Last year, when I attended The Pursuit weekend in California, I was so excited to spend the weekend hiking, trail running and camping. It was late by the time I landed in San Francisco, and the drive out to camp was roughly 45 minutes. We quickly lost service as we headed into the redwood forests of Santa Clara County and arrived after 10 P.M. That meant cell phones were pretty much only relevant as a flashlight. We checked in with the team under what seemed like beaming overhead lights, and then took a golf cart part of the way up the hill to get to our Barebones pop-up tents. I was gifted a headlamp, but with that alone, I couldn’t even begin to fathom how large the tent was. (For context, it was bigger than my NYC bedroom.) Luckily, as I explored the dark space, I stumbled upon a Beacon, a twist-on, twist-off lamp that attaches anywhere thanks to a carabiner top. Game-changer.
The bathrooms were a bit of a hike down the road, which was unlit, so naturally, I would wear my headlamp. But once I attempted to return to my tent in the dark, each one looked the same. Thankfully I could keep my lamp on, so I could peek into the space and double check it was mine before climbing into a stranger’s sleeping bag; thus was born my love of easy-to-use lanterns.
Their uses have no boundaries. They’re great for backyard exploring, backpacking and hiking trips, and for nights where you want to turn off all the lights, but read something without a headlamp digging into your forehead. These 6 lanterns are perfect for the weekend warrior and the urban outdoorsman — each blends style and function to become something we want in our homes as well in our backpacks.
Snow Peak Hozuki LED Lantern
Snow Peak excels in crafting highly creative and beautiful, yet functional gear. This water-resistant and rechargeable lantern will glow like a candle for up to 80 hours. Pick from three modes: high, low and medium.
Goal Zero Lighthouse 250 Hub Lantern
The lime green accents stick out in a sea of forest green and red lanterns. Let this one glows for up to 48 hours on low power, with the additional charge enough for a tablet or smartphone when you’re seeing red. Pick up a solar panel to avoid using the wall outlet.
Lander Cairn XL Lantern
A lamp that operates from your phone might not be the smartest thing to bring into the backcountry, but to store on your back deck or front lawn? Now that’s something we can agree with. Whether your kids need a hanging light in their tree house, or you could use a little extra sun after hours, the Cairn XL lantern offers 350-lumens of power. Did we mention it’s waterproof and dustproof?
Black Diamond Moji Lantern
Pick from eight bright colors that shine at the capacity of 100 lumens. A frosty globe on the bottom half of the mushroom-shaped lantern glows for up to 70 hours, or however long your three AAA batteries last.
MPowered Luci Outdoor 2.0
I highly recommend packing these on all of your trips — whether they involve the great outdoors or not. Blow up the clear globe and enjoy light everywhere: it’s inflatable, collapsible, lightweight, waterproof and submersible. If you paddle after dark, they’re great to toss in a kayak or strap them to the outside.
Biolite SunLight Portable Solar Light
We’re kind of obsessed with this tiny square lantern. Between the kickstand and the sports clip, and how easy it is to pack in a full suitcase, we’re sold.
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