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The Best Fuel-Burning Lanterns for Your Outdoor Adventures

Green propane camping lantern lit outdoors at dusk.
Susan McAnnally/Shutterstock

Outdoor enthusiasts can appreciate the ambiance, brightness, and convenience of fuel-burning camping lanterns. If you are spending the night in a spot you don’t have to hike to get to, a lantern powered by liquid fuel or gas is a cost-effective, reliable, convenient, and long-lasting lighting option for nights under the stars. Take a look at these fuel-burning lanterns we recommend for you.

What to Consider in a Fuel-Burning Lantern

If you’re looking for a fuel-burning lantern, consider these features before buying:

  • Fuel Source: Some liquid fuel-burning lanterns run on kerosene or fuels generically called “white gas,” and some can even use unleaded gasoline as well, which can be useful in remote areas with limited shopping options. Some lamps run on propane or butane—if you’re already using one of those gases for your cooking, a lantern that runs on the same fuel is another convenient option.
  • Light Intensity: Camp lighting is all about the lumens, and fuel-burning lanterns give you the advantage of more lumens, or brighter light, over a wider area, and their output is usually adjustable to extend fuel time. Gas-powered lanterns are slightly less bright than liquid-fuel lanterns.
  • Durability and Ease of Use: Look for a construction that balances compactness, weight, and sturdiness. Glass globes are part of what makes a fuel-burning lantern charming, but they must be able to withstand heat and outdoor use without cracking. Lantern mechanisms should be simple, and replacement parts should be easy to find.

Note: Fuel-burning lanterns are meant for outdoor use in well-ventilated areas. Exercise caution around heat and flame.

Best Propane Lantern: Coleman Northstar Propane Lantern

This Coleman propane lantern puts out a whopping 1,540 lumens for four hours on its highest setting, but it has a dimmer knob that allows you to adjust the brightness to extend the runtime for up to nine hours of use. The push-button ignition reliably lights the lantern even in wet weather without the use of matches. It requires a 16.4-ounce propane cylinder and tube mantles that are easy to install. The globe resists cracking from heat, and the metal guard protects it from breakage. A folding base keeps the lantern stable when in use.

Best Propane Lantern

Coleman NorthStar Propane Lantern

This lantern puts out a whopping 1,540 lumens for four hours on its highest setting and lights reliably in wet weather.

Best Butane Lantern: Lixada Butane Lantern

Made from an aluminum alloy, copper, and stainless steel, this mini, lightweight lantern is durable, easy to use, and convenient to carry. The flame is regulated by rotating its durable glass shade. It screws onto a butane canister, a common fuel source to find at sporting goods stores and often used for camp stoves.

Best Butane Lantern

Lixada Lamp Light Butane Gas Light Lantern Outdoor Use Only for Camping Picnic Self-Driving

This mini, lightweight lantern is durable, easy to use, and convenient to carry.

Best Oil Lantern: Dietz #76 Oil Burning Lantern

This Dietz oil lantern is the product of a long history of quality craftsmanship from a well-known brand in oil-burning lamps. The lantern will burn for up to 11 hours on the 8 ounces of fuel it can hold. Its vintage style adds a nice aesthetic to the space it lights, making it great for rustic events as well as around the campsite.

Best Oil Lantern

Dietz #76 Original Oil Burning Lantern (Green)

This lantern, with its quality vintage style, will burn up to 11 hours on 8 ounces of fuel.

Best Candle Lantern: UCO Mini Ultra Light Candle Lantern

Sometimes, simple is best. This candle lantern made from aluminum holds a tealight candle to provide its light. With a handle and a glass chimney that protects the flame from wind and rain, this candle lantern provides a warm glow that’s good for close-up lighting needs or for a nightlight in the tent.

Best Candle Lantern

UCO Mini Ultra Light Candle Lantern for Tealight Candles, Red

This lantern will protect your candle light source from wind and rain.

Unique Design: Dietz #2500 Millennium Lantern

This high-quality lantern is perfect for multi-taskers. It holds 80 ounces of fuel and will burn up to 75 hours which should last most people for multiple nights. Talk about a convenient camping accessory!

Unique Design

Dietz #2500 Jupiter Oil Lantern (Blue)

This lantern will burn up to 75 hours on 80 ounces of fuel.

Lisa Walenceus Lisa Walenceus
Lisa Walenceus has 20 years of research and writing experience as an educator, news reporter, and freelancer. She writes to learn and digs deep to find how things work. Read Full Bio »
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