Buying Guide & Review Of The 5 Best Solar Camping Lanterns

by Ally Mash | Last Updated:   October 19th, 2021
Buying Guide & Review Of The 5 Best Solar Camping Lanterns


A camping trip is always a great way to get away from the everyday stress and spend time with your loved ones. However, you need to have the right camping gear for your camping trip to be perfect.

One camping gear that you should never leave your home without is your solar lantern. With a solar lantern, you will be able to light up your tent at night. It is the most convenient light source you can have thanks to its lightweight, small size, and the fact that it is solar-powered.

As your favorite adventurer, I will be providing you with well-detailed information on the best solar camping lanterns. I will also be telling you about the features you should look out for in solar lanterns later in the review. This should save you lots of time and allow you to focus on other aspects of your camping trip.

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

The Best 5 Solar Camping Lanterns on the Market

There are numerous solar-powered camping lanterns on the market today. But if you will like to save time and quickly find the best products, here are the best five:

AGPTEK Solar Camping Lantern

The AGPTEK Solar Camping Lantern has only two brightness modes, however, it more than makes up for this by offering 5 different charging options. This will help you ensure that you never spend a camping night in the dark.

As expected, the first charging option is solar energy. The lantern has a polysilicon solar panel above it to draw power from the sun. The second and third charging options are the USB charger and car adapter.

The fourth option will require you to charge your lantern manually using the hand crank dynamo. This method should be your last resort since it requires you to spin a hand lever. However, it guarantees that you will never run out of power.

Finally, you can store the electricity you generate in the 3 AAA batteries. The LEDs consume very little energy to ensure that the lantern stays on for longer. Also, you will be able to choose between two brightness modes. These include the simple bright mode and super bright mode.

Pros
  • It is energy efficient
  • It has multiple charging methods
  • It has two brightness modes
  • It has an excellent light output
  • It has a battery indicator
Cons
  • It is not waterproof
  • It is bulky

MPOWERD Luci Pro Outdoor 2.0

You shouldn’t be deceived by the small size of the MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0, it is one of the most powerful camping lights that money can buy. It is suitable for hiking, camping, and backpacking. The light it provides is so bright that even the lower setting will be enough to light up your tent.

Also, the device comes with all the features that you could need in a camping light. These features include great ambiance and light quality. It also has an efficient solar panel that ensures that it charges quickly. The solar lantern has an adjustable strap too for easy hanging

Additionally, the camping lantern’s light output of 150 lumens is unmatched by any lantern below it on this list. The warm white LEDs provide an ample quantity of light. When it comes to charging, solar panel performs impressively.

With just a little sunlight, the solar panel will charge the camping lantern with enough power to run for some minutes. Its phone charging capability can’t match that of a power bank or solar charger. However, I love that it charges phones with sunlight even when out of power.

Pros
  • It charges phones quite well
  • It charges very fast
  • It provides very bright light
  • It is durable
  • It is collapsible
Cons
  • It is quite heavy

Goal Zero Crush Light Solar Powered Lantern

With a weight of just 3.2 ounces, the Goal Zero Crush Light is an incredibly light solar camping lantern. It also comes with some cool features despite its lightweight and compactness. First, it can last as long as 35 hours when on low and can light your tent for 3 days of camping.

The crush Light produces 60 lumens on high. It also produces 25 lumens and 6 lumens when on medium and low mode respectively. You should the warm glow of the light produced by the solar lantern. The candle flicker mode is another excellent feature that creates a cool ambiance.

Though the solar lantern provides a 35-hour runtime on low mode, the light you will get won’t be dim. The light provided will be good enough for you to read in your tent. Additionally, the camping lantern can be charged with the built-in solar panel or through a USB port.

Furthermore, the solar lantern is designed to be very easy to pack. You can collapse it into a portable form that is just above 0.5 inches. Finally, the lantern should be long-lasting thanks to its durability and waterproof seal.

Pros
  • It has four different lighting modes
  • It offers a 35 hour run time
  • It is portable
  • It can be with a USB cord
Cons
  • It doesn’t have a battery indicator
  • It can be difficult to collapse

Suaoki LED Camping Solar Lantern

The Suoka LED lantern is another great choice for camping and backpacking. It produces 65 lumens on high and can last for up to 10 hours on low. When collapsed, the solar camping lantern becomes incredibly portable.

