The 6 best lanterns, for use at a campsite or during a power outage at home

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • A lantern lights up your tent or cabin while camping, and can also help you see during a power outage.
  • The best should offer a high lumen output, have a battery that lasts several hours, and be highly durable.
  • Our top pick, the CORE 500 Lumen CREE LED Lantern, is compact with a long-lasting battery and a bright output.

In the event of a prolonged power outage, a lantern creates a room-filling light that allows for easier cooking, reading, and other basic activities that you can’t accomplish with the directional beam of a flashlight or headlamp.

A lantern is also immensely helpful in emergency situations should you need to administer first aid, repair a piece of equipment, or find your way around in the dark. The long battery life (or fuel burn time) of a good lantern is another bonus when compared with most flashlights, which tend to consume batteries more quickly.

For the camper, a lantern makes a tent, cabin, or the campsite itself more comfortable and inviting. The beams of headlamps and flashlights can be unpleasant and blinding, leaving most of the surrounding area dark while often washing out the spots on which they fall. Lantern light, on the other hand, is softer, filling a space with illumination and allowing all in its proximity to enjoy the glow.

To help make your shopping experience easier, we’ve tested a selection of lanterns from brands like Coleman, Goal Zero, and CORE Equipment to find the best currently available. At the end of this guide, we’ve also included some tips on how to shop for a lantern and what to keep in mind.

Here are the best lanterns:

The best overall

lantern 1

The CORE Equipment 500 Lumen CREE LED Lantern puts out enough light to fully illuminate a midsized room or to light up your campsite, porch, or picnic area.

Pros: Super bright output, great battery life, good price for the quality, durable construction

Cons: Uses pricey D batteries, needs dimmer setting

The CORE Equipment 500 Lumen CREE LED Lantern casts a halo of light that brightens an area measuring 60 feet wide — and that’s on its low setting. When at full power, the lantern’s beam stretches out 45 feet, illuminating a space 90 feet across.

Equally impressive are its run-times, too, as the lantern’s able to shine for 19 hours at full power and for a whopping 65 hours at the lower setting. Its diffuser tube ensures that its light is evenly distributed and is bright but not harsh.

The CORE Equipment 500 Lumen lantern weighs a little less than a pound and is small enough to tuck into a backpack. While it’s slightly heavier and larger than the distance trekker or the climber will want to carry, it’s a great choice for use on shorter hikes or for the car camper or RV enthusiast.

Despite its small size, the power of this lantern also makes it a fine choice for use in equipping an emergency preparedness kit or for more mundane, everyday tasks like grilling after dark or just hanging out in the backyard. 

The best on a budget

lantern

The Etekcity Collapsible LED Lantern is small, bright, and built to last, but best of all, it comes in a two-pack for $20. 

Pros: Great low price, compact and lightweight, durable construction

Cons: Short run time, light quality rather pale and harsh

What can you get with ten dollars? Quite a lot, really. You can get a decent cocktail or a fine sandwich, a month’s worth of streaming video and TV programming, or a compact and capable lantern that will shine for hours at a time and last for many years of regular use. The Etekcity Collapsible LED Lantern costs only $20 for two, but it is backed by a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.

When fully collapsed, the Etekcity LED lantern is less than five inches tall, and it weighs well under a pound. That makes it a fine choice for the trekker who is watching gear weight.

The intensity of light output is regulated based on how far you extract the globe section from the outer casing. The more of the 30 individual LED bulbs that are exposed, the more light that the lantern emits. This is a pleasantly simple way to regulate brightness, but there’s also a drawback in that the bulbs that are hidden away are still glowing, thus draining a bit of power needlessly.

The lantern is powered using three AA batteries and runs for 12 hours on its lower intensity setting and eight hours at maximum output. That’s not a laudable runtime, but the money you save on the unit can be applied to some extra batteries.

The best propane-powered

coleman lantern

As long as you planned ahead and stocked up on fuel, the Coleman NorthStar Propane Lantern can provide you hours upon hours of amazingly bright light.

Pros: Amazingly bright, long run time, wide range of brightness settings

Cons: Slightly loud while operating, not suitable for indoor use, large and heavy

LED lanterns are all the rage these days, and for many good reasons: They produce no appreciable heat, making them safe for use in confined spaces and around pets and kids, they tend to be compact and lightweight, and they’re easy to use. But that doesn’t mean there’s not still a place for a propane-powered lantern at the proverbial table — or at the actual campsite, in your yard, at the RV park, and more.

The duration of burn time you can expect from the Coleman NorthStar Propane Lantern is entirely dependent on the size of the propane bottle you choose. With a compact one-pound tank, you can expect about eight hours of super bright light and as much as 20 or even 24 hours on a low setting. With a 20-pound tank, you could leave the light burning for a week straight.

While shopping for a propane tank and connecting one to the unit are both more involved tasks than buying and replacing batteries, the sheer volume of light this lantern creates beats out almost every battery-powered electric lantern money can buy. Its top 1,500-lumen setting matches the light output of a 100-watt incandescent light bulb.

Once you have the propane tank connected and the lantern securely placed on a flat surface or hung from a branch, you fire it up, using a simple push-button ignition system. Brightness is controlled with an easy-to-use dial on the front of the unit. And that’s that. This is a durable, reliable lantern that works much the same as devices people have trusted for many generations.

The only real drawback here is that indoor use is ill-advised, not because of the fire hazard, but rather because propane burning equipment should always be operated in open-air environments.

The best for emergencies

lantern

The HeroBeam V3 LED Lantern is water-resistant, rechargeable, and can function as both an omnidirectional lantern and as a flashlight with a focused beam. 

Pros: Versatile light output, water-resistant, rugged and durable, rechargeable 

Cons: Some units malfunction with heavy use

Whether you’re searching the nighttime forest for a lost loved one or jacking up a car as the rain slashes down, lighting up the kitchen so you can prepare a meal during a power outage, or shining light over the shoulder of an EMT treating an injury, if you’re using the HeroBeam V3 LED Lantern, you’re doing it right.

This light can fill a room or outdoor area with a large pool of light or throw a beam out dozens of yards into the darkness. Just to make things easy for you, the handle even flips around to allow for easy carrying in both the lantern and the flashlight configuration.

The HeroBeam V3 lantern is rated as IPX4 water-resistant, which means that even if you need to use this lantern in a downpour or if it gets splashed by waves coming over the side of a boat, it will still work just fine. And thanks to its durable ABS plastic body, it won’t break if you drop it or knock it off a table, either. This is good, because, in emergency situations, things rarely go smoothly.

The newer V3 model is also an upgrade from our previous choice, the V2, and is now rechargeable from any USB port. Easily charge it up from any laptop, phone charger, or car. Alternatively, it can also take AA batteries so you can double the operating duration.

The best solar-powered

lantern

The Survival Frog Solar Pocket Light Lantern offers hours of soft, steady light with each charge, no batteries or fuel required. 

Pros: Charges with sunlight, strobe light option, very light and compact

Cons: Not very bright, depends on sunshine or access to USB port

If you expect a compact solar lantern to be bright enough to illuminate a large room or fill a campsite with light, you’re going to be disappointed. If you count on the diminutive Survival Frog Solar Pocket Light Lantern to fill your tent with light or to illuminate a few square feet around your campfire or picnic table, however, you’re going to be quite pleased.

What this little lantern lacks in hundreds of lumens of output, it more than makes up for in weighing less than a half-pound, in folding down into a package you can tuck into a pocket, and in using nothing more than sunlight to power its internal rechargeable battery. When the sun isn’t shining but a USB port is close at hand, you can also power it up via USB cable.

This Survival Frog lantern can be hung from the roof of a tent or from a branch or perched on a table or on the floor to fill an area with light, or it can be used as a directional flashlight. The pool of lantern light is on the smaller side and the beam fainter than a top-quality LED torch, you should know that going in.

You should also know that the lantern has three settings: bright, dim, and flashing (a great option for helping people locate you from afar in the dark).

The best for backup power

goal zero lighthouse 400

The Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 offers more than just bright lighting. It can also recharge your other electronic devices, and recharge itself with a hand-crank when in a pinch. 

