As you know, when the sun goes down, campsites get really dark. This is especially true if your camp ground is somewhat stingy with their ‘street light’ (Hey, you’re not on the street they say…)
But that doesn’t mean you have to rely on your campfire making skill to make sure you have adequate light after dark. After all, light was invented at some point. So if you need light (and you do) after dark, I suggest you get a camping lantern or two. Here I would review my top five but actually, any camping lantern would do (especially if you’re not going for a very long camping trip).
What to look for when choosing a camping lantern
There are different types of camping lantern i.e. battery-powered, solar-powered, electric etc. You should choose the ones that would suit your actual usage. Here are some of the things you should consider when choosing an outdoor camping lantern:
How long it lasts
Generally, solar-powered lantern tend to have a short operation time whereas battery-powered has the longest. If you’re afraid of the dark or you prefer to sleep with light on, you’d probably need to go with the battery-powered ones. In fact, I would suggest choosing the ones with adjustable settings to make your lantern last longer.
The lumen rating relates to the width of the area the light will cover. If you only need the lantern mostly for inside the tent at night, you won’t need a very high lumen rating. But if you want to replace the brightness of campfire, then you should be looking into something over 500 or even 1000 lumens.
Weight and Portability
Weight is only important when your car is far away from the camp site. This means, every little thing you would carry in your backpack really matters. If you’re camping pretty much next to your car though (which I really recommend when camping with young kids), this won’t matter as much.
Camping lanterns can include things like remote control operation, USB port to double up as phone charger, flashlight etc. Personally, I would stick with something basic i.e. I don’t need those additional features. The less feature, the less you have to pay for things that you don’t necessarily need.
Top Three Camping Lanterns – My Pick
Etekcity Ultra Bright Portable LED Camping Lantern with 3 AA Batteries (Black, Collapsible)
This is pretty much basic camping lantern that you’ll need. Honestly, you won’t need anything more than this if you’re planning for a short camping trips with the kids. It’s bright and durable. Continuous use will last around 12 hours. It has foldaway handles which makes it easier to carry. (10 years warranty included by Etekcity.
AYL StarLight – Water Resistant – Shock Proof – Battery Powered Ultra Long Lasting Up To 6 DAYS Straight
For longer camping trip (a long weekend or a week), this one is great because it offers long operation time. It lasts up to 6 days straight on a single set of fresh 3D batteries. (This is separate so you’d have to buy your own 3D batteries). This has 3 lighting mode (low, high, flashing) and it provides 600 lumens so it’s super bright.
Coleman Quad(TM) LED Lantern
My favourite just because I like Coleman. This The contains four removable LED panels that hold 24 LED lights total. You can remove any of the four panels and use it separately as portable light to the bathroom or the car. Or you can keep all four and light them all at once to create a very bright area. Each panel is a functional portable light, with rechargeable NiMH battery, on/off switch, and carrying/hanging handle. The battery is rechargeable by putting it back to base, lasts up to 1.5 hours independently.
The base itself requires 8 D-cell batteries (not included so you’ll have to buy them separately).
Insect is not really attracted by yellow light, and if you want lighting without affecting kids’ sleep, try red light. (Don’t change the bulb, just use some kinda thin lamp shade you make yourself, or even thin scarf to make the light colour ambiance.)
Enjoy your trip,