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The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023

Whether heading into the backcountry or lighting up the night while car camping, we've found the best camping lanterns for every use and budget.

Best Camping Lantern _ PC: Mallory Paige
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A good camping lantern is an outdoor essential. It’s a major help while cooking, is great for nightly camp games, and sets just the right outdoor ambiance. Sure, you could just use a flashlight or headlamp, but a lantern lights up the entire camp and makes two-handed tasks easier.

While there isn’t a single best camping lantern for everyone, we sure looked for one, and have tested armfuls of lanterns across many camping seasons to pull together a list of the most worthy light sources to bring on your next wilderness outing.

During our testing, we charged up, gassed up, and lit up our campsites with lanterns — paying special mind to a number of different factors: light output, power supply, burn time, durability, and more. Below we’ve broken the list into handy categories to help you identify the best lantern for your use.

If you’re totally in the dark about what you’re looking for in a lantern, check out our buyer’s guide and FAQ section to better inform your decision. We’ve even thrown together a comparison chart to better guide your way through the night.

Scroll down to see all of our top picks, or jump to the category you’re looking for:

The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023

Best Overall Camping Lantern

BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Lantern


  • Lumens 500 lm max, 5 lm min
  • Power source 6400 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery
  • Burn time 200 hours on low, 5 hours on high
  • Water resistance IPX4 water resistant
  • Weight 13.4 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Ability to recharge electronics from the 6400 mAh power bank
  • Many different modes to choose from and suit the mood
  • ChromaReal LED technology provides excellent full-spectrum light


  • Shake to change functionality isn’t the most intuitive, sometimes doesn’t register
  • We wished all new rechargeable electronics would come standard with USB-C, but this does not
Best Budget Camping Lantern

Black Diamond Moji Lantern


  • Lumens 200 lm max, 4 lm low
  • Power source Three AAA batteries, or a 1500 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery
  • Burn time 70 hours on low
  • Water resistance IPX4 water resistant
  • Weight 6 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Budget price won't hurt your wallet
  • Can be powered by different batteries
  • Compact form factor


  • Not the brightest lantern
  • Won't last too long on the highest setting
Most Versatile Camping Lantern

Fenix CL30R


  • Lumens 650 lm max, 10 lm min
  • Power source Three 2600 mAh 18650 cells
  • Burn time 300 hours on eco, 4 hours 30 minutes on turbo
  • Water resistance IPX7 waterproof
  • Weight 14.5 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Versatile battery source
  • Ability to charge external electronics
  • Very tough design
  • Hang loop and tripod socket


  • Heavier than many similar lanterns
Best Solar Backpacking Lantern

Goal Zero Crush


  • Lumens 60 lm max, 6 lm low
  • Power source 500 mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery
  • Burn time 28 hours on low, 3 hours on high
  • Water resistance Unpublished
  • Weight 3.2 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Very compact when collapsed down
  • Can be recharged via USB or via the integrated solar panel


  • Max claimed run time didn’t quite meet our expectations in testing
Best Candle Lantern

UCO Original Candle Lantern Kit


  • Lumens 20 lm max
  • Power source Candle
  • Burn time 9-12 hrs.
  • Water resistance N/A
  • Weight 6.4 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Can add a little warmth to a chilly campout
  • Natural candle-lit lighting
  • Very easy to use, just light and go


  • Need to be mindful of spilling wax and hot glass
  • No turning up this lantern, the light you get is what you get
Best String Light

MPOWERD Luci String Lights


  • Lumens 100 lm max
  • Power source 2000 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery
  • Burn time 20 hours on low, 5 hours on high
  • Water resistance IPX4 water resistant
  • Weight 11.3 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Ability to light up a broad area, focus on specific zones
  • String lights store on the lantern, limiting tangles


  • The solar panel is small, and the charging capacity is limited
  • Take care not to snag the lights, the wiring can break
Best Portable Gas Lantern

Snow Peak GigaPower Lantern Auto


  • Lumens ~400 lumens
  • Power source Isobutane
  • Burn time 5 hours on a 4 oz. fuel can
  • Water resistance N/A
  • Weight 4.6 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Burns isobutane, which you may already have on hand from making dinner
  • Pleasant and warm light output
  • Piezo ignition makes lighting easy


  • Will need to be used with care, as the glass globe can break
  • You may need an additional canister if you want to cook food and power the lantern
Best of the Rest

Ledlenser ML6 Lantern


  • Lumens 750 lm max, 20 lm min
  • Power source 3000 mAh Li-ion 18650 rechargeable cell
  • Burn time 70 hours on low, 4 hours on high
  • Water resistance IP54 waterproof
  • Weight 9.8 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Utilizes universal 18650 rechargeable battery
  • Impressively durable design
  • Ability to recharge electronics