Pros: Backup battery for recharging electronic devices, hand-crank for quick charging, bright LED light that can be adjusted

Cons: Pricey, solar option requires additional accessory  

The Lighthouse 400 from Goal Zero provides a bright, omnidirectional LED light at 400 lumens. But lighting is just one of its great features. Goal Zero is a company that specializes in portable power, and with its built-in 4,400mAh battery, you can use this lantern to recharge a phone, tablet, or camera. The battery capacity is enough to recharge a smartphone at least twice.

On the front, you’ll find a standard USB port for recharging a device. The lantern is also powered via the battery, which has a run-time between 2.5 to 6 hours, depending on the brightness level and how many LEDs are turned on (there are two). The battery recharges via its built-in USB cable, which takes about five hours, according to the company.

But what if an electrical outlet isn’t available? The lantern has two other recharging options: solar (with an optional Goal Zero solar panel) or a hand crank. Just one minute of cranking produces about 10 minutes of light — ideal for an emergency. Solar charging takes about 7-14 hours. So, even when its battery is completely drained, you have other options to recharge it.

The Lighthouse 400 is easy to store and operate. When not in use, just fold up the legs. In my experience in testing portable batteries, Goal Zero makes some of the better options. I also like the company’s portable solar panels and find them to work well, although it’s an extra premium if you were to add it to the purchase (it would push this lantern beyond the $100 mark). Overall, it’s a great accessory that does more than just lighting, but I do wish the product had a sturdier plastic construction. — Les Shu, senior guides editor

How to shop for a lantern

When figuring out which lantern best suits your needs, consider its weight, size, power source, brightness output, and special features. You’ll also want to give equal thought to where and how you’ll use it most often.

For instance, if you plan on doing a lot of car camping, it’s smart to opt for one that’s easy to transport over one that’s bulkier. If it’s just for use around the house, you can then use one that’s less portable but more powerful to light up a larger area.

A lantern’s power source is also an important consideration. If a lantern comes with a rechargeable battery, and you want to take it on the road, make sure the charger is compatible with a port in your vehicle (or you bring a portable power station along to recharge it). If the lantern takes batteries, it’s smart to stay stocked up on that particular battery type, no matter if you’re on a multi-day camping trip or just have the lantern stashed around the house. 

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The 7 best camping stoves for backpacking trips or car camping

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Camp stoves let backpackers and car campers alike brew fresh coffee and prepare their daily meals.
  • The best should be highly portable and easy to light with a lighter or match, or have their own ignitor.
  • Our top pick, MSR’s PocketRocket Deluxe, is compact enough for backpackers, easy to operate, and has a built-in igniter.

A warm sleeping bag and dependable headlamp are certainly vital for smart and comfortable camping, but when you’re sleeping on the ground and haven’t showered in days, there really is nothing like a hot cup of coffee on a brisk morning (with the exception, perhaps, of a hot meal at the end of a long day).

Neither of these is possible, however, without access to a reliable camp stove.

With the right camp stove, not only can you expect fresh-brewed java in the morning or a warm meal at night but you can rely on it for a range of uses; maybe you want to grill some fresh fish minutes after you’ve pulled it from the stream, or you want to whip up a mug of hot cocoa (or a hot toddy) to sip by the campfire. If you’re in the backcountry, a stove can save you as boiling stream water is one of the best ways to ensure it’s safe to drink.

Having spent over two decades car camping, backpacking, and everything in between, I’ve grown to rely heavily on my camp stove. No matter how far off-grid I might find myself, a camp stove helps keep me nourished and ready to take on whatever the day has in store – be it 20 miles of hiking to my next campsite, or a day spent relaxing around a campfire.

My reliance on making sure I have a proper camp kitchen setup means I’ve tested my fair share of camp stoves through the years – and some remain a fixture in my camp kit today. Below, I’ve rounded up seven of my favorites from brands like MSR, BioLite, and Coleman, all with their own advantages across a variety of camp styles and use cases.

At the end of this guide, I’ve also included some tips on how to shop for a camp stove, as well as the the testing methodology I used in deciding which made the cut.

Here are the best camp stoves:

The best overall

msr pocketrocket deluxe 1

The MSR PocketRocket Deluxe is a compact and lightweight stove that fits inside a coffee mug but has a convenient auto igniter and simmering capability.

Pros: Lightweight and compact, self-igniting, simmers well

Cons: Not the best in high-wind without a screen

You shouldn’t need to carry an extra piece of gear to make a spark, yet, many camping stoves still rely on matches or a lighter for a flame. One of the best features of the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe is that it has a built-in automatic piezo igniter that’s cased in steel for reliability.

Despite its small size and weight (two other key pros), the PocketRocket Deluxe is no slouch. It can boil a liter of water in less than four minutes. The burner is adjustable, so you can lower the heat for a simmer — something that’s hard to achieve with a one-setting burner. There’s also a built-in pressure regulator to ensure you get reliable and fast cooking until the gas canister is depleted.

As long as you place the stove (with gas canister attached) on a level surface, it supports anything from a frying pan to a small cup. Like all lightweight backpacking stoves, the PocketRocket Deluxe will only run on self-sealing isobutane fuel canisters.

If you’re flying to a destination, just pack the PocketRocket and stop by a local outdoors retailer after you’ve arrived to pick one up (you can also get advice on where to camp, hike, and climb, if you aren’t familiar with an area).

I’ve used this stove extensively, as well as other PocketRocket variants. I like the simplicity of the design, and with the deluxe version, I now have the convenience of a push-start igniter; the igniter adds an extra 10 grams when compared to the standard PocketRocket, but it’s totally worth it.

What I also like is MSR’s warranty: Even after years of abuse, MSR stands by its products and offers extremely economical repair or replacement options.

Whether I’m camping in my car or on a complicated thru-hiking trip, the PocketRocket Deluxe’s excellent durability and the convenience of the built-in igniter make it one item I now bring along.

The best on a budget

coleman

The Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove acts like a standard stovetop burner, and it’s powerful, rugged, and well-priced.

Pros: Low price point, long burn time, easy flame output adjustment

Cons: Very heavy and bulky

With camp stoves, it’s easy to look at the price and think that’s a steal — but you have to also factor in camp stove fuel, which some gas stations and outdoor retailers like to gouge you on. But the best field stove in the world is just a paperweight without fuel, so buy it you will, regardless of the price.

With the Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove, those canisters of propane fuel are surprisingly low-priced — you can often get a two-pack of the 16-ounce fuel cylinder for less than 10 bucks. One such tank will burn for two hours at full blast and as long as eight or nine hours on a low setting. So if you want to make campsite risotto, go for it. Oh, and the stove itself is affordable, too.

Flame control is remarkably easy with this stove, just twist that large plastic knob all the way open for a roaring 10,000-BTU output or dial it back for hours of simmering. And thanks to the deep bowl shape and generous wind baffles, this stove will maintain a consistent burn in all but the most powerful gusts of wind. The burner is large and stable enough to accommodate an 8-inch pan or pot, so you really can almost treat it like a standard stovetop.

I used one of these stoves for several years and still keep one on hand in case the stove in my house ever has a problem or for some sort of apocalyptic nightmare during which I still wanted to cook pasta. But you’ll probably never see me bringing this stove along for another hike or climb.

Why? Weight and size. This stove weighs more than two pounds, with the canister adding another three pounds or more when filled. That’s heavier than some tents and sleeping pads combined. So while I highly recommend this stove for car campers or emergency preparedness, it’s a poor choice for climbers or trekkers. — Steven John

The best charcoal-burning

HeroGrill1

The Hero Grill System is an easy-to-use charcoal-burning grill that heats up in under 10 minutes, comes with a non-stick ceramic cooking surface, and allows for up to an hour of grilling. 

Pros: Charcoal pods have instant light coating that makes them easy to ignite, comes with its own carrying case, bamboo cutting board, and bamboo spatula, coals stay hot for up to an hour

Cons: Requires more cleanup than a normal camp stove, single-use charcoal pods are $40 for a two-pack

Almost all camp stoves use some sort of gas like propane or butane for heat, but the Hero Grill System leans on one of the most traditional forms of fuel: charcoal. And if you’re a fan of using charcoal to grill at home, this is the stove you want for car camping.

