Throwing a lit party doesn’t have to be expensive
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)
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.
Barebones Forest Lantern ($50)
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.
Black Diamond Moji Color ($25)
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.
Power Practical Luminoodle ($20)
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.