15 Best Solar Camping Lights

 Are you planning for an overnight camping trip? If so, you better bring a light source with you. We review 15 Best Solar Camping Lights for 2021, ranging from soft and hard-bodied collapsible lanterns to old-fashioned models.

There are plenty of options in the market, ranging from classic propane lanterns, solar lanterns, to electric camping lights.

Sadly, you can’t charge a gas lantern in the wild. Here is where solar rechargeable lanterns come to the rescue. Moreover, you’ll never be out of light with them. Plus, they’re more eco-friendly than propane lanterns.

Unquestionably, there are many solar lanterns to choose from. With this in mind, our comparison table is your at-a-glance guide to our review below.

Outdoor solar lantern
Solar powered lantern for camping

Solar Camping Lanterns Comparison Table

Solar LanternsPriceWeight (Ounces)DimensionsLumensIP RatingBattery (mAh)
MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0: Solar Inflatable Light$17.934.45x5x4.2575IP671000
MPOWERED Luci Base$52.74107x7x3360IP672000
LuminAid Solar Inflatable Lantern$69.9554.8x4.8x4.875IP671000
Solight Merlin Helix Solar Camping Lantern$40.822.64.3x4.3x4.390N/A1000
Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Lantern$19.953.25x5x3.960IPX4500
Kizen LED Camping Lanterns$16.996.43.4x3.4x4.765N/A800
HISVISION$15.995.73.6x3.6x495N/A500
JMADENQ Solar Camping Lights$22.0922.43.1x3.1x9.860N/A2000
No products found.No products found.12 ‎3.94 x 3.94 x 3.74IP653600
Tansoren Portable LED Camping Lantern$20.68243.5x3.5x7.360IPX41000
Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Solar Lantern$69.9517.64.5x4.5x6.5600N/A5200
LETOUR Rechargeable Solar Lantern$25.995.73.5x3.5x4.7600IPX42400
AGPTEK Solar Camp Lamp$19.9922.44x4x10240IPX41000
FosPower Emergency Solar Lantern and Radio$21.6610.96.2x2.9x2.120IPX32000
Whetstone Solar Powered Camping Lantern$35.3722.410x4x5.25180N/A1000

Soft-Bodied Collapsible Solar Lanterns

Best Solar Lantern: MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 Solar Lantern

MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0: Solar Inflatable Light

Features:

  • Best for: Hikers and camping
  • Weight (Ounces): 4.4
  • Unfolded dimensions (inches): 5 x 5 x 4.25
  • Folded dimensions (inches): 5 x 5 x 1
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 10000
  • Lumens: 75
  • Solar panel
  • 10 Cool white LEDs
  • IP67 Dust and water-resistant
  • Four light modes: Low, medium, high, and flashing

The Luci Outdoor 2.0 might not look like a camping lantern at all. However, upon closer inspection, you will realize that it does everything you need, and more, without breaking the bank.

These mini solar camping lights takes almost no space, and it collapses down to 1 inch for better transportation. Also, the polyester construction reduces the weight to 4.4 ounces, which makes the Luci Outdoor 2.0 ideal for campers and hikers.

MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0: Solar Inflatable Light

Yes, I know what you are thinking: A plastic, collapsible solar powered camping lantern doesn’t sound durable. But, you can put those thoughts to rest since the Luci Outdoor 2.0 can withstand up to 150 pounds of pressure.

Inside the backpacking lantern, you have 10 cool led lights that deliver up to 75 lumens. In addition, there is a small solar panel at the top of the lantern. Certainly, this more than enough to light your immediate surroundings, but not for large areas.

According to MPOWERD, it takes up to 7 hours to completely charge the 1000 mAh battery.  Additionally, a fully- charged battery yields up to 24 hours of nonstop operation.

Likes:

  • Extremely portable
  • Decent autonomy
  • Affordable
  • Water-resistant
  • Sturdy frame
  • Rechargeable lantern with Pro model

Cons:

  • Delicate straps
  • Won’t illuminate for large areas
  • No USB charging port
MPOWERD Luci Pro 2.0 Solar Light:
MPOWERD Luci 2.0 Solar Collapsible lantern:

MPOWERD Luci Base All-in-One Portable Solar Camping Light

MPOWERD Luci Base: All-in-One Solar Inflatable Light + Phone Charger

Features:

  • Best for: Hikers and tent light source 
  • Weight (Ounces): 10
  • Unfolded (inches): 7 x 7 x 3
  • Folded (inches): 7 x 7 x 1
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 2000
  • Lumens: 360
  • Solar panel
  • 31 warm white LEDs
  • IP67 Dust and water-resistant

Wait, this camping lantern again? Take a closer look.

