© Suleyman Delil Karakurt/Shutterstock.com

With hundreds of solar lanterns in the market, finding the right lantern can be daunting. You have to compare models and sift through a ton of information. Remember, not every light works for every situation. The best solar lanterns provide the right lumens, longer battery life, and has supplementary features.

We’ve checked out a dozen lanterns on the market to bring you the top-of-the-line products.

Whether spending several nights in the forest or just an evening on your back porch, we’ve got a light for you. Here are the best solar lanterns you can buy in 2022.

Best Solar Lanterns: Side By Side Comparison

MPOWERD Luci Pro Outdoor 2.0LuminAID Titan 2-in-1 Power LanternD.Light S3 Portable Solar LanternAGPTEK Solar LanternSolight Design Solar Puff
Size5 x 5 x 5in6 x 6 x 6in7 x 5.8 x 4in10.6 x 5.6 x 5.2in4.3 x 4.3 x 4.3in
Weight5.5oz12.5oz4.6oz25.8oz2.7oz
Lumens150300 4024090
Light colorCool whiteCool white, redCool whiteCool whiteWarm white, Cool white, Multicolor
Battery size2000mAh4000mAh400mAh2000mAh1000mAh
Run time (single charge)Up to 50 hoursUp to 100 hoursUp to 12 hoursUp to 20 hoursUp to 8 hours
Charging optionsSolar, USBSolar, USBSolar, USBSolar, USB, Car charger, AAA batteries, Hand crankSolar
Phone chargerYesYesNoYesNo
WaterproofYesYesYesYesYes
Price$44.95$74.99$14.99$29.99$30.00
Sale
MPOWERD Luci Pro Outdoor 2.0: Solar Inflatable Lantern + Phone Charger with 150 Lumens, Lasts up to 50 Hours, All-in-One Lantern with Built-In USB Port, Waterproof, Compact, Lightweight, 5 x 4.25"
  • BUILT-IN RECHARGEABLE 2000 mAh LITHIUM-ION BATTERY. With 150 lumens, mobile charging, and lasting up to 50 hours on a single charge, Luci Pro Outdoor 2.0 is a must-have solar lantern for any adventure
  • BRIGHT AND LONG LASTING. Emitting 150 lumens of power via 10 cool white LEDs, and shining through a clear finish, this light provides up to 50 hours of light on a single charge, so you can keep your day going long into the night
  • POWER UP WITH PRO SERIES. With mobile charging capabilities, when you choose to go back “on-the-grid” you’ll always have juice to let people know you’re ok, answer some emails, or just make the Insta world jealous
  • COMPLETELY SOLAR & NEVER NEEDS BATTERIES. Luci's built-in high efficiency solar panel means that no batteries are needed - ever. Recharge fully via solar or quick charge via USB (14 hours/2-3 hours). Luci Pro Series will always be ready for any adventure
  • POWERFUL, PORTABLE, AND ADVENTURE READY. With its compact size, this little light can travel with you on any adventure. Plus, with an adjustable base strap and fixed top strap, it can be easily attached to your backpack, or hung from above

Whether you’re lighting up your next camping trip or looking to add ambiance to your backyard, the MPOWERD Luci Pro Outdoor 2.0 is one of the best solar lanterns available.

This light comes with solid battery life for long trips, a slender compact design, and up to 150 lumens. It’s also incredibly durable, with the ability to withstand up to 150lbs of pressure and an IP67 waterproof rating.

The Lucie Pro also comes with unique features, including four lighting modes for the right amount of light and a flashing mode for emergency situations. And for extra safety (or simply to show your friends your awesome campsite), you can charge your phone using a USB cable. For all the benefits that come with this solar lantern, the MPOWERD Luci Pro Outdoor 2.0 comes at an affordable price.

Check out the MPOWERD Luci Pro Outdoor 2.0 on Amazon.

sono sion vs tesla model x
The Sono Sion is one of the first EVs with solar cells to complement its electric charging option.

