Best Camping Lanterns – My Top 10 Picks!


Campning LanternsIf you have ever been camping, especially for long periods of time, you know how important a good lantern is. In this article I am going to give you my list of the all time best camping lanterns. The ones most people like. But as I tell you the pros and cons of each you may find that certain ones fit your particular needs and situation better. That is the beauty of this type of article.

There is a lot to consider nowadays when selecting a camping lantern. What is more important to you? Is battery length the be all end all? Or is brightness more of a priority? And what would you want in size, weight and durability? All of these things, as well as other options, should be considered when choosing anything, especially something as critical as a camping lantern.

Whether we need a good lantern because a winter storm has just taken our power out, or we are up camping next to a lake high in the mountains that we back packed to, having access to good lighting at night can make the experience more comfortable and positive.  I am going to go through what I have found from personal experience, and what I have read from other sources on what I feel are the best lantern options available.

Also since the pros and cons varied so much, which lantern is best will often be dictated by your particular use and expected situation. I have given you the pros and cons of each. I have also linked to the other sources so that you can read the reviews and the other information if you choose to.  At the end of the day I want you to be able to make an educated decision and pick the lantern that you will be the most happy with long term. Okay here we go!

My Top 10 Lantern Picks!

No. Lantern Name Type Lumens Best Features
1 Coleman Twin LED LED 390 Long Battery, Bright, Durable
2 Goal Zero Lighthouse LED 400 Bright, USB Rechargeable, Charge Cell Phone
3 Streamlight 44931 LED 540 Very well built, Decent run time, multiple modes
4 LE Portable LED 1000 Inexpensive, good bang for buck. Water Resistant
5 Nite Ize Radiant LED 400 Very Long Battery Life. Built Well. Bright
6 Moobibear LED 500 Magnetic, Weather Resistant, Portable
7 AYL Starlight LED 600 Bright, Water Resistant, Long Battery Life
8 Black Diamond Apollo LED 140 Bright for 140 lm, Very compact
9 Coleman Multi Panel LED 800 Removable Light Panels, Bright, Charge cell phones
10 Primus Micron Butane 360 Lights well, produces heat. Light weight
11 Bonus Section! Here Are Some Cool Gadgets To Take With You Camping!

Now I am going to go through each of these lanterns and tell you the pros and cons of each one. Hopefully this will save you some time and help you find the exact lantern that you would be the happiest with! That is my goal at least with this article. Okay are you ready to get started? Let’s go!

1. Coleman Twin LED Lantern

Coleman Twin LED Lantern

The Coleman Twin LED Lantern is a bigger lantern than many of the other ones. I guess what I like best about it is that it looks like the old propane Coleman lanterns I grew up using. It is very durable as well. I think the lighting is better quality than the previous fluorescent version, and it seems much brighter as well. And the light bulbs don’t have to be changed nearly as often either.

Some things that like about this lantern is the light distance that this extends. It does good light out to 32 feet in a 360 radius from the lantern. And it has seven different light brightness settings. That is enough options to keep the most finicky camper happy. It is also one of the better built lanterns on the market. It feels like it is built more solid than most

The only down side I see with this lantern is its size if you are doing anything like back packing. In that case you would most likely want to choose a more compact model. Because it holds 8 D batteries it is a bit heavy as well. But if you are looking for a great lantern for sitting around the campsite, or for reading within a tent, you cannot do much better than the Coleman Twin LED.

Pros Cons
Long Battery Life Heavy
Lot’s Of Light – 32 Feet Large
7 Light Brightness Settings

2. Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern

Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern

The Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern is a very bright light. I was reading one of the reviews about this light and the person warned not to look directly at the light or stare at it. They said it will burn your eyes because it burnt theirs. They said the light is perfect for power outages or camping trips. It charges very easy with a USB charger. You can plug it into your car’s USB, a RAVPower battery pack or a Goal Zero solar panel.

Another guy was in Puerto Rico during the two hurricanes that hit there recently and he said he used several of these to keep his house and office lit until they got the power back on. He liked how you could have it very bright or dim, however you wanted it. He said it made life a lot easier to live through during the hurricane. He would charge it up during the day with a solar panel and use it during the night.

The hook to hang the light was very popular. Most everything I found on this lantern was positive. I had to search to find anything negative. About the only complaint I saw anyone have was one guy said that he though the legs were a bit wobbly.

