It’s easy to forget just how dark it can get when you’re out there camping. After that sun goes down you can hardly see anything when the city lights are long gone. This is where the best camping lantern can transform your camp and allow you to actually see what you’re doing.
To find the best LED lantern though you need to take a few key factors into account such as how you are going to power the lantern and how much it’s going to cost you to operate. After that there are other key factors such as the weight of the lantern, how long it’s going to last and its brightness among other factors.
That’s where we’re here to help as we have developed a buying guide to answer all your questions and have also looked at the camping lantern reviews to show you the best products on the market. After you’ve read through this guide you’ll have the confidence to pick her perfect product for you.
How To Choose The Best Camping Lantern – Buying Guide
When it comes to the power source of lanterns then they will be either powered by gas or electricity, and electric models will either be powered by batteries, rechargeable batteries or by solar. Most of the products now are electrically powered LED lights as they offer the most advantages.
When it comes to your choice in this matter then it comes down to your situation and how accessible certain things are going to be. If you are taking a standard electric lantern then you need to make sure that you have enough access to batteries in order to keep them going once they have run out.
If it’s rechargeable batteries that you have then you need to check that you’re going to be close enough to a power source in order to power them up whenever you need them. There are products out there which mix rechargeable batteries with solar power to give yourself a good mix of different power options.
If you’re not going to have access to any power sources or batteries then choosing a lantern that runs off gas would be a good option as you can top this up with fuel whenever you need it. The major downside to this though is that the lamp will emit fumes so it’s not ideal for it to be placed in a small tent.
Electric has long since overtaken gas as the power source of choice as it is obviously a lot cleaner and doesn’t require the same amount of attention. If you’re getting any light though it’s vital to plan ahead and make sure that your power source doesn’t run out and you’re not left in the dark
Cost Of Operation
Each different type of camping lantern is going to have their own individual costs and it’s important to factor this in before you make any type of buying decision. If you’re going on a one off trip then it’s not going to be as important but if you’re the type who uses these light regularly then it’s something that you need to keep your eye on.
In terms of operating costs then battery powered models are going to be the most expensive. While it feels as though most types of technology have moved on in the last few years, the same can’t really be said for batteries as they still require constant replacement or recharging. Due to this you want a good stock of batteries if you’re choosing this option or be in close proximity to somewhere that sells them.
If you’re a heavy user of you camping lantern then this could lead to significant costs so you need to bear this in mind when you make your buying decision. There are rechargeable batteries which are a great option if you are near to a power source that is able to charge them. If you’re not then this could leave you without a light at all. The ability to recharge these lights makes them by far the cheapest to operate but there are difficulties to it.
If that is coupled with a solar charger then you have the ability to recharge those batteries another way where you don’t need access to a power source but obviously the sun would have to be shining and if you’re hiking then these lights would obviously have to be outside the bag in order to for them to be charged. Obviously the price of the sun though is nothing so you don’t have to worry about any operational costs
In the middle of those to price ranges are gas powered burners as over the course of the same lifespan, the fuel required for a gas burner would be cheaper than the batteries required to charge an electric lantern. Carrying spare fuel around though is probably going to be a lot less convenient than carrying some spare batteries so there is that to factor in as well.
In regards to the initial costs all of the product types are on a similar level and the difference in prices often come down to build quality and additional features among other factors so it’s only really the operational costs that you need to worry about.
Weight And Bulk
The weight and bulk of a camping lantern are important depending on what activity you intend to be doing. You always want all your camping devices to be as light as possible but if you’re not going to be hiking a long distance to your camp then it matters a lot less what weight you are going to be carrying.
If you are going to be hiking for a long distance then you want your camping lantern to not only be light in weight but also small in size as well. If you want to have a lantern which is as small as possible then you need to look at electrical models which can fold down to a much smaller size.
There are some of these electrical lanterns which can fold down to a very small size and are easy to carry with you to wherever you want to go. If you need a very low weight for your light then it’s always important to check the product specifications first to ensure that it is the size you were hoping and expecting it to be.
Many of these products are very light though so it shouldn’t really be an issue. Gas lanterns are generally heavier and you have to worry about carrying any fuel as well which is important to consider. Also, if you are using a solar camping lantern then you don’t have to worry about carrying any batteries.
Lumens And Light Output
When it comes to any product there is always a line of thinking that bigger is better so when it comes to lumens the thinking would be that the bigger the number, the better that it’s going to be for your camping situation. With these types of light especially though that really isn’t the case as it depends on the situation that you’re in and what you want to use the lantern for.
