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Camping Lanterns Buyers Guide - Types, Features and Reviews


Let's take a look at the various types of camping lanterns that can be seen around the campgrounds.

First, it will help if you know what different types are available, how they work and perform. Second, taking a look at the most popular brands and models here will help you find the best one for your outdoor needs.

Battery operated, liquid fuel, gas or led lanterns all have advantages and disadvantages, that are worth considering before making a choice.

Camping lanterns are most suitable for car camping and base camp trips. The weight and pack size conscious backpackers will find camping headlamps and other camping lights more suitable. Although, there is lightweight options to consider.


Buying And Reviews.....

Battery Lantern

UCO Candle Lantern

The UCO brand offers the best in Candle lanterns. Browse the range here.

Camping Candle Lantern

A quick guide to the advantages of using a candle type lantern and the best sellers.

Coleman Propane Lanterns

Coleman Propane Lanterns

Coleman is legendary when it comes to making lanterns. Here is the Propane range...

Camping Lantern Types

Here's an overview of the most popular types available, who they are most suitable for and, the advantages/disadvantages of each.

Battery Operated Lantern

camping lanterns

These are the most popular camping lanterns for most campers. These are safe for children to use, have no fire risk and the easiest to use. Just click the button and you have light!

The disadvantage would be having to make sure the batteries do not run flat, and to be prepared with enough spares. Using rechargeable batteries are a good option if you have an electric hook up for charging which saves money by not having to buy fuel or spare batteries. You are also able to buy a rechargeable lantern or a cross between solar power and batteries.

A battery operated lantern may also become affected by very cold weather conditions because batteries discharge quicker in colder conditions. This is where other liquid fuel lanterns become a better option.

An led camping lantern which is still operated by batteries can last for over 50 hours run time compared to many of the fluorescent tube types. When considering a battery powered lantern check the burn time and the lumens (the higher the brighter).

Liquid Fuel Lanterns

These camping lanterns may not all be as bright as a cannister lantern, however, they are more efficient with fuel and fuel is cheaper, but they do require a mantel replacement when needed.

They are made to be used with either unleaded fuel, Coleman fuel or kerosene. Many Coleman lanterns are duel fuel types that use Coleman's fuel or unleaded gas. Coleman fuel is available from most camping stores.

These are a great option for cold weather camping and can be used with the fuel for a camp stove to save taking various types of fuel.

Refilling and spillage can be a disadvantage for liquid fuel lanterns; Also, safety is an issue compared to a battery operated lantern because these have a flame rather than bulbs. You will need to make sure a flame is allowed in the camp area, some areas have restrictions.

Not many campers use the kerosene lamps now due to the better options available. Kerosene can smell, and is quite a dirty fuel. Although, widely available and an option for emergency circumstances.

Liquid fuel lanterns also need cooling before refilling for safety reasons, that can be a pain during the night. Best have your torch!

Some consumers complain amount the noise a fuel lantern can make, which doesn't happen with electric or canister models.

Cannister Lanterns - Gas Camping Lanterns

This camping lantern type will either be used with a propane cylinder, butane or isobutane. If you already use a camp stove that uses a cylinder this may be a good option to minimize taking various fuels.

They are easier to use than liquid fuel, by just screwing the cannister on, rather than refilling, with the option of buying a 2 mantel type, for extra output.

A disadvantage for cold weather camping is Gas lanterns will not perform as well as liquid fuel lanterns below freezing temperatures. These lanterns are known for blasting out some light, if you really want to create an illumination around your camp.

Solar Powered/Dynamo/Wind Up Camping Lanterns

These lanterns have no need for fuel or batteries. Many are combined with solar and batteries or solar and wind up. Consumers have many complaints about these types not producing enough light, or take too much winding for the amount of light output.

There are many cheap options that people complain about. We get what we pay for, I say. You will struggle to get the same output from one of these compared to some of the others above.

The obvious advantage is having no concern for batteries, replacement mantels or fuel; also better for the environment.

Camping Candle Lantern

The Camping candle lantern can be bought very cheap. They are basically a lantern or tube that just protects the candle from going out and a place for it to reside.

These are never going to give the same output as battery operated lanterns or fuel types. A good option for backpacking and hiking because they weigh as little as 4 ozs without the need for carrying fuel, or spare bulbs and batteries.

Note: Whatever lantern you choose, keep in mind the safety of you and your family with the flame types. It's not a good idea to use a flame type inside a tent, for obvious reasons.

Any of the lanterns above either may need replacement bulbs, cannisters, batteries or fuel, that needs to be part of your camping kit to be prepared before setting out.

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