Best Solar Camping Lanterns

Camping provides an exciting way of experiencing the great outdoors, however ensuring that you are equipped with the correct equipment is going to make this much more enjoyable. This is where a solar camping lantern comes in.

As suggested by the name, a solar camping lantern utilizes solar energy to charge the built-in battery which in return will provide you with an illumination of light. You don’t want to be walking through your campsite at night only to realize that you are missing this essential piece of equipment.

There are many options available on the market some of which offer more reliability with a higher build quality than others. For this reason, it is important to ensure that you choose your lantern carefully.

We have selected and reviewed our top picks of the best solar camping lanterns available, along with our top picks of the best standard solar lanterns too. We have also provided you with additional guidance to make this process easier with our top tips and factors to consider in our buyer’s guide.

Are you in a hurry? If so, we have selected our top pick for you below.

Best Solar Camping Lanterns

Top Pick

Entering the market at an affordable price, the Kiz Solar Powered LED Camping Lantern boasts multiple features that make it a strong contender. Impressively, this lantern can be charged in multiple ways. Of course, as a solar-powered light, it can be charged via solar energy so you can charge it from any location. For a faster solution, it can also be via a USB.

A great thing about this camping lantern is that it can charge your mobile phone should you find yourself in an emergency with a low battery. It is also equipped with 3 lighting modes; high, low and SOS so you can select the best source for the setting. On occasions where you require bright light, you can select the high mode and in an emergency, you can select the SOS mode.

Impressively, this light can be collapsed and thanks to the compact size, it can be used as a flashlight if needed. This space-saving design also means that the lantern consumes a minimal amount of room inside your luggage when transporting it in between locations.

The design of this lantern also incorporates an LED indicator that informs you of the charging status. It also features a handle that duplicates as a stand so you can position the lantern if needed.

Pros

  • This lantern is covered by a 100% money back lifetime warranty should you experience any issues.
  • It folds into a compact lantern that is great for traveling.
  • It can be charged in two different ways for greater convenience.
  • It is equipped with fail-safe features that prevent the lantern from overcharging and overheating.
  • It has a USB port which can be used to charge your phone in emergencies.

Cons

  • The quality of the handle could be improved as it is a little flimsy.

Best Budget Option

Impressively, the AGPTEK Camping Solar Lantern can be charged in one of 5 ways. This includes solar power, crank dynamo, a car adapter, an AC adapter, or 3 AA batteries. As such, this provides you with an array of ways in which you can charge the lantern depending on the situation you find yourself in.

There are 2 brightness modes to choose from, a bright mode and a super bright mode. While most are likely to find the bright mode sufficient for the completion of most tasks and activities, the super bright mode provides you with the option to increase the beam in settings where there is a minimal amount of natural light available.

This lantern has a USB port that allows you to charge your phone and other devices if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t access a wall port. The power switch is visible on the main body of the lantern so it can be accessed with ease. It also has a power light which indicates when the lantern is in use.

Utilizing polysilicon solar panels, this lantern produces a bright light output while consuming a low amount of energy. It also uses green power which makes it last longer.

Pros

  • The solar panels used possess excellent charging capabilities.
  • It is super versatile as it can be charged in 5 different ways.
  • The USB port allows you to charge your phone if there isn’t a wall port available.
  • It has 2 brightness modes so you can select the best option for your needs.
  • The LED indicator informs you when the lantern is low on charge, when it requires charging and when it is sufficiently charged.

Cons

  • The durability of this lantern could be improved to ensure that it doesn’t become easily damaged.

Runner Up

The Tansoren Solar Camping Lanterns come in a two pack so you have multiple options available should more than one person require the use of the lantern at once. Boasting a collapsible design, these lanterns can be compacted to almost half of their size when they are not in use for convenient portability.

Both lanterns feature a built-in battery and solar panel allowing you to charge them in one of the three following ways via reliable solar power, 3 AA batteries, or a 5V DC USB charging port. For this reason, you are always going to have access to a power supply regardless of the setting in which you find yourself.

Impressively, this lantern doubles up as a 2-in-1 emergency light source. While the light can be used for the completion of regular tasks, should you require it, it can also be used in poor lighting conditions or emergencies. Additionally, the USB port allows you to charge your phone or other devices for a small amount of time.

As for durability, the lanterns have a military-grade plastic housing that is water-resistant too and for this reason, it is going to be able to endure harsh conditions without becoming easily damaged. It also features a handle that can be extended when the lantern is in use and folded when it isn’t.

Pros

  • The bulbs have an impressive 100,000 lifespan before requiring replacement.
  • This lantern can provide you with 8 hours of light before losing power.
  • It boasts a small and compact design for convenient portability.
  • The lantern can be charged in 3 different ways so you can select the most appropriate method.
  • These lanterns come in a pack of 2 so you have a backup available.

Cons

  • Unfortunately, the lanterns struggle to charge mobile devices via the USB port.

Best Solar Lantern

For those looking for a solar lantern for decorative purposes, look no further than the TomCare Outdoor Solar Lanterns. The pack provides you with two lanterns so you can distribute them to different areas of your outdoor space or where you feel they provide the best source of light.

The design illuminates a dancing flame with a yellow and warm tone. As the lantern utilizes solar energy it isn’t going to rack up your electricity bills. So long as the lanterns are positioned in the sun they will charge via the exposure to solar power.

Durably constructed, the lanterns have been made from ABS plastic with strong metal features. Should the lantern be left outdoors during rainy weather it is likely to resist damage well as it has an IP65 waterproof rating. It features an easy to use on and off switch and once the power has been activated it will automatically turn on in the night and off in the day.

