A lantern is one of the essentials to pack when going on a camping or backpacking trip. A solar lantern is a very convenient option for outdoor adventures. It packs light and small, and you don’t have to lug around fuel or battery packs. All you have to do is ensure the solar panels get enough sunlight and they will collect enough charge to light your tent at night.
Our solar lantern reviews will send light on the best solar lanterns for backpacking and camping. The best solar lanterns should provide bright and long-lasting light and be rugged enough to withstand the rigors of camping. For tips on how to pick a solar lantern, you can count on while in the great outdoors, be sure to check our choosing guide further down.
How To Choose A Solar Lantern For Backpacking – Buying Guide
Installation/Area of Use
The best solar camping lantern to get comes down to how you will be using it while camping. If you need your camping lantern to light up a whole campsite, you will need powerful solar outdoor lanterns.
For lighting up a hiking trail, you will need a lightweight light you can hold easily and even use as a flashlight. Finally, a lamp for the interior of the tent should have a stable base so you can rest it on the camp table or floor, and a hook so you can hang it.
Scope of Light and Luminosity
Unlike a flashlight, a camping lantern provides a much broader light that covers a wide area. Some models have 360-degree light dispersion while others allow you to direct the light where you need it.
When evaluating camping lanterns, their lumen rating will tell you the kind of light output you can expect. The best solar lanterns are bright enough to light up the interior of the tent. If you need a campsite light, you will need the brightest solar camping lantern you can get.
Charging Time and Run Time
Finding out how long it takes the lantern to charge fully via its solar panel, and the run time it provides on a single charge, will ensure you get a solar lantern you can rely on when out there. Solar-powered camp lanterns require 4-12 hours of exposure to direct sunlight to charge fully. As for run time, a full charge can provide light for at least 3 hours, depending on the model and light settings.
Since you will be leaving your solar lantern outdoors to charge, it should be able to withstand sun, rain, wind, cold, and snow without falling. Choosing a water-resistant or waterproof camping lantern gives you confidence that the battery cells and other interior components are sealed and won’t be affected by the weather.
Construction and Durability
Solar lanterns outdoors should be sturdy enough to handle the rigors of packing, transportation, and usage in the great outdoors. They should be made of high-quality materials and have a durable design that can withstand shocks due to bumps and drops. Checking solar lantern reviews is also a fantastic way to find out how the solar lantern holds up in the great outdoors.
To improve reliability, solar lanterns have multiple power options. In addition to having inbuilt-solar panels to harness solar power, having a solar lantern you can also plug directly into an outlet, charge using your power bank, run on disposable batteries, or charge via hand crank gives you peace of mind that you won’t be in the dark even if the sun doesn’t come out.
Size and Weight
As with all camping and backpacking gear, solar camping lights should be packable and portable. To strike the balance between portable size and performance, the best solar lanterns have a collapsible design. They collapse into a compact form for packing and transportation and expand into a full-size lamp to give out the required light intensity.
Design and Ease of Use
For usability, it’s good if the solar lantern has a handle, a hanging hook, and a stable base. As for ease of use, they usually feature an on/off power button and offer an easy way to adjust the light intensity. For collapsible solar lanterns, collapsing and expanding them should be an easy task. Attractive solar lanterns are also a nice plus.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Solar Lights?
The main benefit of using solar lights is that they are renewable energy sources. When it comes to camping, the advantage of using a solar lantern is that you don’t have to buy and lug along fuel canisters or batteries. Relying on the sun’s light means that you have constant power wherever you are. Being a clean source of light also makes a solar lamp the ideal tent light.
Q: What If There Is No Sunlight?
By making the most of the indirect sunlight that penetrates through the clouds, your solar-powered lantern will still charge even when the day is overcast. Most solar-powered camping lights also use multiple power sources which enables you to charge via a power bank or mains socket if the sun doesn’t appear.
Q: How Do Solar-powered Lights Work?
Solar-powered lights work by harnessing the energy the sun gives off and storing it for later use. They are equipped with solar panels and rechargeable batteries. To charge, they require exposure to sunlight for 4 to 12 hours. Sunlight passes through the solar panel and the solar cells convert the sunlight into a direct current that charges the battery. The battery then powers up the light at night.
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Solar lanterns are a great environmentally friendly way to light up a campsite or the inside of a tent. We hope this guide has given you all the information you need to choose one of the best solar lanterns that will provide bright and long-lasting light during your camping adventures.