The Hero Grill System relies on two main parts for operation, the grill itself which is a non-stick ceramic grill with foldable legs to prop it up, and a box of charcoal pods that slides underneath. The pods can be lit using a match or lighter and take just 10 or so minutes to completely heat up. I found that lighting just two of the corners worked well in igniting the entire box (instead of needing to light all four). 

It does need to be placed on any non-combustible surface, though I used one of the picnic tables that are often placed at a campsite and it worked just fine. However, this means you shouldn’t just place it on grass — I recommend packing along a small table or something similar that you can place on the ground to set the stove on top of. 

Being as used to normal camp stoves as I am, I was quite impressed with the Hero Grill. It’s not often you’re able to make charcoal barbecued food while camping (unless you bring actual charcoal, which can be a mess), so it was a nice change of pace. I liked how easy it was to light the grill and how well it cooked everything from burgers and hot dogs to grilled vegetables.

Although cleanup is a little more involved than a normal propane stove, it still was relatively easy to just douse the charcoal before throwing the box away. I will say that a downside would be to have to replace the charcoal pod box after every use, and replacements cost $40 for a two-pack. You do have to replace propane and charcoal for a normal grill, but spending $20 for one hour of grilling can get expensive.

The best wood-burning

biolite camp stove

The BioLite CampStove 2 cooks your meal and charges your phone at the same time thanks to a built-in, thermoelectric generator fueled by heat.

Pros: Charges small devices, built-in fans regulate heat, works with myriad accessories

Cons: Getting initial fire burning can be frustrating

When you’re out there in the wilderness, you shouldn’t be staring at your phone; you should be looking at the stars, the mountains, or the valleys and such. That said, keeping a charged phone is important for safety — and the occasional photo.

Keeping a rechargeable flashlight fully powered is always a good idea, and those GoPro camera batteries always seem to need recharging, don’t they?

Maintaining battery life in all your devices while camping means carrying battery packs, using a solar charger, or firing up something you’re already likely traveling with: Your stove.

The BioLite CampStove 2 is a wood-burning stove that has a built-in generator capable of producing 3 watts of electricity while the fire is hot. That’s enough power to charge small devices, illuminate a Biolite lamp, or to charge the unit’s internal battery for later use when the fire isn’t burning.

Besides providing power, it’s also a damn good stove. With a decent fire built up, the BioLite CampStove 2 brings a liter of water to boil in less than five minutes and produces plentiful heat for cooking. In fact, there are compact fans inside the burn chamber that you can set at four different speeds to increase or decrease the intensity of the heat.

The best fast boiling

jetboil flash camping stove

The Jetboil Flash gets a lot of water really hot, really fast. If you primarily rely on your stove to make hot drinks and rehydrate meals, this is the stove for you.

Pros: Boils water quickly, contains all the parts inside the pot, push-button ignition

Cons: Can be hard to clean, can’t be used with other pots or pans easily

When I get back from a long day on the trail, I want the most food in the shortest amount of time. This means pouring hot water onto couscous or a dehydrated meal. If it’s the mornings, then it’s coffee posthaste.

For these moments, I rely on the Jetboil Flash. Using a cleverly designed pot that’s attached to a large burner — it looks (and sounds) like a jet engine — the Flash can boil 16 ounces of water in less than two minutes. It is so fast that the first time I used it, it began boiling over while I was still prepping my meal.

This is a product designed with backpackers in mind. The whole thing packs down into the provided pot and even has space for a small fuel canister. Not only does this mean it takes up very little space but it also makes it hard to lose or forget a part of the stove.

If you want to sear, sauté, and simmer, the Jetboil Flash isn’t for you. Although there are accessories that will let you use a frying pan, this is really a stove for heating your water fast, which is all most backpackers need.

The best for travel

msr whisperlite international stove

The Whisperlite International from MSR can go anywhere and burn almost anything. If you’re traveling to remote locations, this is the reliable and rebuildable stove to take with you.

Pros: Compatible with various types of fuel, excellent longevity

Cons: Not the lightest stove

Isobutane is great for cooking fast with a steady flame and comes packaged in convenient canisters. Unfortunately, you can’t fly with it, which could be an issue if you’re going to some remote area where there isn’t a camping store nearby. In this type of situation, the MSR Whisperlite International is a better alternative. Not only can the stove burn white gas, kerosene, or unleaded gas, it’s also incredibly robust.

This reliability combines with MSR’s clever shaker jet design, which prevents the fuel jet from getting clogged by using a needle inside the jet — cleaning it out when the stove is shaken. All of this makes the Whisperlite International the go-to choice for big expeditions.

With some practice, you’ll be able to quickly light the Whisperlite International (you do need to bring a lighter). Advanced users can regulate the flame enough to simmer water if required. I’ll admit that most of my uses have been limited to heating water and making oatmeal and coffee, but more adventurous cooks will be happy with the Whisperlite, especially when the alternative is going stove-less or using a wood or alcohol stove with pitiful heat output. — James Stout

The best high-powered

mr steak cmap stove

The Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill cranks out 14,000 BTUs and can heat up to an astounding 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros: Amazing heat output, large cook surface, electric ignition system

Cons: Expensive, not suitable for hauling on foot

If you’re pushing for the mountain summit of Denali or the Eiger, then it’s probably best to leave the Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill back at base camp.

At around 30 pounds and measuring 25 by 16 by 16 inches, this is most definitely a car camping grill. But with that size comes 165 square inches of cooking space, below which an immensely powerful ceramic infrared burner can heat up to as much as 1,000 degrees. Not that you will need that much heat most of the time, but hey, it’s there for you.

The Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill works with a standard one-pound propane cylinder (the squat green ones, like the ones the Coleman stove uses) and has an electronic ignition system.

When you’re not using the grill, you can fold its legs up for easier storage or transport, and when you are using it, you’ll appreciate the cool-to-the-touch silicone cover on the handle and a latch that can hold the cover open while you’re flipping burgers. — Steven John

How to shop for a camp stove

Although all camp stoves largely have the same overall goal (i.e. heating food, boiling water, etc.), they’re not all necessarily created equal. Some function better for rapidly boiling water while others are light enough for backpacking trips or pack a more powerful cooking punch.

Any decent stove produces plenty of heat and resists the elements, but beyond that, there are all sorts of differences between various brands and models that make a given unit ideal for one user but a poor choice for others. In discussing the six camp stoves on this list, we’ll cover not only each option’s inherent qualities but will also talk through why each model is well suited to specific activities, as well as why a given stove may be a poor choice for other scenarios.

How we test camp stoves

Each of the camp stoves featured in this guide went through a series of tests to see how well it compared across these six categories: Boil time, ease of setup and use, wind resistance, heating power (total BTUs), fuel type, and value. Here are the main features to consider when shopping for camp stoves (and the criteria we judged when doing our own testing over many nights spent camping, backpacking, or just taking to our own backyard): 

Boil time: How quickly a stove can bring water to a boil is one of the most important features for anyone who wants to quickly prepare food that only requires hot water, campers who want the ability to reliably purify gathered water, or those who need their coffee brewed mere moments after they wake up in the morning.

Ease of setup and use: Being able to easily set up your stove when you need it is vital. Most stoves are intuitive once you get the hang of them but it’s still nice to have one without steep learning curve. 

Wind resistance: Depending on where you plan to do the bulk of your camping, a stove that’s able to not only light but stay lit while it’s windy is highly useful. While most stoves won’t have a specific wind-resistant rating, many should list how well they’ll work in blustery conditions.

Heating power (and total BTUs): Lighting the stove is one thing but how powerful it ends up being while lit is something else entirely. After all, you don’t want to be sitting around for upwards of an hour waiting for a simple can of soup to heat up. The higher the BTUs (British thermal units), the more powerful the stove will be. Look for a stove between 10,000 and 30,000 BTUs. 

