Meet the humble solar lantern, one of the best ways to camp and enjoy the outdoors. The lively green of the forests, clean air, and the starry night sky. Nature has much to offer to each of us, and it is our responsibility to protect it. What better way to do your part than to switch to a renewable source of energy not just at home, but also while camping outdoors?
Solar lanterns are a fantastic first step in your transition. They are not too costly of an investment and they can help you become familiar with the technology. More importantly, they are handy tools for any camper. Read on to find out more.
Best Outdoor Solar Lanterns for Camping Today
As demonstrated by products like solar blinds and shades, solar lighting is the way of the future, but the technology is still relatively new. As such, the market for solar camp lanterns is ever changing. For the customer, this is great news, since most brands strive to outdo their competition in quality and attractive prices.
Still, the plethora of options can, at times, become a little overwhelming. To help light your way to a more optimal purchase, here is a list of what we believe are currently the best solar camping lanterns available on the market.
SUAOKI LED Collapsible Camping Lantern
This collapsible outdoor solar LED lantern from Suaoki has it all – and for a decent price, too. It’s fairly bright, at a bit over 65 lumens, and it features three lighting modes for low, high, and SOS intensities. When fully charged, it will last up to 10 hours on its low setting, which is more than bright enough to allow reading or other in-tent activities.
Moreover, it’s one of the more versatile solar camp lanterns. It can be used as both a lantern, when extended, and a flashlight, when compressed, and it weighs just under 200 grams. It’s ideal for hikes and, generally speaking, for backpacking trips in the outdoors.
Finally, the Suaoki collapsible camping lantern can be charged with solar power, as well as through a USB port. In addition, the lantern features a decent power bank, which means that you can use the USB port to charge other devices like your phone, if necessary.
Overall, it may not be the best or the brightest, but it certainly offers a fantastic collection of features at a more than affordable price.
- Doubles as lantern and flashlight, depending on your needs
- Super light and easy to carry or hang
- Can be charged using its in-built solar panel or through a USB port
- Can be used to charge other devices
- A bargain in terms of price
- Not as bright as other options
- Weather-proof, but not as durable as other options
AGPTEK Solar Lantern
Agptek’s solar LED lantern comes with no less than 36 LED lights with a total output of 240 lumens (on high) and 140 lumens (on low). The beam angle is at 360 degrees and the semi-transparent panel housing ensures smooth light. It takes about 7 hours to fully charge this lantern using the included solar panel and it will last up to 12 hours on its highest setting.
In addition, you can charge this solar light for camping in five different ways. It is solar powered, but also features a crank dynamo, car and AC adapters, as well as three slots for AAA batteries. In other words, it’s not a problem if the lantern wasn’t properly exposed to sunlight throughout the day. With just 10 minutes of cranking, you can get it to work for one hour.
Moreover, Agptek’s lantern is equipped with a USB port that allows you to charge other devices like your phone on the go. Its build is fairly solid and reliable, but, as such, the entire module is rather bulky.
- Very bright
- Lasts anywhere from 12 to 20 hours, depending on the settings you use
- Can be charged in five different ways
- Can be used to charge your phone and other devices
- Costly, compared to other options
- Fairly heavy and therefore inappropriate for backpacking
GOAL ZERO Lighthouse 400 Lantern and USB Power Hub
This is one of the brightest, most durable solar hanging lanterns currently available for purchase. The Goal Zero Lighthouse can be adjusted to emit up to 400 lumens, which is more than enough to light up a large campsite. Its battery life extends from 5 hours on its highest intensity setting to 48 hours when dimmed.
The lantern can be charged in three different ways, using a solar panel sold separately by the same producer, by means of a USB port, or through its in-built hand-crank. Additionally, you can use the lantern as a power bank and charge your phone, tablet or other small electronic device.
This solar light for camping is also quite easily maneuvered. Its support legs offer good stability and height for optimal light dispersion. When the lantern is not used, its legs can be collapsed for convenient storage.
- One of the brightest outdoor solar lanterns on the market: bright even on its lowest intensity setting
- Lasts up to 48 hours when dimmed
- Can be charged with solar energy, through a universal USB port, as well as through cranking
- Sturdy and durable
- More expensive than most other options
- The solar panel is sold separately by the same producer
MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0
The Mpowered Luci Outdoor 2.0 is one of the most popular solar camping lanterns, primarily because it looks super cool. In addition, this lantern is easy to store and carry, as well as inflate or fold. It’s also incredibly easy to use. When folded, expose the unit’s panel to sunlight. During nighttime, blow it up and enjoy the light.
