The options for camping lanterns seem endless these days, primarily due to LED lights. They make lanterns more durable, but even more important, more efficient. So efficient in fact, that small solar panels can charge them up with ease. One of my favorites is the Spright Solar USB LED Lantern. It only weighs 6.3 ounces and has a collapsible silicone globe that makes storage a snap. It has four modes: high, low, amber, amber nightlight, and amber candle flicker. High is 120 lumens and will give you about four hours of runtime, while low is 50 lumens, providing about seven hours of runtime. The globe itself also glows in the dark, and quite brightly I might add.
One of my favorite features has to be the amber candle flicker. UST has done a great job with this. I found that I liked the candle flicker more with the globe removed (which is easy to do). It looks very realistic and could probably fool a few folks from across a picnic table. It takes 15-20 hours to charge fully in the sun, but if you’re using a few hours of low in the evening, you’ll be able to top it off in the afternoon. I’d recommend charging it up with the USB cable before you head to the campsite. That only takes three hours and will give you a good starting point. Then leave it on the picnic table all day, and you’ll be good to go. If you’re looking for a solar camping light give it a look. At only $25 I think it’s hard to pass up.