The primary function of a solar lantern is to provide light for outdoor adventures, a camping trip, or decorative lighting in any outdoor space. The best solar lamp will have ways to supply power if there is no sunlight and come with additional perks convenient for camping or emergencies.
The best solar lanterns work by providing bright light using the sun’s power. It’s a combination of functionality, convenience, and durability that determines which solar lantern to go with.
Best Solar Lanterns at a Glance
- Roxicosly Solar Camping Lights – Best Solar Camping Lanterns
- AGPTEK Solar Lantern – 5 Ways to Charge
- MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 – Best Solar Light for Watersports
- LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lanterns – Multicolored Ambient Lighting
- Kizen LED Lantern – Cheapest LED Lantern
Brightness is key, so a solar lantern with a high lumen count is important. This ensures that it can light up a campground, backyard, or any outdoor location that it’s needed for. This light should also last a reasonably long time to having a high battery life goes a long way in terms of functionality and convenience.
Given that a solar lantern will often be used outside, it’s important to have one that can handle the elements. A waterproof design and a decent warranty are essential for this hard-working product.
Then ultimately, the right solar power camping lantern will have several extra perks and features. Some examples include convenient ways to attach the lantern to a tent or backpack, multi-colored lights for ambiance, the ability to float in the water, charge devices, and so on.
5 Best Solar Camping Lanterns in 2021 Reviewed
1. Roxicosly Solar Camping Lights – With Super Bright Mode
The Roxicosly is easily one of the best solar camping lanterns on our list. It has the longest battery life, the highest lumen output, and methods to charge the device. It also has the unique ability to turn into a flashlight when needed.
Brightness & Battery
The brightness of this product depends on whether it’s being used as a lantern or as a flashlight. The lantern model has an output of 200 lumens, and the flashlight mode provides 350 lumens. While the lantern mode is beaten out by the AGPTEK solar lantern, which offers 240 lumens, nothing is brighter than the flashlight mode.
The battery life for the lantern mode is an incredible 35 hours, and even the flashlight mode can last 30 hours. The only products that come close are either the LuminAID or the MPOWERD solar lanterns at 24 hours each.
The Roxicosly has three methods of charging the lantern. The solar panel built into the product, the USB charger, or the hand crank. It charges via solar, and the USB isn’t all that unique, and only the MPOWERD doesn’t have a USB charger. But the hand crank isn’t as common. The only other solar powered camping lantern that charges this way is the AGPTEK.
One of the few downsides to this product is that it is only water-resistant and not waterproof like the LuminAID or the MPOWERD. This makes it a poor choice for water activities, though it could handle rain just fine.
It can be collapsed to reach a small size of 3.1 x 4.9 inches. This does make it the largest lantern in its collapsed state, with the MPOWERD being the smallest. However, the AGPTEK doesn’t collapse at all, so the Roxicosly is smaller by comparison.
It is also the heaviest product at 10.6 ounces. The nearest in terms of size is the Kizen which is almost half that weight at 6.4 ounces.
Warranty & Price
The Roxicosly offers an 18-month warranty for its customers, above the one-year standard warranty for solar lanterns. The only product with a better warranty is the Kizen which has a lifetime warranty.
Not only is it one of the best solar lanterns out there it’s also one of the most affordable. It’s the same price as the AGPTEK, and the only option cheaper is the Kizen with fewer features.
The unique feature of the Roxicosly solar camping light is that it has the ability to serve as either a lantern or a flashlight, depending on the model chosen. While other solar camping lanterns have less or even no light when collapsed, this one is at its brightest.
- Longest lasting lantern with 35 hours in flashlight mode and 30 hours in lantern mode. The only solar powered camping lanterns that are close are the LuminAID and the MPOWERD at 24 hours each.
- Bright light: With 350 lumens in flashlight mode, it’s brighter than even the AGPTEK.
- It can be charged via a hand crank like the AGPTEK.
- The 18-month warranty is above the one-year standard.
- The second cheapest solar lantern on the list, the only cheaper option is the Kizen which has the same features and abilities.
- It is the largest collapsible lantern at 3.1 x 4.9 inches, and the next size down is the LuminAID at 1 x 4.75 inches.
- Is water-resistant, not waterproof like the LuminAID or the MPOWERD.
2. AGPTEK Solar Lantern
The AGPTEK Solar Lantern is the second-best solar lantern after the Roxicosly. It has the second-highest lumen count, has the most ways possible to charge the batteries, and comes with the ability to use backup batteries. This makes it a solid option for just about any situation.
Brightness & Battery
The AGPTEK has a lumen output of 240, which is below the 350-lumen output of the Roxicosly when on flashlight mode. Admittedly if comparing the AGPTEK against the Roxicosly lantern, it’s the brightest by about 40 lumens, making it one of the best solar camping lights in terms of brightness.
