When it comes to camping, the most fun can come after the sun goes down. But it’s hard to have a great time camping if you can’t see what you’re doing or the people around you! Unfortunately, traditional camping lanterns can run out of power at the worst of moments — and if you’re far from the store, you’re out of luck. Luckily, campers can now opt for a rechargeable lantern for their next trip, improving on many aspects of an old-fashioned lamp.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the best.
What is a rechargeable lantern?
A rechargeable lantern is any type of lantern-style light source that’s powered by a battery that you can recharge repeatedly when it runs out of juice.
This is in contrast to some lanterns that use disposable batteries or others that do not run on propane, butane, or other consumable fuels.
Rechargeable lanterns offer lower costs for owners who no longer need to purchase expensive batteries or fuel. They can usually be charged via USB or a 12V car charger, making them just as easy to charge on the go as they are at home.
Things to look out for when choosing a rechargeable lantern
There are tons of rechargeable lanterns out there. So what makes one better than another? Here are some of the most important factors buyers should consider.
number of lumens
A lumen is a measure of the brightness of any light source. They allow apples-to-apples comparisons regardless of the type of bulb or light source. The more lumens, the brighter the light.
Some lanterns also have different settings with different lumen values for different uses, from lighting a large campsite to providing a soft glow in a tent before bed.
Use the time between charges
It’s important to buy a lantern with enough battery life for your needs. Those just buying for an occasional night at a developed campground won’t need more than a couple hours of capacity.
However, backpackers and others who do not have reliable power for long periods of time should carefully consider how long the lantern will remain lit before it loses power.
A battery lantern can stand out from its competitors in terms of special features. For example, some are waterproof, making them perfect for canoe trips or kayaking to campsites.
Others are collapsible for easy stuffing in almost any bag or pocket, and many are hanging or even magnetic for easy use in different rooms.
Certain models even offer high-tech features like solar charging or the ability to act as a power bank for other devices.
How many lumens is good for a lantern?
How you plan to use your rechargeable lantern will determine the number of lumens you need. If you only need a little light to find things in the tent or to do other small tasks, you can get by with just a few hundred lumens.
However, if you want to illuminate large parts of your campsite or provide enough light for detailed tasks, you should look for lanterns with an output of almost 1,000 lumens or more.
Fortunately, many modern lanterns have multiple settings for different uses. This can help save electricity when most of the light is not required.
The best rechargeable lanterns you can get online
With so many rechargeable camping lanterns, it can be tiring to compare them all. Luckily, we’ve done the job and found five of the best in different categories.
Our Pick: Collapsible Portable LED Camping Lantern
Watt Equivalent: 3 to 4 watts (LED), 20 watts (incandescent)
There’s a lot to love about this four pack of quality rechargeable camping lanterns that sell for around the same price as many individual lanterns!
Lightweight, durable and waterproof, these LED lanterns fold up for easy portability or convert into a flashlight for focused light.
The 1600 mAh battery is rechargeable via built-in solar panel and USB and provides 25 hours of light. While individually they may not have as many lumens as others, the four lanterns can work together to light up large spaces in highly customizable ways.
Top Rated: Energizer Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern
Lumens: Until 1150
Watt Equivalent: 12 to 13 watts (LED), 75 watts (incandescent)
This rechargeable lantern is a fan favorite, and it’s easy to see why. It has four light modes including cool, warm and strobe light. It can deliver up to 1,150 lumens, enough to light up even a large campsite, and lower light modes to extend battery life.
This energizer lantern lasts four to 10 hours and withstands almost anything with a shatterproof lens and water-resistant construction. In addition, it also acts as a power bank to charge other devices.