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T3 Magazine Review

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T3 Magazine Review

In you're after a good all-rounder, we think the Vango Lunar 250 Eco Recharge USB is the best camping lantern right now.

T3 Magazine Voted the Vango Luner 250 Eco Recharge USB as the Best camping lantern 2020

‘Light up your basecamp and inside your tent with the best LED camping lanterns to suit a range of budgets and needs

One of the best camping lanterns is a must-have bit of kit for any trip. The latest camping lanterns are hi-tech, compact and durable, packed with features such as shatterproof glass, water-resistant certifications and even solar panels – for that inevitable moment the batteries run flat.’

Camping lanterns are portable outdoor lights designed to either sit on a flat surface or clip to part of your tent to enable you to illuminate a large area at once, whilst keeping both of your hands free. They're ideal for multi-person camping trips, making things like cooking, eating and socialising much easier.

There are many shapes and sizes to choose from, with a variety of run (burn) times, weights and power types. In this guide, we'll run through what we think are the very best camping lanterns available right now, for a range of different scenarios.

In a hurry? You'll find out top pick below, or read on for more buying advice, and an in-depth look at all your different options.

How to Choose The Best Camping Lantern

There are a few things to look for when picking your camping lantern. First things first: power and run time. For an extended run time, opt for an LED light, as older bulbs eat batteries for lunch. Whether you go rechargeable or battery-powered is down to the length of your average trip. Rechargeable models boast enormous run times thanks to improved lithium batteries.

If you're embarking on a longer expedition that's off the beaten track, standard batteries make sense as you won’t be near a mains supply to top-up your rechargeable camping lantern. You could also opt for an eco-friendly power option such as wind-up power or solar panels, but it's worth hunting out a model that has the capacity to take batteries as a backup (ideally the same type as your other camping gadgets).

Second, consider the weight. Chunky camping lanterns that provide illumination whilst charging multiple gadgets are jolly handy when car camping, but lugging them off to a wild camp in the Trossachs will be a pain. If you're short on space or carrying your own kit about, keep an eye out for an ultra-lightweight model.

Lumen count (or brightness) is another important factor to consider. The average household torch will have around 50 lumens, so for lanterns, which require a greater spread of light over a larger area, we'd consider looking for a minimum lumen count of 100. However, you'll also want to factor in the size of the lens – a bigger lens can provide a larger area of illumination at a lower lumen count.

When it comes to additional features, consider which ones really count. Many of the best camping lanterns incorporate a USB-power port so that you can charge devices like phones and action cameras, which can be super-handy. A 3,000mAh battery should give one older phone a full charge (roughly), so adjust this according to the number of devices and charge time. Keep in mind that extreme cold and heat losses involved in charging multiple devices will reduce the battery’s overall output.

Simple add-ons, such as carrying handles, will prove more useful than you might imagine. We also suggest taking a second to think about water-resistant ratings. You're unlikely (we hope) to leave your lantern out in the rain, so a minimum rating of IPX4 should cut it. This will allow it to stand up to light showers.

If you're tight on space, you might be tempted by more flexible, multi-purpose designs. Some lamps have straps that can be used to hang them from support poles, while also acting as handles, so the lantern can also be used as a torch. There are also collapsible designs that can be used as either a lantern, table lamp or torch. Before making a purchase, think about the scenarios you're shopping for – when it comes to lanterns for camping trips, view added extras as exactly that, and bear in mind that some features, such as a stable base, rugged design and reliable power sources are likely to prove much more important.

The Best Camping Lantern to Buy Now

Vango Lunar 250 Eco Recharge USB is a lightweight but durable lantern with a built-in rechargeable battery and solar panels

In you're after a good all-rounder, we think the Vango Lunar 250 Eco Recharge USB is the best camping lantern right now. Solar panels make this lantern a brilliant option for campers keen to make the most of mother nature, while a rechargeable battery ensures the lights stay on should the sun go into hiding. Its ultra-stable design, teamed with a hanging hook and folding handle, makes it perfect for a wide range of situations, whether you're looking for a lantern for a weekend of wild camping, or a versatile light which will double as a table light as well as a torch. A high Lumen count (250) makes this a brilliant option if you're camping in remote or rural areas.

SPECIFICATIONS

Best for: Eco-friendly light

Power type: Rechargeable battery and solar panels

Weight: 535g

Lumens: 250

Burn / run time: 3.5 hours

REASONS TO BUY

Solar panels

High lumen count

Doubles as a phone charger

View the Lunar 250 ECO Recharge USB HERE

View the full Vango Range HERE

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