While it looks like the Luci Outdoor Solar Camping Lights, this is rich in much-needed upgrades. Specifically, it offers a longer battery life, lasting up to 50 hours on a charge. Moreover, it includes a USB port too!

This rechargeable LED lantern is a must have for any adventure. We consider this one of the best camping lantern because it can run for 50 hours, so you wont have to worry about running out of light. Also, it can be hung from a backpack, tent and sit on a table during dinner.

The construction is quite the same as MPowerd Luci 2.0. A polyether frame, but this time, it has a matte finish. Similarly, there’s a tiny efficient solar panel at the top and two straps for portability.

MPOWERD Luci Base: All-in-One Solar Inflatable Light + Phone Charger

According to MPOWERD, the solar panel takes around 28 hours to fully charge the battery. In contrast, charging by USB, takes 6 hours. With this in mind, charge the camping lantern before your trip, since it may take 3 days of full sun to recharge fully.

Just like before, this Luci Base camping lantern collapses to 1 inch and weighs around 10 ounces. With a 7×7 inch base, it is also bigger than the MPOWER Luci 2.0 solar inflatable light. Still, it remains portable enough for hikers or as a tent light source.

What’s more, it has 31 warm white LEDs, and the Luci Base delivers up to 360 lumens of power. In order to adjust the brightness , you can tap the power button at the top of the lantern. As long as you use the brighter settings, your battery life will deplete faster.

All in all, the MPowerd Luci Base versatility makes it a favorite can be used as camping tent lights to kids camping lantern since its rechargeable.

Likes:

  • Impressive 50 hour battery life
  • Solar panel and USB charging options
  • Portable
  • Dustproof and waterproof

Cons:

  • 28 hours to recharge the solar panel
  • Fragile straps
  • Sometimes the USB port doesn’t recognize the cable

Best Inflatable Camping Light: LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lantern

LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lanterns | Great for Camping, Hurricane Emergency Kits and Travel | As...

Features:

  • Best for: Tent light source
  • Weight (Ounces): 5
  • Unfolded (inches): 4.8 x 4.8 x 4.8
  • Folded (inches): 4.8 x 4.8 x 1
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 1000
  • Charging options: Solar and micro USB
  • Lumens: 75
  • IP67 Dust and water-resistant

We bring yet another solar camping light. However, this time, we will be reviewing the LuminAID PackLite Nova. Thankfully this time, we get a reasonably decent adjustable handle.

The LuminAID construction looks like a box and folds down to 1 inch. You can leave it in your car, as a “in case you have an emergency,” solar powered lantern, or take it on your camping trip adventures.

LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lanterns | Great for Camping, Hurricane Emergency Kits and Travel | As...

The 1000 mAh battery offers up to 24 hours of operation in a low brightness setting. In order to get a complete charge, it takes about 10 hours under the sun. Compared to the 2 hours with charging with its micro USB fast charging port, it would be wise to charge this at home or in your car.

Next to the panel, you have the micro USB charging port, the on/off button, and a LED battery indicator. Additionally, you can adjust the brightness settings using the power switch.

Surprisingly, the micro USB does not charge phones. It only works for charging the camping lantern. However, you can upgrade to Max 2-in-1 or the Titan 2-in-1.

Both offer phone charging capabilities, as well as higher lumens and longer battery life, but are also more expensive.

Likes:

  • Solar and micro USB charging options
  • Portable
  • Water-resistant
  • It offers a large light area for its size

Cons:

  • You can use the micro USB port to charge your phone
  • Battery drains very fast when the brightness settings are on turbo mode
  • The solar panel takes more time to charge the battery than advertised

Solight Design Outdoor Solar Light Source

Solight Design Outdoor Solar-Powered Light, Color-Changing LED Lantern - Waterproof, Compact,...

