Solar power has come a long way in a short space of time. It used to be seen as bulky, unreliable and expensive but much has changed. There can still a big difference in quality from one brand to the next, however, and choosing the best solar lantern is important.

In order to choose the best solar camping lantern there are a few things that you need to consider such as how much light they are going to produce, how much charge they will hold, if they are weatherproof and also other aspects such as how durable they are.

Here we will help you by explaining those key aspects and we have also completed solar lantern reviews in order to show you the best lanterns available. Once we’ve finished, you’ll know exactly what makes a great lantern and have confidence in choosing the perfect one for your situation

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How To Choose A Solar Lantern  For Backpacking – Buying Guide

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Installation and/or Area of Use

Before you decide to buy a solar lantern it’s important to consider exactly how you are going to be using it and where. If you are in different environments then you will have different needs, so knowing where you will be placing your lantern is important.

If you need your camping lantern to help light up a whole camp then you are going to need a lantern that is able to shine very brightly and give a lot of courage. Likewise, if you were hoping to light up a path on a hiking trail, then you would need a good amount of brightness.

If you are only going to need your camping lantern for lighting up your tent, then you will only be looking for a very small level of brightness. You will also want a hook to be able to hang it up so that you don’t have to hold it while you are in your tent.

In order to have multiple uses for your camping lantern, it’s a good idea to look for one that has multiple levels of illumination. Having a low and high brightness mode will allow you to get more use out of your lantern and be able to use it in multiple areas.

Scope of Light and Luminosity

With regular camping lanterns, you aren’t going to get the brightest light available and that is the same with solar lanterns. The reason for that is partly due to the fact that they can’t use up too much energy but also because they aren’t intended to be used in the same way like a flashlight.

If you are looking for a specific level of light then it is a good idea to get a flashlight that is going to light up your path or whole areas. A camping lantern is meant to be a much broader light that is able to cover a wide area but one that won’t be too bright.

For this reason, it’s good to get a light that is going to be able to shine at a 360-degree angle. That way you will be able to shine the whole of a tent or a camp and you won’t have to worry about having to shine the lantern in a particular direction.

In terms of luminosity, this is generally measured in lumens and you want a light that is going to be able to shine brightly enough for your needs but not too brightly that it is going blind everyone in the area. If you had a camping lantern that had the luminosity of a flashlight then it could be very unpleasant.

Charging Time/Run Time

When you are going to be using a solar light your fear is that it is going to run out of power quickly and it is not going to be able to charge very quickly either. There are quite a few factors that are going to determine the charging time as you never know how much light you are going to get.

If you’re backpacking, you want to make sure that you are getting a camping lantern that is going to be able to hang off the back of your backpack and be able to catch the sun’s rays while you are walking along to give it the best chance of charging.

You never know how much charge it is going to be able to get through and therefore having backup options are a good idea. Having a camping light that you can plug in, put in some batteries or hand crank would be a great way to make sure that you never run out of light.

Run time is important to check as you want to make sure that you are going to be able to get enough light to last you for a whole night. Most of these lights are not going to have a problem with that and a full charge should last around 10 hours.

Weatherproofing

If you are going to be leaving your camping lantern outdoors then you want to make sure that it’s not going to fail at the first sign of rain. Having a level of water resistance is absolutely vital, otherwise you’ll end up having to buy a new light very quickly.

There are some lanterns that are completely waterproof and able to offer you the highest level of protection. These will be extremely useful in making sure that you will always have a light available and one that will survive extreme conditions.

These lanterns aren’t the most durable products in the world but they are going to give you good protection from the weather. It’s good to make sure that you are getting a quality product from a reputable company, and possibly one that was a good warranty.

Construction of the Lantern

The overall construction of the lantern in going to be an important part of the reason you should buy a lantern as it has to be made of the highest quality but it also has to be suitable for the uses that you are going to have for it.

This is a product that is going to be outdoors for a long period of time and therefore the requirements for it to be strong and durable are higher than a lot of other products. This is going to be especially important if you are backpacking.

Another huge consideration when it comes to the construction of the lantern is whether or not you are getting a foldable design or a more classical lantern. This will depend on your own need and whether you are backpacking or just camping.

Power Sources

The one common link that all these products have it that they are going to be able to be powered by solar light, this will help to charge them up when some of the sun’s rays are beating down on them but there are also plenty of other power options too. This will help to give you a great backup option should you run out of solar light.

