There was a time when a gas powered lantern with glass windows used to be the preferred choice as a camping lantern but many different models are available in the market today and choosing the right one can be confusing for a buyer. The gas powered lantern provides a bright and warm light that lasts for a long time but it is noisy and hot to touch.
While you can still buy these lanterns but there are a lot of modern choices available in the market today that offer bright light and are compact enough for backpacking. One of the best out there in my opinion is Hybeam Pop Lamp which you can actually get for free right now.
Here is a list of some of the important factors you need to consider to choose the right camping lantern.
There are many different types of lanterns including electric lanterns, candle lanterns and fuel burning lanterns. The electric lanterns use LED technology. The LED lamps have a number of advantages including excellent light output, longer battery life and these are safe for use around kids as LEDs do not generate any heat. These lanterns also do not generate any noise. The only downside of electric lanterns is that they require battery and disposing them off is not simple.
When it comes to fuel burning lantern, several fuel sources are used including butane, propane and liquid fuel. The advantage of liquid fuel is that there are refillable tanks available in the market and these lanterns are also fuel efficient. Butane is also available in disposable canisters and these lanterns are easy to use and compact in size.
One of the biggest advantages of gas lanterns is that these are best for lighting up an entire campsite as there is no other lantern that can come close to a gas lantern in terms of brightness. However, there are also a few downsides of gas lanterns. These need ample ventilation as these generate a lot of heat which means it’s not safe to operate them around children. Also, these are relatively heavy, bulky and produce a lot of noise.
The candle lanterns offer soft and natural light. Reflectors can also be used with candles for maximizing the brightness. The advantage of candle lanterns is that these offer soft light and are the right choice for close up tasks. However, the disadvantage is that these offer low light output and need to be kept at a safe distance from flammable materials as these are hot to touch.
As far as choosing a lantern is concerned, you need to pay attention to the maximum light output as well as light duration along with size and weight. While size and weight does not matter if you are going on a car excursion but it does matter for backpacking. The new generation LED lanterns are small and compact in size and do not produce any noise. This is the reason that these lanterns are popular with backpackers.
The light duration is often expressed as the average run time for battery-powered lanterns and as burn time for gas powered lanterns. This tells you the time you can expect a lantern to keep providing light on a single tank of fuel or a single set of batteries. Similarly, higher lumen output means greater light intensity.
Overall, these are some of the factors you need to consider to choose the right camping lantern.