A camping lantern truly is a camping essential. You may think to yourself, I already have a flashlight, why not just use that for all your camping and outdoor illumination needs? While a traditional flashlight could get the job done, a lantern offers light for the entire campsite and makes two handed tasks like campfire cooking or even playing campsite games much easier and more enjoyable (and who says your lantern can’t also be a flashlight, that’s a little hint for later). You can hang it centrally within the campsite for evening activities and then in the tent when you’re ready to turn in for the evening. Additionally, it could be handy to grab if you need to step out in the night to hit the “bathroom.”
So, what are the things to look for when selecting a camping lantern? My advice for the most practicality is to keep it simple. Whether you’re hiking a decent trek into camp for some wilderness camping, or you’re doing some front country drive up camping, you’ll want something lightweight, compact and portable that you can throw in your pack. In addition, you’ll want something that is weatherproof – if the rains come, you don’t want to lose your lighting as you’re scrambling to pack up for the day and put things under cover. After that it really comes down to personal preference. For a one or two-night camping trip, you may be ok with using batteries but for longer excursions, you may want something that is solar rechargeable. One last preference-driven consideration would be brightness, how bright do you want it to be?
With all of this to consider, we have to say that the 3 Mode Solar Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern checks all the boxes (and then some) for us! It’s compact yet expandable, ultra-lightweight, rechargeable (solar and USB), and water resistant. I’ll be honest, the last time we used our camping lantern was when we had a 32-hour power outage and it was perfect to set on our bookcase at night (as opposed to the harshness of a flashlight used in similar fashion, or a candle that doesn’t provide quite enough light). It functioned as a light for the otherwise pitch-black family room where we were having our impromptu family campout. We love using it right in our own back yard as well as on all our family camping adventures. Lastly, we love it because it comes in a stylish black and red design – being from Georgia, we just love that color scheme – go Dawgs!
Here are the main functions and features to note:
Portable and easy to use – The compact and lightweight design would allow me to throw this in even my smallest purse, and it expands and contracts easily enough for my kids to use it.
Chargeable - Charge it up with the included cable and any charging block that fits a usb cable (we all have them these days). It even has a solar panel on top, so set it out during the day to extend the battery life for those longer excursions.
Versatile – Use it as a hanging lamp by attaching it to your tent ceiling using the attached metal loop, or power it on when it’s compacted and use it as a focused flashlight for a middle of the night bio break. With 3 light settings (bright, dim, strobe/flashing) we found it to be useful in so many ways! Did I mention you can also use it to charge your phone? Wow!
Clearly, this is a camping lantern. It is intended to be used for camping. But, as I’m thinking about this little gem, I’m realizing how many places I’d like to stash one of these - my nightstand (for power outages), the garage (because when our light bulbs go out in there they are too high for me to change by myself), my hiking backpack (obvi) and last but certainly not least, in my emergency car kit (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, everyone should have an emergency car kit!)
I’m even considering having the Easter bunny drop these into my kids’ Easter baskets… think about all the fun of using this lantern at sleepovers, in blanket forts, and the occasional backyard campout!!