If you’re traveling to the great outdoors, you’ll want one of these solar lanterns for camping, backpacking…
Whether you’re headed to a campground, RV resort, or national park, these solar lanterns for camping are great travel accessories.
Some are remarkably compact, and others offer multiple charging options. And they all offer great light in the dark, wherever you go.
With so many solar lanterns on the market, I’ve narrowed it down to make your decision easier. Hopefully, you can find exactly what you need among my top picks.
Benefits of Solar Lanterns for Camping
There are a few main benefits of solar lanterns over battery-operated or fuel lanterns. For one, they are much safer to use than fuel lanterns! I’m sure Smoky the Bear would agree with me.
More so, they are rechargeable with nothing but the sun’s rays. You don’t have to plug into an electricity port to recharge or rely on batteries, propane, butane, etc.
This makes solar lanterns ideal for camping, backpacking, and other outdoor travel. Furthermore, they are a great asset for emergency preparedness, even when you’re home.
3 Factors to Consider Before You Buy
When buying a solar lantern, there are three main features you should consider. Those features are charging modes, weight, and lighting modes.
Solar lanterns are, of course, charged by the sun. But what if you run out of charge at night or they don’t get enough charge on overcast days?
Some lanterns provide additional charging modes beyond solar. Some have backup batteries, USB charging ports, electrical adaptors, or even a hand crank.
You’ll need to consider which charging modes (and backup charging modes) are best for you.
Weight matters whenever you travel. That’s why the best solar lanterns for camping, backpacking, and other outdoor travel are compact and lightweight.
Depending on your needs, you may want a collapsible lantern or a solar inflatable light for the ultimate compact design.
The last main feature to consider is lighting modes. Different lighting modes allow you to adjust the light output.
Sometimes, you may want very bright light or a high mode for peak visibility. Other times, you may want more ambient light or a low mode for lounging.
A low mode can also help your eyes gradually adjust to the darkness. So, an adjustable solar lantern can make a great addition to your stargazing kit. You can use the lantern on low light to guide you to your stargazing spot, then switch it off.
5 Great Solar Lanterns
With so many solar lanterns for camping on the market, it can be hard to narrow it down. So, I’ve taken the initiative to whittle down the possibilities to 5 great options.
Could there be better options than are on this list? Of course. But these options cover different uses, so hopefully, there’s something for everybody here.
If you’re looking for lightweight portability, this inflatable lantern is for you. It collapses down to 1 inch and is only 4.4 ounces.
It’s also waterproof and durable, able to withstand 150 pounds of pressure.
The built-in rechargeable Li-ion battery recharges in direct sunlight in 7 hours. With 75 lumens, it lasts up to 24 hours on a single charge.
It has an adjustable base strap and a fixed top strap. So, it can be easily attached to your backpack or hung. Those nifty little straps will certainly come in handy.
This is another great option similar to the MPOWERD lantern but with one key difference. This inflatable lantern has a secondary charging option. You can charge it within 1-2 hours using a micro USB input.
However, you can charge it completely using solar power. It takes approximately 10 hours of direct sunlight and will last up to 24 hours.
This lantern (featured on Shark Tank, by the way) also has a velcro strap. So, you can easily carry it, attach it, or hang it.
This camping lantern is not collapsible, but it is compact. It’s only 6” tall and 1.1 pounds.
It has collapsible legs for ideal storage that you can fold out whenever you want to stand it on something. Or, you can hang it from its built-in handle.
Unlike the inflatable lanterns on this list, this lantern has adjustable lighting modes up to 600 lumens. You can utilize 360 degrees of bright LED light or extend its run time by illuminating half the lantern. It will alert you with a low-battery warning.
Another reason it makes the list is it has THREE chagrin options. Solar, of course, and also USB port and hand crank. In an emergency, you can crank the lantern for 1 minute for 10 minutes of low light.
Another great feature? It can power your devices! With the USB output, you can power other small devices, like phones, headlamps, and flashlights.
This is a hard-cased alternative to inflatable lanterns. This two-pack set is highly rated for its durability and multiple features.
The collapsible design is great for storage and travel, but it has another benefit, too. You can use it like a handheld flashlight in collapsed mode.
In addition to solar charging, you can recharge it with a USB port. Once fully charged, it’ll continuously provide bright light for 5-6 hours.
Like the Goal Zero, it can also charge small devices through its USB output.
One of the best features of this collapsible lantern is its adjustable height. You can control the brightness by controlling the height when extended.
It has 3 charging options: solar, USB, and hand crank. So, no matter where you are or in whatever conditions, you can have light.
The lantern’s light can last 4-40 hours on a full charge, depending on your chosen light output. It also has a flashlight mode, providing 8-35 hours of directional lighting.
It’s considered a must-have for survival kits or emergency preparedness. Which, of course, makes it a durable, reliable option for outdoor travel.
I’d love to hear your feedback and recommendations! Please share your recommendations for solar lanterns for camping and other outdoor activities in the comment section below.