5 Best Solar Camping Lanterns of 2017

Solar Lanterns
source: vsmart solar

Do you love the great outdoors or have a penchant in sleeping under the stars? Or perhaps cooking dinner over an open fire? If yes, then you must love going camping just like me. If you really do, owning a solar lantern is a must! I own one and it made camping more convenient and not to mention, safe!

Lately, I’ve been enjoying camping. It’s a fun and exciting adventure. In addition to this, it offers a number of health benefits. It helps us sleep better and boost our vitamin D intake. It also increases exercise time and improves our mood. Studies also say that camping helps with problem-solving and is great for our children’s education.

During camping, one of the most important equipment to bring is a camping lantern. But who says going on a primitive camping adventure won’t allow you to camp with style? Even though there are so many great and notable camping lanterns available, many have gone choose a more eco-friendly option by choosing solar lanterns.

Did you know these things are one of the most chic and efficient devices that can be used to light up any space? Well, if you don’t, after reading this you will surely be informed and impressed just like me when I heard solar-powered lanterns for the first time.

Below is a comprehensive list of the top 5 solar-powered camping lanterns today. Check it out and learn about its amazing features.

Comparison Table of the Best Solar Camping Lanterns

NameRatingWeightWarrantyPrice Range
O‘SUN NOMADN/A1.518 poundsNot Indicated$$$
Sun King Pro 24.8495 grams2 years$$
Outlite 180 Lumen Collapsible LED Camping Lantern4.00.8 poundsLifetime Breakage Warranty$
Luci Original Inflatable Solar Light4.94 ouncesNot Indicated$
NEBO WeatherRite ECO LANTERN3.71 poundNot Indicated$$

Top 5 Solar Camping Lanterns

Outdoor camping lanterns are definitely important when going camping or backpacking. It is also essential at home, especially during power outages caused by a storm or other natural disasters.

Even though there are many camping lights available, our focus will be more on solar-powered ones, which use LED (Light Emitting Diodes) lights and lightweight camping solar panels to light up a space without plugging into the grid. These are also chic with some even have cool designs that will keep you in style.

1. O‘SUN NOMAD

Considered the most advanced multifunctional LED solar portable light system made by Belgian designer Alain Gilles, the O’Sun Nomad is quite similar to a traditional lamp. It is ideal to be used during emergency situations like natural and humanitarian disasters.

DESIGN

This solar camping lantern boasts the flexibility of a rechargeable solar lamp, its contemporary Belgian design and Swiss engineering and its ecological dimension. It is also made from high-quality, durable and rainproof IP55 material that can either be charged with a wall plug-in, in a car or with a separate solar panel.

In addition, the O’Sun NOMAD has an easy special design hook to hang up the lamp. It also features multi-use mode — hand-held, ceiling, on a flat surface or hang on the wall. Apart from that, the device also has an easy use function that allows you to operate it with one light touch for all functions. It comes in six different colors such as black, brown, violet, blue, green and orange.

FEATURES

This camping must-have can be charged through its solar panel, home adaptor or a car charger. Among its other notable features are:

5-Watt Solar Panel – Through its separate 5-watt solar panel, its battery can be fully charged in six hours. On solar charge mode, however, the minimum time for charging varies on the intensity of sunlight.

LED Light – The device also has 12 LED lights with a total LED power of 2.3 watts. For its Lumens, it has a LED power of 250 lm (100 percent).

Shock Absorption and Adherence Ring, and Two Batteries – Among its many features are its shock absorption and adherence ring, its two Lithium-ion batteries.

Lighting Mode and 1-Touch Button Function – This device also boasts its three brightening settings — 100 percent, 50 percent and 15 percent, as well as its 1-light touch button for all functions.

Pros
  • Bigger size
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Multi-functional with Easy use mode
Cons
  • A bit expensive compared to other solar lanterns.

Even though it can be a bit pricey, the O’SUN NOMAD is versatile, easy to use and has a multifunctional design perfect for any indoor or outdoor lighting need.


2. Sun King Pro 2

Sun King Pro 2
source: ezylife

Sun King Pro 2 is a notable product from Greenlight Planet, a company founded by University of Illinois student T. Patrick Walsh that aims to provide eco-friendly lighting solutions and energy to those who have been deprived of it.