Additionally, the 25 lumens emitted by the lamp on the low setting will be enough to illuminate your tent at night. In addition to that, the solar lantern can be used as a flashlight and will be very useful in emergencies. In emergencies, you can use the Suaoki LED light to quickly charge your phone or as an SOS flashing beacon.

The lantern has built-in solar panels that power it with sunlight. But in the absence of sunlight, you can charge it with a power bank via the USB port. At full charge, the device can provide 5 hours of light on high thanks to the 800 mAh battery.

You will be pleased to discover how portable the Suaoki LED light is if you are a backpacker. The solar lantern can be folded down to just 1.77 inches so you will be able to slip it into your bag without hassle. Its 5.6-ounce weight also means it won’t make your backpack heavier. Finally, the device is water-resistant.

Pros
  • It is affordable
  • It is lightweight and compact
  • It has a charging indicator
  • It has different lighting modes including low, high, and emergency
  • Collapsing the LED camping lantern is easy
Cons
  • It isn’t durable
  • It doesn’t charge quickly

Tansoren 2 Pack Portable LED Camping Solar Lanterns

When it comes to versatility and reliability, the solar camping lanterns from Tansoren are among the most highly rated products on the market. Both lanterns can be powered in 3 different ways. These include the solar panel, USB port, and 3 AA batteries. What’s more, the solar lanterns will run for 8 hours with a single charge.

The lanterns come with excellent omnidirectional LED bulbs that produce 60 lumens of white light. This way, they will be able to light up your tent or campsite in all directions. Though the light produced is very bright, it’s not harmful to the eyes. The lanterns can also be used to give your android phone a quick boost.

Additionally, the solar lanterns are highly suitable for multi-day camping trips. This is due to their ability to hold a charge for long periods. I also love that the lanterns can be connected to wall sockets or powered with batteries.

When it is time to pack the lanterns, you will be able to collapse so that they are half of their initial size. Also, the lanterns are manufactured by hand with durable plastic. Each lantern has an impressive bulb life of 100,000 hours.

Pros
  • Two in one
  • The lanterns utilize 3 different power sources
  • They emit light in 360 degrees
  • The bulbs will serve you for 100,000 hours
Cons
  • The lanterns only charge android devices
  • The lanterns do not have fixed brightness settings

Our Top Choice


We’ve now gone through the list of the 5 best solar camping lanterns. After learning about what each product has to offer, you should agree with me that the best solar-powered camping lantern is the AGPTEK Solar Camping Lantern.

The best solar lantern for you shouldn’t rely on sunlight alone. This is because some days may have unfavorable weather conditions. On such days, you should be able to take advantage of other power sources.

This essential need is what makes the AGPTEK Solar Camping Lantern stand out. The device is highly reliable because it can be charged in various ways. So, when you go on a week-long camping trip with this device, a power outage will be the last thing you will have to worry about.

You may opt for one of the cheaper products on the list, this could be a more portable or less bright solar panel. Any solar lantern on the list should be a good buy. But if you want the very best, you should go for the AGPTEK Solar Camping Lantern.

You may also check out this video to learn more about the product:

Buying Guide: How To Pick the Best Solar Camping Lanterns

To find the most suitable solar lantern for your camping trip, there are certain things that you need to consider. Doing this will is the best way to ensure that you are satisfied with your purchase in the long term.

Below are the most essential factors:

Area of Use

The first thing you need to think about when searching for the right camping lantern is where it will be used. A very bright camping lantern will be the right choice if you need to light up an entire campsite.

Also, a lightweight lantern will be the right choice if you are going on a hike. This is because a lightweight will be easy to carry and it can even serve as a flashlight.

Additionally, the best solar lanterns to use inside tents are those with a stable base. This allows campers to place them on either a table or floor. Another feature that an interior lantern should have is a hook for hanging.

Lighting Modes

Another feature that you need to check out in a solar-powered camping lantern is the lighting modes that it offers. To view this information, you should check out the product’s specifications. The manufacturers also provide include information on the light output of every product in each lighting mode.

