Camping lanterns have been a staple of wilderness exploration for about as long as modern camping has been “a thing.” Those looking to add a bit of nostalgia to their campsite with some camping lights might consider traditional fuel-based lanterns. But, for the rest of us, rechargeable, battery-operated models are the better, more environmentally friendly solution. The good news? You don’t need to spend a fortune. These are the best camping lanterns under $50.
Black Diamond has long been a favorite among hikers as the maker of some of the world’s best headlamps. It also crafts some pretty solid camping lanterns. For a no-frills, affordable alternative, we like the Moji Lantern. The compact design measures just 7.5 inches tall by 3 inches across and weighs just three ounces (without the batteries). With a roughly 20-foot range, it works best as an accent light.
For a sleeker, more modern design, there’s Evetek’s LED Rechargeable
Energizer has been in the battery and lighting businesses for about as long as both technologies have existed. The brand’s Vision LED
If you value function above else, E-Trends’ no-nonsense Compact LED Lantern Bulb is perfect. It’s little more than a battery-operated light bulb with a built-in hook. That feature makes it surprisingly versatile, however: Hang one or more from your tent’s attic, string a series of them from your hammock, or grab one in the middle of the night for quick after-dark adventures. The best part? A two-pack is under $10.
AYL’s Rechargeable LED
Whether you’re running on propane or battery power, camp lanterns don’t last forever. Solar solves that problem. This two-pack of inflatable camp lights features a mini solar panel up top to charge them on the go. The “crushable” design means they pack down almost completely flat, while an IPX7 waterproof rating means they’ll take plenty of abuse in the wilderness.
Of course, if you want to go vintage, it doesn’t get any more old-school than a Coleman gas camp lantern. It delivers a strong 1,000 lumens at over 60 feet. Even on high, it’ll run for more than seven hours. That power does come at the cost of having to lug heavy 16.4-ounce propane canisters along for the ride. However, that fuel is probably interchangeable with the fuel you’re already packing for your camp stove anyway.
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