Have you started thinking about a new camping lantern? If you’re going for solar this time around, you want to make sure it’s the best solar camping lantern you can afford on your budget.
Keep in mind that depending on when and where you’re camping, direct sunlight might be a scarce resource. Because of that, the best solar lanterns are the ones that don’t rely solely on the power of the sun.
Some manufacturers understand this and offer truly versatile, high-tech solutions that can benefit all modern campers. Check out the following five picks to understand what to look for in solar camping lanterns, and find out about our favorite pick.
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Best Solar Camping Lantern of 2019 - Comparison Table
Best Solar Camping Lantern of 2019 - Reviews
Just because you’re using a solar camping lantern, you don’t have to rely solely on the sun to give you light. Having multiple charging options means that you’re always prepared, which is why Agptek’s solar lantern is one of the most reliable models.
Agptek offers only two lighting modes: bright and super bright. But what makes this lantern superior to its peers are the five different recharging methods that guarantee you will never run out of light, even if your route takes you through a wooded area.
The lantern can be charged with its solar panels, with a micro USB cable, a car charger, it can run on three AAA batteries, or you can recharge it with a hand crank dynamo. The hand crank feature is slow but it’s also one of the most reliable charging methods you can find.
Of course, in order to get all that, you have to contend with a slightly bulky lantern that weighs more than average. It’s not the most convenient to pack.
In terms of output, you can expect up to 240 lumens at the high setting which is twice as much as you get in low lighting mode. But the beam distance is just 32’ on the highest setting, so it’s not as bright as you may think. Still, you get up to 12 hours of use on the high setting on a single charge, which will definitely be sufficient, considering the many options you have to recharge it at the campsite.
Looking for a solar camping lantern that won’t make a dent in your wallet? If you’re camping on a budget and you only care about the bare necessities in terms of lighting, the Suaoki solar camping lantern might be the ideal tool for you.
Suaoki designed their solar camping lantern with a dual charging system. You can use natural sunlight or a standard micro-USB cable to charge it, as you would any everyday gadget. If you’re camping during the warm part of the year, these two options should be enough for you to use the lantern over an extended period of time.
As far as portability goes, this model is very compact. It can be compressed down to different sizes due to its adjustable design. What’s also cool is that you can remove the top and use it as a handheld lantern, which gives out a directional beam of light.
The lantern provides enough light for most camping scenarios, as the output calibration is between 25 and 65 lumens. Its battery lasts five or ten hours, depending on the output setting. You also have access to a flashing lighting mode, which lasts up to 6 hours.
But it’s important to note that this lantern takes a while to fully charge. One hour of solar charging gives you enough power to run the high brightness setting for 15 minutes. Of course, using the power adapter will cut down on charging time drastically, as it only takes up to four hours to get a full battery charge this way.
Thinking of getting two for the price of one? Although the lumen output may not be all that impressive in this model, Tansoren certainly makes up for it by offering two solar lanterns for the price of one. With limited sun availability in various places, having a fully charged spare could be a lifesaver.
Though this is a budget option, it still comes with a few different charging methods. Apart from the small solar panels on the top end, each Tansoren camping lantern can be powered by three AA batteries or recharged using a 5V DC USB charger. You can also use the lanterns as power banks for your Android devices. Apple gadgets are not supported.
If you’re looking for portability, you’re in luck. Most camping lanterns today are big because they’re multifunctional and require large batteries. However, a collapsible build is the best choice for campers who travel light. Tansoren camping lanterns can be reduced from 10” to 7.28” in height when collapsed. This is especially helpful when you want to take both lanterns out with you.
The runtime isn’t bad either. You get up to 8 hours of use out of one full charge, if you use the low output setting. The maximum output is 60 lumens, which is slightly above the recommended minimum for camping. In order to adjust the brightness, you can simply push down the lantern until satisfied. Don’t push all the way down though, as that will turn it off.
Compact, affordable, customizable, and easy to use by any camper. Moses Industries certainly designed an impressive solar camping lantern, though it may not look exceptional at first glance.
The lantern can be charged through its solar panel or with a standard 5V DC USB adapter. This means that it can be used as an indoor emergency light or it can help you charge your gadgets if you need to make a quick call while on a camping trip.
But the power bank is not the most important feature. What’s surprising is the display of three different lighting modes in such a compact camping lantern design. You have access to low and high settings as well as an SOS flashing light mode.
Note that you only get white light output. The compact design makes the lantern a breeze to carry, even if you’re just out for a hike. Apart from the collapsible design, the top part screws off.
Doing so leaves you with a puck-shaped hand flashlight which you can use at your convenience or when you don’t want to disturb other campers during the night. The low brightness setting lasts up to 10 hours. So if you get up to do some midnight exploring by yourself, there’s no need to rush to base camp too soon.
Here is another affordable and compact lantern for late night walks. Bigfoot Outdoor Products are popular among campers, hikers, and other outdoorsmen because their products tend to offer a reliable performance.
Camping experts say that a lumen rating between 30 and 40 lumens is needed to light your campsite. Many lanterns today will shine far brighter than that. But, if you only want to find your way around, going way above that mark will cost you extra money for no reason.
The Bigfoot solar camping lantern outputs between 25 and 65 lumens. That’s still above the minimum recommended values. It also features an SOS lighting mode that has a low power draw.
Two charging options are available, so if you run out of sunlight, you can use a USB charger. If you’re a stickler for light packing, the compact size of this lantern should fit you very well. You can also collapse it or remove its cap to use the flashlight feature.
It’s a versatile option and although it doesn’t give you 10 hours of light on the bright setting, it still gives you enough to do your business if you wake up in the middle of the night. You can also use it to do some light reading before you turn in.
Best Solar Camping Lantern of 2019 - Buyers Guide
If you’ve reached the same conclusion as us, you’ll agree that the Agptek solar camping lantern makes a convincing case for the title of best solar camping lantern. You can charge it in an impressive number of ways, and it’s one of the few solar camping lanterns that you can take with you on a week-long trip without worrying about running out of power.
Of course, there are other budget-friendly options that perform well, some less bulky, some less bright. It depends on what it is that you’re after. Every solar camping lantern on this list will serve you well, as long as it fits your camping style.