The battery running time is slightly low at 12 hours, the same as the Kizen LED Lantern. The MPOWERD, LuminAID, and the Roxicosly all feature longer battery lives.
This solar lantern has the most charging methods available for all solar camping lights on this list. It has the standard charging options through the solar panel or the USB port. Also, it has a hand crank like the Roxicosly and a charger like the MPOWERD.
It has the unique ability to support backup AAA batteries. These can be used when the user doesn’t have time to use the hand crank, and all other options are off the table. This can also be used to extend the battery life into the neighborhood of 24 hours, putting it on par with the LuminAID and the MPOWERD solar camping lanterns.
The AGPTEK is like the Roxicosly in that it’s only water-resistant and not waterproof like the LuminAID or the MPOWERD. Heavy rains should be fine, but submersion is not a good idea with this product.
It’s also the only solar-powered camping lantern that does not collapse. By default, this makes it the largest lantern out of those on the list.
In addition to being the largest lantern, it’s also the heaviest at 1.6 pounds. This makes it more than twice the weight of the Roxicosly, which comes in at 10.6 ounces.
Warranty & Price
The AGPTEK comes with a standard one-year warranty on replacement and repairs like the LuminAID and MPOWERD solar camping lanterns. For those wanting something with a longer warranty, the Roxicosly has an 18-month warranty, and the Kizen has a lifetime warranty.
In terms of pricing, it costs the same as the Roxicosly making it the second cheapest option in this review. The only cheaper alternative is the Kizen which doesn’t have nearly the same potential as the AGPTEK.
The varied charging options make this an adaptable option in any situation. The battery backup is a welcome feature but offset by the low battery life.
The AGPTEK also has the unique ability to charge other devices via the USB port. While this is really useful, it drains the battery even faster, which is rough on 12-hour battery life. Users may find themselves drawn to the Roxicosly as it has a much longer battery life and negates the need to charge the device continually.
- At 240 lumens, it’s technically the brightest lantern out there than the Roxicosly on lantern mode.
- Has the most charging options available on a solar-powered camping lantern.
- It is the only one that can support backup batteries.
- A 12-hour battery puts it right alongside the Kizen and perhaps the LuminAID with the lowest charge possible in this review.
- The standard one-year warranty is overshadowed by the 18-month warranty with Roxicosly or the lifetime warranty with Kizen.
- It is the only solar lantern that does not collapse.
- It is twice the weight of the Roxicosly, making it the heaviest option.
3. MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 Solar Lantern
The MPOWERD Solar Lantern is the best solar camping light when it comes to watersports. This is due to its small size, waterproof design, and ability to float upon the water. It may not be the best overall, but it certainly serves a niche well.
Brightness & Battery
The MPOWERD solar lantern is not the brightest bunch, with a 75-lumen output. This puts it on par with the LuminAID but far below the Roxicosly or the AGPTEK.
It does boast a 24-hour battery life which is second only to the Roxicosly and puts it at twice the charge of the AGPTEK, LuminAID, and the Kizen.
MPOWERD is a little different in terms of charging methods. The solar panel is present in the other solar camping lanterns, but it doesn’t have a USB port. Instead, it has a car charger like the AGPTEK.
Like the LuminAID, the MPOWERD was designed with water use in mind. It is waterproof capable of being submerged up to one meter in water. Also, it is inflatable, capable of floating on top of the water as well.
It is the smallest solar lantern on the list once collapsed. Shaped like a puck, it measures 1.5 inches in diameter, making it smaller than even the little Kizen.
It is also the lightest on the list weighing in at 4.4 ounces. This makes it 0.6 ounces lighter than the LuminAID, which is also designed to float.
Warranty & Price
One downside with the MPOWERD is that it comes with a standard one-year warranty like the LuminAID and AGPTEK. The Roxicosly has a better warranty at 18 months, and the Kizen has an even better lifetime warranty.
While it is the second most expensive solar camping lantern on this list, it’s not by much. It’s only a dollar more than the Roxicosly and the AGPTEK.
The MPOWERD is unique in that it comes with four light settings; low, medium, high, and flashing. This makes it a little more customizable than, say, the AGPTEK.
- It is the smallest collapsible lantern on the list, with the Kizen still being twice as wide.
- It is the lightest solar lantern being 0.6 ounces lighter than the LuminAID.
- With a 24-hour battery life is the second longest-running solar light after the Roxicosly.
- It can be charged via a car charger like the AGPTEK
- It can be submerged up to one meter underwater like the LuminAID.
- Can float on top of the water like the LuminAID.
- Between the weight and size is easily the most portable solar lantern on the list.