  • On the pricier end for a lantern
  • Upper rubber loop can come off entirely

Barebones Forest Lantern


  • Lumens 220 lm max
  • Power source 4,400 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery
  • Burn time 80 hours on low, 4 hours on high
  • Water resistance Unpublished
  • Weight 1 lb. 8 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Classic look
  • Integrates modern technology like a rechargeable battery, charge indicator
  • Multiple color options are available


  • On the heavier end for a lantern
  • Not weatherproofed, will need to be protected from adverse conditions

Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Lantern


  • Lumens 600 lm max
  • Power source 5,200 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery
  • Burn time 320 hours on low, 2.5 hours on high
  • Water resistance Unpublished
  • Weight 1 lb., 1.6 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Unique crank ability provides unlimited power supply
  • Simultaneous recharge and discharge means you can provide light while charging


  • The permanently attached USB cord seems like a failure point
  • Wire legs are a bit wobbly

LE LED Camping Lantern


  • Lumens 1,000 lm max
  • Power source Three D batteries
  • Burn time 10-14 hours
  • Water resistance IPX4 water resistant
  • Weight 14 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • A unique removable cap allows for a more direct light beam
  • Smaller size means it won't crowd out your tent or picnic table


  • Eats up batteries quickly if used often, isn’t rechargeable

Goal Zero Lighthouse Micro Flash Lantern


  • Lumens 150 lm max, 7 lm min
  • Power source 2600 mAh rechargeable 18650 cell
  • Burn time 170 hours on low, 7 hours on high
  • Water resistance IPX6
  • Weight 2.4 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Very compact design
  • Integrated USB makes recharging a breeze


  • Limited lumen output is best suited to use inside tents
  • Push button is a bit small

Coleman Deluxe Propane Lantern


  • Lumens 1,000 lm max
  • Power source Propane
  • Burn time 13 hours on low
  • Water resistance N/A
  • Weight 3 lbs.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Classic styling and natural lighting
  • Broad footed base limits risk of tipping


  • Requires consumable propane, which can add up
  • Glass lens can become hot during use

Solight SolarPuff Lantern


  • Lumens 90 lm max, 45 lm min
  • Power source 1,200 mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery
  • Burn time 12 hours on low
  • Water resistance IP68 waterproof
  • Weight 2.6 oz.
The Best Camping Lanterns of 2023


  • Incredible portability and ultralight weight
  • Requires no inflation to expand


  • Limited battery life
  • Not the brightest lantern

Camping Lantern Comparison Chart

Camping LanternLumensPower SourceBurn TimeWater ResistanceWeight
BioLite AlpenGlow
500 Lantern
500 lm max, 5 lm min6400 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery200 hours on low, 5 hours on highIPX4 water resistant13.4 oz.
Black Diamond
Moji Lantern
200 lm max, 4 lm lowThree AAA batteries, or a 1500 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery70 hours on lowIPX4 water resistant6 oz.
Fenix CL30R650 lm max, 10 lm minThree 2600 mAh 18650 cells300 hours on ecoIPX7 waterproof14.5 oz.
Goal Zero Crush60 lm max, 6 lm low500 mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery28 hours on low, 3 hours on highUnpublished3.2 oz.
UCO Original Candle
Lantern Kit
20 lm maxCandle9-12 hrs.N/A6.4 oz.
String Lights
100 lm max2000 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery20 hours on low, 5 hours on highIPX4 water resistant11.3 oz.
Snow Peak GigaPower
Lantern Auto
~400 lumensIsobutane5 hours on a 4 oz. fuel canN/A4.6 oz.
Ledlenser ML6
750 lm max, 20 lm min3000 mAh Li-ion 18650 rechargeable cell70 hours on low, 4 hours on highIP54 waterproof9.8 oz.
Barebones Forest
220 lm max4,400 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery80 hours on low, 4 hours on highUnpublished1 lb., 8 oz.
Goal Zero Lighthouse
600 Lantern
600 lm max5,200 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery320 hours on low, 2.5 hours on highUnpublished1 lb., 1.6 oz.
LE LED Camping
1,000 lm maxThree D batteries10-14 hoursIPX4 water resistant14 oz.
Goal Zero Lighthouse
Micro Flash Lantern
150 lm max, 7 lm min2600 mAh rechargeable 18650 cell170 hours on low, 7 hours on highIPX62.4 oz.
Coleman Deluxe
Propane Lantern
1,000 lm maxPropane13 hours on lowN/A3 lbs.
Solight SolarPuff
90 lm max, 45 lm min1,200 mAh Li-Po rechargeable battery12 hours on lowIP68 waterproof2.6 oz.

