Are you searching for the best solar camping lanterns?
Whether camping or in an emergency situation, a solar rechargeable lantern is the perfect light solution. With that in mind I have reviewed the top models available and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.
Check the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my picks, or read on for the full review:
- Moses Industries Solar Camping Lantern
- TANSOREN 4-Pack Portable LED Lantern
- EACHPOLE 3-Pack Camping LED
- Bigfoot Outdoor Products
- CMB 2-in-1 Rechargeable
Quality lighting is an essential aspect that’s either going to make your outdoor excursion a joyful and enjoyable experience or a massive thorn in your side.
Solar lanterns are lifesavers when it comes to providing a reliable and affordable source of light on your camping trips without occupying much space. This article will shine some light on the various attributes that you need to pay attention to and then reveal my picks for the best solar camping lanterns.
Selecting a Solar Camping Lantern
There are a few factors that are going to influence your decision of picking the right solar lantern, such as their design, power sources, luminosity, and their charging/run time. Let’s go over each point and find out what makes a good solar lantern.
The design of your solar lantern should be the first thing to consider as they must meet your needs and how you intend on using them. The lantern must be compact and lightweight enough to carry around. A lot of designs tend to have a collapsible solar panel on top which is helpful for when they’re not in use. It also allows the lantern to function as a fully working light.
Make sure the lantern has metal handles that allow you to hold it easily while moving around. Further, if you’re going to keep your lantern outdoors then you need to make sure that the design is waterproof and won’t be failing you in the pouring rain. Resistance to water is very important and should be accounted for as a deal breaker if not present in a lantern.
Aside from solar energy being the primary source of power, your lantern should have other options as a backup in case you run out of solar light. Most solar lanterns have the alternative of being charged via USB. Other lanterns are charged by plugging into a direct power outlet, like your car or a DC cable.
Arguably the most common power backup method found in solar lanterns are batteries. Carrying spare batteries will reduce your chances of running out of power and the need to find an electricity port if you do.
Modern lanterns come carrying built-in power banks in case you weren’t able to locate a power source to charge it. This is also a cool feature because you’re able to charge your mobile phone using the power bank within your lantern.
There’s always the fear that your lantern is going to run out of power quickly. There are a few things that you can do to ensure that your lantern is getting as much charging time as possible. You need to make sure that your lantern can hang off the back of your backpack as you’re walking along so that it soaks in as much sunlight as it can. Also, it’s crucial to carry spare batteries at all times.
Luminosity is a term that refers to the brightness of the light and it’s measured in lumens. You obviously want the lantern to emit light that’s bright enough for you to see clearly and isn’t too bright that blinds you and everyone around. The more lumens a light got the brighter it’s going to be. A large majority of solar lanterns are capable of emitting light in three modes which include high, low, and SOS for versatility.
5 Best Solar Camping Lanterns
Moses Industries Solar Camping Lantern
This LED camping lantern from Moses Industries is a very versatile and compact light source that works great for virtually any situation. Aside from its ability to draw out energy from sunlight, it has the option to be recharged using a micro USB port. This lantern has three lighting modes which are low, high, and SOS flashing mode.
This lantern can be utilized as an emergency power bank when you need to charge your mobile device. The collapsible design makes it easy to carry it with wherever you go. It can also fit easily in your pocket or your backpack and it’s small enough to keep it hanging inside a tent or off your backpack.
The lantern is able to emit at least 65 lumens when working on high brightness and at least 25 lumens on its low mode. When it’s fully charged, the built-in battery can last 10 hours or more on low brightness and 5 hours on high brightness. The battery usually takes from 4 to 6 hours to be fully charged from an external power adapter.
- Can be charged via a USB port
- A lengthy run time when fully charged
- Works as an emergency power bank
- Extremely compact and easy to pack
- Not the brightest lantern on the list
- Unfolding this lantern is kind of hard
TANSOREN 4-Pack Portable LED Lantern
Your camping expedition is going to light up with not one but four solar lanterns that emit omnidirectional LED light. This lighting unit has three power supply methods that include a built-in rechargeable battery, 5V DC USB charging port, and of course the mighty power of sunlight. With such versatility, you’ll never find yourself running out of power.
This lantern also allows you to utilize it as a backup charger for your Android device via the USB port if your battery dies. Please note that you can’t charge an Apple device using this port. While it’s advertised that the design is collapsible, it’s really just the handles that you can pull up to use the lantern. You can adjust the brightness or shut the lantern off with a single push.
