal battery while you’re off the grid, you can continue to run it off AA batteries.

 

It has COB (Chips on Board) LED bulbs for a superior lifespan. There are four different light settings including beacon light, hand flashlight, and adjustable camping lantern. You simply pull up on the collapsible top to reveal more light. The bulbs are rated to produce up to 180 lumens, though it shines brighter in real life than it does on paper.

Use cases for the EZORKAS LED Camping Lantern

The base has three magnetic feet, which allows you to suspend it under a vehicle’s hood or the metal frame of a camping pavilion. It also has two metal handles for times when you might want to suspend it from a tree branch.

What We Liked

The different lighting modes for hazards and the ability to use it as a utility hand flashlight certainly adds to the versatility. The magnet feet are also a nice touch for times when you might be having a little engine trouble.

Overall

This is a great lightweight camping lantern and flashlight in one. It’s arguably geared more toward long expedition hikers and climbers than it is families who simply drive up to their campsite. The fact that it can run off the internal battery charge, as well as AA batteries, also extends the amount of time it can support you off the grid.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that you get two of these lanterns at a price point where some competitors offer one.

EZORKAS 2 Pack LED Camping Lanterns, Rechargeable Led Lanterns

  • Runs off an internal USB rechargeable battery or AA batteries
  • Four lighting modes include emergency beacon and handheld flashlight
  • Water-resistant and durable design

Coleman Premium Dual Fuel Lantern with Hard Carry Case

Coleman Premium Dual Fuel Lantern with Hard Carry Case

Specs:

  • Dual Fuel technology
  • Burns Coleman liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline
  • Up to 700 lumens on high
  • 2 mantles
  • Adjustable dimmer
  • All-Season Strong design for cold weather camping
  • Up to 7-hour runtime on high
  • Hard carry case included in the purchase
  • 3-year limited warranty

This is a “White Gas” lantern offered by Coleman, as a little bit of a throwback to the lanterns of yesteryear yet redesigned with modern materials. White gas is a refined petroleum product that is very close to gasoline which also means that this lantern will also run off unleaded gasoline.

Close-up of the Coleman Premium Dual Fuel Lantern

One of the advantages here is that white gas will burn longer than liquid propane. This lantern is rated to run on high, producing up to 700 lumens for up to 7-hours on 1.3 pints of fuel. It uses a two-mantle configuration that provides more even lighting with softer shadows.

The other advantage of a white gas lantern is that it will run more reliably in cold weather. As temperatures dip near freezing propane cylinders can start to struggle and produce less pressure. In deep cold or at altitude propane can be very frustrating, leaving unburned fuel in the canister. With white gas, you don’t have these problems.

Of course, this is a lantern that you want to keep in tip-top condition. So, it’s nice and arguably required that a hard case is included in the purchase.

Just bear in mind that you will need to buy white gas to operate this lantern, or if you want to use unleaded gasoline, you will want to keep a funnel in your camping gear.

What We Liked

The white gas fuel is arguably ideal for times when you might be camping in winter or hiking through the mountains. The dual mantles also make for more reliable light with softer shadows. You also can’t turn your nose up at the 3-year warranty and the hard side case in the initial purchase.

Overall

The fact that this lantern is designed to run on white gas or unleaded gasoline might make you wince at first. While it is a greater fire safety risk than battery-powered or sealed propane lanterns, with proper care it’s not dangerous.

This lantern is geared to appeal more to mountain hikers and winter camping enthusiasts, who need a reliable lantern. It also produces a fair amount of heat, without being so hot that it would melt the roof of a quinzhee.

Coleman Premium Dual Fuel Lantern with Hard Carry Case

  • Runs on white gas or unleaded gasoline
  • Geared for cold weather camping
  • Dual mantles produce up to 700 lumens

Buyers Guide

Sitting around a fire ring when you are camping is part of the classic experience of roughing it in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, when the sun goes down, the light from the fire is rarely enough to let you take care of essential tasks like cooking meals, washing dishes and cleaning up around camp.