Fuel type: There are generally two kinds of camp stove fuel: Gas fuel like propane and butane or liquid fuel. Propane and butane canisters tend to be easier to use in terms of lighting the stove and don’t require priming before being lit. Liquid fuel stoves require a bit more work (such as priming) but perform better in colder weather. They’re also liable to be more dangerous to use. If possible, we recommend using propane or butane canisters as they’re far easier to manage.

Value: The importance of a camp stove’s price point is completely up to you. If you have the budget to buy a more full-featured stove, by all means, go for it. If you’re looking for a budget option, there are plenty of those, too, and many have negligible differences to more expensive options. 

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The 6 best hammocks for backyards and camping

  • Hammocks are a relaxing way to rest in your backyard, at a campsite, or in the backcountry.
  • Factors in buying a hammock include tree access, outdoorsy features, and insect protection.
  • Our top pick, the Wildhorn Outfitters Outpost, lets you lay flat and only costs $40.

Hammocks have been used for literally hundreds of years, dating back to early indigenous Americans. They’re incredibly practical, lifting you off the ground to stay cool in the heat of summer and protected from insects or, in the backcountry, wildlife.

In the modern era, hammocks are often seen swinging in backyards, campsites, frat houses, and teenagers’ bedrooms. They’re prized for their comfort and for how easily they fold up for transport and storage when the R&R session is over.

Each hammock on our list shares a couple of key characteristics in that they hang from two fixed points (not always a tree) and support a person or two. However, that’s where the comparisons stop. Some hammocks are designed for comfort, others for light travel and to withstand the elements outside. Before you buy a hammok, it’s important to think through where you’ll use it, how you’ll set it up, and who might be sharing or borrowing it, which we go into in more detail at the end of this guide.

In the meantime, we’ve personally tested the majority of the hammocks on this list and can confirm – your life can only get better after a nap in any hammock on this list.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Here are our picks of the best hammocks:

The best hammock overall

wildhorn outfitters

The Wildhorn Outfitters Outpost Camping Hammock measures 11-feet long, so you can achieve an almost flat sleeping position when spread out on a diagonal. 

Pros: Long hammock for ideal sleeping comfort, easy to set up and adjust strap system, high-quality materials

Cons: Slightly bulky when packed, not made with ripstop fabric

Most hammocks feel great when you first climb in, your body feeling almost weightless as you ease yourself into a gentle curve and rock back and forth in the breeze. But when you’re ready to shift out of that initial position, you’re basically out of luck. That’s because many hammocks are only comfortably enjoyed on your back and in near-total (but blissful) stillness.

With the Wildhorn Outfitters Outpost hammock, you have the room and support you need to shift positions and move about as you search for that ideal arrangement of your body’s various parts. The 11-foot span of the Outpost allows you to stretch out fully, with room to spare for most people, and creates a nearly flat space when you lie in it diagonally — provided you’re able to secure the ends of the hammock tautly and far enough apart.

At 1 lb 10 oz, this isn’t the lightest parachute nylon hammock, but it’s still light and compact enough for use on overland treks or during climbs. The generous size and comfort of the hammock more than compensate for those few extra ounces. Speaking of ounces, the hammock is tested to support up to 1,000 pounds, though its safety rated at a maximum of 400 pounds.

Read our full review of the Wildhorn Outfitters Outpost hammock.

The best low-cost hammock

newdora hammock

The Newdora Parachute Cloth Ultralight Hammock weighs just 17 ounces, supports up to 600 pounds, and costs less than $30.

Pros: Very low cost, large weight capacity, lightweight and compact

Cons: Inferior rope included with hammock, no setup instructions

There are a lot of positive attributes worth noting about the Newdora Parachute Cloth Ultralight Hammock, but let’s get right to the point: This hammock costs less than dinner at a casual dining restaurant. It’s less than $20 (a bit more if you want the mosquito net) yet in terms of design and material quality, it’s far from cheaply made.

The Newdora Ultralight hammock is perfect for the hiker or climber who needs a place to snooze while taking a break from the adventure. It quickly sets up and is just as easy to take down and pack away, minimizing the time you spend making or breaking camp. At just over 1 pound, it doesn’t add notable gear weight, so you can bring one along even if you’ll spend the nights in a tent and sleeping bag and just want a spot to relax.

The Newdora Ultralight measures 8.75 ft long and 5.4 ft wide. Given those dimensions and its excellent weight capacity, two adults can share it for some cozy relaxation. If you’re going to sleep in this hammock, though, we recommend doing it solo. The attached stuff sack doubles as a handy pocket while the hammock is set up, giving you a spot for a headlamp, phone, snack, and so forth. Speaking of setup, that part is easy thanks to the included tree ropes and steel carabiners.

The best backyard hammock

best choice hammock

Thanks to the included stand, you can set up the Best Choice Products Cotton Double Hammock anywhere, no trees required.

Pros: Sets up anywhere, lightweight hammock and stand, all-season comfort

Cons: Not actually large enough for two adults, expensive, prone to tipping over with vigorous swinging

As the name suggests, the Best Choice Products Cotton Double Hammock is made from soft, woven cotton. You sink into the material, enjoying comfort and support ideal for an afternoon nap, a break from the yard work, or while disappearing into the pages of a great book. Add a blanket and this hammock keeps you warm and cozy in colder weather. It’s a good choice for summertime, too, as the breeze drifts over your stretched-out body.

Perhaps the best part about this hammock is that it comes with a modular steel stand. The stand can be assembled (or disassembled) in a matter of minutes and both the stand segments and the hammock tuck away into a carrying case.

That means you can set up this Best Choice Products Cotton Double Hammock in the yard, on the porch, at a campsite, at a tailgating party, or anywhere else you want — no trees, fence posts, or wall anchors required. As the stand is resin-coated to be weather resistant, you can also set it up in a permanent location.

Oh, and we also love the multiple color and pattern options. 

The best hammock for backpacking

Hummingbird Hammock

Weighing just 7 ounces, the Hummingbird Ultralight Single Hammock folds down to fit inside a pocket or bag.

Pros: Easy to set up, comfortable, durable, lightweight, compact

Cons: Pricier than similar hammocks

Several of our recommended products are ideal for backpacking but when you’re shedding as much weight as you can, the Hummingbird Ultralight Single Hammock is the best choice. It’s comparable to our overall pick in many ways but at $65, it’s pricey, which is why it didn’t nab the top spot. However, you can’t deny the lightweight and its military-grade build quality makes it very durable.

When we reviewed the hammock, our writer found it “much easier to carry than a bulky folding chair,” considering that it folds into a bag that’s smaller than the size of your palm. The size and weight are important if you’re doing a multiday backpacking trip.

Another consideration for using a hammock when backpacking: Due to the way it cradles the body, sleeping in a hammock is better for your spine than lying on rocky ground. Of course, a tent offers protection from the elements but when the opportunity allows, give a hammock a try.

Overall, the Hummingbird Ultralight Single Hammock is easy to set up. It supports a weight limit of 350 pounds, and there is an extra-long version of the hammock for taller folks (it adds 3 ounces to the overall weight) and a double version to fit two people (max weight is 300 pounds). And, the company offers a lifetime warranty. — Les Shu

Read our full review of the Hummingbird Ultralight Single Hammock.

The best hammock for camping

kammock roo double_final

Whether you want to hammock camp or just lounge at the campsite, the Kammok Roo Double packs down small for easy transport and is water-resistant, durable, easy to set up, and comfortable for two people.

Pros: Lightweight, water-resistant, packs down small, comes with lifetime warranty, fits two people comfortably

Cons: Hanging straps not included, expensive, a bit heavy for backpacking (18 oz)

Whether you want an angelic way to nap after a long, hot hike or to forgo your tent and hammock camp, you want a hammock that won’t retain heat and can stand up to the elements.

The Kammok Roo Double is slightly pricier than others on our list, but the durability and small details make it well-worth the investment.

It’s constructed with uber-strong proprietary ripstop nylon — ideal to hold up against all the wear-and-tear of many, many camping trips. The fabric is soft out of the box and treated with DWR water repellency, which means it’ll keep you cool on humid days and dry through lightly wet nights.

