Lanterns and Headlamps


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In our 2020 Winter Buyer’s Guide, this mini lantern was one of our favorite pieces of travel gear. The 100-lumen light has a handy magnetic strap for carrying or hanging and can last up to 15 hours on the highest setting. We recommend it for lounging around campsites, yurts,…

At the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market last week, these five products costing less than $50 caught our eye with their affordable capability

Camping with a partner? Our Gear Guy recommends the Apollo, which uses a QuadPower LED light that pumps out 250 lumens, and features a non-glaring case and fold-down legs. It’s ideal for lighting up your camp kitchen or tent.

A flashlight and lantern in one, the Orbit is great to have around camp when night hits. The 105-lumen light operates with one button to transition among flashlight, lantern, and dual (lantern and flashlight both illuminated) modes.

Weighing less than two ounces, the Bindi is perfect for anyone who wants an ultralight solution for pre-dawn or post-sundown winter runs.

Portable solar gadgets are better than a decade ago. But are they worth it?

Improved technology means you don't have to spend a lot to get a great light

Because no one wants to be left in the dark

The thing is tiny, reliable, and could very well save your ass

Now we can all (basically) have the car of our dreams

The outdoors can be deadly if you're unprepared. But these gear items will help you make it home alive—even if everything else goes wrong.

From the floor of the world's biggest outdoor industry meetup, we bring you the up-and-coming companies and products that caught our eye

First things first: your pack will be heavier. You’ll be packing more food, fuel, and layers. As for shelter, if you’re not expecting high winds or heavy snowfall, you probably don’t need to upgrade to a four-season tent; a sturdy (read: not ultralight or mostly mesh) three-season model should see you through.

Our favorite: The Apollo is bright (three watts), compact (can-of-soup-size when collapsed), and easy on the eyes (you press a button to dim it). 11.1 oz; bdel.com…

At 3.2 ounces, the COLEMAN F1 LITE is the lightest new lantern, with a mesh globe in place of delicate glass, and minimalist styling. Alas, it’s not the brightest. The F1’s 38 watts won’t flood a campground—reading Raymond Chandler while sitting more than five feet away soon strained the eyes—but…

The L5 is smart and bright. It automatically switches to power-save mode when 15 percent of its rechargeable 4.5-volt battery remains. And its five-watt bulb can throw an intense beam of light 203 feet. 10 oz; brunton.com…

It can take a licking. A rubber grip makes this waterproof, one-watt LED flashlight hard to break or even ding. 6.8 oz; princetontec.com…

Our go-to lamp for twilight trail runs, it switches between spot and spread beams with an easy slide of its light-dispersing filter. 3.4 oz; www.petzl.com…

Already have a headlamp from Petzl’s popular Tikka or Zipka series? With this mount-and-clip kit (pictured with a Tikka Plus), you can easily swap your light among climbing helmet, pack, and more. petzl.com…

It’s only overpriced if you lose it. This pocket-size, hard-anodized-aluminum flashlight is practically indestructible—and unbelievably bright. 3.8 oz; surefire.com…

No more slow fade: Regulated LED technology provides constant brightness as batteries drain, and a power meter indicates when juice is getting low. Like most Princeton Tec lamps, the Quad is waterproof. 3.5 oz; www.princetontec.com…

You’ll change batteries less frequently with the waterproof (to one meter), three-watt Apex Pro, which is powered by two long-lasting CR123 lithiums. Of course, that’s another type of battery to pack. 6.1 oz; princetontec.com…

Thanks to an orange filter, the three-watt-LED Polaris creates a warm, natural glow. Only drawback: It’ll undoubtedly be the only gadget at the camp powered by (heavy) C batteries. 15 oz; brunton.com…

Most high-wattage lights are prone to overheating, but not the L3. Heat-diffusing plastic fins allow this three-watt lamp to blaze without any time constraints. Search-and-rescue types will love the bright, concentrated beam, but it’s pricey for a camp light. 8.7 oz; www.brunton.com…

For easy camp duty—reading, washing dishes, re-staking the rain fly in the middle of the night—the AAA-powered Gizmo is a bargain. Three tiltable LEDs provide plenty of light for the price and weight. 2 oz; bdel.com…

This lightweight workhorse was designed with adventure racers in mind. Its six LEDs cast a dazzlingly bright, headlight-like glow (350 lumens), and it comes with a lithium-ion battery that lasts four hours on high. 1.6 lbs; petzl.com…

With eight settings, the Spot sports an impressive range of beams. Its low weight and intense one-watt LED make it a great choice for multiday treks. 3 oz; www.bdel.com Bummer: Changing batteries is a chore.

With seven angle settings and eight brightness modes, the tiny Cosmo is ideal for everything from washing dishes to scavenging for more firewood. 2.9 oz; bdel.com…

As light on your wallet as it is in your pocket, this tiny headlamp still delivers two beams (spot or wide), a comfortable strap, and six-angle adjustability. 2 oz; bdel.com…

This tiny but powerful lamp easily lit the way on a night hike in the Grand Canyon. But the limited swivel range means it’s not ideal for dicey terrain. 2.8 oz; www.petzl.com…

Of all the headlamps we tested, the Lucido TX-1 sends light the farthest (a whopping 345 feet), and its beam never wavered, even over a weeklong back-packing trip, thanks to three AAs. 5.8 oz; mammut.ch…

A secure clip let testers affix this waterproof flashlight to the brim of a baseball hat without it sagging. Though tiny—not much larger than a roll of Life Savers—the Serac is remarkably powerful for a light that runs on just one CR123 battery. 3 oz; leatherman.com…

Separate buttons for each set of LEDs — there are penetrating beams in both spot and spread patterns — save click-through hassle. The three-watt power is superbright, but as with the L3, it’s a hefty package. 9.8 oz; www.princetontec.com…

Don’t worry about dropping it in the drink—this three-mode light (spot, wide, and red for night) is waterproof up to 33 feet. 3.9 oz; uwkinetics.com…

We initially scoffed at the funky shape, but the ergonomic handle and soft rubber really helped us keep a grip on this impressively bright two-mode flashlight. It’s a tad heavy for backpacking but great to keep in the glove box for car camping. 7 oz; princetontec.com…

The Primus folks gave the MICRONLANTERN an eye-pleasing white light that was nicer to work by than the orangeish tincture of the other lamps’ glow, and at 70 watts, it allowed for comfortable reading eight feet away. The stainless-steel-mesh globe is crushproof, and a built-in igniter means no fumbling for…

Need to make sure you’re still on route—or wondering if that rustling is a bear? Hit the boost button and the Myo XP throws a focused, ultrabright beam of light over 300 feet. Smart feature: Diffusing the beam on any of its four settings requires the flip of a…

Extend the body of this two-in-one flashlight and it converts into a lantern with a 360-degree LED bulb that casts a warm orange glow. Plus, it conveniently takes four sizes of alkaline batteries (AAA to D). 7 oz; brunton.com…

The Mercedes of the bunch is the eight-ounce BRUNTON LIBERTY, a little beauty of engineering with a price tag to match. A built-in igniter and permanent platinum mantle update the match-and-cloth-mantle setup of yore. Wing-like reflectors efficiently direct 80 watts of light where you want it; Proust was still quite…

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