Also known as lumen output, the light output tells you how bright the lamp will be. You should note that a lamp’s brightness is also affected by the warmness or coolness of light colors. Hence, you should remember to make your decision based on the light output and color of light emitted by the lantern.

Furthermore, the maker of a LED lantern will provide information on how long the product can stay on. This will tell you the duration of time that the lantern can be used in each lighting mode with a single charge.

You will need a lamp that emits 100 lumens of light to light up your entire tent. But if you are a hiker or backpacker, a lamp emitting between 50 to 100 lumens will suffice. Also, 50 lumens will be bright enough for you to read. A few lanterns proving around 250 lumens each will be needed to light up an entire campsite.

Scope of Light

Don’t forget about the scope of light that a lamp provides as well. Solar lanterns do not emit light in a straight line like flashlights. Instead, they emit much broader light. Some lanterns are designed to produce light at 360 degrees while other produce light in a particular direction.

Charging Modes

You should take some time to check out the charging options of any solar lantern that you are interested in. Though the main source of power will always be solar energy, versatility is always a good idea. Other options that are included in lanterns include USB, DC, car adapter, and hand-crank dynamo. The higher the number of charging options offered by a lamp, the greater its reliability.

Learn how to charge your solar devices without the sunlight:

Charging Time

The amount of time it takes to get to full charge differs by model. Some solar camping lanterns charge faster than others. However, the average amount of time needed for camping lights to charge completely is between 4 to 12 hours.

Weatherproofing

You will have to leave your solar camping light out in the open for it to charge. During this time, it will be exposed to the different elements of the weather including rain, wind, snow, and more. The best solar-powered lanterns are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions. Their batteries and other vital components are usually sealed to keep out the elements of damage. So, you should opt for a water-resistant camping light.

Durability

The best solar lanterns are built to be highly durable. This is essential because it enables them to handle the use and abuse they go through during camping trips. Your camping lantern should not just be manufactured with top-quality material, but it should also be strongly built. This way, you can be assured that it will handle the shocks it will be getting from bumps and falls in the future. Additionally, you may check out reviews to get more information on how well a led camping lantern does outdoors.

Size and Weight

For you to have a smooth and convenient camping trip, you need to ensure that your camping gear is portable. The great thing about solar camping lanterns is that you don’t have to sacrifice portability for performance. A collapsible solar lantern is a type of camping lantern that can be folded into a compact size so that it can be stored and transported with ease.

Ease of Use

The best solar camping light for you has to be easy to use. You should check out any product you are interested in to see if it comes with a handle, hook, and firm base. Also, a solar lantern should have an on/off button and a simple way of making changes to the light’s intensity. If you are purchasing a collapsible solar lantern, you should ensure that it is easy to open and close.

Design

Getting a beautifully designed solar lantern can make you more satisfied with your purchase. Asides from having visually appealing frames, some lamps also come with lights of different colors.

Affordability

Finally, you should consider how much you are willing to spend on a new solar lantern. The higher the number of features a lamp has, the higher its price will be. However, some very good solar lanterns come at affordable too. Check out the features available in each lamp you check out to ensure that it’s worth its price.

Types of Solar Camping Lanterns

Solar lanterns can be split into different categories based on certain factors. The first category is based on how a solar lantern is built. In this category, some lanterns come with fixed designs. These models can’t be folded or compressed. Though this doesn’t affect their performance, they are less compact and portable than other models.

We also have collapsible solar lanterns. These lanterns are specifically designed for the needs of campers and backpackers. They can be collapsed for easy storage in small spaces and expanded when needed. The majority of collapsible lanterns feature hooks and metal handles to allow users to attach to a backpack or tent wall.

Furthermore, solar lanterns can be classified according to the available charging modes. For example, a lamp with a USB port is called a USB solar lantern. Also, lamps that rely on only solar power alone are referred to as single charging solar lanterns.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do Solar lamps work?

A solar lantern works by converting the energy provided by the sun to electrical energy and then storing it until it is needed. To do this, solar lamps come with solar panels and rechargeable batteries. The solar cells in the panels absorb sunlight while the direct current generated is stored in the batteries.

