Campers, van-lifers and yes, Doomsday preppers will love these super reliable solar lanterns
Solar powered lanterns have changed the way we light our lives. From cabin getaways to scattered campsites, a solar lantern is the easiest and most eco-friendly way to bring some brightness to a dark night.
While we love traditional gas or battery powered camping lanterns, new solar powered lanterns have replaced some of our old favorites. Because as long as the sky is clear of clouds, these portable solar lanterns can be used all night around the campfire and then recharged with just a few hours of direct sunlight the next morning.
For this review, we’ll focus on portable solar lanterns designed for on-the-go outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re looking for solar lighting for use around your permanent home, check out our favorite outdoor solar lights instead.
The Best Solar Powered Lanterns
What to consider
Solar-powered lanterns range from small, collapsible, and affordable, to large, bright, and capable of illuminating a small cabin. When buying a portable solar lantern for outdoor recreation, pay attention to brightness (lumens), charging time and battery life, as well as lighting modes, among other factors such as as light type, tightness and compressibility:
- Brightness (lumens): Lanterns range from 100 lumens of light up to 500 lumens (and even more). The beauty of a solar lantern is that you can run it at full power overnight and not have to worry about draining the battery at the start of your camping trip, as long as you have sunlight during the day. .
- Charging time and autonomy: Solar lanterns contain internal batteries that charge in sunlight for use when the sun goes down. The time required for charging varies widely, from 5 to 10 hours in direct sunlight. The execution time also varies greatly and will directly depend on the level at which you execute the lantern. Runtime is almost always quoted based on running on the lowest setting.
- Lighting Modes: Simple lanterns have two modes: on and off. More advanced options will have dimming options, and some even have color choices.
It’s quite amazing that solar technology has reached such small portable devices. And as long as the sun’s energy is free, we will have a few solar lanterns at the campsite, a few in the garden and one ready to use in case the grid fails.