©CC7/Shutterstock.com

LuminAID 2-in-1 Solar Camping Lantern and Phone Charger - Inflatable LED Lamp for Camping, Hiking and Travel - Emergency Light for Power Outages, Hurricane, Survival Kits - As Seen on Shark Tank
  • EXTRA BRIGHT SOLAR LANTERN - With 300 lumens of LED light and multiple brightness settings, including Red Light mode and Turbo mode, this is the perfect indoor or outdoor light solution. Great for camping, hiking, emergency preparedness, garden/patio parties, picnics, fun in the pool, and more. Makes a perfect gift!
  • ULTRA-PORTABLE & COMPACT ALL-IN-ONE - This device is a solar powered phone charger, expandable camping lantern, and backup battery all in one. At just 12.5 oz, this must-have camping essential is powerful but doesn't weigh down your pack. Expands into a 6" cube with its unique Twist-to-Inflate design and packs down to 1" thick.
  • SOLAR OR USB RECHARGEABLE FOR CONTINUOUS LIGHTING - Titan's larger solar panel fully recharges in 16-20 hours of direct outdoor sunlight (approximately 2-3 days depending on location and time of year) or in 4 hours by USB (cord included).
  • LONG BATTERY LIFE - Equipped with a 4000 mAh built-in battery to recharge most phones 2-3 times and provide approximately 100 hours of light on Low mode when fully charged. Perfect for repeated use for backyards and porches, family camping, and mood lighting.
  • WATERPROOF, SHATTERPROOF & DURABLE - The smartly designed Titan allows you to effortlessly expand or collapse your lantern in one motion! Made from heavy duty, rugged TPU to endure tough environments, our solar camping lights are 100% waterproof and dustproof (IP67 rated), and float on water when inflated.

While the MPOWERD comes with many great benefits, the LuminAID Titan 2-in-1 Power Lantern takes them even further with nearly twice the lighting capabilities and a massive battery.

LuminAID has one of the most powerful lanterns on the market. And its twist-to-inflate design makes it easy to set up and pack away. The Titan also outshines the Luci Pro in its features. This solar lantern comes with five brightness settings and a red-light feature for darkness. Additionally, its phone charger can fully charge up to three phones on a single battery. LuminAID isn’t the cheapest, but certainly worth the investment.

Check out the LuminAID Titan 2-in-1 Power Lantern on Amazon.

The illuminates your space perfect for a fraction of the price of the LuminAID.

If you’re just looking for light in a pinch, you don’t need to break. This solar lantern provides up to 12 hours of light and its solar panels charge the battery in no time, making this simple device reliable when you need it.

The S3 is fully waterproof and durably built, but it doesn’t fold up as easily as some of our other choices. It also features two pieces, meaning it won’t function nearly as well if the metal stand is lost. Still, for just under $15 this is an easy purchase for a solar light option. 

Check out the on Amazon.

Ideal for an emergency situation, the AGPTEK Solar Lantern features one of the highest lumens on our list and a 2000mAh battery.

What makes this model stand out from the others are the multiple charging methods. In addition to its solar panels, this lantern can power its light using USB, batteries, and even a hand crank. It even includes a small phone charging port in case of emergencies. However, its design makes it the largest and least portable model.

Check out the AGPTEK Solar Lantern on Amazon.

Solight Design - SOLAR PUFF, Rechargeable Solar Lantern with Light Sensor - Collapsible LED Camping Lantern, Easy Open and Fold, No Inflating Needed, Extreme Weather (Bright White)
  • PATENTED EASY PULL-OPEN & CLOSE: Our flat-packable collapsible solar camping lantern, never requires a mouth nozzle to inflate or deflate. Material memory retains shapes open or closed and keeps shape even when punctured.
  • COMPACT PORTABILITY: Folds flat to less then .25“ and weighs less than 2.65oz making it the perfect backpacking lantern.
  • LONG BATTERY LIFE: Up to 12 hours of warm light with only 8 hours of solar charging in sunlight. Velcro handle makes this rechargeable led camping lantern easy to hang on a backpack or tent to charge.
  • BRIGHT LIGHT: LED solar lantern outputs 60 lumens on Low, 90 lumens on High and features a blinking mode. This lantern also features a light sensor to enable dusk to dawn mode.
  • BRIGHT LIGHT: LED solar lantern outputs 60 lumens on Low, 90 lumens on High and features a blinking mode. This lantern also features a light sensor to enable dusk to dawn mode.