Pros Cons
Batteries Recharge Easily Wobbly Legs
Bright, Puts Out A Lot Of Light
Multiple Brightness Settings
Good Hook To Hang Light

3. Streamlight 44931 Siege Compact Lantern

Streamlight 44931 Siege Compact Lantern

From everything I have been able to read about it, the Streamlight 44931 Siege Compact Lantern is very very well built. It’s a very robust lantern. From the rubber surrounding it to its handle and the hook on the bottom, it is built very solid. This lantern has more reviews too than most of the rest of the lanterns and one of the highest overall review average ratings.

Another very popular feature with this lantern is the red light option. Other lanterns have this as well, so it is not unique necessarily to this lantern. But people said this is particularly useful if you are out on a large group camp out or on a camp ground where there are a lot of other tents. The red light acts as a unique beacon so you always know where your tent is.

This is the only lantern I was not able to find anything negative anyone said about it. I found a few give low ratings saying that it was not what they thought it would be from the pictures when they ordered it. But even those reviews went on to say how much they actually liked the lantern once they started using it. For a small, bright, very portable lantern, you cannot do much better.

Pros Cons
Very Handy Popular Hook On Top
Very Well Built Lantern
Multiple Brightness Settings
Rubber Case-Easy To Hold

4. LE Portable LED Camping Lantern

LE Portable LED Camping Lantern

The LE Portable LED Camping Lantern boasts 1,000 Lumens. In the lighting world Lumens equates to how much light is put out. On its highest setting of 1,000 Lumens everyone I read reviewing this lantern says that it is a very bright lantern. For emergency situations when you are trying to function after a power outage this lantern would be a great one because it would light an enclosed room really well.

At the time of this writing I found almost a thousand reviews online for this lantern. With a very high over all review rating. I was mostly impressed by reading all of the comments with some concerns. Some of the negative points I saw were that the top of the lantern does not shield the light very well (not frosted) so some complained it hurt their eyes to have it on the brightest setting.

This lantern over all was more of a mixed bag. It seemed that people either really loved it or hated it. I did see one guy that said that his batteries got hot enough to contort the plastic case that holds them. So that is concerning.

Pros Cons
Very Bright Too Bright For Some
Built Well Cap Allowed Too Much Light Through
Multiple Brightness Settings Batteries may get too hot.

5. Nite Ize Radiant 400 Lantern

Nite Ize Radiant 400 Lantern

The Nite Ize Radiant 400 Lantern is a pretty well received lantern. In other words of those that did reviews on it almost all review ratings were common. However there were fewer reviews on this lantern than any of the others I looked at. That is something that I have found is worth mentioning. I tend to like to purchase lanterns with the most reviews and the highest ratings.

What most people said about this lantern was that it was a good decent lantern. It was bright enough, but not the brightest they had seen. It was built well, but not the best built they had ever seen. You get the gist. However overall people liked it enough to give it high review ratings. The thing that stood out the most was that it was very efficient per lumen and had a long run time. Some even referred to it as their “go to” hurricane lantern. It is pretty inexpensive so for the money it sounds pretty solid.

The negative things that people said were that the batteries were not rechargeable, and that other lanterns they had had were built a bit better.

Pros Cons
Bright enough Not Built As Well As Some
Batteries last very long Batteries Not Rechargeable
Multiple Brightness Settings

6. Moobibear LED Camping Lantern

Moobibear LED Camping Lantern

The Moobibear LED Camping Lantern is one that had a good amount of reviews and an overall high review rating.  As I read through the most recent reviews they were a mixed bag. It seemed people either really really liked the lanterns, or they didn’t. The ones that liked them, loved them, and the ones that didn’t, really didn’t. Not many in between.

The positive things that people said is that they liked how bright it was. It was easy to use. Just pull it open and the light goes on, and shut it and the light turns off so it won’t drain the batteries. These lanterns use 3 AAA batteries. They are very compact, and very light. One guy said that his batteries lasted for 5 days straight. Also they liked that it is water resistant.

The negatives I saw were some people thought their light was either too bright, or didn’t project well. These people said it was not good for a picnic table because it was too blinding. And I did not see anyone mention that it had brightness settings.

Pros Cons
Bright Some Thought Too Bright
Batteries Last Very Long Light Didn’t Project Well
Water Resistant No Brightness Settings
Easy To Use

7. AYL Starlight 700 Lantern

AYL Starlight 700 Lantern

The AYL Starlight 700 Lantern is a lantern with a decent number of reviews and really high ratings. A lot of people said things like “I loved this lantern so much I bought additional ones” and things like that. One guy said that during hurricane Irma his lantern ran for six days straight without any significant loss in brightness. And this was on one set of 3 D cell batteries.