This device is intended for developing nations where solar-powered things are considered necessities. This is also for societies and people who are looking for ways to conserve natural resources by using sustainable products.

DESIGN

This 495g solar-powered lantern is designed for challenging environments. It is made with drop-proof, UV-stable, IP65 (Ingress Protection) rated polycarbonate and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) casing. It is water-resistant with an O-ring seal for rain and humidity protection.

Due to its high-quality materials and durability, this device has met the Lighting Global quality standards, as well as the SONCAP, which is a mandatory Customs clearance document in Nigeria issued by Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) on receipt of Certificate of Conformity (CoC) from the IAFs and PVoC(Pre-Export Verification of Conformity)certifications.

FEATURES

This device boasts a lot of technical features. It varied from its size and weight to its quality certification. So, below is a summary of the product’s tech specifications that made one of the best solar camping lanterns available in the market.

Size and Weight – It has a lamp dimension of 143x131x6mm and weighs at 335g. As for its stand, it has a dimension of 215x155x265mm and weighs at 160g while its solar panel dimension is 185x185x17mm.

Battery, Power and Device Charging– This device features a 5-year lifetime, 3000 mAh Lithium Ferro-phosphate (LSP) battery, a 3.3-watt detachable, polycrystalline panel with aluminum frame and 5-meter cord. On a day’s charge, it has a run time of up to 36 hours.

Additionally, its dual 5.5V USB power outputs are designed to charge any standard USB device and are compatible with almost all mobile phones.It also has a USB cable and common phone adapters for device charging.

Lighting – When it comes to its lighting, this solar lantern has power LEDs with 160 lumens total flux, neutral color temperature and 360-degree ambient wide-angle spread. In addition, it has 3 light modes — Turbo (160 lumens); Normal (75 lumens) and Low (25 lumens).

Digital Control – As for the device’s digital control, LED charging indicator displays charging effectiveness on a scale of 1 to 5 to help optimize panel placement while its LED battery indicator displays battery power remaining. Meanwhile, active battery management automatically switches to low power when the battery is running low, giving user 5 hours of additional light.

Pros
  • Eco-friendly — produces bright and clean light without releasing harmful emissions into the atmosphere
  • Portable
  • High-capacity battery that can give you up to 45 hours of light and 100 lumens of intensity
  • Great accessory for outdoor trips
  • Highly durable solar panels
Cons
  • Not stated (all positive reviews)

If you are in an area deprived of electricity, then this device is perfect for you. It is affordable, eco-friendly, and a versatile camping equipment. It can boost and improve your outdoor adventures. Meanwhile, Sun King has also other solar-powered lamps such as the PICO and the Pro All Night.


3. Outlite 180 Lumen Collapsible LED Camping Lantern

Outlite 180 Lumen Camping Lantern
source: amazon

This well-manufactured lantern is amazingly light and durable. This simple, easy-to-use and small compact lantern can light up an entire bedroom and is a great addition for camping and other related outdoor activities.

DESIGN

Designed for convenience, this solar lantern is extremely lightweight and when not in use, the device collapses into a smaller size, which allows you to store it effortlessly. It is also made of tough plastic material.

In addition, the Outlite LED Camping lantern is also super bright, durable and water-resistant. The device is ideal for camping, hiking, emergencies, hurricanes and outages.

FEATURES

Just like any other solar powered-devices, the Outlite Led Camping Lantern boasts a series of features that made it one of the highly suggested camping essentials. Listed below are some of its notable features that have earned it several 5-star reviews.

Lighting – This device features 8 energy-saving LED bulbs, which yield Omni-directional 360 degrees of high-intensity and long-lasting luminance (180LM). The high-intensity brightness can last up to 8 hours of continuous use. The low power consumption, on the other hand, keeps the lantern glowing in regular brightness for up to 12 hours.

Battery and Power – It boasts its 3-power option: Solar, Rechargeable 4800 mAh built-in, and 3 AA batteries. For the rechargeable built-in battery, it allows you to connect to power blocks with a charge time of 8 to 10 hours.