- At 75 lumens, it’s tied with the LuminAID as the second dimmest light on the list after the Kizen.
- Comes with the standard one-year warranty as opposed to the lifetime warranty offered by the Kizen.
- It is the only solar-powered lantern that doesn’t have a USB port.
- It is the second most expensive option after the LuminAID.
4. LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lanterns – Decorative Lighting
The LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lantern sacrificed some functionality to have the multicolored light feature. This emergency kit is waterproof and can float like the MPOWERD but suffers from lower battery life. It may not be the best overall, but it is the most aesthetic.
Brightness & Battery
These solar camping lights have a lumen output of 75 lumens no matter what color is chosen. This is far below the Roxicosly or the AGPTEK, but it matches the MPOWERD and sits just above the Kizen.
The battery life can range between three hours and 24 hours. This entirely depends on which color is chosen, as shown by this list:
- White: 3-5 hours
- Yellow: 4-6 hours
- Lime Green: 5-7 hours
- Turquoise: 5-7 hours
- Pink: 5-7 hours
- Multicolor Fade: 5-7 hours
- Green: 7-9 hours
- Red: 9-11 hours
- Blue: 10-12
Using the white-colored setting is the shortest running time by far of any lantern on the list. Even on the blue setting, it still shares the second shortest charge with the AGPTEK and Kizen, assuming, of course, it lasts the full 12 hours.
The LuminAID is fairly standard in terms of charging using either the solar panel or a USB port. According to some customers, solar charging is lacking and requires around 10 hours of direct sunlight to charge the battery fully. This could easily take a day or two, depending on which region it’s used in or how much direct sunlight is available in a day. Considering its 12-hour battery life, this can be a nuisance for long-term use without using the USB port for a quick charge now and then.
Like the MPOWERD, the LuminAID is an inflatable lantern that can float on the water. In the event it submerges, it’s waterproof up to one meter.
The entire lantern can collapse down to 1 x 4.75 inches in size. This is just a little bit bigger than the MPOWERD but certainly smaller than the Roxicsoly.
At five ounces, it’s just a hair heavier than the MPOWERD, which comes in at 4.4 ounces.
Warranty & Price
The LuminAID has a standard one-year warranty consistent with most solar-powered camping lanterns. For better warranties, users should consider the Roxicosly or even the Kizen.
For whatever reason, perhaps the multicolored feature, the LuminAID, is the most expensive led camping lantern on the list. The MPOWERD, with its better features, is about five dollars cheaper by comparison.
As mentioned earlier, the device comes with nine different colored modes. This makes it handy for ambiance, though an argument could help the user during certain emergencies. For instance, some customers have stated that the red light was useful for getting someone else’s attention. Alternatively, one user reported using the various lights as a code to let their children know when to eat, sleep, or do other activities. Something that would be hard to do with Roxicosly’s single-colored light.
- The multicolored solar light makes it a unique choice when compared to other solar lights in this review.
- The LuminAID is one of the smallest lanterns on the list once collapsed, though not as small as the MPOWERD.
- Is almost as light as the MPOWERD and half the weight of the Roxicosly.
- It can submerge up to one meter in water like the MPOWERD.
- Like the MPOWERD can inflate to float on the water.
- The LuminAID is the most expensive lantern on the list despite offering fewer features than the MPOWERD.
- The standard one-year warranty is low compares to the Roxicosly or the Kizen.
- It takes long to charge via the solar panel.
5. Kizen Camping Lantern With LED Bulbs
The Kizen LED Lantern has some things going for it, like a lifetime warranty and a small size. Yet when compared to any of the best solar lanterns in this review, it just comes up lacking.
Brightness & Battery
With a 65 lumen output, the Kizen is at the bottom of our list of camping lanterns in terms of brightness. The LuminAID and MPOWERD have 15 more lumens, and the AGPTEK is more than four times as bright at 240 lumens. This will be enough to keep the inside of a ten lit but will be rather dim for a campground where the Roxicosly may be a better choice.
The Kizen can go a total of 12 hours before its solar lights need a charge. This puts it right alongside the AGPTEK in terms of duration. The only solar lantern that lasts even less is the LuminAID if one of its many color settings strains the battery.
The Kizen LED lantern comes with the standard charging methods, namely a solar panel and USB port. The solar panel isn’t anything special and is found on many of the other solar lanterns found on this list.
Like the Roxicosly or the AGPTEK, the Kizen doesn’t do well with water and is only water-resistant. This would make the LuminAID and the MPOWERD far better choices, thanks to their waterproof designs.
While the Kizen is small when collapsed compared to other solar-powered lanterns, it isn’t as small as the MPOWERD. It measures 1.77 x 3.35 inches as opposed to the puck with a diameter of 1.5 inches.