Since this lantern is so inexpensive one guy said that he bought a few of these and expected them to be throw away lanterns. But when he got them he was surprised at how well built they were and how long the batteries lasted. They lasted for his whole 4 day camping trip and then he put them away with his camping gear. Then a few months later during a power outage he found them and the batteries still worked and got him through the power outage.

The only negative thing I was able to find was several people complained that it was difficult to figure out how to put the batteries in. One person said that if you search for it on YouTube there is some great videos to show you how to do this. Once you know how, it sounds like it is pretty simple from what people were saying.

Pros Cons
Bright But Not Too Bright Batteries Difficult To Put In
Batteries last very long
Inexpensive Price
Built Very Well

8. Black Diamond Apollo Lantern

Black Diamond Apollo Lantern

The Black Diamond Apollo Lantern did not have any reviews yet. However it is a well known brand and so I looked at reviews on earlier models. Overall on the reviews that I saw people like their lanterns. The reviews for their other lanterns have very high overall ratings. The things people liked were they said that the lanterns are bright and I did not read anyone complaining about them being too bright or not projecting the light well.

A few people complained that the lantern was so small. But other people liked the fact that they were so small. And many people said the lanterns were amazingly bright for their small size. People said they are great backpacking lanterns because of their small size and very light weight.

It seemed like about 10% of the reviewers complained in some way, which is a little bit higher than some of the others. Some of the complaints were things like it did not seem as well built as they thought it would be. But then others complimented it on how well it was built. The only complaint that no one disagreed with was that the batteries did not last as long in their lanterns as they thought they should. Overall there were many more positive comments than negative.

Pros Cons
Very Small & Compact Batteries Did Not Last As Long
Very Light Weight More Expensive Than Some Others
Very Bright For The Size

9. Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern

Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern

The Coleman Multi-Panel LED Lantern does not have as many user reviews as I would like to see. But it is a fairly new model and a major brand name. So I also looked at the reviews of some of the similar Coleman models to this one. Overall it had one of the higher average reviews (but with less reviews). One thing I noticed with the reviews on this one is people really liked what they liked, and really disliked what they disliked. They seemed more passionate both ways than most reviews.

The things that people really liked was how bright the lantern is. People who bought this lantern for power outages seemed to like the lantern best. People also liked how the individual light panels are removable and you can take them with you. Some said each panel was a great light all on its own. People also seemed to really like how it is able to recharge other devices from its USB ports. Also people said that the lantern’s batteries lasted a really long time. They said the long lasting bright light with detachable bright individual panels are what made it such a great lantern for power outages.

As far as the negatives some people did not like it using 8 D cell batteries. The batteries are cheap on Amazon, but people suggested getting rechargeable D Cell batteries. One person who did this said that his rechargeable batteries were a tad long but he was able to get them to fit with a small amount of sanding down of the inside of the battery lid. Overall much more positive than negative.

Pros Cons
Bright, But Not Too Bright Takes 8 D Cell Batteries
Recharge Ports For Cell Phones
Bright Removable Panel Lights
Batteries Last A Long Time

10. Primus Micron Lantern

Primus Micron Lantern

The Primus Micron Lantern is the only lantern I selected for this list that burnt fuel instead of being an LED light. Some of the reviews of this lantern really caught my attention. It had some of the overall highest review ratings out there that I saw. It did not have quite the quantity of reviews I would like to have seen. But most all of the reviews seemed to love it.

People said things like it is very lightweight. It is compact and does not take up a lot of space. Many really liked its solid design. People commented that it uses very little fuel, compared to other fuel burning lanterns that they have seen. And as far as brightness most commented that it was pretty bright, especially considering it’s covered with a solid metal mesh.

Many people also commented on how rugged it was built, and that it actually put out enough heat to help heat the tents somewhat. One guy said that he spent the night high on a mountain above 7,000 feet where it got down around 20 degrees. He claimed the lantern took the chill off of that temperature within the tent.

Also one guy said that he was surprised that he had not damaged a mantle even though he tossed the lantern in his backpack and the lantern had also been bumped around quite a bit. Overall people seem to really love this lantern and even say it is great to take on back packing trips.

The only negative comments I could find were some people who were probably used to some of the brighter LED lanterns did not feel it was bright enough. And when you do have to change the mantles some complained that the process was a bit difficult. It sounded like one 8 ounce can of fuel will last you about 6 to 10 hours or so of burn time depending on how high you have it turned up.