The Roo Double hammock is only 18 ounces, but can comfortably fit two people or one person and a dog (that ripstop nylon is also great against dog claws) with a 500-pound weight capacity. It’s also crafted with lot of thoughtful details, like fade-resistant treatment on the brightly-colored fabric and soft seams on the side so you can comfortably hang your legs off.

You can secure the hammock around basically any tree or pole with Kammok’s 10-foot Python straps, which have 20 daisy chain loops that make it easy to latch the hammock’s durable carabiners to, no matter the width of the tree. 

The only downside is the Python straps aren’t included and will cost you an extra $30. Plus, the straps and the hammock itself live in two separate bags so you have to take care to make sure you have both before you leave for your trip (I’ve made that mistake once or twice).

Note that if you want to save weight and money, Kammok also makes the Roo Single for one person (10 ounces, $70). But the Double is only $10 more, roomy to sleep in solo, and allows for versatility on future trips with friends or pets. — Rachael Schultz

The best classic rope hammock

hammock

For idling away the hours of a summer afternoon, there’s nothing like a classic woven rope hammock like the Pawleys Island Original hammock.

Pros: Classic style, large enough for two adults, weather-resistant components

Cons: Additional hardware needed for setup, rather expensive

The name of this hammock comes from Pawleys Island, South Carolina, where hammocks were first mass-produced in the United States back in the late 19th century. Not much differs between this hammock and the ones produced more than 125 years ago, too.

It features a double-woven bed made from more than 1,000 feet of braided cotton rope, solid oak spreader bars, and steel hardware. It has a few modern updates, too. The steel is zinc-plated to help it resist corrosion and the oak bars are dipped in a marine spar varnish to enhance their weather resistance.

This classic rope hammock is at its best when one or two people are lying on their backs and doing nothing at all, though reading a book and/or sipping a cocktail or glass of lemonade are also acceptable.

This style of hammock tends to be hard to get in and out of, and others might find the rope less comfortable than a solid weave or parachute fabric. But the nostalgia is real.

The open rope design is inarguably ideal for a hot day as it promotes excellent airflow. This hammock belongs strung up between two elm trees in a suburban backyard or between two palms on the beach. Mine currently resides in the yard of its third residence, the hammock having moved around Southern California and then clear across the country with me.

The best hammock for insect protection

g4free hammock

The G4Free Portable Hammock with Mosquito Net creates a safe, insect-free shelter, keeping you protected from the nuisance and the real dangers of bug bites.

Pros: Protects the user against insects, versatile design, low price point

Cons: Not comfortable enough for multi-day use, netting rips easily

Bug bites and bee stings are up near the top of the list of things that are no fun. While most insect bites are merely annoying, causing an itch or a bit of pain, mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika virus, dengue fever, malaria, and more can be serious, even deadly, issues.

Whether you’re traveling to an area known for endemic insect-borne diseases or you’re just tired of having flies buzzing around you while you try to relax, the G4Free Portable Hammock with Mosquito Net is a great solution.

The hammock itself is made from smooth, supportive parachute-style nylon and generously accommodates a single adult user. Two hoop-shaped wireframes hold the insect netting up and out of the way, creating a large interior area in which you can sit up and move about without constantly touching the mesh. The netting can also be detached and moved out of the way when not needed.

The materials used to construct the hammock, mesh, and the supporting roping are all mildew and rot-resistant, making this insect shelter hammock a great choice for use in jungles, on beaches, and in various tropical locations. Your back might protest after multiple nights of sleeping in it, though, as it does dip noticeably when in use.

What to look for when buying a hammock

Hammocks are amazing for any leisurely outdoor experience, whether in the backyard or backcountry. But what you want in one is entirely different for those two situations.

We tested models from some of the most well-respected hammock makers in the industry for all types of lounging experiences. But there are a few key things to consider before deciding which to buy:

First, who will be using the hammock? Every hammock has a weight capacity and size capacity, so consider the size of the single person, or if you’ll want to lay in it with your sweetie, regularly. 

When will you use your new hammock? This issue is a bit more nuanced than you might think. Sure, saying “I’ll probably use it on Saturday afternoons” might be the right answer, but you should also consider the season (temperature and insects can be factors in choosing) and if you will be using the hammock overnight.

Where you install the hammock — will you use it camping in the wilderness or only on the patio beside the pool? Is it going to be hung in the basement playroom or in a bedroom? Will you want to set up and take down the hammock frequently and in various locations, or leave it as a semi-permanent installation? Not only do these allow you to select the right hammock but make sure you’re getting the most out of which one you ultimately decide on. 

Finally, how will you use your hammock? Is this purely a leisure investment or if you want to get into hammock camping. The latter you can also use in your backyard, but you can’t take, say, a rope hammock to a National Park and expect to get a good night’s sleep in it. Many are designed for specific use cases and using them improperly can significantly impact the experience. 

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The best snow blowers in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • A quality snow blower should efficiently clear snow, require minimal effort, and last through many winters.
  • Our top choice is the Toro Power Clear 821 QZE Gas Snow Blower because it can match your pace and effortlessly handles all types of snow.
  • If you’re not quite ready to buy a snow blower but still need to clear snow, check out our guide to the best snow shovels.

When winter is in full swing and snowstorms are frequent, it’s time to pull out the right tool for the job – the snow blower. This type of snow-removal equipment clears snow quickly with minimal effort, making it a must-have for anyone who lives in a place where snowdrifts are common.

To find the best snow blowers, we researched and combed through hundreds of buyer and expert ratings and reviews of dozens of models. Our guide features throwers that have a track record of performance, durability, and, ease of use. If you’re not sure where to start, jump to the bottom of this guide to read up on what to consider when buying a snow blower

Here are the best snow blowers in 2021

The best snow blower overall

toro Power Clear 821 QZE

If you want to remove snow from flat, paved surfaces as quickly and effortlessly as possible, the Toro Power Clear 821 QZE Gas Snow Blower is the best.

Pros: Electric start, moves at your pace, handles wet snow well, two-year full warranty

Cons: May have trouble with uneven surfaces

There are a few features that make the Toro Power Clear 821 QZE Gas Snow Blower stand out. It has an electric push-to-start button, which helps contribute to its simplicity, and it also has a powerful engine that allows you to easily slice through even the thickest snow. 

Its powerful engine allows it to send snow up to 40 ft away. The self-propelled power system moves the snow blower at your walking speed, while also keeping it in constant contact with the ground. A quick-shoot trigger switch allows you to adjust the chute direction and angle. The clearing width is 21 inches and the snow cut depth is 9 inches.

The snow blower is also very lightweight at only 96 pounds. It is specifically designed to be easy to store; the front handle folds down to lessen the amount of space it takes up in your home. 

Customer reviews note that the equipment is easy to use, lightweight, and easily storable, and the snow blower is adept at removing both heavy and wet snow.

The best on a budget

WEN_ snow_blower

The WEN 5662 Snow Blaster Electric Snow Thrower is ideal for homeowners who are tired of shoveling and want a simple, affordable unit that clears walks and small paved driveways.

Pros: Affordable, lightweight, no need for gas, easy to assemble

Cons: Clogs if the snow is too wet, have to mind the cord (not included)

The WEN 5662 Snow Blaster Electric Snow Thrower is an electric, single-stage blower that relies on electricity provided by an extension cord. So, if you have a long driveway, this may not be a reasonable solution. But, for small jobs, it can be great with its 18-inch clearing width and 13.5-amp engine that is supposed to clear 490 pounds of snow per minute. The thrower only weighs about 39 pounds and is backed by a two-year warranty.

The WEN can handle even large snow piles with ease, and it’s quieter than a gas model. It’s compact enough to store in a small garage or shed, and it’s effective at clearing deep snow in one pass. If the snow is too wet or heavy, however, this machine tends to struggle, and the chute can get clogged. One annoying feature may be the safety switch that requires resetting when it turns off.

The best single-stage snow blower

Toro_Power_snow_blower

The Toro Power Clear 721 E Gas Snow Blower is lightweight, self-propelled, and has a “guaranteed to start” warranty for the first two years.