The lantern is hand-built with a military grade plastic that’s resistant to water, which makes them durable in extreme conditions. The run time of this lantern is 8 hours when fully charged and it can produce up to 180 lumens of brightness. Overall, a great lantern for the indoors and outdoors.
- Waterproof military grade plastic
- Has an S hook to allow it to hang
- Four for one pack
- Ample degree of luminosity
- The design isn’t really collapsible
- Not the best looking lantern
EACHPOLE 3-Pack Camping LED Lantern
Not only is this a solar camping lantern, but it’s also a super bright handheld flashlight with a handle for you to carry it with. The bottom of the lantern can be turned on with a button that transforms it into its handheld flashlight form. So whether you’re seeking 360-degree light or a focused scope of light, this is your lantern.
This highly versatile lantern has a rechargeable cell that can be charged using solar energy or by using the included DC charging cable. Like most lanterns, it can also be utilized as a charging power bank for your mobile device in emergencies. The lantern is easily collapsible and the handles can be folded to achieve a compact profile.
The incorporation of 6 LED lights within this lantern makes for a very saturated 360-degree illumination that can light up the darkest of places. The design is waterproof and can withstand the harshest weather conditions. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate how light and efficient this lantern is.
- Works as a lantern and a flashlight
- Collapsible design and foldable handles
- Rechargeable via solar panel and DC cable
- Great luminosity from 6 LED lights
- Users reported that the USB doesn’t charge
- The cords can be enhanced upon
Bigfoot Outdoor Products Solar Lantern
This small pocket LED solar lantern can be entirely collapsed to make it even smaller. When charged, it can provide up to 10 hours of lighting with a level of luminosity that can reach 65 lumens on high and 25 on low. Not to mention the SOS mode as well. This is arguably the coolest looking lantern on this list.
The Bigfoot lantern has a large 800mAh/3.7V Li cell that can be charged through the power of sunlight and through a USB cable. The USB outlet also allows it to function as an emergency power bank that can power any USB device.
The only thing that seems compromised is the SOS functionality as it seems like the duration of the dots and the dashes are not distinguishable, which leads it to look like just a regular flashing light and not an SOS signal.
- The lantern is entirely collapsible
- Three working functionalities
- Really small and extremely compact
- Can be charged by solar energy and USB
- Can be used to charge USB devices
- SOS functionality is compromised
- The construction is a little fragile
CMB 2-in-1 Rechargeable Camping Lantern
This is the second collapsible lantern on this list that can function as a handheld flashlight with an ample degree of luminosity that reaches 50 to 60 lumens. The NiMH built-in battery can be recharged through the solar panel or through a DC power cable.
This lantern saves on energy to keep itself aglow in low brightness for up to 12 hours or more. Foldaway handles allow for easy suspension and portability. The construction of this lantern is made out of water-resistant plastic, making it durable in the harshest weather conditions.
The only problem with this lantern is that the whole package isn’t really up there in terms of quality. It doesn’t come with a manual or at least any sort of guidance on the battery charging. While it does the job fairly well, it just feels like a product that’s uncared for, which makes you question why you would even care.
- Works as a lantern and handheld flashlight
- Run time can reach 12 hours on low
- Foldaway handles allow for easy suspension
- Water resistant construction
- Brightness isn’t impressive
- No manual or instructions whatsoever
For more guides and tips read these articles:
- Best Marine Solar Panels
- Best Solar Attic Fan
- Best Solar Generator
- Best Solar Panels for RV’s
- Best Solar Refrigerator
- Best Solar Pathway Lights
- Best Solar Shed Light
- How solar power works
- RV Solar Kit
Overall, it seems like each product loses a few favor points here and there, but the lantern that managed to stand out as the clear winner among these five is the EACHPOLE 3-Pack Camping LED Lantern for its great luminosity and for its ability to function as a handheld flashlight. Were you able to pick the right solar lantern for you based on the information we’ve provided? Let us know which product works best for you.
Fred is the Ready Zeal owner and editor. He has been passionately pursuing all things emergency preparation since working alongside his grandfather as a boy growing up in the Midwest. When not working on the family homestead he can be found brewing coffee and reading a good book or backpacking in the wilderness.