What kind of camping lanterns best fit your outdoor needs? Do you need light weight for backpacking, or is maximum light more important?

Camping lanterns have been around for quite a while, especially fuel lanterns like kerosene and gas lanterns. LED camping lanterns, rechargeable lanterns or electric lanterns, butane lanterns, propane lanterns, battery lanterns and candle lanterns are newer to the scene though. All of them being different they have advantages and disadvantages.

If you already have a camping stove or other camping equipment that uses fuel consider getting a lantern that uses the same type of fuel so you won’t have to remember to bring both fuels and you’ll use less space too. Although some dual-fuel Coleman camping lights will burn both white gas and unleaded gasoline (check to be sure).

Camping lanterns that burn fuel can come with either glass globes or metal mesh globes. The advantage to glass is that it lets more light through, but since its glass it is fragile. Metal mesh globes are much tougher than glass but they do block some of the light.

When you buy a led camping lantern make sure to get extra mantles, fuel, bulbs, and/or batteries, it’s not much fun needing a lantern part in the middle-of-nowhere and not being able to get it when you need it.

Candle lanterns can be lightweight at 3.7 ounces, but you may not want to use them as a camping lantern as their light output leaves something to be desired at 1 to 1.5 watts. They’re pretty much a candle with a protective sheath to help prevent the flame from blowing out in the wind and keep things a little safer by avoiding an open flame. Another drawback... the sheath enclosure also makes it more difficult to roast marshmallows over your led camping light.


I recommend going flameless especially inside your tent. It doesn’t take much to start a fire with a high intensity heat source. Falling asleep and tipping your camping lantern over is all it takes to put your life in serious jeopardy. There are a lot of great battery lanterns, LED camping lanterns and rechargeable lanterns available. Play it smart.

While great LED lanterns put out a good amount of light I haven’t found one yet that can match the light output of well-designed flame camping lanterns. If you need a lot of light in a local outdoor area has a look at butane, propane, and gas lanterns. Some of these lanterns crank out up to 235 watts of light! That’s lighter than most people use to light a room at home. One of the butane lanterns even allows you to focus the light more intensely with reflectors and another is refillable with lighter fluid helping to make it great for.