Pros: Compact, lightweight, easy to maneuver, self-propelled, two-year full “Guaranteed to Start” warranty

Cons: Not meant for heavy snowfalls, manual chute adjustment

At 87 pounds, the Toro Power Clear 721 E Gas Snow Blower is incredibly light for a gas-powered snow blower. This, along with the Power Propel self-propel system, make this single-stage unit easy to move around.

Another cool feature is the Toro “Guaranteed to Start” warranty, which states that the blower will start on the first or second pull every time in the first two years. If not, the company will fix it for free. The hard-plastic body has a 21-inch width, and the tough plastic auger makes constant contact with the surface for efficient clearing.

Though this model may have trouble with larger quantities of snow, it’s maneuverability makes it great for tight driveways and regular maintenance. It also won’t get clogged or bogged down by heavy, wet snow thanks to its tough auger. Be mindful, however, if you have any gravel paths or rocky terrain as single-stage snow blowers can throw rocks and other small objects that may get pulled in.

The best cordless electric snow blower

EGO_snow_blower

If you don’t want to bother with gas and snow in your area is measured in inches instead of feet, then the EGO Cordless Electric Snow Blower is your best bet.

Pros: Runs quiet, no need for gas, features headlights, easy to assemble and store, lightweight

Cons: Not self-propelled, only runs for about 30-45 minutes at a time (but charges quickly)

For a battery-powered snow blower, the EGO Power+ Snow Blower can do a lot. It has a 21-inch clearing width and can handle snow up to 10 inches deep.

There are also two bright LED lights that will help you clear your drive before taking off for work in the morning. The SNT2102 comes with two 5.0 Ah batteries. The batteries last up to 45 minutes, and the charger takes 45 minutes to charge each battery. So, you may want to consider picking up extra batteries if you have a lot of area to clear.

Because it’s battery-powered, it’s much quieter than its gas counterparts. You also won’t have to deal with fumes or refilling the tank. The push-button start is also quite the luxury for those accustomed to yanking pull cords to no avail season after season.

The best space-saving snow blower

toro electric power shovel

The Toro Power Shovel Electric Snow Thrower is about the size of a standard snow shovel, but it has the power to clear snow up to six inches deep with its powerful auger.

Pros: Won’t take up much space, clears moderate snowfall with ease, thin enough to use on steps, throws snow up to 20 feet

Cons: Must remain plugged in, can’t handle deep snow, can’t direct where snow is thrown

The Toro Power Shovel is a wonderful snow-clearing tool for a variety of applications. If you live in an area that receives only moderate snowfall a few times a year, it might be the only snow blower you need. It handles snowfall of up to six inches with ease, plus its small footprint makes it agile enough to clear steps — something a full-size snowblower will never be able to do. That ability alone makes it worth its pretty affordable price tag, in our opinion. If you have a full-sized blower, consider adding this one to your toolkit for detail work.

Its small size also makes it easy to store, and it’s electric so you don’t have to worry about keeping a full gas can around or being caught without when an unexpected storm hits. Being tethered to an outlet can be limiting, though, so make sure to invest in a good weather-safe extension cord. We don’t recommend clearing large swaths of snow with this machine, so a good 100-footer should do just fine.

The Power Shovel has a strong auger that can move up to 300 pounds of snow per minute, throwing it up to 20 feet. One downside to this compact machine is that it throws the snow directly out in front of you, and there’s no way to direct the snow elsewhere. We suggest strategically determining your snow clearing path so you don’t end up accidentally reburying the stairs you just cleared.

What to consider when buying a snow blower

When buying a snow blower, you should first consider where you want the power to come from. There are three main sources: gas, corded electric, and cordless electric or battery.

  • Gas snow blowers are the most popular, most powerful, and most expensive option. They also typically need more maintenance than the other two options.
  • Corded electric blowers are generally the least expensive and don’t pollute, but just like a corded lawnmower, you have to mind the cord as you work, and it’s not recommended for longer driveways due to the inherent cord-length limitations.
  • Battery power avoids the cord problem, but batteries only last for so long before they need to be recharged. You can buy extra batteries so that you have enough to complete your job, but they are usually quite expensive.

Snow blowers are either single-stage, two-stage, or three-stage.

  • A single-stage snow blower (also referred to as a snow thrower) has an auger that moves very fast and sends the snow flying out of the chute in one step.
  • Two-stage blowers have augers that feed the snow into the chute where a propeller throws the snow.
  • Three-stage blowers have augers that feed the snow into the center where it is chopped up and fed into the propeller.

Snow blowers with multiple stages tend to cost more, but they can also handle heavier-duty jobs and throw the snow farther.

Check out more great winter guides

best snow shovel - dmos snow shovel
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The best lanterns

  • Whether you’re using it to light up your tent or cabin while camping or need it to help you see during a power outage, you’ll be glad you have a reliable lantern on hand to ward off the dark.
  • The best lanterns offer powerful lumen output, have great battery life capable of lasting for several hours, and are durable enough to hold up no matter where you take it. 
  • Our top pick, the CORE Equipment 500 Lumen CREE LED Lantern offers a bright output, is compact enough to not take up too much cargo space on car camping trips, and shines for hours on end. 

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

In the event of a prolonged power outage, a lantern creates room-filling light that allows for easier cooking, reading, and other basic activities that you can’t accomplish with the directional beam of a flashlight or headlamp.

A lantern is also immensely helpful in emergency situations should you need to administer first aid, repair a piece of equipment, or find your way around in the dark. The long battery life (or fuel burn time) of a good lantern is another bonus when compared with most flashlights, which tend to consume batteries more quickly.

For the camper, a lantern makes a tent, cabin, or the campsite itself more comfortable and inviting. The beams of headlamps and flashlights can be unpleasant and blinding, leaving most of the surrounding area dark while often washing out the spots on which they fall. Lantern light, on the other hand, is softer, filling a space with illumination and allowing all in its proximity to enjoy the glow.

What to look for in a lantern

When figuring out which lantern best suits your needs, consider its weight, size, power source, brightness output, and special features – but also give equal thought to where and how you’ll use it most often.

If you plan on doing a lot of car camping, it’s smart to opt for one that’s easy to transport over a lantern that’s bulkier. If it’s just for use around the house, you’re able to use one that’s less portable but more powerful to light up a larger area. 

To help make your shopping experience easier, we’ve tested a selection of lanterns from brands like Coleman, Goal Zero, and CORE Equipment to find the best currently available. No matter the use case, there’s a lantern fit for the job. 

Here are the best lanterns:

Updated on 12/29/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the introduction for relevancy, added links to supplemental coverage, checked the availability of each recommended lantern, and updated the pricing where necessary.

Best lantern overall

lantern 1

The CORE Equipment 500 Lumen CREE LED Lantern puts out enough light to fully illuminate a midsized room or to light up your campsite, porch, or picnic area.

Pros: Super bright output, great battery life, good price for the quality, durable construction

Cons: Uses pricey D batteries, needs dimmer setting

The CORE Equipment 500 Lumen CREE LED Lantern casts a halo of light that brightens an area measuring 60 feet wide — and that is on its low setting. When at full power, the lantern’s beam stretches out 45 feet, illuminating a space 90 feet across.

Equally impressive are the run-times: The lantern will shine for 19 hours at full power and for an amazing 65 hours at the lower setting. Its diffuser tube ensures that its light is evenly distributed and is bright but not harsh.

The CORE Equipment 500 Lumen lantern weighs a little less than a pound and is small enough to tuck into a backpack. While it’s slightly heavier and larger than the distance trekker or the climber will want to carry, it’s a great choice for use on shorter hikes or for the car camper or RV enthusiast.

Despite its small size, the power of this lantern also makes it a fine choice for use in equipping an emergency preparedness kit or for more mundane, everyday tasks like grilling after dark or just hanging out in the backyard. 

Best budget lantern

lantern

The Etekcity Collapsible LED Lantern is small, bright, and built to last, but best of all, it comes in a two-pack for $20. 

