Our Top Picks Compared
Solar lanterns are – as the name suggests – solar lights in the shape of lanterns. This means that they can be hung or carried, but also stood upright. That makes them ideal in many ways for using when camping, as it means they can provide you with light while you go about your regular activities.
Solar lights in general are a great option for camping as they provide a gentle light that isn’t too bright and that will be constantly topped up by the power of the sun itself. This means that they’ll never run out of power and leave you in darkness, which is rather important in turn as it means you won’t be left to fumble in the darkness – potentially leading to injury.
The only downside of camping is the potential risks that it presents: which include the risk of falling, the risk of cutting yourself, or the risk of getting lost. Being able to light your way can make a big difference to many of these risks.
The problem with a torch is that it is dependent on batteries. If this should run out while you’re still looking for a place to set up, then you can find yourself stranded in darkness and at risk of all these problems. From there, it’s highly likely that you could accidentally trip or hurt yourself.
At the same time, a torch – even a solar torch – will not be that useful once you’ve made your camp and you’re trying to get set up. That’s because it won’t have any way in which to stand and will instead be forced to simply rest on the floor, shining a light off into the distance.
Likewise, if you carry a solar light that uses a stake, then you would find it difficult and unwieldy to use the rest of the time.
So for all these reasons, a solar lantern is the ideal shape for a camping trip: you can carry it with you and then simply set it down or even hang it from branch. The best solar camping lanterns will even transform – compressing down to take up less space when not in ‘lantern mode’ and that way actually becoming a torch of sorts.
Solar Camping Lantern Reviews
TANSOREN LED Solar USB Rechargeable 180 Lumens
This is a powerful solar camping lantern that comes in sets of two and that provides a very bright 180 lumens light. This is more than light enough to find your way around, or to enjoy a game of frisbee around the campsite. That’s another of the best advantages of using a solar lantern by the way: it opens up new possible ways to enjoy your time outdoors that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible!
Another great benefit of this product is that it is waterproof and will be fine to keep outdoors while you’re sleeping. It has an S hook too, which means it can be hung from a tree.
Bigfoot Outdoor Products Compact Solar Camping Lantern
This solar camping lantern is collapsible but not in the sense that it can be used like a torch. Rather, this unique solar camp lantern will collapse to be almost entirely flat, which makes it incredibly useful for storing in your bag. It can even fit into a coat pocket!
This also makes this one of the best solar lanterns for hiking, as it won’t weigh that much to carry around. It has a built-in energy bank for storing energy to use later and it’s very bright. The power bank can also be charged using a USB!
Overall Rating: 5/5
LED Camping Lantern 2 Pack Switrans
This is another ‘ultrabright’ model and another two pack. Two packs are great for your solar powered lanterns as you will very often want to hand them out among your fellow campers so that everyone can find their way around, or will want to hang a few from tree branches and place them around in order to light the camping area in an attractive manner.
These lights come in red and blue and also feature S hooks, once again useful for hanging.
Folding Clover Solar LED 100 Lumen Camping Lantern
This is a very unique solar led lantern that is designed to hang from the inside or doorway of your tent using a hook. It has a large clover-style array of solar panels to collect light to power its solar voltaic panels and these arms can also be folded down in a variety of ways in order to create various types of free-standing lantern. In short, this is a very versatile design for adding light to any campsite. It will not work particularly well however as a torch.
Kizen Solar Powered LED Camping Lantern
This is another collapsible solar lantern that can be compressed to be completely flat. Like the Bigfoot model, this makes it very light and very compact for bringing on a hike or camping trip. It doesn’t take up much space in a bag and looks great – and when it’s in its small capsule format, it’s perfect for grabbing energy from anywhere.
The only downside is that this design once again makes it less effective at being used like a torch or in any other manner. It’s also a little less stable and bright than some larger models.
Top Tips on Camping with your best latern
Camping is great fun and if you go with the family then it provides a brilliant bonding experience that will bring you all closer together. Unfortunately though, camping is also somewhat hard work if you aren’t a seasoned pro. Not everyone is going to take to the idea of using portaloos or sleeping in cold, wet tents, so you may need a little help if you’re going to survive an upcoming trip. Read on and we’ll look at five tips that can make all the difference and really help you to thrive there out in the great outdoors.
You have your solar lanterns – now here are some other tips to help you get even more from the experience!
