Tent lighting: Best rechargeable lanterns: Budget, multi-use

lighting your tent at night

It’s not until the evening that we realise how important lighting is. We need lighting for cooking inside the tent and in the surrounding areas outside.

Camping lanterns must be reliable, reasonably priced, waterproof and ideally with different lumen settings. Camping lights are no longer just a light source. They can recharge your mobile devices, are dimmable, have detachable torches, and some have remote controls.

What are the best budget rechargeable lanterns for camping?

1 – Lepro Camping Lantern with 2 Detachable Torch

Lepro Camping Lantern with 2 Detachable Torch
  • Expect to pay – £24.99 – £29.99
  • Rechargeable and with the addition of alkaline batteries for backup
  • Lumens range from 500 to 1000
  • 4-mode settings for lighting
  • Bright at 1000 lumens for outside, 500 lumens for low setting
  • Two emergency settings
  • Removable side torches
  • Bulky
  • Ideal for family camping with kids
  • Not suitable for wild camping or backpacking

The Lepro camping lantern from Amazon is not a great-looking lantern and is very bulky, but it has some unique features. Lumens range from 500 to 1000 with four-mode settings, bright at 1000 lumens and 500 lumens low. There are two emergency settings, and alkaline batteries can be used for extra backup.

The best part about this is the two removable torches, so no more lost time or arguing about who had the torch last. Which often happens to us.

The lantern still works even when the torches have been removed. The significant part is that the torches have two settings, spotlight and sidelights. They have a magnetic stripe on the opposite side and can easily be attached to tent poles to increase lighting. Unfortunately, the torches are not rechargeable.

Read our full review on the Lanktoo 2-in-1 rechargeable lantern if you are unsure about a lantern. After some rigorous testing, you will be surprised by how robust and powerful the lantern is.

I only use this lantern for our camping trips, not wild camping, as it is too big.

2 – Vango Lunar 250 Rechargeable USB Lantern

  • Expect to pay – £17.28 to £19.99
  • Retro funky design
  • Basic lantern on/off switch
  • Only one light setting at 250 lumens
  • Rechargeable lantern
  • Easy to hang on tent lantern hooks
  • A good size handle to use as a lantern when leaving the tent.
  • No dimmer switch and not a high-lumen lantern.
  • Not suitable for large tents if only one lantern
Vango Lunar 250 Rechargeable USB Lantern

The Retro rechargeable lantern is a quirky style from Vango. It is available from Amazon for £17.99 and Winfields for £19.99; however, prices may change.

There is only one light setting, a push-button, on or off—an essential no-fuss lamp. 250 Lumen LED lantern, which is ideal for lighting small areas. The Vango Retro is solid and sleek, although unsuitable for backpacking or wild camping. However, we have used this for Car camping.

The recharging point is located on the base at the back and will flash red until fully charged. Once charged, a red light will show continuously, so there is no overcharging.

The charge time is about 4-5 hours from no charge and will last approximately three evenings.
What I love about the Retro is the hanging hook. It has a large handle you can use if you need to leave the tent. But a large hook is also attached to the handle, making it easy to hang. It is not heavy, so there is no strain on your tent hooks.

3 – Lanktoo 2-in-1 USB Rechargeable Lantern and powerpack

Lanktoo 2-in-1 USB Rechargeable Lantern and powerpack
  • Expect to pay – £21.99 – £29.99
  • Rechargeable – Mini Flexi USB
  • Power bank to recharge electrical devices
  • Remote control
  • Lightweight and small
  • The hanging hook is small; you will need an additional hook to hang the lantern.
  • Magnetic base to hang from tent poles
  • It can be used as a table or hanging lantern
  • Robust
  • Four light settings, warm, bright and emergency settings
  • Can be dimmed
  • Up to 70 hours of lighting, depending on the setting
  • LED Display for power meter

Mini Lanktoo 2 in 1 is one of my favourite lanterns because of the size, light settings, remote control and 6400Ah power bank. I purchased it from Amazon for £29.99 in 2021, and the price has been reduced to £23.99.

  • Warm light – 60 hours
  • Bright light – 50 hours
  • Dimmed light – 70 hours

Lighting is 360 degrees and can be used as a table or hanging lantern. 196 lumens provide sufficient lighting to read but are not adequate to light the camping area outside or large tent areas if on a low setting.

It is small and can be tucked into rucksacks or pockets. Hanging hook at the top, but it isn’t easy to clip. It’s suitable for family camping, hiking and wild camping.

A unique point of this lantern is that it has a magnetic base, so you can easily attach it to tent poles instead of hanging it from a hook. Plus, the remote control is great if you have small children. You can leave the lantern inside their sleeping area, and you have control of reducing the brightness during the evening. The remote control is small, and it cannot be replaced easily if you lose it.

The Lepro lantern recharge points are at the back. Controls are a simple push button. Long handles on either side for you to hold whilst walking or hanging from a tent light.

4 – LE Rechargeable CREE LED Torch, 500 Lumen Camping Lantern

  • Expect to pay – £21.99 – £24.99
  • Rechargeable
  • It can be used as a torch and lantern
  • Easy to carry when used as a torch
  • 200 – 500 Lumens
  • Up to 5 hours of usage
  • Ideal for tabletop lanterns, not for hanging inside a tent
  • Power bank of 2600Ah
LE Rechargeable CREE LED Torch, 500 Lumen Camping Lantern

LED rechargeable camping lantern from Amazon that doubles up as a torch. With a power bank of 2600Ah.