Features:

  • Best for: Campsite decoration
  • Weight (Ounces): 2.6
  • Unfolded (inches): 4.3 x 4.3 x 4.3
  • Folded (inches): 3.4 x 3.4 x 0.25
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 1000
  • Lumens: 90
  • Number of LEDs: 10
  • LED type: Multicolor

Now it is time for something more fashionable. The Solight Merlin Helix is an ideal choice for those looking for a solar power lantern for backyard decoration.

It has six light modes: Red, white, purple, blue, yellow, and green. In addition, it has both low and high brightness levels, that you can adjust as it gets darker.

The 1000 mAh battery has enough juice to keep the lamp running for 8 hours. It’s solar panel, on the other hand, has a full charge time of 10 hours to power the lantern completely. So, it is not very reliable for emergencies. Nevertheless, the 10 LEDs emit a nice 90 lumen light that’s cozy enough for backyard decoration or outdoor night activities.

The Merlin Helix has a recyclable TPU plastic construction that collapses down to 0.5 inches! For example, you can keep several of these in your kitchen drawer and take them out for dinner parties under the night sky.

However, the low lumen rating and fragile body speak against Merlin Helix as a primary light source.

Likes:

  • Beautiful design
  • Very portable
  • Recyclable construction

Cons:

  • Not bright enough to use as a primary light source
  • Long recharging time
  • Short battery life

Best Compact Camping Light: Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Lantern

Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Powered Lantern

Features:

  • Best for: hikers
  • Weight (Ounces): 3.2
  • Unfolded (inches): 5 x 5 x 3.9
  • Folded (inches): 5 x 5 x 0.6
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 500
  • Lumens: 60
  • Number of LEDs: 1
  • LED type: Warm white
  • IPX4 waterproof

Small, easy to use, and enough juice to run for 35 hours, are the main advantages of Goal Zero Crush Light. Undoubtedly, it might not be able to light an entire campsite.

You’ll need to buy a more powerful solar camping lights if that’s the goal.  However, it’s ideal for an emergency lamp or a camping lantern to light your path back to the camp.

As the name suggests, you can crush the lamp for better storage. It is relatively easy since the plastic body is flexible and already comes with a shape that favors the collapsing mechanism. The light comes from a single LED beneath the solar panel.

Additionally, can change the brightness settings using the power bottom. Despite the low power profile, it offers up to 35 hours of operation with a 6 lumens output. Although the lumens isn’t as bright, it is enough for emergency purposes.

You can use Goal Zero Crush Light‘s built-in panel to charge the 500 mAh battery. However, it will take close to 20 hours to do it. Conversely, you can use the USB power input, which takes 2.5 hours to fully charge your camping light.

Likes:

  • Multiple light colors
  • USB and solar charging options
  • It has an IPX4 water resistance rating
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • It takes too long to charge the battery using the solar panel
  • Low lumen output

Best Value Solar Camping Light: Kizen LED Camping Lanterns

Kizen Collapsible Camping Lantern - USB & Solar Rechargeable Lanterns for Camping, Hiking, Emergency...

Features:

  • Best for: short hikes
  • Weight (Ounces): 6.4
  • Unfolded (inches): 3.4 x 3.4 x 4.7
  • Folded (inches): 3.4 x 3.4 x 1.8
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 800
  • Lumens: 65

Let’s go back to the collapsible solar lanterns department and look at this product from Kizen. It has a 3.4 x 3.4 x 4.7 inches footprint that collapses down to 1.7 inches. Certainly, this can easily tuck inside any pocket or hiking backpack.

Kizen LED Solar Camping Lights plastic frame houses a series of LEDs that produce up to 65 lumens on high brightness. Indeed, it’s pretty low. But keep in mind that this camping lantern retails for less than 20 bucks.

Battery life is nothing impressive either, given that, when fully charged, it only lasts about 15 minutes on the highest output. But you can increase the time up to 6 hours by sacrificing illumination.

Kizen Collapsible Camping Lantern - USB & Solar Rechargeable Lanterns for Camping, Hiking, Emergency...

Also, it takes 4 hours to charge this solar camping lights 800 mAh battery completely using the USB input. It takes much longer through the lamp’s solar panel top. Try your best to charge it before your trip.