For its solar charging function, the small solar panel on top can save you from any emergency hassle, especially when you could not find batteries. Furthermore, there’s also a battery compartment for 3 AA batteries. However, these batteries are not included when you purchase the device.

Durability and Convenience – With its collapsible design, the product is intended for convenient use while its smaller size makes its storage effortless. It also comes with 2 “S” hooks, which allow you to hang the lantern on tree limbs and in the center of a tent’s ceiling.

Pros
  • Sturdy and Durable
  • Lightweight and Convenient
  • Water-Resistant
  • Ultra Bright and Low Consumption
  • Best for Hiking, Camping, Emergencies, Hurricanes and Outages
  • Versatile
Cons
  • Product made of lightweight plastic
  • Few LEDs
  • Works in small area
  • Brightness works well if charged on an outlet

Based on several reviews, the Outlite Led Camping Lantern is a must-have for any emergency or camping activities. Due to its versatility, some users have recommended it for outdoor activities. Despite its small size, the device was reportedly built tough.


4. Luci Original Inflatable Solar Light by MPOWERD’s

Luci Original Solar Light
source: amazon

With 5 impressive awards to boast such as the 2013 CES Envisioneering, the 2014 CES Innovation, the 2014 Katerva Sustainability, the 2015 INDEX: Design to Improve Life Finalist and the 2016 Sendea Solar Lantern Competition, MPOWERD’s Luci Original is a clean and reliable source of light for any activities or anywhere you need it.

DESIGN

This bright, compact and portable device is perfect for traveling, camping and working around the house. It is extremely durable, lightweight and compact with a size of 2.5 centimeters when collapsed and a weight of 1.4 ounces or 125 grams.

It has a dimension of 10.8 centimeters in height and 12.7 centimeters in diameter. Great for marine environments, this camping lantern is made of fully waterproof and submersible PVC materials with an IP67 rating. There are also no parts to corrode or rust.

FEATURES

This super light and ultra-bright camping lantern boasts a wide-range of features that make it perfect for emergency preparedness, camping or even patio and deck lighting. It is also a one-of-a-kind present for any occasion.

Solar Panel – This device features a highly efficient solar panel that when placed in direct sunlight for 7 hours, it will last up to 12 hours on single charge. No need for batteries but a convenient battery level indicator located near its solar panel allows you to know how much power is left or if it’s time to charge it under the sun again.

Lighting – Completely solar-powered, the Luci original lantern has 10 ultra-bright white LED lights (50 lumens), which shines in three settings: bright, super bright or 1-second flashing.

Versatility – This device is extremely durable, reliable, tough and waterproof. You can drop it, dunk it or float it without affecting the brightness of the product, making it perfect for adventures and emergency kits.

Small Plastic Handle Strap – All Luci light models feature a small plastic handle strap that allows you to clip the device outside of a backpack for charging or clip it inside a tent or wherever you need some extra light.

Pros
  • Completely solar-powered
  • No batteries
  • Inflatable
  • Waterproof
  • It floats
  • Surprisingly durable
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to use
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Not super bright even on brightest setting
  • Expensive

Meanwhile, the Luci solar-powered camping lanterns also come in various versions, including Luci Outdoor, Luci Lux, Luci Color, Luci Candle and Luci EMRG. As for its overall rating, the product is inexpensive yet very durable and comes with a one-year warranty.


5. NEBO WeatherRite ECO LANTERN

 NEBO WeatherRite ECO LANTERN
source: amazon

This eco-friendly camping lantern is portable and reliable energy-saving lantern that promises to offer continuous supreme illumination. The device comes from NEBO, an Alliance Sports Group company that is considered one of the world’s bestselling lines when it comes to innovative and consumer-friendly flashlights and tools.

DESIGN

The NEBO WeatherRite ECO LANTERN is water and impact-resistant. It has a folding carry handle, as well as top and bottom reflectors. It is designed with a better housing protection with metal wire guard that aims to protect its LED housing, in case, something hits it and a crank handle for wind up. It also has a product dimension of 9.9 x 5.8 x 14 inches.