Possibly the most common power source is having the ability to be charged by USB. This is a good method for whenever you are going to be close to a power source as it will allow you to get a quick and easy charge of your camping lantern and restore its battery.

Another method that is available is plugging it directly into an outlet, either by your vehicle or a DC power cable. Like USB, this will allow a more immediate charge but obviously depends on you being close to a power source, which may be difficult when you are camping.

Batteries are a great backup method for these types of lanterns as it means you don’t have to worry about running out of charge or finding an electricity port. Carrying spare batteries will give you peace of mind that you are never going to be without light.

Another great method is having a hand crank where you manually turn a handle in order to create electricity. This obviously requires some effort but it does mean that it’s impossible for you to run out of light and always give you a backup option to your solar panels.

Size/Compactness

Before you go anywhere, it’s important to look at how big your lantern is going to be and how easy it is going to be to carry. A lot of these lanterns are able to collapse down to a very small size which makes them very easy to take with you on a backpack.

Some of these lights are perfect for camping while others are more designed for backpacking. If you are going to be backpacking then you want to get one of these lights that collapse. There are other collapsible lights which fold down to around half their size. They are not quite as compact but you should still be able to take them in a backpack.

There is the other type of lantern which is the full-sized options which aren’t collapsible. These are bulkier in size but very easy to use and can be hung up anywhere in your camp. These types of lights aren’t really ideal for backpacking but they make the perfect camping tool.

Durability

Whenever you are getting a backpacking or camping product, you want to make sure that it is going to be able to cope with the environment that it is in. Due to that, you need to ensure that your lantern is well-built and able to cope with the camping environment.

This is one place where checking the user reviews is going to be a great idea as you will see comments from people who have been using the lantern for a long time. Here you will be able to get a sense of just how durable they are and how long they will last.

If a company is offering a strong warranty then you always feel as though they have a lot of confidence in their product. It will also give you peace of mind that should anything be wrong with it, you know that you are going to be covered.

Design

The design of the solar light needs to meet your needs and how you plan on using it, a lot of these lights have a very similar design where they will have the solar panel on the top of them and can be collapsible when they are not in use.

This is a very clever design that means the device is able to be highly portable but can still be extended as a fully working light. The traditional type of lanterns will often have a stainless steel guard around them to protect the LED lights.

FAQs

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Q: What Are The Benefits Of Solar Lights?

A: There are a few reasons solar lights are very popular with one of the main ones being that you don’t have to worry about finding additional power sources when you are outdoors. Relying on the sun’s light can mean that you have constant power wherever you are.

They are also highly popular due to the fact that they are more environmentally friendly. It helps to avoid the use of batteries and is a sustainable power source for us to use. Having that clean source of light will not only be clean but it is constant too.

Q: What If There Is No Sunlight?

A: Solar power doesn’t work without sunlight, everyone knows that. It is vital that the light passes through the solar panel in order to charge the battery. This doesn’t require a completely clear day though and you don’t have to worry too much.

If it is cloudy, then those rays of visible light are still going to be hitting the panel. As long as the sun is brightening up the sky, some charge is going to be getting to it. It is a fact though that the cloudier it is, the less charge you have which is why it’s great to get a backup power source.

Q: How Do Solar Powered Lights Work?

A: The sun obviously has a huge amount of power and these lights work by transferring the energy that comes from it into stored energy that can be used at a later date. Solar power technology has moved a long way in a short space of time which is why you are able to get long-lasting and affordable power from such a small source.

Globo Surf Overview

Solar lanterns are a great way to go on a camping trip without having to worry too much about how you are going to power all of your electrical items. It is able to give you a long-lasting light without you even trying.

They are a great addition to a campsite and will give you a great light for a social camping situation or allow you to see what you are doing in your tent. Getting the right one is important though as there is a lot of choice out there, firstly you need to decide what type of lantern you want.

If you are just heading to a permanent camp then getting a classic lantern would be perfect as you could hang it up and let it shine. If you are backpacking though you would ideally want a collapsible lantern that you would be able to place on the back of your backpack.

Looking at backup power options, the design and the brightness are also important steps. Once you know exactly what type of light you need, you can then head out there and enjoy the new light shining across your camp. Hopefully this guide has given you all the information you need to be able to choose the perfect lantern for you.

More Camping Reviews:

Globo Surf Solar Lanterns For Camping And Backpacking Reviews

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I got a solar lantern because the place where we decided to camp didn't have any source of electricity and it turned out to be the best purchase I have made in my life.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!