LED lanterns for camping are an essential part of anyone’s gear. When the sun starts to set, and you can’t see your hand in front of your own face, you’ll be thankful to have a proper light source to guide your way. LED’s are highly energy efficient, have long lifespans, and don’t heat up anywhere near as much as other light types
We’ve reviewed the best camping lanterns before, but today we’re focusing on LED powered models.
You’ll need an LED camping light to brighten your path to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, find items in your gear, prevent tripping accidents, and also to check if there’s any food left on the ground which can attract animals. There are countless other scenarios where an outdoor LED lantern comes in handy, particularly for your safety at night.
The tricky thing about choosing the right battery powered lantern is that you can’t test them out. That’s why we’ve investigated for you and narrowed down the best camping lanterns powered by battery and LED.
13 Best Battery Powered Camp Lanterns
1. Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 Lantern
The Lighthouse lantern from Goal Zero is one of a few top selling models in the LED Lantern market that they have produced. You can see immediately why this particular model captures the attention of many a camper, the phone charging feature.
As we dig deeper, we can see it makes an extremely versatile tent lantern also. They have a couple of variations too on the lighthouse, such as the Core and Mini models, but we are settled on the Lighthouse 400 due to its multiple charging options.
For example, it has the ability to be a solar powered lantern if you attach the Goal Zero Nomad Solar Panel and can be charged and powered this way. Our most convenient option is the rechargeable lithium batteries, that power the lantern and also can recharge your phone or other USB devices.
To recharge simply plugin to the nearest power port and attach the opposite end by USB, done. One cool feature we like especially, is that you can set it to illuminate only 50% of the 360 degree light, saving you run time and extending the lighting period.
- To keep both sides lit it can run for around 24 hours on low, 2.5 hours on high
- To keep one side lit, you can get a huge 48 hours on low, 6 hours on high.
These are pretty respectable run times for a 400 lumens LED lantern with 360 degree lighting, as most usually have a covered panel blocking 20-30% of the lighting angles.
- Dual Lighting Modes
- 360 Degrees of Light
- Solar, Manual and Battery Operating Modes
2. Black Diamond Volt Lantern
One of our favorite compact battery powered lanterns on the market, the Volt LED lantern from Black Diamond just pips the Zip model to make our list, due to the superior light strength. Powered by a rechargeable lithium battery, but can also take any 3 AA sized batteries, which can be recharged by any USB cable.
Likewise any USB cable can be attached to then charge that device, perfect for if your cell or tablet needs a small boost while out in nature, keeping those important connections open incase of any mishaps.
We like the fact that you can literally hang this anywhere and it will have no bearing on it due to the weight being under 8 ounces (224 grams), hanging it on a guyline, tent hook, washing line or even getting innovative and attaching it to jackets, helmets etc are all equally possible.
Various functions are available in relation to the lighting, the Volt can create strobe lighting for those funky evenings, and at the same time create a more calming ambience with its dimming function. You can also lock the lighting mode for a fixed light of up to 250 lumens.
- Compact and Lightweight 224 grams
- Rechargeable Internal Battery
- Dims, Locks and Strobes
3. Black Diamond Apollo Lantern
The Apollo Lantern from Black Diamond is back and brighter than ever, a new upgraded version of the award winning 2019 version is upon us and boy are we excited to see it back. Still utilising the old QuadPower LED bulb, but now with 250 lumens instead of the old 200.
Rechargeable too, with the lithium battery inside easily recharged by USB cable. It packs a punch for a small lantern, able to charge your phone in around 3 hours and has an average run time of 50 hours, which blows most other LED lanterns out the water.
You’ll immediately notice the stands, and yes they are collapsible , so you can tuck them in and hang it from a tent hook, or fold the legs down and prop it on your side table for reading or eating etc.
The lighting itself also has some functionality, you can change the lighting settings to a strobe mode or dimming mode, which adjusts the brightness and power settings. Of course different brightness levels will have an effect on the overall run time off 1 charge, so use them sparingly for longevity.