Will my solar lantern charge when there is no sunlight?

On cloudy days, the best solar lamps still manage to take advantage of the sun rays that find their way through the clouds. Also, high-quality solar-powered lamps usually have other charging options. This allows users to make use of power banks, main sockets, car plug-ins, etc.

Why is my solar light not working?

The most likely reason why your solar light isn’t working is that your batteries have gone bad. This could be a result of the inability of the batteries to receive power or store it. Should the solar lamp work normally with another set of batteries, it means you either have bad batteries or bad solar panels.

How Long Can a Solar Lantern Last with One Charge?

There is no straightforward answer to this question. The number of hours that your solar lamp lasts with a single charge will depend on its battery life.

You should expect the battery capacity of a solar lantern for camping to be between 500 mAh to 1000 mAh. The greater the capacity of a lamp’s battery, the greater its brightness and runtime will be. You also need to ensure that the solar panel is efficient.

How’s the Performance of Solar Lamps in Various Weather Conditions?

The performance of any solar light will greatly depend on the weather condition in the area. All solar-powered devices perform poorly in cloudy conditions. If your solar panel can’t access direct sunlight, it may take up to one day to fully charge the inbuilt battery.

Additionally, several camping lamps feature high IP_XY protection ratings. This rating is an international standard that shows the level of protection a product has against environmental elements like dust and water. X will tell you the lamp’s level of protection against dust while Y will tell you its level of protection against water.

Since they are used in campsites, several camping lights perform well in wet conditions. However, some models are completely protected from water damage. These models can be immersed in water for a half-hour without issue and good examples are models with IP67 or IP68 ratings.

Such lamps will be the perfect choice for you if you need a camping lantern that you can use on your fishing trips.

Where Should Solar Lanterns Be Placed on a Campsite?

There are several areas that you can place your solar-powered lantern on a campsite. To start with, the right solar lamp to use inside your tent should emit between 70 to 100 lumens for excellent lighting. But if you only need a light for reading or to spend time with someone, 40 to 50 lumens will be adequate. You may hang the light in the upper part of your tent.

Additionally, having solar lights around will boost the mood around your campsite in the evening. If you need ideas on how to decorate your campsite, you may start by connecting several camping lights using fishing lines. After that, hang them between trees to light up and beautify your campsite.

If you are a fan of RV camping, you may attach your camping lights to the windows of your vehicle with suction cups. Also, some solar lights have magnets below them and you will find this feature helpful if you will be camping in your car. It will enable you to attach the lights to the roof of your car.

Finally, you can use your camping lights during your dinners. The perfect solar lights for such occasions are the ones with colors.

What Are The Advantages of Using Solar Lanterns for Camping?

We all have our roles to play in the preservation of the environment and the world at large. One of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact is to make use of solar lights on your camping trips. This is because solar energy doesn’t release any toxic substances into the environment like fossil fuels. It is clean and renewable.

Also, you can make your camping trip much more convenient with a solar lamp. Solar panels are designed to be compact so that they can be easily attached to portable solar lamps. Since the energy from the sun is infinite, there is no chance of you running out of power. All you will have to do is to charge your lantern’s battery during the day with your solar panels.

Finally, you can always rely on solar lamps in emergencies. Most lamps come with USB ports with which you can charge your mobile phone. So, you will never find yourself in a situation in which you are unable to get help or contact your loved ones.

What Are The Precautions for Using Solar Lamps?

There are some precautions you need to take when using a solar lamp to ensure that there are no unforeseen issues.

Firstly, you should verify the runtime of a solar lamp when it is fully charged. This is even more vital if you will be using it in emergencies. Some lamps will only run for a limited time even after charging for an entire day. So you shouldn’t use such lamps if you need a lamp that will stay on all night.

Portability is another important thing. Some lamps aren’t designed to be packed down or moved from one location to the other. Hence, you should take some time to verify the size, weight, and compactness of any camping lamp you will be investing in. Every single ounce should be considered when packing your camping gear. A large or heavy lamp will be difficult to transport.

Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through blogging. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.