Park Under Shelter
If you want to enjoy a good night’s sleep then you don’t want to pick any old spot to set up camp and erect your tent. The best spots will be those that offer natural protection already so that you’ll be shielded against the wind, or so that less rain will land on the roof of your tent (meaning that less will also come through).
Choose the Right Sleeping Bag
This is an important one. Sleeping bags come with different ratings called ‘seasons’. A four season sleeping bag is a bag that is warm enough for use all year around, three seasons means appropriate for autumn and so on. For the best night’s sleep, you want to pick the right tent for your time of year. But if you aren’t able to afford four separate sleeping bags, then going with a four season will keep you covered. It’s better to be too warm than too cold!
There are other options too mind you. What about using a hammock for even more comfort and so that you can curl up and read by the light of your solar powered camping lantern? How about sleeping under the stars in a bivvy bag?
Assuming you’ll be moving around on your trip as well as sleeping, you need to make sure you aren’t packing too much and that your bag isn’t incredibly heavy. One way to pack lighter then is to buy yourself a microfiber towel which is a small towel that dries quickly.
Another tip is to bring ‘freeze dried’ foods that contain no moisture and are thus much lighter. Foods you mix with water (like powdered soups) are also useful. Choose clothes that are thin and light, but bring lots of layers to keep warm.
This is one of the big benefits of the best solar powered lanterns that collapse down to a capsule shape.
Sleep With Your Shoes Upside Down
It will prevent bugs from climbing into them during the night! Another tip is to stuff your shoes with tissue if they get wet during the night. This will soak up moisture and make them more bearable to wear in the morning. Also: bring tissues!
Practice At Home!
As with most things, practice makes perfect. If you’re nervous about spending time in a tent then a great way to get used to the idea is to try camping at home. You can do this by staying in a tent in the garden for instance which will offer you all the protection you need with supplies just a short walk to the house away. This is a fun way to camp with none of the stress and means you can enjoy telling stories around your solar LED lantern and sharing snacks from the fridge.
If that doesn’t work out? Maybe you would be better suited to something like glamping…
More Tech That Can Help You Have Fun Outdoors
When we think of gadgets and technology we often tend to think of things that we use indoors and that can’t easily be used outside. Computers and games consoles for instance are very much items designed for indoor use and are awkward if not impossible to use in the garden.
But actually in the digital age there are plenty of gadgets and devices that are aimed more specifically at use in the garden or just outside in general. Solar powered camping lanterns are just one example of this.
Read on and we’ll look at what some of those are and how they can make an afternoon chilling in the backyard that much more pleasant.
The Kindle is a device that is absolutely perfect for enjoying outdoors thanks to its e-ink display. What this means is that the screen uses droplets of ink rather than lights in order to create the images, and that in turn ensures that it behaves like a sheet of paper when it’s in direct sunlight rather than behaving like a typical computer screen. Thus you can read a Kindle with zero glare and zero headache even when you’re in direct sunlight. This is a great accompaniment for an afternoon relaxing in the garden with a glass of juice, made all the better by the fact that it doesn’t require constant charging.
An RC drone is a remote controlled flying vehicle, with the term normally being used to refer to four-bladed ‘quadcopters’. These are great because they offer a lot more stability than a helicopter or plane allowing beginners and newcomers to enjoy flying. The best models also come with built in cameras allowing you to capture unique angles when photographing your garden or filming a party. Great for professional photographers, for hobbyists, for big kids and for anyone else who wants to enjoy a piece of fun tech in the garden! They can be bought surprisingly cheaply too!
Want to cool off after playing ball with the kids? Then how about a hot shower courtesy of a solar powered garden shower? That’s right, you can now get hot water for free thanks to solar technology and this is always a crowd pleasure when you have guests over.
This is great if you’re also investing in solar lighting and solar lanterns to reduce your impact on the environment.
During this high tech day in the garden, you might well want something to eat. A barbeque might not be what you think of when you hear the words ‘high tech’, but these days there are many machines that fit that description. Some of these come with steel burners, cupboards and drawers, a hob and more.
Your day outside is also not complete without a great sound system to provide the tunes. For this you again have lots of options, but it’s worth shopping around to find something that has all the bells and whistles. You can even get speakers these days that are water proof and suitable to come in the pool with you!