FEATURES

Perfect for emergencies or camping activities, this product is reliable and high-quality. But that’s not all, it also has some other impressive features that made it stand out from other solar camping lanterns available in the market.

Lighting – This Eco Lantern offers extreme illumination through its 24 ultra-bright energy efficient white LEDs, which uses a 6V 2.5AH Valve Regulated Rechargeable Battery. Its lighting has an output of 157 lumens that can last up to 6 hours and lighten up a space up to 8 meters.

In addition, the product has reflectors in LED Housing that evenly distributes the light. However, this product does not require or include any batteries.

Charging – As for its charging feature, the device generates and stores power in four ways — Solar power, AC power, DC power and wind up. It also has a LED indicator light that changes from red to green when fully charged.

In addition, it as an AC wall charger and DC 12-Volt car charger. This product is best for power outages, home use, emergency situations, camping, fishing, hunting, boating, road trips and RVing.

Pros
  • Ultra-bright LED lights that are ideal for camping
  • Easy to use and lightweight
  • Energy-saving and eco-friendly
  • 4 Methods of recharging guarantees 24/7 lighting
  • No extra heat emitted out of its lighting
  • Wind up charging is always ready for backup
Cons
  • No option for dimming the light
  • It has a built-in battery instead of a replaceable battery
  • A bit slow in charging

All in all, the NEBO WeatherRite ECO LANTERN is recommended for backpackers and for those adventure seekers that don’t have access to any other form of charging thanks to its solar option. It is also perfect as an auxiliary anchor lamp for a sloop, not to mention during power outages.


Other Highly Suggested Solar Camping Lanterns

Apart from the aforementioned camping devices, there are also other notable solar lanterns that are among the top 5 or 10 choices from several reviews. These are:

  1. Whetstone 36 LED Solar and Dynamo Powered Camping Lantern – This unique camping lantern has 36 individual LED lights. Powered by a hand crank dynamo or solar, this device boasts versatility and its long-lasting bright illumination.
  2. Xtreme Bright Solar Lantern and Collapsible Storage Bottle with USB Cable – This innovative device is waterproof, solar-powered and collapsible. Apart from being a lantern, it’s also a storage bottle perfect for storing small things such as mobile phones, keys, medicines and first aid items. Additionally, it floats in water, making it perfect for boating, fishing and other outdoor activities.
  3. LuminAIDPacklite 16 – This waterproof and PVC-free solar-powered lantern recharges in 7 to 10 hours when placed in direct sunlight. Made from durable and weather-resistant TPU plastic material, this compact and portable lantern has two extra bright LED lights that provide more than 65 lumens and is efficient in overcast conditions.
  4. Solar Puff – Made with recyclable PET, this Solar Puff appears flat at first but can be puffed instantly. It was designed by Alice Min Soo Chun and was intended to replace kerosene lamps and offer huge quality air improvement in impoverished areas or in places where electricity is scarce. It can fully charge in almost 8 hours and it can light up for 8 to 12 hours.

If you are looking for other solar lanterns or lights that are best to brighten up your outdoor space or gardens, you can check out this list. It comprises the highly recommended products such as the Sun Jar Yellow, Albany Premium Solar Spotlight, and the Eco Wedge Solar Motion Welcome Light that are perfect for those living in the United Kingdom.

For those who are not just looking for the best Solar lantern but wish to know more about this device, the next sections are for you. After reading, you will definitely agree that a solar lantern is a must-have on your next camping. Personally, since I discovered this lighting system, I never go camping without it.

What is a Solar Lantern?

What Is a Solar Lantern
source: lights4fun

A solar lantern (aka solar light or solar powered lamp) is a lighting system that operates on electricity from batteries, which are charged through the use of solar photovoltaic panel. This device can replace other light sources such as kerosene lamps and candles as it provides higher quality light than those aforementioned products.

These devices have been considered efficient in energy saving, not to mention it is environment-friendly too. They also come in various types — from solar camping lanterns to fashionable ones. They may also come in battery-powered, electric, solar and hand-crank, among other types.

By using the sun’s energy to charge and recharge, the lantern can be able to provide light at night. With that said, this product is useful during camping trips.