- Collapsible Legs, Versatile Placement
- New Improved Version 250 Lumens
- 50 Hours of Runtime, 3 Lighting Settings
4. Coleman LED Camping Lantern
Lumens: 390 max
The Coleman lantern produces 390 lumens at its highest setting, emitting a bright white light. You can customize the level of luminosity using a front dial. The modes range from ultra-low, which gives 100 lumens of brightness, to high.
At its highest setting, the glow can reach up to 32ft, making it perfect for use when walking through a forest, on a beach, or along the campsite. On low it still has a far reach, generating a 19ft beam. The power source is from some D-cell batteries. These are sold separately, and you need 8 of them to make it work. You get a runtime of 85 hours, but if kept on its lowest brightness mode, it can operate for 299 hours.
In terms of the design, it weighs just under 3lbs and is 13 inches at its tallest. The LED is built into a texture tube, which creates a more even light beam pattern. The materials are weather resistant, so it can last in some light rainfall, and you can carry it easily by its metal handle.
- 299-Hour Runtime on Lowest Brightness Setting
- Long Light Beam Reach of 19ft-32ft
- Lightweight Classic Design Weighs 2.9lbs
5. Energizer Lighting LED Camping Lantern
Lumens: 500 max
Made by popular brand Energizer, this is one the bestselling lanterns on the market. it has a very minimalistic design, with round edges and simple red and black coloring. It achieves 360° illumination that can light up a whole tent, plus it’s got a handy glow-in-the-dark push button to see with ease. With a square shaped base, you can set it down and use it handsfree.
There are 3 brightness modes to choose from – nightlight which is a yellow hue, low mode, and high mode which are both white. On low mode, you get up to 650 hours of operation, and on the other end it runs for 150 hours. 500 lumens at its peak setting means it’s extremely bright, so you won’t miss a thing.
A water-resistant build means you can leave it out in light rain. You can use two different types of batteries inside. Using 3 Energizer MAX D batteries, you can get maximum power, or with 3 Energizer MAX AA’s there is a lower amount of power.
- 650-Hour Operating Time on Low with 3 Total Modes
- Handy Glow-in-the-Dark Button
- Large Carry Handle & Flat Base for Handsfree Use
6. AYL Starlight Camping LED Lantern
Lumens: 1000 max
The Starlight lantern from AYL produces a massive 1000 lumens for an intense glow. At 10.2 inches in height and 5.5” wide, it’s quite compact and great for backpackers or hikers. To withstand the harshness of the outdoors, it’s water resistant and shock resistant thanks to the lower plastic and rubber mold.
Control the brightness using a single soft-touch button – there is low, flashing/strobe, and high. An LED indicator shows you exactly where it is at all times, so you can pick it up even when it’s not powered on. Since the light has a white tone, it won’t attract as many bugs than what a yellow light might attract.
The interior bulbs are protected by a removable convex reflector chamber, which also forces the light to glow in full 360°. Since it’s detachable, you can also choose to use a more direct beam of light. A big standout for us is that you can use this for a full 6 days straight. That’s because a fresh set of 3 D batteries give a runtime of more than 100,000 hours.
- 3 D Batteries Produce 100,000 Hours of Use
- 3 White Light Modes Including Strobe Setting
- Reinforced Shockproof Plastic & Rubber Base
7. Coleman 1000 Lumens LED Lantern
Lumens: 1000 max
Our next pick is another model from Coleman. The BatteryGuard feature is a highlight for us because it prevents drainage from the battery which gives it a longer lifespan. This basically means that it stops the battery from using it leftover power, so when it’s turned off, they aren’t at work. They are disconnected from the circuit and increases the battery life by 25%. In addition to that, it also lessens the risk of corrosion to the batteries, meaning they last longer.
With a water resistant IPX4 rating, it’s protected against water splashes, so you can take it on a boat, by a lake or river, or in moderate rainfall. It also has an impact resistance of up to 6.56ft. At its brightest level of 1000 lumens, the shaft of light can reach up to 52ft.
The LEDs inside are designed to last a lifetime, meaning you never need to replace them – just change out the batteries. Even on its highest luminosity mode, it lasts 14 hours which is quite a long time considering the high lumen level it produces.