Due to its unique design, this solar power camping lantern might seem a little flimsy. Rest assured, though, that aside from potentially being blown away by a strong wind, this lantern will resist the elements. The module is waterproof and can be attached to a backpack or post for safety.
The charging time for the Mpowered Luci Outdoor 2.0 is no more than 7 hours, which is decent compared to other, similarly priced options. On its highest setting, it is fairly bright at 75 lumens. On its lowest setting, its battery will last for as long as 24 hours.
- Very compact and light; easy to store and carry
- Intuitive charging and settings
- Can float on water; waterproof
- Long-lasting battery when set to low
- Not the brightest option available
- No backup charging method included: can only be charged with solar energy
SUAOKI LED Camping Lantern
As one of the cheapest solar powered lanterns out there, the Suaoki solar LED lantern gets the job done well. Its unique, clover design features not one, but three solar panels that maximize its sun exposure and reduce its total charging time to 4 hours.
With an output of 100 lumens on high and 50 lumens on low, this solar camping light will last anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the brightness setting. The module also comes with an in-built USB port, so you can connect it to your car in the unlikely case it doesn’t get enough exposure to sunlight.
The Suaoki LED camping lantern can be folded to a size smaller than your average iPhone, which makes it an ideal candidate for a backpacking trip. When extended, it can stand on the ground or be hooked to your backpack or tent. Its lighting modes include low, high, and SOS blinking.
- Three solar panels for a faster charging cycle
- USB port for charging
- Attractive price
- Compact and easy to carry
- Relatively short battery life
- The plastic hanger is not sturdy enough
- The module is not waterproof
TANSOREN 2 PACK Portable LED Camping Lantern
A highly-popular LED, solar-powered hanging lantern, this Tansoren product will light up your life. Twice. Coming in a two-pack this lantern can be powered by AA batteries, a USB charger, or solar power.
It is lightweight, portable, collapsible, and made of military-grade plastic to ensure it will last for many camping seasons to come. The bright, 360-degree light is designed to last for up to 8 hours, giving you plenty of time to wander through the woods. It even comes standard with an emergency Android phone charger.
- Doesn’t come with an iPhone charger
ENKEEO Camping Lantern Collapsible LED Light
This solar powered camping lantern can function for up to 10 hours on a single solar charge. Like the Tansoren product, this lantern collapses into a fraction of its full size, and expands with a single twist of its base.
High-brightness, low-brightness, and strobe modes allow for different sorts of functionality and durations of use. Camping, traveling, fishing, and hunting are made significantly easier with this versatile and reliable light.
- Multiple modes
CaseTop 2 Pack Outdoor Camping Lamp
Not only do you get two outdoor solar lanterns in one package with this product, but when you collapse each lantern, you’ll see you get a flashlight as well! So one package comes with 2 combination lantern/flashlights.
This lantern/flashlight combination is bright, reliable, compact, and versatile. And coming in at under $20, it’s definite bargain as well.
- Not as tough as some other models
Kizen Solar Powered LED Camping Lantern
This cool-looking blue and black solar powered lantern is all you’ll need (at least illumination-wise) if you’re heading out into a lush, green wood. Chargeable by USB if no sunlight is available, this lantern will never leave you hanging.
It comes with a 100% lifetime money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk in purchasing one. The guarantee speaks volumes about Kizen’s faith in the manufacturing of this product as well.
As if all of that weren’t enough, this lantern is collapsible, ensuring that it remains easy to pack, store, and travel with.
- Amazing warranty
- Great aesthetic
- No backup battery power
LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lanterns (As Seen on Shark Tank)
This product was featured, and won a bid, on the hit show “Shark Tank,” so you know there’s something special about these outdoor solar lanterns. It’s lightweight, waterproof (IP67), collapsible, shatterproof, and dustproof. It’s effectively everything-proof. It recharges by way of USB if the sun isn’t immediately available.
The lantern recharges in just 1-2 hours via USB, lasts up to 24 hours on a single battery charge, and can light your way in even the darkest places with its bright, 360-degree illumination. What’s not to love?
- Extremely durable
- Looks great
- Some people may not like its look (but they’ll be rare)