It also sits dead middle in terms of weight, coming in at 6.4 ounces. This makes it a bit heavier than the LuminAId, but just above half of what the Roxicosly weighs.
Warranty & Price
Perhaps the major perk to the Kizen is that it has the best warranty on the list. Unlike the standard one year, the Kizen has a lifetime warranty meaning there is no limitation on when the device can repair or replace. This is even better than the 18-month warranty offered by Roxicosly.
The other upside to the Kizen is that while it doesn’t offer the best ability, it is cheap. It’s almost half of what the LuminAID costs. There is a case between this and the lifetime warranty to make it the most cost-effective, even if it is the most basic product on the list.
Ultimately there’s really nothing terribly special about the Kizen. It doesn’t have any unique features or special abilities that set it above any other solar lanterns for camping trips.
- The cheapest of the solar lanterns on this list is coming at almost half the price of the LuminAID.
- The lifetime warranty is even better than the 18-month warranty offered by Roxicosly.
- Low lumen output at 65 lumens. Lower than the MPOWERD or the LuminAID.
- The 12-hour battery life makes it as long-lasting as the AGPTEK.
- Only basic charging through the solar panel and USB port.
- It is only water-resistant and not waterproof like the MPOWERD or the LuminAID.
Buying Guide – Best Outdoor Solar Lanterns
Brightness & Battery Life
The best solar camping lanterns will have a decent lumen output to ensure visibility no matter where it uses. Some solar lanterns are meant to provide a bit of light while performing activities like swimming, whereas others are designed to light up an entire campground or the inside of a camping tent-like a solar flashlight would.
Having a long battery life is also essential. At the very least solar lanterns need to last the entire night before receiving a new charge through solar power. Ideally, these lights should last longer than this ensuring there is a charge carried over each day.
Almost universally, each solar lantern will have a solar panel and typically a USB port, though there are exceptions with the latter. The built-in solar panels provide a measure of convenience as they will not need to be plugged into the other solar panels for camping that is better spent charging other things.
Some solar lanterns will have a car charger to make charging the lantern on the go really easy. Another convenient charging method is a hand crank ensuring that if the sun is down, there is no car, and there isn’t a USB cord handy, the user can use their own body to charge the lantern.
Then a convenient feature found in some lanterns is the ability to plug backup batteries into the lantern. It does require carrying spare batteries, but it beats twisting a hand crank for several minutes to get a charge.
The best solar lantern should have a mix of these charging methods to provide the most convenience for the user.
The intended use for the solar lantern will also dictate which design features to look for. For instance, if the user uses solar lanterns to light up their DIY solar shower, something with simple water resistance should be sufficient.
But if the buyer is doing a lot of swimming, kayaking, or boating, solar lanterns with waterproof designs will better fit. Some will even submerge or float on top of the water, great if the boat tips or floating in a pond.
The size and weight will also factor into which solar camping lanterns should pick. Someone wanting to clip theirs to a solar backpack will want something small and portable, for instance. Getting a collapsible one can also be really handy for backpacking or when similarly limited on space.
Warranty & Price
Because solar camping lanterns will see a lot of use, it pays to have one with a good warranty. The standard warranty is one year to cover repairs and replacements for everything from the solar panel to the led lights. Those looking to use theirs more often or in more intensive situations should look to longer warranty periods.
Price also plays an important role in which solar camping lanterns should be purchased. By and large solar lanterns aren’t terribly expensive, and the cost typically reflects the quality of the product. Still, it pays to make comparisons to ensure the best deal for the best price.
While not necessarily required, it can sometimes pay to have a solar lantern with a few extra features beyond the standard capabilities. Multiple light settings can ensure the light is only as bright as it needs to be and conserves the power bank.
Some lanterns feature multiple color settings to provide ambiance for different situations. While not exactly mandatory for camping and backpacking, having a different color light for swimming or a tent can provide a unique experience. A few solar lantern users have also stated that red light can be great for getting attention in an emergency.
Ultimately a solar lantern is a convenient and efficient light source when camping, backpacking, or performing any activity outdoors. Good solar lanterns will provide the right amount of light for the situation and be reliable enough to last long enough not to need a charge right away.
When it does come time to charge, having a lantern with various options for charging will be convenient. Ideally, it will simply need to draw on the solar panels, but when push comes to shove, having a hand crank or a car charger will be very nice to have if solar power isn’t always an option.
The design of the product is also important. A water-resistant lantern may be sufficient for camping, but water-based activities could require something more waterproof or even something that can float or submerge as needed.
Finally, balancing the lantern features against both the price and the warranty will ensure a good buy. Solar lanterns aren’t terribly expensive, but there’s no point in overpaying for features that don’t need.
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