A lumen is a term of measurement which determines who much visible light is passed into the eyes from a source. So as you can imagine here, the higher the number the brighter a bulb will appear to you. For a figure of reference, a normal house light will probably be around 800 lumens and one single candlelight will probably be about 12.
If then, you want to have a light that is going to fit into your tent so you can read or get changed etc. in an evening then having a lantern that shines at 1,1000 lumens would probably be far too bright for such a small space. On the flipside of that, if you want to socialize outdoors with the rest of the camp then getting a lantern with an output of 200 lumens won’t do.
This is a case of knowing what you are buying the lantern for. Thankfully a lot of these products have the option of either have a low light or a high light meaning that you can have the best of both worlds. What is clear though is that you shouldn’t just be aiming for the product which has the highest amount of lumens as you need one which is going to match your situation.
Another key feature to look out for is a product which has a light output which is able to produce some form of emergency light. This is usually in the form of a flashing light which will be able to alert anyone around you that you are in some form of distress. This can obviously be an extremely useful feature and could help you get the attention you’re looking for a lot sooner.
A camp lantern isn’t going to be much use if it keeps going off as you need your light to be durable and last for a very long time, especially when you are out there all alone in the dark. Light duration then is key for your camping trip to make sure that you always have the light available that you need.
This comes down to two different factors with the first one being the type of light that you have. Of course camping lanterns used to be mainly incandescent lanterns and these are still available to be bought on the market but have been overwhelmed on the market now by LED light bulbs as they have many more significant advantages.
The LED light is the number one choice now for a few reasons. LED lights don’t get as hot as other lightbulbs which is great for a confined space as a tent as you’re a lot less likely to burn yourself or suffer from the light overheating. LED lights also don’t take up too much energy as well meaning that they don’t take as much energy away from the battery as other lights can.
Perhaps their biggest quality though is how long they shine for as LED lights generally last for around 10,000 hours which is probably far going to exceed the life of your camping lantern. This amazing lifespan means that you can rely on the light to keep shining for years to come and will last you for much longer than any other option.
While the blub will be good to go for what seems like forever, it’s not going to be able to shine if it has not got any power going to it. You want to ensure that the lantern is able to host enough batteries that it is going to be able to shine for a long time and a lot of companies will list this run time on their listing.
This can also be helped be the camping lantern having a brightness adjustment on it, either with a dial that can change the brightness or a setting which has different light settings on it so that you’re not using the full power and draining the battery so quickly.
If you’re going to be in a tent then size is going to be an issue as anything too large is going to start getting in your way and you could well be knocking into it time and time again which could be very frustrating. Some of the products that we have listed here have a very low profile to combat this problem.
Having the ability to hook your camping lantern into your tent can be a great feature and one which will be highly convenient. With a lot of camping lanterns they have to be placed on the floor which can not only get in the way but often the light will be blocked by other things in the tent. Furthermore, if you are wanting to be doing an activity such as reading then the light is going to be shining in the wrong direction if it’s on the floor.
This is why hanging it up is so important but if you want to be able to do this then you want to ensure that it is going to be small enough in size to be able to do this. If you have a very large tent then this isn’t going to be much of an issue but if you have a small tent then you will want the smallest size possible.
That isn’t the only reason that you want a camping lantern though as another common use is to be able to light up your whole camp so that you are able to keep the day rolling until it’s time to head off to your tent. If you’re lighting up your camp then you want the opposite as you’re probably looking for a camping lantern that has the biggest size possible and also one with a 360 degree light as well.
If you’re looking for a light to be able to do both then you need to make the compromise and this is here a lantern which has features such as folding legs or a handle which will mean that the product can become a lot more compact whenever you need it to be. With the size you simply have to be aware of your own needs and what you need in order to satisfy them.
Ease Of Use
When it comes to any kind of camping equipment you want it to be as easy to use as possible because you are often in dark or cramped environment where you need things to work exactly how you want them to work. There are a number of features on a camping lantern which will make it easier to use.
Starting with the handle you need the camping lantern to be easy to carry to wherever you want to go so that it is highly portable but you don’t won’t this handle to get in the way of anything so the ability for it to fold down will add to its ease of use. That handle as well can double up as something to hang you light up with put a lot of products also come with a smaller hook underneath the lantern.
You also want your camping lantern to have a very easy switch system and this generally seen by having clear and simple buttons to let you know exactly what you are doing and this is especially important if your camping lantern has numerous different lighting modes which you will be able to easily flick through.
There are other aspects too such as you want to make sure that the batteries are going to be easily replaced with clear indications about which was around they need to be. A really good port of call with these types of queries is to check the user reviews on a product, this way you’ll be able to see if anyone has any gripes about a product’s ease of use.