Why You Should Trust Us

While putting this list together, our lead tester Austin Beck-Doss was living off-grid and relying on a lantern every single night. Adding to the tester pool is Senior Editor Nick Belcaster, who has spent months at a time outdoors where having the proper illumination is key. To determine the best of the best, these lanterns underwent months of testing and thousands of light hours logged.

The lanterns featured here are the top picks that will stand up to constant use and abuse, from the rigors of packing and unpacking to the perils of rolling around in the back of a car. While testing, we paid particular attention to light output, battery life, and ease of use. We also kept an eye on durability, packability, and overall value.

Outdoor lighting technology is always advancing. Not too many years ago the best you could buy were propane lanterns that, while a classic look, brought along with them some classic issues. Today, most all lanterns depend upon battery power for illumination, with improvements in lithium-polymer and lithium-ion batteries greatly extending burn times. Light element tech has also taken off, with smart LEDs that can change temperature and even color now the standard.

As the tech behind camping lanterns changes, our testing will follow the trends, bringing the best of the best lanterns into the fold.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Camp Lantern

Electric vs. Gas-Powered Lanterns

Choosing between an electric and a gas-powered lantern comes down to what features you prefer. Electric lanterns are quiet, lightweight, and safe to use inside a tent.

However, alkaline batteries lose about half their capacity when temperatures drop below freezing, and rechargeable batteries may not last on multi-day trips without a recharge.

Gas-powered lanterns like the Snow Peak GigaPower Lantern Auto are bright, have a long burn time, and work well in sub-freezing temperatures (the runtime drops, but not as much as when using alkaline batteries). Because they use a live flame, they are hot to the touch, need to be used away from flammable materials, and require ventilation. They are also more fragile than electric lanterns.

BioLite and GoalZero Camping Lanterns
While gas lanterns give off a classic warm light, many modern electric lanterns are getting pretty good at emulating that light; (photo/Nick Belcaster)


Lanterns need to be bright enough to light up an area, but not so striking that they’ll temporarily blind you if you accidentally look at them. Most lanterns have a lumen output somewhere between 200 and 500 lumens. This is more than enough to light up most camping spaces.

If you’re looking for a more pleasant glow, 60 to 100 lumens will work well. Lanterns like the Solight SolarPuff Lantern or the Black Diamond Moji Lantern work well for use inside a tent.

Black Diamond Moji Lantern in Tent
Ounces matter on the Alaskan tundra, and a lightweight but powerful lantern like the Black Diamond Moji is just the ticket; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

LED vs. Incandescent

Lanterns of old all utilized incandescent bulbs to provide their light, but these have largely gone away in favor of LEDs. Light-emitting diodes are far more energy efficient — often more than 75% — and have a lifespan that exceeds the wire filaments of incandescent bulbs.

Another benefit of LEDs is they have a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) level, a measurement of how natural colors render in certain light. Lanterns like the BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Lantern boast a CRI of 90 and produce high-quality color lighting.

One downside, however, is that LEDs are typically not user replaceable. Thankfully, the lifespan of an LED is often given in years, not months, so barring a faulty light, you should never run into the issue.

Weight and Packed Size

Consider how you will be using your lantern. For car camping, weight and packed size are not going to be an issue. If you plan on packing your lantern into the woods, however, you’re going to want something lighter that won’t take up much pack space. If you’re going backpacking, look for a small or collapsible lantern. A good flashlight or a headlamp may even be in order.

Many backpacking lanterns are also lightweight, so you won’t have a problem finding one that weighs under half a pound. Quite a few in this list fit those categories — and some of our favorites to bring along on weight-conscious trips include the Black Diamond Moji and Solight SolarPuff.

Solight SolarPuff Lantern
At only 2.6 ounces and packing as small as a CD case (remember those?), the Solight SolarPuff takes the prize as the most ultralight; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Battery Life

If you’re going with an electric lantern, battery life is a consideration, especially if you’re going to be in the woods for a few days or more. Many lanterns will give you 5-10 hours on high, with longer times in the lower settings. Among the longest-lasting lanterns in our testing were the BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Lantern at 200 hours on low, the Fenix CL30R at 300 hours, and the Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Lantern at an impressive 320 total hours of burn time.

It pays to carry extra batteries on your trip if your lantern uses disposable batteries. If you have a rechargeable battery, bring along a portable battery or solar charger to top off your lanterns between uses. Some lanterns even incorporate a charging system into the light itself, such as a solar panel, or hand crank.

Consider also the type of rechargeable battery your lantern uses. Some, like the Ledlenser ML6 Lantern, use a standardized rechargeable 18650 cell that can be used in other electronics. Most others will be integrated into the lantern, and non-serviceable.

