Hey there fellow campers and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best solar lanterns for camping this year. Now when it comes to camping, the right type of lighting can be crucial as you work your way around the campsite at night. And if you are looking to maintain a little environmental friendliness whilst you do it, then solar lanterns may worth a look.
So to help you out, I have had a bit of a look around and come up with three decent solar lantern options below. Let’s check them out.
My three recommended solar lanterns for camping
I will review these in more detail below however if you want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:
What are solar lanterns for camping?
A solar lantern for camping is a portable environmental-friendly lighting fixture that provides the advantage of not having to carry around bulky batteries or gas lanterns as you can use solar energy to generate the necessary power needed.
The solar PV panel, the storage battery and the lamp are the three main parts of a solar lantern. The process is very straightforward where the SPV panel transforms solar energy into electrical energy, which is then stored in a sealed, maintenance-free battery to light the lamp.
Check out these: Portable lanterns for camping
What should you be looking for?
The following factors should be considered as you look around for a good solar lantern for your camping needs.
- Power source
- Lighting modes
- Charging modes
When you begin to shop for solar lanterns, you’ll discover that there are four available types as follows:
- Collapsible – These types of solar lanterns are the most prevalent on the market. As their name suggests, these lanterns can collapse to a thickness of less than half an inch.
- Fixed – These non-collapsible solar lanterns differ in size. Some are large, whilst others are small blocks.
- String lights – Solar-powered string lights work in the same fashion as LED light strips. These solar lanterns allow you to distribute the lighting all over your campsite.
- USB rechargeable – For times when there is no sun, some lanterns are not only solar-powered but also USB-rechargeable as well.
Although solar lanterns get their energy from the Sun, they still need a battery to store it. Alkaline or rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are typically used to power lanterns, and each has advantages. Alkaline batteries are frequently available, hold their charge better over time if left unused, and are excellent for emergency kit lanterns.
On the other hand, a lantern powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery typically has more functionality. By plugging it into a power source like you would your phone, you can fully charge it and begin each journey at total capacity. Additionally, these lithium-ion batteries have the propensity to perform better than alkaline batteries in colder climates and maintain a constant brightness throughout their lifespan.
This factor measures the brightness emitted by the solar lantern. The maximum output of a lantern is frequently stated in specifications as the number of lumens, representing how bright a light is. In general, sixty lumens are sufficient for cooking, relaxing and carrying out various tasks around camp.
When choosing the best solar camping lantern, lighting modes are an essential factor to consider. Most lanterns have a blue light and a few settings ranging from high to low and SOS for example.
Most lanterns have a variety of lighting settings, including turbo, low and SOS. Low modes are best for battery conservation and having a mellow light when you’re getting ready for bed, while high modes are great for cooking etc.
The more options a solar lantern has for charging, the better and as above, many have at least two charging options—solar and USB—but some also support charging with batteries, a car adapter and other power sources as well. This guarantees that your lantern is available at all times.
You can choose the charging methods you prefer, but a solar-powered lantern with a USB port is usually sufficient.
Other potential additions include:
- USB cable: This allows your solar lantern to be charged by connecting to a power source such as a portable power station.
- Battery level indicator: This feature informs you of the solar lantern’s battery level.
- Hand crank dynamo: This part is a way to charge the solar lantern manually.
Are Solar Panels Worth It?
Absolutely – not only are they environmentally friendly, but also remove the need to carry extra batteries or gas cannisters with you as well. Additionally, many come with internal batteries that can be charged via other methods for when the sun is not shining too.
My three recommendations broken down
So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:
1. MPOWERD Luci Outdoor Solar Inflatable Light
This first option is a good one for campers who prefer a light pack since they are always on the move. It can easily tuck it into your camping backpack whilst still providing sufficient lighting to help you with your tasks at night. See its specifications below:
- Brand: MPOWER
- Type: Collapsible
- Brightness: 75 lumens
- Lighting modes: Low, medium, high, and flashing
- Weight: 4.4 ounces
- Dimensions: 5.28 x 5.28 x 1.65 inches
- Built-in rechargeable mAh Li-ion battery
- Ten white LEDs
- Battery indicator
- Power button
Why have I chosen it?
This compact but inflatable, waterproof solar lantern comes with a rechargeable 2,000 mAh lithium-ion battery that can operate on a low setting for up to 24 hours without recharging and illuminates 10 LED bulbs to a brightness of 75 Lumens. The lamp can withstand 150 pounds of pressure, can be collapsed to one inch and can handle one meter of water for up to 30 minutes as well. A great option as a backup or for hikers who like to travel light.
2. AGPTEK Solar Lantern
This next solar lantern offers five charging methods with a design that allows for quick packing so it will not hassle you when arranging your camping stuff. See its specifications below:
- Brand: AGPTEK
- Type: Fixed
- Brightness: 120 lumens
- Lighting modes: Bright mode and super bright mode
- Weight: 1.61 pounds
- Dimensions: 10.6 x 5.6 x 5.2 inches
- Car charger adapter
- AC adapter
- USB cable
Why have I chosen it?
My second suggestion has five different charging options: AAA batteries, solar power, car power, USB power and hand crank dynamo giving you plenty of options when the sun is not as bright as you may have hoped. Additionally, it is made of a sturdy material that enables it to withstand the challenging elements of your camping location.
The lamp is capable of up to 120-lumen brightness allowing it to illuminate a larger area at night too. And finally, the integrated polysilicon solar panels that make it brighter than other camping lights while using less energy.
3. LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Camping Lantern and Phone Charger
My final item is perfect for setting the evening ambiance or lighting up your workstation at night via its bright lamp and ease of use. It is collapsible in design yet can provide five lighting modes for your outdoor needs. See its specifications below:
- Brand: LuminAID
- Type: Compressible
- Brightness: 150 lumens
- Lighting modes: Turbo, high, medium, low, and flashing
- Weight: 8.5 ounces
- Dimensions: 8 x 7 x 2 inches
- Phone charging
- Waterproof (IP67 rating)
- Adjustable hang straps
Why have I chosen it?
This model is completely free of PVC when compared to other lanterns available containing heavy-duty thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) that is waterproof and shatterproof. If you enjoy water sports, this one also has an IP67 rating, a great feature because it makes the phone charger lantern submersible up to 1 meter.
This environment-friendly lantern also offers five different options for illuminating your space with a USB input port that is capable of charging phones or other devices, like tablets, and provides a 75–100% boost in just 2–4 hours.
There you have it, my three best solar lanterns for camping. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time.