Pros: Great low price, compact and lightweight, durable construction

Cons: Short run time, light quality rather pale and harsh

What can you get with ten dollars? Quite a lot, really. You can get a decent cocktail or a fine sandwich, a month’s worth of streaming video and TV programming, or a compact and capable lantern that will shine for hours at a time and last for many years of regular use. The Etekcity Collapsible LED Lantern costs only $20 for two, but it is backed by a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.

When fully collapsed, the Etekcity LED lantern is less than five inches tall, and it weighs well under a pound. That makes it a fine choice for the trekker who is watching gear weight.

The intensity of light output is regulated based on how far you extract the globe section from the outer casing. The more of the 30 individual LED bulbs that are exposed, the more light that the lantern emits. This is a pleasantly simple way to regulate brightness, but there’s also a drawback in that the bulbs that are hidden away are still glowing, thus draining a bit of power needlessly.

The lantern is powered using three AA batteries and runs for 12 hours on its lower intensity setting and eight hours at maximum output. That’s not a laudable runtime, but the money you save on the unit can be applied to some extra batteries.

Best propane-powered lantern

coleman lantern

As long as you planned ahead and stocked up on fuel, the Coleman NorthStar Propane Lantern can provide you hours upon hours of amazingly bright light.

Pros: Amazingly bright, long run time, wide range of brightness settings

Cons: Slightly loud while operating, not suitable for indoor use, large and heavy

LED lanterns are all the rage these days, and for many good reasons: They produce no appreciable heat, making them safe for use in confined spaces and around pets and kids, they tend to be compact and lightweight, and they’re easy to use. But that doesn’t mean there’s not still a place for a propane-powered lantern at the proverbial table — or at the actual campsite, in your yard, at the RV park, and more.

The duration of burn time you can expect from the Coleman NorthStar Propane Lantern is entirely dependent on the size of the propane bottle you choose. With a compact one-pound tank, you can expect about eight hours of super bright light and as much as 20 or even 24 hours on a low setting. With a 20-pound tank, you could leave the light burning for a week straight.

While shopping for a propane tank and connecting one to the unit are both more involved tasks than buying and replacing batteries, the sheer volume of light this lantern creates beats out almost every battery-powered electric lantern money can buy. Its top 1,500-lumen setting matches the light output of a 100-watt incandescent light bulb.

Once you have the propane tank connected and the lantern securely placed on a flat surface or hung from a branch, you fire it up, using a simple push-button ignition system. Brightness is controlled with an easy-to-use dial on the front of the unit. And that’s that. This is a durable, reliable lantern that works much the same as devices people have trusted for many generations.

The only real drawback here is that indoor use is ill-advised, not because of the fire hazard, but rather because propane burning equipment should always be operated in open-air environments.

Best lantern for emergencies

lantern

The HeroBeam V3 LED Lantern is water-resistant, rechargeable, and can function as both an omnidirectional lantern and as a flashlight with a focused beam. 

Pros: Versatile light output, water-resistant, rugged and durable, rechargeable 

Cons: Some units malfunction with heavy use

Whether you’re searching the nighttime forest for a lost loved one or jacking up a car as the rain slashes down, lighting up the kitchen so you can prepare a meal during a power outage, or shining light over the shoulder of an EMT treating an injury, if you’re using the HeroBeam V3 LED Lantern, you’re doing it right.

This light can fill a room or outdoor area with a large pool of light or throw a beam out dozens of yards into the darkness. Just to make things easy for you, the handle even flips around to allow for easy carrying in both the lantern and the flashlight configuration.

The HeroBeam V3 lantern is rated as IPX4 water-resistant, which means that even if you need to use this lantern in a downpour or if it gets splashed by waves coming over the side of a boat, it will still work just fine. And thanks to its durable ABS plastic body, it won’t break if you drop it or knock it off a table, either. This is good, because, in emergency situations, things rarely go smoothly.

The newer V3 model is also an upgrade from our previous choice, the V2, and is now rechargeable from any USB port. Easily charge it up from any laptop, phone charger, or car. Alternatively, it can also take AA batteries so you can double the operating duration.

Best solar-powered lantern

lantern

The Survival Frog Solar Pocket Light Lantern offers hours of soft, steady light with each charge, no batteries or fuel required. 

Pros: Charges with sunlight, strobe light option, very light and compact

Cons: Not very bright, depends on sunshine or access to USB port

If you expect a compact solar lantern to be bright enough to illuminate a large room or fill a campsite with light, you’re going to be disappointed. If you count on the diminutive Survival Frog Solar Pocket Light Lantern to fill your tent with light or to illuminate a few square feet around your campfire or picnic table, however, you’re going to be quite pleased.

What this little lantern lacks in hundreds of lumens of output, it more than makes up for in weighing less than a half-pound, in folding down into a package you can tuck into a pocket, and in using nothing more than sunlight to power its internal rechargeable battery. When the sun isn’t shining but a USB port is close at hand, you can also power it up via USB cable.

This Survival Frog lantern can be hung from the roof of a tent or from a branch or perched on a table or on the floor to fill an area with light, or it can be used as a directional flashlight. The pool of lantern light is on the smaller side and the beam fainter than a top-quality LED torch, you should know that going in. You should also know that the lantern has three settings: bright, dim, and flashing (a great option for helping people locate you from afar in the dark).

Best lantern for backup power

goal zero lighthouse 400

The Goal Zero Lighthouse 400 offers more than just bright lighting. It can also recharge your other electronic devices, and recharge itself with a hand-crank when in a pinch. 

Pros: Backup battery for recharging electronic devices, hand-crank for quick charging, bright LED light that can be adjusted

Cons: Pricey, solar option requires additional accessory  

The Lighthouse 400 from Goal Zero provides a bright, omnidirectional LED light at 400 lumens. But lighting is just one of its great features. Goal Zero is a company that specializes in portable power, and with its built-in 4,400mAh battery, you can use this lantern to recharge a phone, tablet, or camera. The battery capacity is enough to recharge a smartphone at least twice.

On the front, you’ll find a standard USB port for recharging a device. The lantern is also powered via the battery, which has a run-time between 2.5 to 6 hours, depending on the brightness level and how many LEDs are turned on (there are two). The battery recharges via its built-in USB cable, which takes about five hours, according to the company.

But what if an electrical outlet isn’t available? The lantern has two other recharging options: solar (with an optional Goal Zero solar panel) or a hand crank. Just one minute of cranking produces about 10 minutes of light — ideal for an emergency. Solar charging takes about 7-14 hours. So, even when its battery is completely drained, you have other options to recharge it.

The Lighthouse 400 is easy to store and operate. When not in use, just fold up the legs. In my experience in testing portable batteries, Goal Zero makes some of the better options. I also like the company’s portable solar panels and find them to work well, although it’s an extra premium if you were to add it to the purchase (it would push this lantern beyond the $100 mark). Overall, it’s a great accessory that does more than just lighting, but I do wish the product had a sturdier plastic construction. — Les Shu

Check out more Insider Reviews lighting buying guides

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The 7 best winter gloves to keep your hands warm all winter

  • A good pair of gloves makes a huge difference on a cold winter day, allowing your hands to stay warm no matter how frigid it is outside.
  • Our top pick, the Ozero Thermal -30°F Suede Winter Gloves, are affordable, offer unisex sizing, and keep your hands warm even when temperatures drop below zero.
  • If you prefer mittens as your hand-warming method of choice, check out our guide on the best mittens.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The first official day of winter is on December 21, but with freezing temperatures and snowstorms already here, it’s safe to say the season started early this year. If those cheap knit gloves you’ve had for ages are looking a little worse for wear, it’s time to consider picking out a dependable pair of winter gloves. 

Winter gloves come in many varieties, including thermal, waterproof, and tech-friendly, so it’s important to pick out a pair that fits your intended use. Whether you’re planning a fun ski trip, taking work calls for long hours in the elements, or you just need something warm enough to handle quick trips outside, these are the gloves that will keep frostbite at bay.

We did the research to find the best winter gloves you can buy to keep your hands nice and toasty for this year’s winter and for many more winters to come. 