Of course, a handheld flashlight limits how much you can do at one time. This lends most avid outdoorsmen to invest in a quality camping lantern.

There are several things you want to consider while looking for the camping lantern or lanterns that are best for you.

Power Or Fuel Source

There are a few different ways to power a camping lantern. You should also bear in mind that certain locations might have restrictions or regulations on the type of lantern you can use in their campground. For instance, federally managed “Rustic” campgrounds and “Primitive” campsites will often issue “No Flame” restrictions for lanterns and other appliance during extreme drought conditions.

Battery Powered camping lanterns are very safe and convenient. In the past, your only real option for powering them was a quad-pack of large, expensive D batteries. They usually had about 20 hours of run time on them before browning out.

Today advancements in battery technology have made allowed battery-powered camping lanterns to evolve. Some can run on lithium-ion batteries, AA batteries, or rechargeable batteries that can be connected to a solar panel charger during the daylight hours.

The other nice thing about battery-powered flashlights is that they are still viable during times when there might be a flame ban. Not to mention that LED technology allows some electric camping lanterns to last an amazingly long time on a single charge.

Propane camping lanterns are a classic hallmark item in the industry. They work using a special property of ceramic mesh. The propane flame heats the ceramic mantle which then emits light. Yet as time goes on the mantle can wear out, crack, or shatter, making it useless.

Sometimes even something as simple as a hard knock or small drop can damage the lantern rendering it useless. So, you need to bring spare mantles with you in case of an emergency.

Of course, most propane lanterns use DOT 39 one-pound propane cylinders. They chew through a single one in around four to six hours, depending on how you use them. You can shave a little bit off the price by purchasing one-pound canisters in a four-pack or six-pack.

The other nice thing about these canisters is that you can also use them to run things like your camp stove or other propane appliances.

Kerosene lanterns used to be open flame lanterns with a braided wick. There are a few lanterns out there that still work this way. Though in recent years they have evolved to work very much like a propane lantern. The flame heats the ceramic mantle which glows and gives off a strong, yet adjustable light.

Unfortunately, Kerosene isn’t as energetically dense as propane, which means it burns up its reserve faster. It also doesn’t burn as clean as propane and costs a little more.

Manual Or Wind-Up Lanterns

There are some simple wind-up crank lanterns. You grind on it for a modest burst which charges a simple internal battery that powers the light. It’s not the sort of thing you are going to use as your long-term light source through a long night around the campsite.

It’s more for short term lighting when you want to do things like wash the dishes or you need a light to get to the privy. For a complex task like cooking, you might have one person grinding the crank handle to make sure the other person has enough light.

Portability And Weight

Things like weight and portability might not mean much if you like to stay in drive-up campsites, or you need to light the outdoor space around the family cabin. Yet if you’re a hiking enthusiast staying far off the grid, then every ounce and cubic square inch counts.

In general, most electric camping lanterns weigh less than gas or kerosene. Though a large one that uses four D cell batteries can rival the weight of a propane or kerosene lantern.

When it comes to a gas or kerosene lantern a carrying case is definitely very nice for transporting it safely. These lanterns tend to have glass shrouds and many also have delicate ceramic mantles. Being able to put it into a secure case reduces the chances of it being damaged while you travel.

Weather Proofing Features

When you are out in the wild world, rain, wind and other inclement weather can impact your campsite, and potentially compromise your lantern. Most gas lanterns are designed to handle a little wind and rain, but additional weatherproofing features might be worth moving up your priorities list if you are going to be camping someplace that is known for severe weather.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do Lumens Matter?

A: Lumens are a popular way to measure light. It’s gradually becoming the replacement to “Candles” or “Candle Power.” While there is a fair amount of complex science behind how lumens are calculated, for your intents you just need to keep in mind that the more lumens a lantern is rated to produce, the higher it’s maximum brightness will be.