Using the clamp or hook you can hang the lantern anywhere you choose. The base also incorporates four small stoppers so the lantern can be securely positioned on the ground too.

Pros

  • The lanterns are covered with a 45 day money back policy and a 12 month warranty.
  • These lanterns boast a lengthy battery life for long-lasting use.
  • It has an IP65 waterproof rating so it is ready for all weather.
  • It can be secured in multiple ways using the clamp or the hook.
  • The flame design and warm tone create an ambient feel.

Cons

  • They don’t produce the brightest beam of light so they may not suit everyone’s needs.

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The LeiDrail Outdoor Solar Lanterns have a decorative body that illuminates a peacock feather beam adding a modern, but subtle source of light to your outdoor space. The classic appearance makes them a worthy addition to your outdoor area. You are provided with 2 lanterns, each of which has 15 lumens that produce a bright beam of light.

As solar-powered lanterns, they require around 8 hours of exposure to sunlight during the day to function. Once they have been sufficiently charged, they provide you with around 10 to 12 hours of illumination. The power button can be clearly identified on the base of the lantern and once activated, the lanterns will function automatically during the night and turn off during the day.

These lanterns have a metal body and black exterior which offers excellent durability. They are also waterproof so they will resist potential damage caused by rain, snow, or other adverse weather conditions. Likewise, the material is also going to withstand exposure to higher temperatures without beginning to deteriorate.

Using the hook handle you can install these lanterns with ease without the need for any complex wires. Simply hang them up where you require their use and you can then begin using them.

Pros

  • Both lanterns have an IP55 waterproof rating so they are going to resist damage caused by rain or snow.
  • The handles make them easier to transport should you need to.
  • They are covered by a 30 day refund policy and a 12 month guarantee should you experience any problems.
  • They produce bright and warm illumination.
  • The high-quality construction ensures that they don’t become easily damaged.

Cons

  • Unfortunately, some customers have reported that these lanterns did not work for as long as they were expecting.

Best Solar Camping Lanterns Buyer’s Guide

There are several factors that you will need to consider when browsing through the selection of camping solar lanterns and normal solar lanterns. Considering the following criteria will aid you during the purchasing process so that you can select the best product for your needs.

The Type of Lantern

The market offers a range of solar lanterns so you can select your preferred option depending on how it is likely to be used. When camping you are likely to use the solar lantern when walking through your campsite and also to illuminate your living space. Some will be compressible with an appearance that closely resembles that of a balloon and as such, they are a great space-saving option. The other common styles of lanterns are traditional, fixed models that cannot be collapsed. They tend to feature a glass body that provides a larger volume of light for improved visibility.

The Weight

The weight of your lantern is going to determine how easy it is to transport. Although a larger lantern with a bright beam is appealing for charging multiple devices while illuminating the interior of your camping space, they can be difficult to transport around your campsite. A lighter and more compact option is going to be much easier to handle. The majority of lanterns come with handles that make them much easier to carry.

The Lighting Modes

Many solar lanterns will have multiple light modes from high to low along with an SOS option should you require it in an emergency. A broader selection of lighting modes makes the lantern more versatile and you can select the light mode depending on the task that you are completing.

The Brightness of the lumens

The lumens measure the brightness of the light output and this can differ between the lanterns. A lantern with around 60 to 100 lumens is likely to provide you with sufficient output. Again, it is going to depend on the setting where your solar lantern is going to be used. If you are going to be using the lantern inside your camping space or to complete particular tasks, 60 lumens are likely to provide you with a sufficient level of brightness.

Charging Capabilities

A great thing about many solar lanterns is that they can be used as a backup charging source. For example, you can charge your mobile phone if it is beginning to run low and you don’t have a charging port available. Likewise, the USB ports also allow you to charge other devices this way too.

The Charging Modes

You will find that most solar lanterns can be charged in multiple ways. Of course, most can be charged following exposure to solar energy and others can be charged using a USB. Many solar lanterns will also be equipped with batteries that are going to require replacement after being used for a prolonged period.

Lanterns that can be charged in multiple ways are more versatile. There are visual indicators that inform you when the lantern is charged. The amount of time that the lantern takes to charge is also likely to differ between the different models. Charging the lantern via an adapter is going to consume less time than solar energy. The specifications of the lantern will state the expected charge time.

The Material Construction

Your lantern should be made from tough materials that are tough and resistant to potential damage. The majority are made with an ABS plastic housing and a glass frame surrounding the LEDs. This lens will protect the LEDs from exposure to damage. The handles are typically made from steel which is strong and easier to grip.

The Durability

The durability of your lantern is important in determining how long it is going to last. The lantern should be constructed with robust materials that can resist damage. It should also be waterproof with the ability to endure different weather conditions.

The Price 

Solar Lanterns are a pretty affordable purchase with the majority retailing below $20. They are cost-effective with multiple features that illuminate the area ahead of you and allow you to charge other devices too. The price of the lantern will often be reflected in the functionality and build quality. They are some inexpensively priced lanterns that work just as well as those that are more expensive aswell.

The Warranty

Some solar lanterns will be covered by a warranty that protects you should you experience any issues with the product that you receive. The length of the warranty is likely to differ between brands with some offering a longer warranty than others.

Frequently Asked Questions

The lumens of a lantern can vary rather significantly and this allows you to select the best brightness. The lumens required depends on how the lantern is going to be used. The majority will have around 150 to 350 lumens, although a camping lantern with around 100 lumens is likely to be effective.