You might be wondering, why would someone purchase this solar powered lantern? Well, it is a great tool to light your path back to the camp as the sun goes down. It can collapse and used as a flashlight to find something in the dead of night. In short, it is an excellent secondary lamp to have around.

Likes:

  • Very small
  • Functional
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Poor battery life
  • Low brightness

HISVISION Solar Powered Lantern

HISVISION Solar Powered LED Camping Lantern, Collapsible Solar or USB Rechargeable, Emergency...

Features:

  • Best for: camping table light
  • Weight (Ounces): 5.7
  • Unfolded (inches): 3.6 x 3.6 x 4
  • Folded (inches): 3.6 x 3.6 x 2
  • Lumens: 95
  • Number of LEDs: 1
  • LED type: White
  • 3W flashlight

Small but surprisingly bright, the HISVISION is an affordable solar camping light for those looking for a tent light. It has four operating light modes, low, high, SOS, and flashlight.

You must first collapse the lantern before using it as a flashlight, of course. A metal handle flips up, for a carabiner to hook onto a tent pole or the loops of a backpack.

HISVISION Solar Powered LED Camping Lantern, Collapsible Solar or USB Rechargeable, Emergency...

In order to use the HISVISION solar rechargeable lantern as table or tent lights, you can pull it apart, and hang the lamp wherever you want. Not to mention, it’s an excellent way to make the most out of the 360º light-emitting radius. Despite not being bright, the HISVISION has more than enough light power for small areas like a camping tent or table.

The silicone lampshade protects the bulbs against splashes and is waterproof. Also, the HISVISION rechargeable LED lantern is durable and able to withstand the occasional fall.

Conversely, the location of the power button is one thing that we didn’t like. Even the slightest touch, will activate the solar camping lights. We recommend packing it in a separate pocket with nothing else.

Likes:

  • Very compact
  • Bright for its size
  • Flashlight and lantern combo
  • Emergency power bank

Cons:

  • Low battery life
  • White plastic housing is fragile and delicate
  • No battery level indicator
  • Sensitive power button. Turns on with the slightest touch

Hard-Bodied Solar Lanterns

JMADENQ Solar Camping Lantern

Lanterns, Camping Lantern, Solar Lantern Flashlights Charging for Phone, USB Rechargeable Led...

Features:

  • Best for: tent lights
  • Weight (Pound): 1.4
  • Unfolded (inches): 3.1 x 3.1 x 7.6
  • Folded (inches): 3.1 x 3.1 x 4.8
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 2000
  • Lumens: 60
  • Number of LEDs: 2
  • LED type: Cold white

It’s time for a little treat for our value lovers. The JMADENQ has a conventional camping lantern construction. Constructed from plastic ABS housing, it feels sturdy and is lighter than it looks.

This camping lantern is especially useful because it comes with two sets of stainless steel handles, one at the top and the other on the side. The first one comes in handy for hanging the lamp on a tree branch, while the other allows you to wear the lantern as a flashlight.

Just collapse it, turn it on, and point the base to direct the beacon. In the middle, you’ll find the only button to turn the solar powered camping lantern on and off.

You can either charge the lamp through the solar panel or the USB port. It’s important to realize that this rechargeable led lantern takes around 10 hours using the sun and 3 hoursby USB.

So, yes, it takes way less time if you use the USB port. The good news is that you can expect 6 hours of run time, which is plenty for most campers. In addition, you can use the 2000 mAh battery to charge your phone in the case of an emergency.

Likes:

  • Versatile
  • Adequate brightness
  • Plenty of running time
  • You can use it to power your phone
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Neither waterproof nor shockproof
  • No overcharge protection
  • Inefficient USB output

Best Convenient Solar Camp Light: Audew Rechargeable Solar Powered Camping Lights

No products found.

Features:

  • Best for: long camping trips
  • Weight (Pound): 0.6
  • Folded (inches): 3.94 x 3.94 x 3.93
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 3600
  • Lumens: 200
  • Number of LEDs: 12
  • LED type: Warm white
  • Remote control
  • IP65 rating

Convenient and reliable would be the two words to describe the Audew Solar Camping Light. Use the remote control to turn it on within 22 meters or 7 feet. In other words, if you forget to turn off the camping lantern once you’re bundled in your hammock, this remote comes in handy.

