Camping lanterns: Tent budget battery lights

Battery operated camping lanterns

Lighting is usually one item that we do not consider when camping. We assume that any lantern will be suitable and do not want to spend much money.

Camping lanterns are important as it can be frustrating not having sufficient light inside and outside a tent, especially if you are trying to read or cook.

What type of battery-operated lantern should you buy?

The Eurohike 3w Cob lantern is our top choice for budget lanterns. It is reasonably priced but sturdy and straightforward to use with dimmable lighting. The Colemans Quad is not a budget lantern, but it is multi-purpose. The side panels can be removed and used as torches and additional lighting within your tent. The lantern and side panels work individually; however, you need a few batteries. It saves space as you only need one lantern compared to several torches and lanterns.

Our top 5 battery-operated camping lanterns

1 – Eurohike 3w Cob Lantern

Eurohike Cob Lantern
  • Expect to pay – £6 – £11
  • 360 LED lantern
  • 4 x AA Alkaline batteries
  • Solid handle and casing
  • The base unscrews for batteries
  • It feels cheap, but I have owned this lamp for 3 years, and it is still working.
  • It can be used inside a tent or as a tabletop lantern
  • Not very strong lighting for walking outside
  • Great value for money basic budget lantern

The Eurhohike 3w cob lantern is basic—a standard alkaline battery-operated lantern. You can hang it inside your tent, use it as a table lamp or for nighttime trips to the toilet.

They are straightforward, easy-to-use lanterns with a dial on the front that you turn on/off. The lantern dial lets you dim the light to the desired level. It is excellent for leaving inside a child’s sleeping area if they are scared of the dark.

The only part I do not like about the lantern is the sold handle. It is difficult to hang inside a tent, and I use a Spring Snap Hooks Carabiner from Amazon. You can hang keys and any other items. Another type of hook to hang lanterns is a multi[purpose light hook with a peg at the end from Amazon. They are easier to use than the snap hook. Peg to a guy line or use the hook inside your tent.

I have several of these Eurohike 3w Cob lanterns. They are my go-to lanterns and have never let me down. They have been dropped, left outside in the rain, and still working.

If you are camping on a tight budget and are not worried about the look of a lantern, the Eurohike 3w lantern is ideal. I only expected mine to last one camping season, as they don’t feel solid and look cheap. I have had my Eurohike lantern from Amazon for 3 years.

2 – Coleman Multi-Panel Quad Pro LED Lantern – 3 or 4 panel

  • Expect to pay -£51 – £71.99
  • Available as a 3 or 4 panel
  • The sides separate from the main body for additional lighting
  • D batteries for the main body of the lantern
  • 3 x AAA for each side panel
  • Recharge mobile devices
  • IPX 4 Water-resistant
  • Magnetic strip or stand for sidelights
  • The main handle pushes down
  • 600 lumens – 3 panel
  • 800 lumens – 4 panel
  • Individual controls on each panel or controlled as one is attached to the main body.
Colemans Multi-Panel LED Lantern

The Colemans Quad Pro Dual LED Lantern is more expensive than an average battery-operated lantern. However, it is multi-usable whether you consider the 3-panel or 4-panel lantern from Amazon.

Compared to the Eurohike 3w Cob Lantern purchasing the Colemans Quad Pro that converts into 3 or 4 separate torches or mini lights is worth the initial cost if there are several of you in your group. I have purchased several different lanterns and torches over the last 6 years, which have cost me over £200 combined.

The side panels are separate from the main body of the lantern. You can use them as torches or additional lights inside your tent, using the stands or a magnetic strip on the back of the panels. This makes it ideal to use in light-dark areas of your tent, or you can attach it to poles or tables outside.

Colemans 3 Panel Quad Pro Lantern – 2 light settings

Main Body

  • 2 light settings
  • High – 600 lumens
  • Low – 60 lumens
  • 15m high beam
  • 6m low beam
  • Central body lantern 6 x D batteries

Side panels and torch

  • 3 light settings – high, low and flashing
  • Panels 200 lumens each
  • 13m high beam
  • 6m low beam
  • 40m flashing
  • Each panel requires 3 x AAA batteries

Colemans 4 panel Quad Pro lantern – 3 light settings

Main body

  • 3 light settings
  • High – 800 lumens
  • Medium – 200 lumens
  • Low – 100 lumens
  • 18m high beam
  • 11m medium beam
  • 7m low beam
  • 4 x D Batteries

Side panels and torch

  • 3 light settings
  • High – 100 lumens
  • Low – 25 lumens
  • Flashing – 100 lumens
  • 13m high beam
  • 6m low beam
  • 40m flashing
  • 3 x AAA batteries per panel

They are both expensive to use because of the batteries, especially as you need AAA batteries for each panel. On average, a pack of 24 Duracell batteries from Amazon cost £14.99, or a pack of 36 Duracell batteries from Amazon cost £22 – £25, which is cheaper than buying directly from a store. Prices may vary.

The quality of the batteries you use will affect how long the torch will last. When using good-quality batteries, the main body will last approximately 15 hours before seeing the difference in beam brightness. We have used the side panels separately whilst camping and at home for over 100 hours as they are still working strong. So I cannot provide an idea of the time span of the torches.

