Best Solar Camping Lanterns - 2018 Buyer’s Guide

  • Oct 8th 2018

Camping is a great way to enjoy nature and take a break from our busy lives. To have a good camping experience you need to be prepared and one of the most important pieces of your camping equipment is a portable camping light or lantern. Traditionally camping lanterns used gas or kerosene as fuel but with today's technology, we also have the environmentally friendly option of using a rechargeable solar lantern. Besides being a green option solar power technology also equals free electricity. A solar-powered lantern is not only an important piece of equipment for your camping trip it can also be invaluable in emergency situations. The best rechargeable led lanterns on the market can give you emergency light for 12 hours on a single charge on its lowest setting. We have done extensive research to find the best camping solar lanterns and this article reveals the top picks.

Quick Navigation

  1. Which are the Best Solar Powered Camping Lanterns in 2018?
  2. Things to consider when buying a portable solar camping lantern
  3. Comparison Table
  4. LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern
  5. Streamlight 44947 Siege
  6. Tough Light LED Rechargeable Lantern
  7. SUBOOS Ultimate Rechargeable LED Lantern
  8. Conclusion
There are two types of solar lanterns suitable for camping: lanterns with a built-in solar charger and lanterns that requires an external solar charger. Both types are battery powered and can typically also be charged by other means, such as a wall outlet. In this article we look at the second type of solar lanterns with a focus on capacity and brightness since we believe that these are the most important properties to properly illuminate your campsite. The type that have a built-in solar charger is often not powerful enough but can be a good alternative if you do not have a solar charger and are on a tight budget. If you are looking for a lantern with built-in solar charger read this article instead. If you already own a solar panel charger or plan to add one to your camping gear a solar powered lantern is your best choice. We also recommend our article about solar chargers suited for camping.

Things to consider when buying a portable solar camping lantern

Quality - this is always on our list, good quality pays for itself in the long run and you will save both money and time. High quality materials and LED lamps are of course important but it is also important that the solar light have a high quality battery. A Li-ion battery is preferred and it should be able to handle around 500 recharges.

Brightness - You want a lantern that is bright. The very best option is a lantern that have adjustable brightness so it can be either very bright or dimmed down. A lamps brightness is declared in Lumen. The more Lumen the lamp got the brighter it is and we recommend at least 300 Lumen.

Capacity - How long can the lantern light up your camping site before it needs to be recharged, the longer the better. Also important to consider is the recharge time of the batteries. It is desirable to be able to fully charge the batteries in less than eight hours of sunlight.

Functionality - Usabillity and extra features such as adjustable brightness, USB output and input etc.

Weatherproof - The lantern should at least be able to operate in light rain. A solar lantern that can survive being dropped in water is even better. A waterproof lantern should be marked with the IPX certification.

Size and weight - compact and lightweight lanterns are of course better but you should not have to sacrifice brightness or capacity to get it.

Comparison Table

LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern


We really like this lantern due to its many features and its versatility. The two removable flashlights do often come in handy and are a great addition to this well designed solar lantern. The illumination is satisfactory but the capacity of the battery is a bit low. When using all LED lamps the lantern needs to be recharged after only a few hours. The lantern can also be used as a power bank to charge your mobile devices but the small battery will not even be able to give one full charge.

Specification

Brightness: 600 Lumen
Capacity: 1800 mAh
Dimension: 4.53 x 4.53 x 8.07 in
Weight: 1.59 lb

Pros

  • 3-in-1 Design
  • 360 degree beam angle
  • Waterproof IPX4
  • Removable flash lights

Cons

  • Low capacity of built-in battery
  • Flashlights needs 3 x AAA batteries

Check out LE Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern on Amazon

Streamlight 44947 Siege


This is our premium solar lantern pick. The Streamlight Siege is expensive but the quality you get is worth it. We can not say one bad thing about this solar camping lamp, it got everything you want: Sturdy - high-quality materials in a shockproof design. Waterproof IPX7 - this is the most water-resistant lantern in our article. Super bright C4 LED lamps - 1100 Lumen, which again, is the best we found during our research. High capacity rechargeable Li-ion battery - 8800 mAh, which will give you 35 hours at 125 Lumen or charge an iPhone 3 times. Another proof of quality is that Streamlight Siege comes with a 2-year warranty which is only equaled by Tough Light. Considering all the above we think that this is the best premium solar camping lantern you can buy in 2018.

Specification

Brightness: 1100 Lumen
Capacity: 8800 mAh
Dimension: 7.8 x 3.8 x 3.8 inches
Weight: 1.88 lb

Pros

  • Very bright LED lights
  • Both red and white light
  • Six output modes
  • High capacity rechargeable battery
  • Waterproof IPX7

Cons

  • Pricey

Check out Streamlight 44947 Siege on Amazon

Tough Light LED Rechargeable Lantern


This is a very good portable solar camping light. It has several output modes including red light. It also got all the most desirable extra features such as USB input and output, adjustable brightness and a power bank feature. The built-in battery is large enough and on the dimmest output setting at 40 Lumen, it lasts for an amazing 200 hours. The lantern is built in sturdy material and is both shockproof and weatherproof. With a generous warranty of 2 years and money back guarantee we think this is the best portable solar camping light you can buy in 2018.

Specification

Brightness: 400 Lumen
Capacity: 6000 mAh
Dimension: 3.5 x 3.5 x 7 inches
Weight: 1.7 lb

Pros

  • 200 hours at 40 Lumen on one charge
  • High capacity rechargeable battery
  • 5 output modes
  • Waterproof IPX6
  • 2 year warranty

Cons

  • No extra bright mode

Check out Tough Light LED Rechargeable Lantern on Amazon

SUBOOS Ultimate Rechargeable LED Lantern


The SUBOOS is our best solar camping lantern budget pick. When making something cheaper you have to compromise, but we think the compromises have been done in the right places. The SUBOOS got excellent capacity with their 2 x 2600 mAh Li-ion rechargeable batteries. It is also waterproof and certified under IPX5. The downsides are that the lantern is not as sturdy as the more expensive solar lanterns in this review, neither is it very bright in comparison. We still think that this is a solid and very affordable pick if you are on a tight budget.

Specification

Brightness: 200 Lumen
Capacity: 5400 mAh
Dimension: 4 x 4 x 6 inches
Weight: 14.1 ounces

Pros

  • Three output modes
  • High capacity rechargeable battery
  • Affordable
  • Waterproof IPX5

Cons

  • Not very bright - only 200 Lumen

Check out SUBOOS Ultimate Rechargeable LED Lantern on Amazon

Conclusion

Which rechargeable solar lantern is best for camping depends on your budget and your requirements. If you want the best of the best when it comes to quality, brightness and capacity we recommend our favorite, the Streamlight 44947 Siege. Our budget pick, the SUBOOS Ultimate Rechargeable LED Lantern falls a bit behind when it comes to brightness and sturdiness but we think it is a really affordable lantern. Price does matter and the camping lantern we think gives you the most for your money is the Tough Light LED Rechargeable Lantern which really got all the things we look for in a camping lantern. Don't forget that you should also consider your other campsite equipment before deciding which led rechargeable lantern is best for you. If you have a powerful solar charger panel or solar generator you might value the capacity of the rechargeable battery more than its size and weight. On the other hand, if you want a lantern for both camping and hiking, an ultra-lightweight lantern is probably a better choice.