Pros Cons
Bright, But Not Too Bright Takes 8 D Cell Batteries
Recharge Ports For Cell Phones
Bright Removable Panel Lights
Batteries Last A Long Time

Bonus Section

At the end of this article I just wanted to take a brief few minutes here and jog your brain cells a bit. Below I am going to list some other practical things that are a good idea to take along with you on your next camping trip. I will only mention a few so that this article does not get too long. So here we go and I hope you find that these last few suggestions helped you out!

1. UCO Stormproof Match Kit

UCO Stormproof Match Kit

The UCO Stormproof Match Kit, or one like it, is an important thing to bring with you on your trip. There is nothing worse than not being able to get a fire started. I always like to have flint and steal too, but sometimes you just want to light a match and get things moving along. At least I know I do sometimes.

With this little kit you have matches, a striker pad and some kindling. On some of their match kits you have to add the cotton ball yourself. But when you are out in the hills this is something you want to save for an emergency. Use leaves, pine needles or dry moss along with dry twigs to get the fire started. The kindling in a kit like this in my opinion should be saved for emergencies, or when you just need some help due to weather conditions.

2. BioLite CampStove 2

BioLite CampStove 2

The BioLite CampStove 2 is a really cool gadget. Not only can you cook your dinner or heat up some hot chocolate, but it can charge your cellphone at the same time. It literally turns heat from the fire that is in it into electricity.

The reviews on this thing is incredible. People tell stories of how hot this gets that they cooked 3 eggs and several pieces of bacon within about 8 minutes. Boiling hot water I guess takes a bit longer. Most I read say that it does just what you would want it to do. It is easy to start, heats right up and charges like a charm.

There were a couple of negative reviews that I saw on there that said the exact opposite, they could not keep the fire to stay lit. The thing would not charge, and it was just an overall hassle. But those kind of complaints were by far the minority. Most said just the opposite. Maybe they got a lemon or something.

3. Wacaco Portable Espresso Maker

Wacaco Portable Espresso Maker

The Wacaco Portable Espresso Maker is a really nifty idea if you are a coffee drinker. Espresso out in the wilderness I imagine would be a pretty welcome treat. I personally do not drink coffee so this is not something I have tested out myself. Overall however this thing has amazingly high review ratings.

To use this device you just have to have a way to boil water. On a camping trip you should be good there, especially if you bring your BioLite CampStove 2! According to the reviews this makes very good espresso and works really well. Compared to other espresso machines less than $500 this one has much higher review ratings.

About the only negative people said was that if you are ill prepared and out in the middle of nowhere, the cleanup can be a bit challenging. But not everyone said that which is why I am guessing that those who did were ill prepared. Most everyone rave about this little gadget.

4. Matador Pocket Blanket 2.0

 Matador Pocket Blanket 2.0

The Matador Pocket Blanket 2.0 is very popular with those who have purchased this. It is so small when folded up that it fits in the palm of your hand or in a pocket. People use it as a base spot when setting up camp. It is also great for picnics and a place for kids or dogs to hang out.

It is tough enough that you don’t have to worry about the dog’s nails tearing it. I read reviews where they say they were worried about this but that the dogs did not hurt it at all. It has embroidered lines on it to show you where to fold it so that if fits back perfectly in the stuff sack. It is super compact and light weight. It is made out of a super tightly woven very thin and slick material which makes it perfect for shedding liquid, sand, grass, etc.

And best of all the newer version of this blanket comes with built in stakes and stow pockets. This keeps the blanket in place when it is windy. I read several reviews where they said when they would take a sheet or a blanket on a camping trip either the wind or their pets made if very difficult to keep the blanket spread out. But with the stake design of this blanket it stays spread out just were you want it the whole time.

About the only negative things I found was there was one review where there puppy was able to tear it, so it is not indestructible. And another person said that if the grass is wet it does not keep you dry. And it is not designed for warmth so it is not an emergency blanket, more like a sheet.

Final Thoughts!

Well I hope that this article was beneficial to you all! Thank you for taking the time to read it. If you have gotten to this point and are still reading this then it must have helped you some. When you go camping and you are prepared with the proper gear it makes the whole experience a whole lot better.

I will quickly tell you a short personal story. My father was a Wyoming cowboy. He grew up on a ranch outside a tiny Wyoming town. I grew up hearing his stories of surviving out in the wild with a “bedroll”, and his pocket knife. My dad told me that all the modern conveniences that the boy scouts used when we went camping were silly and not necessary. But you know what? I still prefer those conveniences. Why go out and “rough it” when with a little preparation your trip can be so much more comfortable! I love my dad but that is one area where we had different opinions!

Related Article: “Best Fire Starters – My Top 10 Picks!

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