There are 800 lumens Coleman Quad Pro lanterns available on average for £83.99 from Amazon. However, I would not recommend buying them as you do not need them for basic camping. The 600 lumens are sufficient. It is approximately £10 more to buy the 800 lumens than the 600 lumens, but it is a personal preference for how light you want your camping area to be.

You only need 200 – 500 lumens to light a tent sufficiently. You need 1000 lumens minimum if you have one lantern. If you are unsure what type of lantern you should buy, read our article to help you find the right lantern. We walk you through the different types of lanterns, waterproofing levels and power.

3 – Easy Camp Mosquito Lantern

  • Expect to pay – £6.99 – £13.85
  • 3 x AA Alkaline batteries
  • LED lantern
  • Mosquito zapper
  • Lightweight but bulky
  • Moveable handle
  • No dimmer switch
  • 360 lighting
  • Simple on/off switch
2 In 1 Lantern and Bug Zapper

The 2 in 1 lantern is not the fanciest camping lantern. However, it does benefit from a mosquito zapper, which can be turned on or off. You do not need to have it on continuously when the light is on.

It looks and feels very breakable, especially the frame around the mosquito zapper. It is held into place with 4 clips, making it easy to clean any bugs from the mosquito light. The mosquito light is not on continuously when the light is in use. The button must be pressed twice to turn it on and once to turn it off.

The handle is fragile and unclips easily, but not when carrying it. It unclipped when I knocked it when it was hanging inside our tent. It easily clips back into place.

I use this lantern during the evening to remove bugs from our sleeping area. I also use the lantern in our back garden, not just for camping. I also have the rechargeable Outdoor Revolution Lumi-Mosi Mosquito Light, which is double the price from Winfields. Although it is smaller, it works well. The hanging hook broke on our first trip when we knocked it.

It needs 3 x AA batteries stored in the case of the lantern. The base is unscrewed and can be awkward to screw back on, especially if you do not line up correctly.

Easy Camp Mosquito lantern is available from Amazon, Winfields and The Range. Prices vary from £6.99 to £13.85 depending on where you purchase. I would not pay £13.85 from Amazon as it is overpriced for the quality. However, I bought mine from The Range for £6.99, although you will need to order online as they are limited supply in-store. If this is not possible, Winfields is another camping store that sells the lantern.

4 – Kampa Beacon Lantern

Kampa Beacon Lantern
  • Expect to Pay – £8.99 – £12.70
  • Available in different colours
  • 360 LED lighting
  • Dial to adjust the brightness
  • On/Off dial
  • Compass on the top
  • Solid handle
  • Requires 3 x D batteries
  • Thin lantern handle

The Kampa Beacon from Winfields is a sturdy lantern; however, it is expensive to run with D batteries instead of AA batteries, which is the downside of this lantern. A pack of Duracell D batteries for 4 costs on average £7.99; compared to AA batteries, you can buy 24 for £12.50.

Kampa products are excellent, and the Beacon lantern is sturdy and reliable. The base is bulky, as this is where the batteries are.

The dial on the front can dim and switch on / off the 360 LED lighting. However, you must switch it off and not leave it on the lowest setting. It is easy to leave on the dimmed setting without realising, and it runs your batteries down very quickly.

I have found that the lanterns’ usage is the same as other battery-operated lanterns, and it does not matter the type of battery used. However, you do need good-quality batteries. If you use the cheaper ones, they will not last as long.

It has a compass on the top, which is pointless. If you want a compass, buying a separate one would be more beneficial and not rely on this.

The Kampa lantern is suitable as a table lantern rather than a tent-hanging lantern. The LED provides sufficient lighting to walk to the toilet block at night.

4 – Easy Camp Pyro Lantern

  • Expect to pay – £15.99 – £19.99
  • Requires 3 x AA batteries
  • 3 light settings
  • Flame flicker effect
  • 20 Lumens
Easy Camp Pyro Lantern

The Easy Camp Pyro lantern from Winfield’s is more for the feel of camping. Mainly because of the flickering flame effect. It is only 20 lumens, so it does not offer massive brightness and is not suitable for reading inside a tent or lighting a large area outside.

It creates a homely feel, looks rustic and can be used in the back garden. It is more expensive and not as practical compared to other lanterns, such as the Eurohike Cob and the Kampa Beacon. You are paying extra for the flickering flame effect.

I would recommend having an additional light if you cook or eat outside. This lamp is suitable for sitting around a campfire and socialising only. The positive aspect is the safety of not having a traditional oil of fuel flamed light, especially if you have children.

The Easy Camp Pyro is available from Amazon and Winefield, although it is expensive from Amazon.

Key takeaways

  • Battery-operated lanterns are only as good as the batteries you use
  • They are cheaper than rechargeable lanterns
  • Safe to use
  • Always keep spare batteries
  • Purchase for less than £10
  • More affordable lanterns can feel breakable


I'm a single parent who loves pitching a tent and exploring the countryside at any opportunity. I am working with a glamping pod company and helping them to set up a family campsite in East Riding Yorkshire.

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