Mankind has been adapting how we interact with light ever since the first humans created fire. Today’s camp lights are a far cry from original lanterns. They still serve much the same purpose, though, and without the messy fuel oil.
This year’s Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City was filled with innovative camp lights. A common them seemed to be rechargeability with a USB along with a solar panel trickle charge. Many of the lights also collapse on themselves and offer mutliple uses. Here are the coolest designs we found.
One of the most versatile camp lights out there is the Firewater Multi-bottle by Seattle Sports. This unique camp light scrunches up into a small carrying size, it can be charged by a tiny solar panel — though it might take all day — and best of all it can also double as a 700 ml water bottle. The water also makes the light especially illuminating. MSRP $28
Petzel Actik Core
The latest camping headlamp by Petzel called the Actik Core is rechargeable with a simple USB attachment. It provides 350 lumens of power, ideal for camping trips on the darkest of nights. It has a red light setting and a reflective headband. But best of all, this light also doubles as a tiny lantern when you pop it into its transparent case. And you can even hang it from a convenient string. Coming Jan 2017
Nite Ize Inova Powerswitch
The Inova STS Powerswitch by Nite Ize has a lot going for it. It’s reportedly the first ever multi-mode, dual LED color, waterproof headlamp with a trademarked Swipe-To-Shin technology. Simply swipe your finger over the top of the lamp and it will turn on and off as well as dim. No more clumsily fumbling for a button with this head lamp.
Uco Madrona Hang-out Lantern
From the makers of a wide range of free standing lamps with sleek appearances comes a very unique hanging lantern this year called the Madrona Hang-out. Because at Uco they believe in making the most out of a light source, it was determined that raising the lantern off the ground dramatically increases its illumination. So with that in mind they devised this lantern especially for hanging. MSRP $40
Hybrid Light PUC Expander
The PUC Expander light by Hybrid Light not only expands into a neat little camp lantern, but its 4000 mAh capacity lithium ion battery can also charge electronic devices. It has a solar panel on top for a slow charge and also features a mini-USB port for quick recharging. And if that’s not all, the light comes with a clip for easy hanging. MSRP $35
LED Lenser XEO 19R
New this year form LED Lenser, a leader in camp lighting, comes a light that’s sort of in another league to these other head lamps with the XEO 19R. This dual head lamp delivers unrivaled power output at 2,000 lumens. Either light can be individually focused and aimed for added versatility. You can also dim the lights and trigger a boost mode for added illumination when it’s needed most. MSRP $300