- BatteryGuard Function Improves Battery Life by 25%
- 3 Adjustable Modes Plus Flashing Setting
- Water Resistant & 52ft Light Beam Distance
8. Streamlight Siege Compact LED Lantern
Lumens: 200 max
This work lantern from Streamlight has a heavy-duty looking design that looks like it can be used on a worksite as well as a campsite. It’s much smaller and portable than you may think, measuring just 5.6 inches in height. Choose from blue, pink, red, or fluorescent yellow for the main body design.
It requires 3 AA batteries, and we love how there is a power-level indicator that tells you when the batteries are close to dying. There are two light colors that the bulbs emit – white and red. You get high, medium, and low dimness settings, with the highest setting running for 7 hours straight. The red light can last 8 days without turning off, which equals 192 operating hours.
Made from tough rubber molding on the base and a polycarbonate chamber over the bulbs, this can be dropped from 6.56ft thanks to its impact resistance. An IPX7 rating means it’s highly waterproof. It can be emerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes and can even float. Attachment options include a magnetic base, and a D-ring – you can hang it without its cover.
- Rugged Design with Rubber Base & Polycarbonate Lenses
- IPX7 Waterproof Rating with Floating Abilities
- Super Lightweight & Compact 8.8 Ounces
9. Yinuo Vintage LED Camping Lantern
Let’s step away for a second from modern designs and take a look at the Yinuo vintage model. It’s designed to look like a real candle flame with a “flame” mode that flickers, while you also have a lamp mode for a stagnant light. All controls are powered through the handy wireless remote.
We love the flame setting because it emphasizes the cozy, nostalgic atmosphere you get while camping. You get two lanterns in one purchase, each one requiring 3 AA batteries.
It can be used both indoors and outdoors, as it’s built with an IP44 rating. This means it’s suitable to use in light precipitation and won’t get scratched easily. The globe area is made from tough plastic, which has a worn-out look to it to heighten the vintage effect.
- Emits a Soft, Gentle Light with 2 Modes
- Wireless Remote Control
- Hook for Hanging & Round Sturdy Base
10. Northpoint Vintage LED Camping Lantern
Lumens: 150 max
Sticking on track with the vintage theme, this model from Northpoint comes in 14 different colors, so you can find the perfect one to suit your style. 12 bulbs emit up to 150 lumens of white light. A top wire handle makes it user-friendly while carrying around, and a circular base lets you set it down for handsfree light.
At 10 inches in height, it’s quite portable and takes up less space in gear. The controls are extremely minimal, with a single knob on the front. This controls the brightness level, letting you dim it down to reach your desired luminosity.
- 360° Light with Dimming Ability
- Simple Front Control Knob
- Large Metal Hook for Hanging
11. Monomax LED Camping Lantern
This Monomax model has a heavy-duty construction without the heavy weight. It has rubber molding on both the top and base areas, allowing for 3.28ft of impact resistance. ABS plastic makes up the rest of the design, which is a robust material perfect for outdoor use.
Despite its high lumen level, it uses only 15W which prevents overheating. Control the brightness and power all with one button, and you can carry it around hassle-free using the adjustable handle. There is another hook on the base, hidden away, which lets you hang it upside-down. 4 D batteries are inserted at the base, which is simply twisted open.
- 4 Brightness Levels with 72-Hour Runtime on Lowest
- IPX4 Water Resistance
- Lightweight 1.59 for Easy Portability
12. MalloMe LED Camping Lantern
Available in a 2 pack with various different colors to choose from, this affordable model from MalloMe produces 360° of light beams for a brighter experience. The bulbs have a lifespan of over 100,000 hours, making them a great choice for long-term trips.
The most notable feature for us is that fact that this can collapse to half its size – from 9.84 inches to 4.8 inches in seconds. Combined with its ultralightweight 5.3 ounces, we think it’s ideal for hikers and backpackers who need less weight in their gear.
A water-resistant build means it can withstand being outside in some mild rainfall. It’s also quite durable, made from hard ABS plastic alloy. To transport it with you, the handle has curves in it for added comfort.