. Furthermore, the 360 light is a great light source during emergencies like tornados, hurricanes, and similar situations.

According to Audew, the lantern offers up to 20 hours of continuous operations in the lowest brightness setting. In contrast, the high brightness provides 12 hours of running time and strobe SOS is 8 hours.

Bumping the brightness up will reduce battery life, of course. So, it all depends on your needs. The important thing is that it will remain lit during use.

The ABS plastic housing protects the LED bulbs that emit 5 light modes. Low, High, Soft, Strobe, and SOS to cover all your campsite needs. Plus, the IP65 protects it in the rain and bad weather days. Furthermore, you can use the foldable sturdy hook in your hand or hooking it onto your tent or backpack.

You have two ways of charging these led solar lanterns. Firstly, is through the solar panel at the top. However, this takes too long, as expected. Secondly, charge by USB port, which is the fastest way.

We like to point out that once the LED camping lantern has an indicator power level, so you know when to charge.

Likes:

  • Good battery life
  • Sturdy construction
  • 360 lighting with 5 light modes
  • Remote control
  • Two charging methods

Cons:

  • Takes a long time to recharge by solar

Best Multi Charge Options Solar Lantern: TANSOREN Portable LED Camping Lantern

TANSOREN 2 PACK Portable LED Camping Lantern Solar USB Rechargeable or 3 AA Power Supply, Built-in...

Features:

  • Best for: camping and car auto repair
  • Weight (Ounces): 24
  • Unfolded (inches): 3.5 x 3.5 x 7.3
  • Folded (inches): 3.5 x 3.5 x 4.9
  • Lumens: 60
  • Number of LEDs: 1
  • LED type: White

The TANSOREN solar lantern is a reliable light source for camping, hiking, emergencies, or power outage with three charging methods.

It has a single LED bulb that emits 60 lumens of luminous flux. The folding handle slides upward for carrying or hanging, but also sits on a table. Additionally, you get two lanterns that to light different areas from your tent or at dusk walks back to the campsite.

The military-grade ABS plastic body collapses with ease and easily fits in any backpack, drawer, or shelf. Although TANSOREN claims that the lantern is water-resistant, there are no noticeable gaskets to prevent water from getting inside. So, keep it as far away from water as possible. 

TANSOREN 2 PACK Portable LED Camping Lantern Solar USB Rechargeable or 3 AA Power Supply, Built-in...

According to the supplier, the lamp has enough juice to power the bulb for 8 continuous hours on low brightness. Since there are no buttons or switches, you adjust the brightness by pulling or collapsing the lantern.

You can either use the solar panel, three AA batteries, or the DC input to charge the lantern (DC charger included). Sadly, there is no way of telling when the battery is full because the charging LED doesn’t turn green. So you will have to play it by ear.

Likes:

  • Three charging methods
  • Surprisingly efficient solar panel
  • Pleasantly light

Cons:

  • Charging light doesn’t turn green
  • Power bank is incompatible with iOS devices
  • Quickly loses brightness

Old-Fashioned Solar Lanterns

Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Solar Lantern

Goal Zero Lighthouse 600 Camping Lantern, Solar Lantern 600 Lumens LED Lantern. Solar Outdoor...

Features:

  • Best for: Camping on stranded locations
  • Weight (Pound): 1.1
  • Dimensions (inches): 4.5 x 5 x 6.5
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 5200
  • Lumens: 600
  • Number of LEDs: 2
  • LED type: Warm white

This is technically cheating, as this camping lantern doesn’t have an built-in solar panel. Still, you can use any compatible solar panel to power the rechargeable 5200 mAh battery.

Charge this Goal Zero 600 Lighthouse Camping lantern via solar, hand crank, and USB

Alternatively, you can use the crank to keep the light shining. The last one is for emergencies only, of course. Otherwise, you will be cranking the handle the whole trip.

All the light source comes from two 3W warm LED bulbs. Chiefly, the massive battery has enough juice to keep the camping lights running for 2.5 hours on high brightness. Use the yellow knob to change the brightness settings and increase battery life up to 180 hours!

The Lighthouse camping lantern has an ace in its sleeve. Namely, it serves as a portable power bank! For this reason, you will never run out of juice on your next camping trip.