When portability is one of your priorities, the Solight Design SolarPuff is your best bet. This solar lantern offers plenty of light while folding down to the smallest and lightest model on our list. When fully collapsed, the SolarPuff measures less than half an inch tall while weighing less than three ounces.

The Solight Design solar light is made of recyclable sailcloth using eco-friendly manufacturing processes. The SolarPuff comes in both warm and cool white as well as multiple colors, making it one of the more fun and versatile models on our list.   

Check out the Solight Design SolarPuff on Amazon

How to Pick the Best Solar Lantern: Step by Step

When choosing the right USB-C charger for your Apple MacBook, there are four main considerations.

  • Brightness
  • Battery life
  • Features
  • Price

Let’s review each one in more detail.

Brightness

How bright do you want your solar lantern to be? Brightness is typically measured in lumens. Think about how you plan on using your light. You might not need as many lumens for singular activities. However, if you need to light an entire camp or a backyard, a low-lumen lantern might not work.

Battery Life

Next, you’ll want to think about how often you’ll use your solar lantern. In areas with long periods of darkness, such as Alaska or Norway, you might want a light with a larger battery. Brighter lights use more power, so you’ll also want to know if the solar lantern has different levels of light to save your battery.

Features

Some solar lanterns come with a variety of additional features for convenience and safety. Others come with universal USB ports to charge phones. And some have a variety of light modes, including flashing and red lights. Get an idea of how you’d like to use your solar lantern and how it can enhance your camping experience.

Price

Fortunately, solar lanterns don’t have extreme swings in price. Even for a quality product, you can expect to spend about $30. However, there is a fine line between well-built lanterns and ones that will fall apart. If you’re searching for affordability first, take extra time to research your options.

What to Know Before Buying a Solar Lantern

When searching for the best solar lanterns, it’s easy to assume that they will reliably charge through their panels. Keep in mind that to charge your lantern, you’ll have to completely expose the panels to the sun. Any shade will cut the efficiency considerably, including cloud coverage.

For the best results, keep an eye out for multiple charging methods. Most solar lanterns come with a USB charging port, but some come with more. You can change the light to full capacity for your camping trip and use the solar panels to keep it topped off.

Using a Solar Lantern: What It’s Like

When testing the best solar lanterns for camping, users tested each device for light quality first. Most models produce an appropriate amount of light to illuminate an entire campsite, while the S3 is ideal for reading or moving around inside a tent.

The LuminAID got the brightest, sometimes providing more light than needed. However, the solar lantern also has a red-light option, allowing users to appreciate the darkness without blinding peers.

Users also tested for battery performance. While some models have higher capacity, their higher luminosity drains power faster. The MPOWERD Luci Pro can run through its battery while on high power for about 5 hours. This makes a case for the SolarPuff, can last 8 hours on high.

Three of the models feature phone-charging capabilities, so users tested that as well. While the MPOWERD and LuminAID charged mobile devices at an acceptable rate, the AGPTEK charged considerably slower. Fortunately for the model, it is easy enough to keep it charged with its hand crank.

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Last update on 2023-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The 5 Best Solar Lanterns for the Modern Camper FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How many lumens is good for a camping lantern?

For most activities around camp, you can typically get by with 100 lumens. However, most wide-area solar lanterns provide around 150-350 lumens.

What is the most powerful camping lantern?

The Goal Zero Lighthouse can output up to 600 lumens, nearly twice the amount of any solar lantern on our list.

How long do camping lanterns last?

Most solar lanterns have a battery life of about 12 hours on a single charge. However, some of the larger models can last up to 100 hours on low power mode.

Why should you carry a lantern while camping?

While solar lanterns are great for illuminating an entire area, they also act as emergency light. Packing down to a portable size, lanterns act as redundancy if your flashlight runs out of power at night.

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  • TreeHugger Available here: https://www.treehugger.com/best-solar-lanterns-5100973#toc-best-for-camping-solight-solarpuff-collapsible-solar-lantern
  • REI Available here: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/best-camping-lanterns.html
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  • MPOWERD Available here: https://mpowerd.com/products/pro-series