Here are the best thermal gloves:

Updated on 12/18/2020 by Amir Ismael: Checked links and prices, added new pick for best affordable women’s gloves, and updated introduction. 

Best unisex gloves overall

gloves 1

If you are looking for thermal gloves that are affordable and warm, the Ozero Thermal -30°F Suede Leather Winter Gloves are your best bet.

Pros: Affordable, warm, true to size, waterproof, unisex, good grip

Cons: Fingers of gloves may be slightly too long for those with small hands

Sizing options: S-XL

The Ozero Thermal -30°F Suede Leather Winter Gloves feature five layers of materials to keep your hands warm and dry in below-freezing temperatures. The outer layers of polar fleece and waterproof TPU provide thermal retention and moisture-wicking, while the middle firm sponge layer keeps the shape of the glove intact.

The inner layers include Heatlok insulated cotton and TR thermal cotton, which both ensure your hands stay warm  — even when the temperature drops down to  -20°F. The gloves also feature a windproof cuff at the wrist that prevents cold air from creeping inside.

The deerskin suede leather gloves are made with a solid grip, so they’re the perfect winter accessory for partaking in cold weather activities or even just driving on a brisk winter morning. The gloves come in sizes small to extra large, so they should fit hands of all sizes.

Best gloves in men’s sizing

carhartt gloves

The Carhartt Men’s W.P. Waterproof Insulated Gloves are an affordable pair of gloves that are insulated, waterproof, and made to last. 

Pros: Affordable, waterproof, insulated, moisture-wicking

Cons: Slightly too bulky for working outside with small materials

Sizing options: S-XXL

There’s a reason why the clothing brand Carhartt is synonymous with durable outdoor apparel, as it has been producing high-quality outerwear and accessories since 1889. Carhartt’s Men’s W.P. Waterproof Insulated Gloves are no exception to the rule.

The gloves are made with a long-lasting polytex shell that features a FastDry lining to wick away moisture as you use them, so you can say goodbye to sweaty palms.

One thing to keep in mind: Some users say they aren’t the most practical option if you plan on working outdoors in cold temperatures, because they are too bulky to pick up small items such as nuts and bolts.

Best gloves in women’s sizing

The North Face Women's Etip

The North Face Women’s Etip Gloves will keep your hands warm and let you use your phone at the same time.

Pros: Tech-friendly, warm, good grip, variety of colors to choose from

Cons: Not waterproof

Sizing options: XS-L

If you want to be able to check your phone without removing your gloves, try The North Face Etip Gloves. These tech-friendly gloves are perfect for those who still like to stay connected while enjoying the great outdoors.

Your hands will stay warm and toasty as you scroll through Facebook, thanks to the gloves’ five-finger touch capability. The gloves also feature extra silicone grip on the palm, so your hands won’t slip as you scroll, ski, or shovel.

The sturdy gloves use a lock clip system, so you can store them together and you’ll never have to worry about losing one. There are several colors to choose from including purple, gray, and pink.

Read our full review of the North Face Etip Gloves here.

Best for outdoor activities

gloves

The Vbiger Winter Warm Touch Screen Gloves are a great tech-friendly pair of unisex gloves that offer warmth and mobility for outdoor sports.

Pros: Unisex, great for outdoor activities, warm, affordable, tech-friendly

Cons: Not waterproof, not long enough for some

Sizing options: M-XL

If you like to stay active outdoors even in the wintertime, you need to find a pair of gloves that will not only offer warmth but also dexterity. Look no further than the Vbiger Winter Warm Touch Screen Gloves. These gloves are designed for winter outdoor sports like snowboarding, skiing, climbing, running, and more.

The gloves are made with windproof, fast-drying, and breathable materials to keep hands moisture-free. They also feature anti-skid palm patches for a better grip. The slip-on cuff fits comfortably on the wrist without inhibiting movements.

The thumb and pointer fingers feature a sensitive touchscreen function to allow you to track your outdoor workouts on your phone, though sadly, they’re not waterproof, so if you get your cardio from competitive snowman building, you’re out of luck.

While the gloves are made to be short and cut off on the wrist to allow for increased mobility, some buyers are hoping the brand will come out with a longer pair to keep wrists warm as well.

Best work gloves

gloves

If your job requires you to work outdoors during the winter, the Ergodyne ProFlex 817WP Thermal Waterproof Utility Gloves have the dexterity you need.

Pros: Waterproof, insulated, breathable liner, extra cushioning

Cons: Tricky sizing

Sizing options: S-XXL. Some users have noted that sizing was not consistent and recommend checking the size chart before buying.

Made with 40g 3M Thinsulate insulation and a Hipora water and windproof breathable liner, the Ergodyne ProFlex 817WP Thermal Waterproof Utility Gloves are highly-rated gloves for those who work outside in the cold winter months.

The padded spandex back and neoprene knuckle pad offer cushioning for extra comfort, while the terrycloth panel on the thumb allows you to wipe sweat from your brow as you work. The flexible gloves have the full range of dexterity that you need when you are on the job. They are also touchscreen-capable on the thumb and index fingers.

Best affordable women’s gloves

IL Cado

Super warm gloves don’t have to be super bulky, and the Il Caldo Thick Winter Drive Gloves prove it.

Pros: Warm, machine-washable, touchscreen tips

Cons: These gloves are warm enough for city life, but certainly not suited for the Arctic Circle

Sizing options: One size fits most

Just because the weather has taken a turn for the worse doesn’t mean that your sense of style has to do the same. Il Caldo’s Thick Winter Drive Gloves are not only extremely warm, but also quite elegant.

Lined with both cotton and wool, these gloves are surprisingly warm and fantastic at insulating your hands against the snow and wind. There are a number of different styles available, but all feature unique details that allow these gloves to stand a cut above the rest when it comes to aesthetics. Whether it comes in the form of faux fur lining or the touchscreen finger tips, the Il Caldo offerings combine form with function.

Thanks to the wool and cotton construction, you can run these gloves through the wash without worrying about ripping them to shreds. I was pleasantly surprised to find that even after a few cycles, these gloves did not shrink, nor did they lose their ability to keep my hands cozy. The gloves also feature touchscreen tips, though, like many other gloves, this functionality is somewhat touch and go (no pun intended). — Lulu Chang

Best Gore-Tex gloves

Burton GORE TEX Gloves 800x600

If you’re looking to survive subzero conditions with all your fingers intact, Burton Gore-Tex gloves are the way to go.

The best invention of the last few decades may just be Gore-Tex. The waterproof, breathable fabric has the unique ability to block liquids while allowing water vapor to pass through, making for a dry, comfortable environment. When it comes to keeping your hands cozy and protected in seriously harsh conditions (wind, snow, sleet), one of the best options is the Burton Gore-Tex glove.

Pros: Incredibly warm, waterproof yet breathable, Sticky Icky palm technology allows for great grip

Cons: None to speak of

Sizing options: S-XL

Gore-Tex makes up the membrane of this glove, which ensures that it’s waterproof, but Burton also includes an integrated Thermocore layer of insulation for extra warmth. The outside of the glove is made from a double layer of DryRide Ultrashell fabric, which is windproof and waterproof, but will still let your hands breathe.

If you’re looking to do work in these gloves, that’s possible too thanks to the Sticky Icky technology in the palms that allow you to grip onto ski poles, shovels, or your significant other’s hand.

One of my favorite things about the Burton Gore-Tex glove is that it’s essentially three gloves in one. The fleece liner on the interior of the glove is removable, which means that you can either wear just the fleece, just the outer shell, or put them both together for days when it’s especially chilly out. If you opt to wear the fleece on its own, you can take advantage of its touchscreen technology (though to be fair, I’ve often had trouble using my smartphone without fully de-gloving).

Sizes are available from extra small to extra large, so folks of all genders will be able to buy and enjoy a pair. — Lulu Chang

Check out our other buying guides for cold-weather gear

j.crew scarf

The best winter coats in men’s sizing


The best winter coats in women’s sizing


The best beanies


The best places to buy scarves online


The best places to buy winter hats for everyone


The best mittens you can buy


The best snow pants for everyone

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