Likes:

  • It serves as a power bank
  • Multiple charging options
  • LED lights turn on/off independently
  • Accurate battery level indicator
  • Collapsible legs and handles for more convenience 

Cons:

  • Battery drains very fast on high power
  • The emergency light switch is very fragile

LETOUR LED Rechargeable Solar Lantern

LETOUR Camping Lantern LED Emergency Portable Light IP45 Rainproof Battery Solar Powered Flashlight...

Features:

  • Best for: fishing and camping
  • Weight (Ounces): 5.7
  • Dimensions (inches): 3.5 x 3.5 x 4.7
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 2400
  • Lumens: 600
  • Number of LEDs: 1
  • LED type: White
  • IPX45 dust and waterproof

With a huge, 24000 mAh battery, LeTour solar powered camping lanterns offer 10 meters and 3 hours of 600 lumens output. If you want a camping lamp that can hang from a branch to light an area, or you can wear to light your trail, this may fit the bill due to its ingenious handle design. 

Despite being small, it packs plenty of handy features. To begin with, it has a polysilicon solar panel, removable rechargeable batteries, a charging indicator, a micro USB charging port, and a USB power output for phones.

Additionally, it has a waterproof rating IPX45, which protects against rain.

The single bottom allows you to power up the solar lantern and change between the five lighting modes. These solar camping lights switch from low, medium, high, strobe, and together with SOS modes, you’re covered for any situation.

We hope you never have to use the SOS mode, but you will be prepared should an emergency situation arises.

The lamp automatically changes the brightness settings when it is running out of batteries. Thus, boosting battery life when you need it the most. And, we forgot to mention this, you get no one but two lanterns for around 20 bucks!

Likes:

  • Fantastic battery life for its size
  • Very bright
  • Water-resistant
  • Batteries easily replaceable

Cons:

  • Power bank features don’t work that well.
  • Inaccurate battery indicator
  • It doesn’t collapse

AGPTEK Solar Camping Lantern

AGPTEK Solar Lantern, 5 Mode Hand Crank Dynamo 36 LED Rechargeable Camping Lantern Emergency Light,...

Features:

  • Best for car camping and tent light source
  • Weight (Pounds): 1.6
  • Dimensions (inches): 4 x 4 x 10
  • Lumens: 240
  • Number of LEDs: 36
  • LED type: Warm white
  • Five charging options

If you like old fashion camping lamps, then make sure to check the AGPTEK solar lantern. It’s the only lamp with five charging methods: Solar, car adapter, AC adapter, hand crank, and 3 AA batteries. Altogether, there is no chance of running out of juice. And that’s its biggest perk.

The AGPTEK solar lantern doubles as a power bank for your phone. Still, the 5V/1A output is not the fastest. But something is better than nothing, right?

It takes around 7 hours to charge the camping lamp using sunlight. Sadly, the battery does drain quickly. We needed to use the hand crank more than we would have wanted, especially in super-bright mode.

That’s why we recommend using the lowest brightness settings. Besides, the 36 white LEDs give plenty of light to this profile. So, there is no point in using the other.

Despite looking sturdy, we feel that the plastic frame can’t cope with falls or hits. . So, it might not be the best lantern for hikers, anglers, or anyone who moves a lot. The AGPTEK works best as a table lamp or camping lantern.

Likes:

  • Several charging options
  • Very bright
  • You can use it as a power bank

Cons:

  • Battery drains fast
  • LEDs are prone to fall
  • Delicate handcrank

Best Lantern for Power Outage: FosPower Emergency Solar Lantern and Radio

FosPower 2000mAh NOAA Emergency Weather Radio (Model A1) Portable Power Bank with Solar Charging,...

Features:

  • Best for: emergencies
  • Weight (Ounces): 10.9
  • Dimensions (inches): 6.2 x 2.9 x 2.1
  • Number of LEDs: 4
  • LED type: Warm white
  • Three charging options
  • IPX3 Water Resistant

A radio and light source are the top priorities during emergencies such as hurricanes, floods, or simply getting lost during a hiking trip at night. Here, the FosPower emergency lamp and radio have your back.

This is the first of solar lanterns with a built-in AM/FM radio on this list thus far. Light comes from two places: A 1W flashlight at the front and a reading lamp with 4 LEDs in the middle of the device. Without a doubt, it’s enough to keep you and your loved one out of the dark.

