Light Up Your Camp with These Four Budget Lanterns

Throwing a lit party doesn’t have to be expensive

Looking to see after sundown without dishing out dollars? Check out these camp light options. (Photo: Matthew Brodeur/Unsplash)
Looking to see after sundown without dishing out dollars? Check out these camp light options.

Still using an old gas-powered lantern to light your campsite? It’s time to upgrade. Thankfully with today’s robust camp-lantern market, you have options. We waded through the sea, compared reviews, and tested as many as we could. Whether you want an LED lantern with a retro vibe or a colorful globe to set a party mood, there’s something for you on this budget-friendly list.

MPOWERED Luci ($20)

(Photo: Courtesy MPOWERD)

The Luci, at 75 lumens, isn’t the brightest lantern on this list, but the design makes it a fun part of your car-camping kit. At 4.4 ounces, the solar-powered lights weigh next to nothing. Simply inflate and attach to just about anything; without the need of an extra hook or carabiner, you can spread these throughout your campsite, or put two or three over your kitchen area. The minimal weight and solar aspect make it a good backpacking lantern as well.

Buy Now

Barebones Forest Lantern ($50)

(Photo: Courtesy Barebones)

We admit this lantern is on this list mostly for aesthetics. Yes, the light is fine—you get 325 lumens in an easily adjustable light—and it can also charge your phone. The battery-life indicator is a useful addition. But really, this light is about ambiance and making you feel like a Scout again.

Buy Now

Black Diamond Moji Color ($25)

(Photo: Courtesy Black Diamond)

The Moji offers compact, featherweight lighting that’s popular with backpackers, and the Moji Color takes that same 100-lumen lantern and adds a red-green-blue LED so you can add color to your camp. Pick a single color or set it to cycle through the spectrum.

Buy Now

Power Practical Luminoodle ($20)

(Photo: Courtesy Power Practical)

Power Practical takes 100 lumens and spreads them out over a five-foot rope of lights that you can power with a portable USB battery pack. Hang it in your tent, in a tree, over your kitchen…or keep it bundled in the bag for a single source of light. It floats too, if you’re into that.

Buy Now

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: LanternsCampingTools
Lead Photo: Matthew Brodeur/Unsplash

When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. Outside does not accept money for editorial gear reviews. Read more about our policy.

More Gear