Still unconvinced? Check out the next section to learn why solar lanterns are very important.

Why is Solar Lanterns important?

Why is Solar Lanterns Important
source: geni

Whenever you are going outdoors, it can sometimes be stressful or worrying that you might lose some power source, especially at night time. Most children and even adults are afraid of the dark so power outage can be very inconvenient. But don’t fret as it’s the perfect time when solar camping lanterns come in handy. These devices are essential to brighten up your camping space inside a tent, your patio and garden or even inside your home.

Furthermore, these lanterns are child- and eco-friendly that can be used when storms bring power outages. Since solar lanterns may also come with added features like a USB port, you may able to use its power to charge your mobile phones.

Types of Solar Lanterns

For its types, solar lanterns are often categorized into two kinds — solar camping lanterns and the fashionable solar lanterns that are often seen in gardens or driveways. They can also be classified on the type lights they are using like LED or fluorescent. Lastly, they may also come jars or strings.

Since solar camping lanterns have already been discussed above, we’ll just give a brief overview about these fashionable solar lanterns. Again, this type is specifically useful in illuminating gardens, decks and balconies. These can be utilized as something to mark our borders or paths, or may come in strings to jazz up space, for security purposes or lighting up an outdoor space for parties.

These eco-friendly lights use solar panels, which can either be integrated or placed separately, to store solar energy and charge batteries to power the lights when twilight falls. Examples of these products are Morrocan Solar Powered LED Garden Flameless Candle Lantern, Falove Vintage Waterproof Solar Powered Lantern, and Moonrays 91165 Solar Powered White Washed Metal Lantern Amber LED Light, among many others.

What to Look for in Getting Solar Camping Lantern

What To Look for in Solar Lanterns
source: amazon

When looking for a solar camping lantern, it is very important to take note of several factors. These include the battery requirement (if there’s any), the amount of light emitted, the number of hours it can operate, the adjustability of light to make the power last longer and the weight of a lantern should also be considered.

Lantern’s Runtime (Hours of Operation)

Perhaps the most important factor to consider is the number of hours a camping lantern can operate. Normally, it varies from 2.5 to 295, however, solar-powered lanterns tend to have a shorter runtime.

Ability to Adjust the Settings

Another significant factor is the ability to adjust the settings on a solar lantern. The reason? Well, adjusting the setting to low can save energy and allow a solar-operated lantern to work for a longer period. Fortunately, some lanterns come with three settings, so it’s best to choose these kind of products.

Lumens

A lantern’s lumen rating tells you the wideness of an area it can illuminate. Remember, the higher the number of lumens, the wider the area it can cover. The lumens in camping lights are generally in the 200s or 300s, which is adequate for many campsites. However, some lanterns can feature up to 1,000 lumens.

Weight

Weight is another vital factor to consider, especially when you are going on outdoor activities such as camping or backpacking. Solar camping lanterns are usually compact and lightweight but others can weigh around 1 pound to well over 3 pounds. If batteries are added, then it’s weight will likely increase.

Extra Features

With the modernization of technology, solar camping lanterns are now designed for multi-use. In fact, some even have a USB port, allowing you to charge your mobile phone or MP3 player. It could also have a storage space, a red light for night vision, a yellow light that does not attract insects, remote control operation, an SOS mode for emergencies, or perhaps a flashlight as part of the package.

Conclusion

Outdoor solar camping lanterns are available in a wide range of styles. They are useful for camping, backpacking, as well as in emergency cases where power has been cut off.

So, if you are going off-grid for a while, choose a product or device that can stay sustainable and rely on the sun to power your light. And in case you are just looking for a good reliable emergency option, you might want to consider some of the aforementioned lanterns that also allows you to donate one for the good cause.

If you want to brighten up your place and be eco-friendly at the same time, these articles can help you with that: Best Solar Motion Lights,  Best Solar Outdoor Lights, Best Solar Porch Lights and Best Solar Shed Lights.

Other Sources:

Survivalrenewableenergy
Treehugger
Toptenreviews
Techulator
Wikipedia:Solarlamp
Independent
Outdoorgearlab
Hikeventures
Nebotools
Readersdigest
Big4

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