There are four ways to power your devices with the FosPower solar lanterns. Firstly, the hand crank lever provides full battery power. Secondly, via the solar panel. Thirdly, the built-in power bank, charged by USB. And lastly, using three AAA batteries.

FosPower 2000mAh NOAA Emergency Weather Radio (Model A1) Portable Power Bank with Solar Charging,...

We felt that the crank handle is small, and it takes lots of cranks to generate enough power for the lantern. But at least you have one. Even though it’s small, the solar panel and crank lever regenerates enough power to keep the radio, lights, and SOS alarm ready to go.

The FosPower has an IPX3 rating, which means that it can handle the occasional splash without dying. Another detail is the USB port at the back which allows you to charge your phone without interfering with the flashlight.

In short, the FosPower is one of the best solar lanterns for power outages that you can find.

Likes:

  • Emergency radio
  • Three powering options
  • Built-in 2000 mAh battery
  • You can use it as a power bank
  • Can handle the occasional water splash

Cons:

  • The light source at the middle is in awkward position
  • Flashlight & reading lights can’t be used independent of one another
  • Very inefficient solar panel

Best Traditional Feel with Modern Features: Whetstone Solar Powered Camping Lantern

Solar Powered, Crank Dynamo, Battery Operated Lantern- 4 Ways to Power- 180 Lumen 36-LED with...

Features:

  • Best for: camping and auto repair
  • Weight (Ounces): 22.4
  • Dimensions (inches): 10 x 4 x 5.25
  • Lumens: 180
  • Number of LEDs: 36
  • LED type: Warm white
  • Four charging options

With 36 cold LEDs and 180 lumens, the Whetstone solar lantern is our last contender today. It has a classic camping lamp design with a flat bottom so you can place it on the table. The solar panel is at the top beneath the handle with a built-in hook.

The solar panel takes around 7 hours to charge the lantern. But you can also use the AC adapter or hand crank to keep the light shining. Otherwise, you can rely on the three AAA batteries.

Together with the thick handle, these solar camping lights are ideal for walking with the lamp, while the hook comes in handy for hanging the lantern inside the tent.

It has a power button that allows you to turn the lantern on, off, and change the brightness settings. Furthermore, you can choose between low, great for tent lighting to medium and high, which are suitable for illuminating large areas.

Likes:

  • Plenty of charging options
  • Has a beautiful design
  • Power button is embedded deep in the body to avoid miss pushes
  • Long-lasting battery

Cons:

  • Not compatible with iOS devices
  • Hand crank is tiny and fragile

Choosing Solar Camping Lights: Features to Look For

Lumens, battery capacity, waterproof rating, construction, and LED types are some of the features you need to look for when buying a solar camping lantern. They must carefully match your requirements to get the most out of your lantern.

So, yes. Choosing a suitable solar lantern takes some time.

But don’t worry. Here, you will find everything you need to know to make an educated decision. Altogether, we’ll cover battery life, charging options, portability, and much more!

Camping Lantern Brightness: A Question of Lumens

Shortly known as lm, lumens are the international unit of measurement for luminous flux. The more lumens, the more flux; thus, the higher the brightness gets, the farther the light travels.

Lumens for Solared Powered Lanterns

One would think that the more lumens, the better, right? However, the lumens rating depends on the situation.

Decorative lights, for instance, should not exceed 10 lumens. You want dim lanterns, not a hot burning sun in your backyard. In contrast, if you’re going to light large areas, then seek something with 100 lumens, at least.

But don’t exaggerate either.  On the whole, a 600+ lumen light might be helpful on some occasions, like illuminating the whole camp. Overall, it can be too bright to use in small areas such as tents or camping tables.

In short, 600+ lumens solar camping lights are simply too bright and like looking straight at the sun.

Battery life depends on the brightness. Setting the brightness on high will drain the battery faster. Thankfully, you can adjust the brightness of most solar camping lights, especially those with a high lumen rating.

Battery Life and Capacity

Like we said before, the battery life depends, among other things, on the brightness setting and battery capacity. We already discussed the first one, but what about the latter?