GoalZero Lighthouse 600 Lantern
With an integrated 5200 mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery, the GoalZero Lighthouse 600 lantern is able to both charge your devices, and itself with an integrated hand crank; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Ease of Use

For the most part, electric lanterns win the prize for ease of use. They turn on with the push of a button and the brightness is simple to adjust. Gas-powered lanterns require a bit more work with applying the fuel canister and lighting the wick.

With advances in lantern tech, and more features being added every year, be sure to look for a lantern that hasn’t suffered from tech bloat. The pattern of button presses to move through the different lighting cycles should be easy to remember.

One tech advance that we are on board with is the adoption of USB-C in charging cables. Micro USB is still abundant on many consumer electronics, but a look to the future sees USB-C becoming the new standard. Of the lanterns we reviewed, unfortunately, none yet support USB-C charging.

Ledlenser ML6 Lantern
The easy hang loop of the Ledlenser ML6 made it very popular with our hammock-savvy testers; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Durability & Water Resistance

We won’t lie — there have certainly been times when we’ve left our camping lanterns out overnight and woken to a soggy light. That’s why investing in a lantern with a high degree of durability will pay out in the long run.

First, consider that many gas lanterns will still require the use of a glass lens to operate. Obviously, these will require some more care, and we recommend utilizing a carrying case for transporting them around. The mantles that are used to contain the flame are also fragile, so be mindful of these as well.

When it comes to electric lanterns, many will incorporate some type of rubberized over-molding to guard against bumps and bruises around camp. And in terms of water resistance, many lanterns today will be built to resist splashes or brief immersions in water. These are often rated using the Ingress Protection testing standard, which measures both resistance to dust and water. A rating of IPX7, for example, relays a resistance to water immersion up to 1 meter deep.

The Fenix CL30R Lantern Being Held By Camper
The IPX7 water resistance rating of the Fenix CL30R makes it one of the toughest lanterns in our review; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Extra Features

Many of the best camping lanterns offer additional features, such as the ability to charge your electronic devices and double as a flashlight. These are perks but aren’t real game-changers when choosing a lantern.

The most important features that we’ve found are ones that enhance the lantern’s main function. Look for lanterns that are water- and dustproof, ones with multiple dimming settings and integrated solar chargers.

Hang Loops, Clips, and Hooks

Being able to hang your lantern from the inside of your tent or from a well-placed tree limb can greatly increase the amount of light it can cast on your camp setup. Look for a lantern that sports some type of hook or loop that will allow you to suspend it from above and make the most of your light.

Battery Banks

Because many lanterns today utilize an integrated rechargeable battery pack, they are able to also be used to recharge your electronics on the go. Just how much power you’ll be able to port around will depend on the lantern, but we’ve found that the larger lanterns are able to juice up a modern phone most of the way to a full charge.

BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Color Lantern
Chock-full of extra features, the BioLite AlpenGlow 500 offers white, natural, and multi-colored options for its light; (photo/Nick Belcaster)


What is the best camping lantern?

The best camping lantern is the one best designed for how you plan to use it. Look for a lantern that’s bright enough to illuminate your camping space and one that is simple enough to use after a long day of hiking. For 2023, we found the BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Lantern to fit the bill for most of our camping outings.

For backpackers, a lightweight lantern that doesn’t take up too much pack space is ideal. Also, an electric lantern should be able to give you several evenings of light without requiring a recharge.

BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Lantern
In our testing, the BioLite AlpenGlow 500 best ticked our boxes for the best overall lantern; (photo/Nick Belcaster)
How many lumens do I need for a camping lantern?

For most campers, 100 lumens or above is enough to light up many camp spaces. If you prefer a more gentle glow, 50-75 lumens will be enough. Electric lanterns under 50 lumens are good for in-tent use.

What is the best camping lantern for power outages?

For occasional use, a brighter lantern with replaceable batteries will work well. Replaceable batteries are ideal for situations in which an external charging source is unavailable. Candle lanterns will also work well, as they don’t require any fuel besides the candle.

What is the best camping lantern from Coleman?

We’re fans of the classic Coleman Lantern. For $45, Coleman has made a solid lantern that will give you years of use. It produces 1,000 lumens on high, and it will run for 7 hours on high before you need to switch containers.

What is a lantern mantle?

Lantern mantles are ceramic mesh sacks that encase the flame in gas-powered lanterns. They keep the flame small and contained inside the lamp.

How long do lantern mantles last?

If you take care of it, a lantern mantle can last years. You can lengthen the life of the mantle by not dropping or shaking your lantern excessively and by not exposing it to strong wind without the globe attached.

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