For centuries, lanterns have been used to light our way at night. Camping lanterns originated hundreds of years ago, when people first put their flames behind glass, protecting them from the choking wind. Modern lanterns have developed from these primitive designs.
Initially fuelled by animal fat, oils and eventually kerosene, most of today’s lanterns are powered by electricity. But the power source aside, the goal is the same: to provide comfortable lighting away from home.
Why study camping lantern reviews? Aren’t all lanterns basically the same? Although all lanterns produce light, they are designed for a variety of scenarios and with a variety of different characteristics.
Just as not all cars are the same because they drive, not all camping lanterns are the same either. What are the best camping lanterns available on the market today?
What is a camping lantern?
A camping lantern is a cylindrical light source that stands upright, with a handle on top for carrying and a light source in the middle of the frame. The light source may vary from one model to another. Some use traditional light bulbs, some use LEDs, and some use propane or kerosene.
All lanterns share a design intended for outdoor use. While you can use any lantern indoors as well, camping lanterns produce a brighter light, withstand the elements, and store away safely. Some electric lanterns even compress or fold away, allowing you to store them in small spaces.
Camping lanterns often come with a handle that allows you to carry them safely or hang them securely. The ability to hang camping lanterns distinguishes them from other lanterns. Lanterns designed for urban or domestic use sit on a camping table or stand and rarely have a carrying handle.
Camping lanterns are designed for transportation and outdoor use, where tables are less available, so you may need to hang them from a tent or tree. Regardless of their various features, all camping lanterns are excellent additions to any camping trip, giving you abundant radial light throughout your campground.
Things to consider when buying a camping lantern
Choosing a camping lantern can be very difficult, you may need some advice, we talk about the basic issues you need to pay attention to when buying a lantern.
Weight of the unit
Weight is an important factor, especially if you intend to use your lantern for hiking. Unnecessary weight is a burden throughout your hike. Although a lantern is durable and has a long battery life, it can still be a poor choice if it weighs five pounds more.
Increased weight can also be a problem if you intend to hang your lantern in your tent. Most tent pegs are not designed to support a heavy weight, so you can choose a lightweight lantern, while conceding a few other features.
If you usually need a powerful light source with extra features, you can make a lantern holder out of simple materials or you can use your trekking pole to carry strong, heavy lanterns.
Durability is an important factor for all camping equipment, including lanterns. After all, a broken lantern will be nothing more than an unnecessary weight to carry.
Did you know that most damage to lanterns occurs during the packing process, especially when people put a lantern in the car and throw other luggage on top of it.
Having a lantern that can survive accidents, forgetfulness, occasional falls and tipping over is certainly valuable.
Premium lanterns stand out in the Lumens category. Lumens is a measure of the brightness of light in which one lumen is equivalent to approximately one lit candle. This measurement tells you how bright you can expect your lantern to be.
Some lanterns instead measure light at a radial distance, such as in a light visible from 200 feet away. This measurement will also give you a useful perspective on the usefulness of a lantern. Will a single powerful lantern be enough to light up your entire campsite at nightfall? Or will it be too dark and you will have to buy another one?
Many camping lanterns offer a variety of built-in settings that increase their usefulness. Almost all lanterns come with a carrying handle for transporting or hanging.
Still others have hinged handles that allow them to be supported at a specific angle, allowing you to use the lantern as a fixed, focused light, rather than as a diffuse, radial light. Other lanterns are designed to be used as flashlights by adjusting or collapsing. Many lanterns even collapse to a smaller size.
Longevity can be the life of the batteries before they need to be replaced or recharged or the life of the fuel with a gas lantern. Regardless of the type of fuel, it is important to know how long your lantern will last and provide light.
Trying to damage the batteries or fill the fuel tank of a lantern in the dark can still be dangerous. Knowing how long your light will last is an important part of enjoying your lantern comfortably and making sure you have the light available for you when you need it.