Battery capacity refers to how much mAh it can deliver. Think about two lamps. Both have the same brightness, but one has a 10000 mAh battery, while the other has a 25000 mAh battery.

The first one will turn off quicker than the latter. In other words, the second camping lantern offers more running time.

Here, going big is crucial. Find the camping lantern with the biggest battery and that you can pay for, of course.

Camping Solar Lanterns LEDs: Warm or Cold?

camping lights color scale

The majority of camping lanterns use white LEDs. Some might offer colored bulbs, but they are not of use for camping. However, they come in handy for decorative purposes.

Now, you might notice that some camping lantern boxes show “Warm” or “Cold” white LEDs. It has to do with the shade of white that the bulb creates.

Yes, it sounds weird, we know. But when it comes to white LEDs, there are three tones: Warm, natural, and cool. The first leans to the yellowish side of the visible scale, while the last on the bluish.

Now, this has nothing to do with brightness. Remember that this comes from the lumens we talked about before. The color of the LED lamp depends on the amount of Kelvin degrees it generates. Thus, the way we perceive light.

For example:

  • Warm LEDs: Around 3000K
  • Natural LEDs: Between 4000 to 5000K
  • Cold LEDs: Over 5000K

Each shade has its uses. Warm is a good tent light source as it is more relaxing. In contrast, you want to use warm white for active areas such as around camping tables or while hiking. 

LED color scale for camping lanterns

Charging Options

Yes, solar lanterns use the sun to generate power. We all can tell that from the title. But it should also support other forms of charging, for example, USB input ports or a DC socket.

Some even offer hand crank handles to generate power when there are no other means of charging. It is not the most efficient way to power your lantern. But at least you have it.

Now, let’s talk a little about solar panels. All solar camping lights have a small panel on top. But because it is so tiny, it is not meant to be the primary charging option. It is more like a backup method.

In other words, you should charge your lamp through the USB or DC socket, provided it has one, before your trip. Then, use the sun to keep the lantern charged. It’s also wise to bring a solar power bank to charge it.

Shock, Dust, and Waterproof Capabilities

Camping often involves getting wet, a lot of dirt, and the occasional fall. Hence, having a lantern that copes with this all is crucial. Otherwise, you will be in the market for a new one sooner than expected.

Check the IP rating to see what kind of protection the camping lantern has against intrusion and water. The first number after the P indicates dust protection, while the last number refers to waterproofing capabilities. Shortly, the higher the number is, the more protection. Check here if you want to know more about this.

Lighting Modes

You can easily swap among different lighting modes on most camping lanterns. For example, you can change the brightness from low to high.

Some lamps even offer different light colors as well as strobe and SOS modes. The last two are ideal in emergencies when creating a visible distress signal is crucial.

While it is not mandatory to have one with that feature, we highly recommend it.

Solar Camping Lantern Construction

Durability largely depends on how well built the lamp is. Most camping lanterns nowadays have plastic housing. While, plastic isn’t as strong as metal, it’s way lighter.

Thus, favoring portability.

Portability

How portable do you want your lamp to be? It’s an often-overlooked question that you have to ask yourself. Are you planning to stay most of the night time at camp?

If so, then an old-fashioned non-collapsible lantern might be the best choice. However, suppose you love hiking or plan on fishing before dawn. In that case, a collapsible solar lantern is a better deal for you.

MPowerd Luci Pro Outdoor 2.0 Inflatable Charging Lantern vs. Non-collapsible lantern

Best Solar Lantern Camping Lights: MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0

The MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 is our undisputed champion today. Yes, there are cheaper solar-powered lanterns on this list.

But they are not of the same quality. Firstly, the price sits on the lower side. Secondly, the sturdy plastic frame and IP67 rating promise many years of operation, making it an ideal choice for campers, anglers, hikers, and pretty much everyone.

Only the collapsible solar camping light from LuminAid and the MPOWERD Luci Base have such a rating.

Additionally, the 10000 mAh battery is big enough for the average user. You can adjust the brightness to increase battery life in those moments when you need it the most.

On top of that, the Luci Outdoor 2.0 is among the most portable solar powered lanterns on this list. MPowerd inflatable solar camping lights collapses down to 1 inch. Basically, you can virtually store it anywhere.

So, what are you waiting to get yours?

Last update on 2021-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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