Camping is a pastime enjoyed by millions around the world. There’s something to be said for taking some time out from the daily grind of modern society and striking out into the wilderness. Connecting with nature, even if it’s just for a short time, can do wonders for a person’s mental well being.
People camp in all sorts of conditions and with all sorts of conditions, from a small tent on the ground to a luxury RV. There are some camping accessories that are useful no matter you’re slumming it or camping in luxury, however. One such accessory is a solar lantern.
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This post goes over the benefits of a solar lantern and offers a review of top products to help you purchase the best solar lantern for camping.
The Benefits: What You Should Look For in a Solar Lantern
When you’re away from mainstream civilization, you’re also usually away from mainstream amenities. Electricity is rare during camping trips out of some more high-end camping grounds, and when you’re away from the city lights it can get really dark really quickly.
While it’s definitely nice to lie back in the evening and let the night sky be your only source of illumination, there are some drawbacks to being forced to function with no extra sources of light.
A good solar lantern designed for camping often has a host of benefits, which we’ll discuss in this section. Make sure your choice ticks at least the majority of these boxes to ensure your purchase suits your needs.
Simple, Solid Construction
Like any sort of camping gear, a good solar lantern will be durable. While you’re out in the woods, it’s not always possible to treat your equipment super gently. Your lantern will likely get bumped, knocked over, and dirty during the course of your trip.
Choosing a model like the ones we’ve reviewed later on in this article will make sure you end up with the best solar lantern for camping.
Quick Charge Time
With any solar lantern, and especially those designed for camping, it’s important that it’s easy to actually give the lantern the charge it needs.
A solar lantern that takes forever to charge is going to be unreliable. Unfortunately, sunny weather isn’t always guaranteed and your solar lantern needs to be able to take full advantage of sunlight whenever it’s available.
A solidly built lantern with a quick charge time is useless if it isn’t very good at it’s main function: providing light. It may seem like a given that a lantern will give off a good amount of illumination, but just like with any type of product there’s varying quality in the world of solar lanterns.
Doing your research and choosing a solar lantern that will actually do a good job of providing light is really important. Getting stuck in the dark because your light source isn’t doing it’s job can be inconvenient, and in some cases even dangerous.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the standard features you should look for in a solar lantern, let’s take a look at a few reviews of top models and give you a verdict on our choice for the best solar lantern for camping.
The best solar lantern for camping Reviews
In this section, we’ll list three different models of solar lanterns and give you pros and cons for each offering. All of these lanterns can be a good pick, but some may be better than others depending on your situation. Let’s get started!
- 5 charging methods: Solar, hand crank, car adapter, ac adapter, or AA batteries. Having multiple options makes this more versatile than a regular solar lantern.
- Brighter than normal solar lanterns, and consumes less energy.
- USB outlet to charge phones and mobile devices.
- 2 brightness modes. Normal brightness for regular activities and high brightness for maximum visibility.
- Reviews report mixed reliability and product lifespan. It’s possible this product won’t last quite as long as you want it to.
- Charges relatively quickly but some users complain of a short duration of light even with a long period of charging.
The AGPtek Rechargeable Camping Lantern is a solid choice. The 5 charging methods gives you a lot of options and the ability to use the lantern in a wide variety of situations. A USB port is also a nice touch, giving you a way to charge your phone in an environment where outlets are pretty much non-existent. Overall a great contender for best solar lantern for camping.
- Quick charging of other devices via the mini usb port. Charge your phone to full in just 3.5 hours.
- Three lighting modes: normal, high-power, and SOS blinking. The ability to use this light to signal that you’re in danger is a big plus.
- Very small and foldable into a compact size smaller than your cell phone. Easy to transport and pack when space is sparse.
- Included hook allows you to hang it up off the ground for better illumination and to protect the light.
- Some users complain that the on/off switch is difficult to find in the dark. A light isn’t very useful if you’re not able to easily turn it on!
- Last only a few hours on a full charge.
- The hook, while convenient, isn’t super durable and is prone to breakage.
The compact design and ability to signal in emergencies makes this a great pick for campers packing light and heading far away from society. With that said, it has slightly less features than the previous model we discussed and is around the same price.
- Much better looking than the previous two models we’ve reviewed. It looks like it would fit perfectly in even a fancy home.
- Made from high-quality all-weather poly to withstand all sorts of environments
- Uses two high-performance, warm white LEDs and an amber LED. The amber LED provides a nice glowing effect for light that looks good in addition to being functional.
- Automatic illumination during the evening
- Up to 6 hours of light on a single charge.
- Not as bright as the other lights we mentioned, and it only has one light mode.
- Much more expensive than the previous models.
- Bigger and heavier than most solar lights.
- Design is better suited for a patio than it is for camping.
The Smart Solar San Rafael Mission Style Solar Lantern looks really good, but it’s better suited for a home than a tent.
Which Solar Lantern Reigns Supreme?
After all, this article is on the best solar lantern for camping, so which of these models do we recommend over others? We feel that the AGPtek model is the best choice.
With a lot of different ways to charge the lantern, it’s perfect for camping where conditions can often be unpredictable. Being able to charge your lantern when the sun’s not around is a big plus, and the inclusion of the usb port means you’ll always have your phone charged for emergencies.
Negative reviews mention a low duration of light from a single charge, but the fact that you have so many options for charging it back up makes this drawback a minor issue.
We hope you’ve found this article informative. Use these tips and reviews to make a thoughtful purpose before your next camping expedition.