Various camping lanterns can be seen around most campgrounds, from a camping candle lantern to an led camping lantern. We help you choose the best camping lantern by explaining the different types.
A battery operated lantern, liquid fuel lanterns, camping gas lanterns or an led camping lantern will bring much-needed light for finding the way around a camp site. The various camping lanterns all have advantages and disadvantages, that are worth considering before making a choice.
Camping lanterns are most suitable for car camping and base camp trips. The weight and pack size conscious backpackers will find camping headlamps and other camping lights more suitable. Although, there are lightweight options to consider.
Battery Operated Lantern
These are the most popular camping lanterns for most campers. These are safe for children to use, have no fire risk and the easiest to use, just click the button and light!
The disadvantage would be having to make sure the batteries do not run flat, and to be prepared with enough spares. Using rechargeable batteries are a good option if you have an electric hook up and save money. You are also able to buy a rechargeable lantern or a cross between solar power and batteries.
A battery operated lantern may also become affected by very cold weather conditions. Batteries discharge quicker. This is where other liquid fuel lanterns become a better option.
An led camping lantern can last for over 50 hours run time compared to many of the fluorescent tube types. When considering a battery powered lantern, check the burn time and the lumens (the higher the brighter).
Liquid Fuel Lanterns
These camping lanterns are as bright as the cannister lantern although more efficient with fuel that requires a mantel replacement when needed.
They are made to be used with either unleaded fuel, coleman fuel or kerosene. Many coleman lanterns are duel fuel types that use coleman fuel or unleaded gas. Coleman fuel is available from most camping stores.
These are a great option for cold weather camping and can be used with the fuel for a camp stove to save taking various types of fuel.
Refilling and spillage can be a disadvantage for liquid fuel lanterns; Also, safety is an issue compared to a battery operated lantern because these have a flame rather than bulbs. You will need to make sure a flame is allowed in the camp area, some areas have restrictions.
Not many campers use the kerosene lamps now due to the better options available. Kerosene can smell, and is quite a dirty fuel. Although, widely available and an option for emergency circumstances.
Liquid fuel lanterns also need cooling before refilling for safety reasons, that can be a pain during the night. Best have your torch! Although winter campers may be grateful for some heat.
Some consumers complain amount the noise a fuel lantern can make.
Cannister Lanterns – Gas Camping Lanterns
These camping lanterns will either be used with a propane cylinder, butane or isobutane. Again, if you already use a camp stove that uses a cylinder this may be a good option to minimize taking various fuels.
They are easier to use than liquid fuel, by just screwing the cannister on, rather than refilling, with the option of buying a 2 mantel type, for extra output.
Gas lanterns will not perform as well as liquid fuel lanterns below freezing temperatures. These lanterns are known for blasting out some light, if you really want to create an illumination around your camp.
Solar Powered/Dynamo/Wind Up Camping Lanterns
These lanterns have no need for fuel or batteries. Many are combined with solar and batteries or solar and wind up. Consumers have many complaints about these types not producing enough light, or take too much winding for the amount of light output.
There are many cheap options that people complain about. We get what we pay for, I say. You will struggle to get the same output from one of these compared to some of the camping lanterns above.
The obvious advantage is having no concern for batteries, replacement mantels or fuel; also better for the environment.
Camping Candle Lantern
Camping candle lantern can be bought very cheap; They are basically a lantern or tube that just protects the candle from going out and a place for it to reside.
These are never going to give the same output as battery operated lanterns or fuel types. A good option for backpacking and hiking because they weigh as little as 4 ozs without the need for carrying fuel, or spare bulbs and batteries.
Camping Lanterns Safety and Tips
Whatever lantern you choose, keep in mind the safety of you and your family with the flame types. We would not advise using a flame inside a tent.
Any of the lanterns above either may need replacement bulbs, canisters, batteries or fuel, that needs to be part of your camping kit to be prepared before setting out.