The Best Solar Lights - Backpacker

The Best Solar Lights

Solar power is the smart, clean energy choice for lighting up your next outdoor activity. Whether you’re camping, hiking, fishing, working on your car, or just enjoying a night on the patio, solar lights provide handy illumination and ambience for outdoor activities. Plus, they’re always smart to have on hand in case of emergencies and power outages. We picked five of our favorite solar lights that make the grade for versatility, packability, and affordability. Each would make a great addition to your camp supplies, garage, or tool shed.
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Best Overall 

Lighting EVER LED Camping Lantern Rechargeable

Tent Light, Flashlight, Work Light, Utility Light…This Does it All. This compact wonder provides bright light and can recharge your phone. Plus, it looks cool and has magnets for attaching to metal surfaces.

What We Liked: 

We love everything about this little gem. The design is smart and attractive, and the 280 lumens at full brightness is more than adequate to light a tent or workspace. The built-in USB cord keeper is a definite plus. And we love the metal handle and the magnets on the base, which make it easy to attach the lantern to a car hood, truck bed, or any metal surface.  Buy it here.

Best Pack-Flat Design 

LuminAID PackLite 2-in-1 Inflatable Phone Charger Lantern

Packs Down to Just One Inch Thick. This ultra-packable design inflates to a six-inch square and delivers up to 300 lumens of light, yet it packs down to just one inch thick.

What We Liked: 

It’s smaller than a notebook when packed, yet delivers bright light for up to 100 hours on a single charge. Plus, it can recharge a cell phone. Charges fully in 16 hours of direct sunlight or in two to four hours via USB. Waterproof, shatterproof, worry-free design is ideal for stuffing in a pack or bug-out bag. Buy it here.

Most Packable

MPOWERD Luci Inflatable Solar Light

Packs Down to the Size of a Cookie. This inflatable, collapsible, ultra-lightweight design delivers up to 12 hours of light on a single charge.

What We Liked: 

This is the smallest, coolest inflatable light we’ve seen. When collapsed, it’s about the size of a big cookie and weighs only 4.4 ounces, so you can easily stash it in your pack. Ten LEDs with three settings provide plenty of light. Great for camping, and a joy to have around the house as well. Totally waterproof, so you can even throw it in the pool for fun ambiance. Buy it now.

Best Tent Light

d.light S30 Portable Solar Lantern for Camping

d.light S30 Portable Solar Lantern for Camping

d.light S30 Portable Solar Lantern for Camping

Powerfully Bright and Battery-Free. The d.light S30 is ideal for hanging from a tent and makes for a smart back-up in case of a power outage at home.

What We Liked: 

We’ve tried a lot of tent lights, but we keep coming back to this simple, reliable design. The solar panel charges well, even in indirect sunlight, and you get about 12 hours of use out of a single charge. Plus, the 36-degree design disperses light more efficiently to illuminate larger areas. Integrated carry handle makes it easy to hang, and it can be used as a support to allow tabletop use. 

Fastest Solar Charge  

Survival Frog Pocket Light LED Solar Camping Lantern & Collapsible Flashlight

One Hour in the Sun Provides 30 Minutes of Light. The Survival Frog packs small, charges fast, and delivers up to 10 hours of light on a single charge.

What We Liked: 

 Most solar lanterns take hours to charge, but this little baby can give you 30 minutes of light after just one hour in the sun. This efficient charging is a nice feature when coming back to camp and realizing you might not have light after dusk. A flashing light signaling feature offers peace of mind, too, and a built-in phone charger helps keep you connected. All for less than 20 bucks. We’re sold. Get it now.

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