As a baseline, a 5,000-lumen light will be more than enough to light up a 250 square foot area. Just bear in mind that this is going to be pretty bight if that single light is set at eye level. At the same time, a single light with a high lumen rating will also create contrasting shadows.

To prevent shadows and potential safety problems that come from sitting in a dark area with a single bright light, many campers will deploy two or three lanterns with a lower lumen setting. Then one can be hung up high to cast light, without completely bleaching the rods and cones in your eyes robbing you of your night vision.

Q: Would A Headlamp Be Better?

A: Headlamps have their place and can be very convenient. They are the preferred option for many nighttime anglers who need to be able to specifically control the direction of their light source for doing things like pulling hooks and tying lures.

When you are sitting around the campsite a headlamp can be more than just a little annoying. Especially if someone directly across from you is wearing one and leaving it on all the time. Not to mention when things are hot and humid a headlamp is rarely comfortable.

Instead, it’s better to keep a headlamp or two around camp for someone to use if they need to find their way to the privy or need to set things up inside their own tent.

Q: Do Propane And Kerosene Lanterns Give Off A Lot Of Heat?

A. This is sort of a double-edged sword when it comes to lanterns that rely on the flame to produce light or to activate a mantle. If you are camping in a hot, humid stretch of summer, a propane lantern will only add to the heat when you bring it into a tent.

On the other end of the spectrum, they don’t really give off enough heat to be your primary heater in winter cold conditions. You might be able to get by in an ice fishing shanty on a warm day, or at a fall hunting camp with the heat of a propane lantern. Still, there’s not enough BTU production to generate significant warmth.

Q: Are Propane Or Kerosene Lanterns A Serious Fire Hazard?

A: When they are in perfect working condition and used properly the fire hazard threat of these lanterns is incredibly low. Still, it’s not zero. An accidental fall or damage could cause a minor fire. This is why certain government agencies will ban their use in certain locations during severe drought conditions.

Q: Do I Need A Carrying Case?

A. For an electric or battery-powered camping lantern, a carrying case isn’t all that big of a deal. Though the unit that includes on in the purchase is certainly a feather in its cap.

A carrying case is a bigger deal for gas or kerosene lanterns which typically rely on delicate glass and ceramic components. If something is cracked, bent or broken in transit, the lantern might not work safely or could fail completely.

Q: How Can I Reduce The Cost Of Replacement Batteries?

A: In the past, the cost of replacement batteries drove some consumers away from electric battery-powered camping lanterns. Though in recent years improvements in battery technology make it economically viable to invest in rechargeable AA, and D Cell batteries. D Cells 10000mAh Rechargeable Batteries with Battery Charger ,AmazonBasics D Cell, AmazonBasics AA Rechargeable Batteries.

Q: What Is The Benefit Of A Red Setting?

A: Some LED lanterns come with a red setting or red filter. This changes the spectrum of light to make it easier on your eyes. Red filtered light also tends to attract far fewer insects and doesn’t spook certain animals like fish.

This type of feature is meant to tailor to night anglers, for catfish trotlines, and gigging. However, red features can be very handy for times when you want to keep your night vision for stargazing or there has been a recent mayfly hatch.

Conclusion

There are a few key factors that will likely go into the type of camping lantern you choose. The type of power source is a good place to start.

There are some people who believe in the tried and true things like classic propane lanterns. They also give you the ability to use multi-task with a camp stove or propane grill. Cold-weather campers might also lean even more into the hydrocarbon spectrum to select a white gas lantern.

Yet there are other people who would rather not have to deal with a live flame, and instead turn to battery-powered camping lanterns. Not only are they cleaner and easier to use, but some come with special features like the ability to turn into a personal flashlight or a power bank for recharging other electronic devices.

Of course, size and weight might be a factor. People who drive up to a campsite can often carry more gear and keep more items on hand, This makes space and size less important factors. Yet for hikers and climbers, weight and space are almost always at a premium, and they will tend toward smaller units, that might not necessarily pump out a huge lumen rating.

Product Boxes: Last updated on 2020-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API