Q: How To Maintain Camping Lanterns?
A: One of the big benefits of owning an electric camping lantern is that is doesn’t generally require a lot of maintenance at all. The light bulb itself doesn’t need any maintaining but there are certain things that you can do to ensure that it stays in the best possible condition.
One of those things is to just simply keep the base clean which involves detaching the lens from the base and clearing out anything that might have fallen into it. This is important to prevent the build-up of anything which might actually damage the lantern over time.
You also want to make sure that the lens is clean as well so you don’t have any blurring or anything which could be affecting the brightness of the lantern. This only needs a simple wipe down but at this stage you need to also inspect it to see if there are any scratches of grazes which might affect the brightness of the lantern
Q: How Often Should I Clean My Lantern?
A: Ideally you should be looking to clean your lantern after every trip and before you store it away you want to make sure that it is cleaned and ready to be used as soon as you get it back out again. If you don’t do this then you risk things affecting the lamp while it is stored away. When you clean it though, you want to make sure that it is fully dry before you pack it away.
Q: What Are Lumens?
A: Lumens are a figure which is a measurement of how much visible light is getting to your eye. This is important as, unlike with other types of light measure, this is a true reflection on the amount of light you see. Therefore, the more lumens that you have in a camping lantern, the brighter that it’s going to be. You will see lumens on every light products you see as it has become the standard measure against which light is judged.
Q: How Many Lumens Do I Need?
A: This depends on what you are going to be doing with your lumens. If you intend the light up a whole campsite then you’ll be looking at having as many lumens as possible with a minimum of around 600 but hoping to get nearer the 1,000 mark as this is a situation where you’re probably thinking the brighter, the better.
If you’re in a tent though it would be a nightmare to get a light that bright so choosing one with a lot fewer lumens would probably be ideal but having a camping lantern that can do both by having a high and a low switch would probably be ideal. Even though lumens is a key statistic of a light, you probably don’t need as many as you think.
Q: Are Camping Lanterns Safe?
A: camping lanterns these days are very safe and even fuel powered lanterns have a number of different safety features included which will mean that you are able to have peace of mind knowing that the lantern isn’t going to set anything on fire. Electric lanterns are extremely safe, especially if they have an LED bulb as this won’t get very hot so it has no danger of burning anything. With gas lanterns you just have to be more aware of keeping it upright, keeping the fuel secured correctly and also making sure it is well ventilated as well.
Q: How To Light A Camping Lantern?
A: Obviously if you have an electric camping lantern then this can be done simply by the flick of a switch but if you have a fueled lantern then this is going to be a lot more difficult and you need to know the steps that you need to take.
All fuel lanterns will light slightly differently but the general gist is the same. It first needs to be pressurized and then you need to be able to turn a knob which will be able to control the pressure which in turn will enable the lantern to light.
Globo Surf Overview
Camping lanterns can be used for a wide variety of different reasons but when you’re out in the darkness but you will defiantly find yourself needing camping lights at one stage so choosing the best product for you is important.
That though is easier said than done as there are a lot of things to consider before you make your buying decision. The biggest factor is how your lantern is going to be powered and on this list we have rechargeable batteries, normal batteries and also fuel powered lanterns as well. This depends on your own needs and whether you are able to carry the batteries or fuel that you need.
Electric battery operated lanterns dominate the market as they are the most practical but also the safest as well. If you have a rechargeable though then this is going to have the lowest cost of operation as all you need to power it is either a power source from an outlet or from the sun. General batteries are the most expensive option and fuel sits somewhere in between.
You also want to make sure that the lantern will be able to fit in with the size and weight of your needs which is based on your individual preference as if you’re in a tent then you probably want a small light whereas if you’re in a campsite then you probably want a big one.
In terms of brightness this also comes down to in a personal preference on your needs as well and bigger isn’t always better as you want a brightness which is going to match your situation. You have two options here as you can either opt for a product which has a fixed amount of lumens or you can go for one which has a number of different settings so you’re able to dictate exactly how bright the light is going to be. After these considerations you also want to make sure that you have a light which is going to last for a long time and is also easy to use.
Once you have all of this figured out then you’ll have all the knowledge that you need in order to get the top rated LED lantern for you, or you may want to opt for a fueled model instead. Whatever option you pick, with your new light you’ll be able to head out into camp knowing you’ll never be in the dark again.
More Camping Reviews:
- Camping Coffee Maker
- Camping Table
- Night Vision Binoculars
- Camping Cookware
- Lunch Cooler
- Fleece Jacket
- Personal Locator Beacon
- Teepee Tent
Globo Surf Camping Lanterns Reviews