Six different light settings, including emergency, with a light range from 200 – 500 lumens. It may last up to 5 hours, but it depends on the setting. Fortunately, it did run out of battery quickly during winter camping.

The difference between the LE CREE and Lanktoo lantern is the torch. The LE has a more suitable handle on the side, whereas the Lanktoo handle is on the top.

It can hang easily to a tent hook, but I had difficulty adjusting the lantern settings due to my height.

The LE lantern makes a great tabletop lantern and a good torch.

5 – Black Diamond Moji rechargeable Lantern and powerpack

Black Diamond Moji rechargeable Lantern and powerpack
  • Expect to pay – £67 – £74.99
  • Rechargeable
  • It can run on Alkaline batteries and mains power
  • Recharge mobile phones and iPads – up to 150 hrs, depending on usage
  • Dimmer switch for use in a child’s sleeping area
  • Hanging hook and ideal for table setting
  • 360 Lighting
  • Max 250 lumens
  • LED display for battery status

The Black Diamond from Amazon is the more expensive of the three lanterns due to the different specifications. It’s an excellent camping lantern that is lockable to stop accidental turning on whilst transporting. To unlock, hold and press for 3 seconds. And relock the same way.

A sturdy cover protects input and output points, including a lightning output feed. It is not a rubber cover that easily pulls off or perishes over time. On the front, there are LED indicators that display the power status of the lithium battery and alkaline battery.

250 lumens is the maximum light output, sufficient for camping and has various light settings, including dimmer and strobe. However, it is not great for lighting a large area outside.

Depending on settings, there is potential for over 150 hours of run time, double the Lanktoo lantern. However, this depends on the setting; if you use the highest settings continuously, the maximum it will remain charged is 50 hours.

Power is the main rechargeable, but you can use normal alkaline batteries, ideal for emergencies if you cannot recharge. It does not come with an AC adaptor, but the mini USB Flexi cable can be used with an iPhone charger plug. This is standard on all rechargeable lanterns.

The Black Diamond from Amazon is not the cheapest rechargeable lantern for camping. However, the hours of light-time and joint power bank make it worth investing in. It has not caused us any issues whilst camping, and we have dropped it several times, and it has not broken. It would be nice if it had a remote control facility, but that is the only extra for me that would enhance the lantern.

It is only suitable for camping and car camping, not for backpacking or wild camping. It is bulky and would take up to much space in a rucksack.

6 – Legazpi Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern and powerpack

  • Expect to pay – £26.99 – £36.99
  • Rechargeable Mini Flexi USB
  • Power bank 4500mAh
  • Water-resistant IP55
  • Lumens 300 to 1000
  • 3 light settings warm, bright, medium
  • Not dimmable
  • Can hang from a tent hook or tabletop lantern
  • Robust body
Legazpi Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern and powerpack.

The Legazpi is a solid, reliable lantern with 3 different settings for relaxing inside your tent using the warm light setting. As well as sitting outside in a bright area with 1000 lumens.

On average, it takes 6 – 8 hours of charging to provide sufficient reliable lighting up for usage over 5 evenings for 3 hrs a night, on a bright setting. A total of 15 hours of usage before it needed to be recharged. This was reduced by approximately 4.5 hours when used to charge my phone. The level of the battery life is easy to monitor as it has a LED display.

It is possible to hang it via the hook on the base of the lantern, but I found this pointless unless you hang it inside a tent. I preferred to use the rubber grip handle that hangs down the sides. You can hang it from branches easily outside or place it on a table while eating.

It has a high IP rating of 55, which is good, and states that it is protected against solid objects such as water jets. I left it outside overnight in the rain, and it worked the following day. However, because it does not have an X, it is not protected against dust particles.

It is only available in white, and it does show marks easily. It is sturdy and will not break if it is dropped. The on/off button is solid; unless you lean something on it or it catches during transport, it will not switch on.

Overall the Legazpi Lantern from Amazon is worth buying, although it is not a compact lantern. With the 360 lighting, there are no restrictions on the beam. Very simple to use, recharge and connect your phone for charging via the USB Port.

Key takeaways

  • Rechargeable lanterns can be charged at home before the holiday if you have no EHU connection.
  • Ideal for charging mobile phones
  • Always check that it is water-resistant and has an IP number
  • The sufficient lumens for inside a tent is 200, ideally 1000 lumens for outside.

There are many different camping lanterns, basic alkaline lanterns, crank lanterns, solar-powered and gas-powered. If you are unsure if rechargeable lanterns suit your needs, we have provided an in-depth guide on the different types of lanterns to help, including the maximum lumens for your tent and how waterproof your lantern is.

If you are concerned that a rechargeable lantern will not last for your camping trip and do not have the facility to recharge, some ideal budget battery lanterns are available. They do not offer power banks, and they have the same lumens. Read our article on budget battery lanterns with a starting price of £10.00, which we have used for over 3 years and have always kept as our backup emergency lanterns during our trips.

Related questions

How long does a rechargeable lantern last?

A rechargeable lantern will last 30 hours before you see the brightness affected. However, this is dependent on the light setting. If the light setting is on high beam constantly, the maximum will be 15 hours for usage on an average of 3 hours per night.


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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