- Compact Design Collapses to Half Its Size
- Tough ABS Alloy Build is Water-Resistant
- 100,000 Hour Bulb Lifespan
13. Lighting EVER LED Camping Lantern
Lumens: 1000 max
The Lighting EVER light is a portable, hard-wearing model with IPX4 water-resistant protection, anti-slip rubber, and an internal tapered cover that shields the bulb. You’ve got dual hooks, one at the top and the other at the bottom, so you decide how and where to hang it.
Utilizing 3 D batteries, it can last for up to 25 hours. You can decide between 4 light modes, which are daylight, a warm yellow, a combined color between the two, and a flashing mode. With a long press on the power button, you get stepless dimming. A cool feature we like is that the top cap comes off, and you can hang it up with the bulb exposed. This gives a more direct light.
- 360° Light Beam with Removable Cap
- Dual Hooks & IPX4 Water-Resistance
- 12-25 Hour Runtime
How to Choose an LED Camping Lantern
Lumens, which measure the amount of light that is generated, are the best way to determine how bright the light will be. It’s important to consider this because you should be able to adjust the color or dimness for different needs.
For lighting up a large space, as much as a gas lantern would, then 600 lumens or over is your best bet. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light becomes. Also, consider that a lower brightness will use less battery, and it’s the opposite for stronger luminosity.
No matter how intense or calm your camping trip will be, your lantern needs to withstand the rigors of outdoor living. The weather could also be unpredictable, meaning some rain or high winds.
Water-resistance isn’t always necessary, but it’s convenient to have in case you run into an unexpected rainstorm or whatnot. If your tent happens to leak, and your sole light source gets ruined, you’ll be stuck in a dark world of trouble.
ABS plastic is a durable material to look for, as well as rubber parts which can help with shock impact. While most of these special camping models are fairly reasonable in price, it’s important to choose one with high-quality construction to last you several trips.
First is the size, where the larger it is, the less easy it will be to take hiking, trekking, backpacking, and so on. Consider what kind of activities you’ll do on your trip, and take a lightweight, compact model accordingly.
The weight is next to think about, because you don’t want something that’s too heavy to carry around. It should be ideally under 3lbs, and under 1lb if you’re being especially conscious about weight.
Other design features can include 360° illumination, flashing or strobe modes, anti-slip rubber, a removable cap for more directional light, and hooks for hanging.
The last thing you need while moving around in the dark is to struggle with using your light source. It should be able to turn on effortlessly, and the ability to adjust light modes shouldn’t be a complicated process. Also think about how batteries are changed, whether it tells you when power is low, and how easy it is to carry around or hang.
AA batteries and D batteries are the most common types used. D types will give you a longer amount of light, as well as a stronger beam. The battery life should be able to function for several hours without dimming or failing. Keep in mind that the brightness will dim if the battery gets low, so carry some extras with you always.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does an LED camping lantern last?
The answer here depends on the construction, battery type, and lumen level. Some can last up to 300 hours on the lowest brightness setting, while some last anywhere between 20 and 150 hours on high luminosity.
Also, don’t get confused here with the lifetime of the bulb. LED bulbs can last upwards of 100,000 hours, so don’t forget that this isn’t the battery life.
How long does it take to charge an LED camping lantern?
On our list we’ve covered battery-powered LEDs, which don’t require a charge. They use batteries that are interchangeable once out of power. Rechargeable models typically take around 3 to 8 hours or more to charge, but this depends on the brand.
If you’d like to look at the best rechargeable camping lanterns, check out our review.
Can I hang my LED lantern inside my tent?
You most definitely can – as long as it has a hook or handle to do so. Since these utilize such small amounts of wattage and voltage, they don’t overheat, meaning they’re safe to use indoors.
Conclusion on Battery LED Camping Lanterns
Battery powered LED camping lanterns will light up each night, while saving energy along the way. They can provide a super bright glow, that you can use to light up inside your tent, outside while eating, or around a campsite.
These kinds of lanterns are specifically made for camping, meaning they’ll last longer than your average LED light. Straightforward battery power makes them ultra-convenient, and compact designs won’t take up all the space in your gear. There’s clearly a reason why these are one of the most popular choices by campers.