Last Updated: Oct 18, 2021 @ 11:02 am.

What's the best solar lantern? To find out, we tried out several brands of solar lanterns to find the best bets for camping, backyard pools or just ambience. Which lasted the longest? Had the best light pattern? Here are the ones we'd recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Vintage-Style Solar Lantern

Easy to carry around
Loved the retro look of these lanterns, which lasted for an impressive 6-7 hours on a single charge in our testing. Also nice: includes batteries!
$23.94

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Best Vintage-Style Solar Lantern: Hanging Solar Lights Outdoor

Solar lanterns come in various styles—some are best for camping or providing light at a patio table. Others are more for ambience, casting a decorative pattern of light on the nearby ground.

Yes, we tried out several brands before deciding this one from Pearlstar was the best vintage-style solar lantern. We liked how sturdy it was.

What We Liked

• Includes batteries (2 AAA).

• Warm, white light.

• Lasted about 6-7 hours on a full charge, based on our testing.

• Can be used indoors after charging outside.

• Good size—each lamp is about 9.4″ tall.

• Easy to carry around.

• Affordable.

What Needs Work

• Smaller size than folks expected. At 9.4″ tall, we thought these lamps were perfectly sized for most patio uses—however, we see some users wished they were be taller/bigger.

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Best Decorative Solar Lantern

Perfect for parties
Turn on this lantern and the light casts a beautiful floral pattern on nearby surfaces. We were impressed—and the 7 hour run time was also good. Yes, it is a bit pricey but worth it.

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Best Decorative Solar Lantern: Golwof Solar Lanterns Outdoor Hanging

So pretty! We loved these metal lights that project a floral pattern on nearby surfaces—perfect ambience for a pool deck or outside party. And we got 7 hours of light from a single charge: most impressive. 

What We Liked

 Beautiful light pattern.

• Heavy metal construction.

• Good size at 9″ tall. 

• Warm white light.

• Charge quickly (about six to eight hours).

What Needs Work

• Pricey for just one lantern.

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Best White Solar Lantern

Pretty light pattern
Loved the beautiful white finish on these lanterns, which last a good 7+ hours on a single charge. Two-pack of lanterns is nice bang for the buck.

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Best White Solar Lantern: Maggift 2 Pack Hanging Solar Lights

We liked the impressive value of these two white solar lantern. They also project a beautiful filigree pattern of light and lasted 7.5 hours on a single charge.

What We Liked

• Charges in about six to seven hours. 

• Lasts for 7.5 hours in our tests.

• Beautiful painted white iron/plastic shell.

• Nice light pattern.

• Includes AAA battery.

What Needs Work

• Could be more waterproof. We see a few online complaints about rust. We didn’t see that in our short-term testing, but we didn’t have the time to confirm this issue.

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Best Craftsman Style

Nice looking even during the day
Wow—the slow flicker of these candle-like LED lights is most lovely! We also liked the larger size (11") and longer run time (9.5 hours in our tests).
$42.99

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Best Craftsman Style: Solar Lantern Outdoor Garden Hanging Lanterns

Although a bit more pricey than other solar lantern brands we tried, we liked Shymery’s Hanging Lanterns for their larger size (11″ tall or 14″ with handle up) and overall craftsman style—note the LED lights are disguised to look like flameless candles. Very sharp looking!

What We Liked

• Bigger size than other solar lanterns we tried.

• Auto on/off.

• LED lights look like flameless candles.

• 9.5 hours of run time (when charged on a sunny day), based our tests.

What Needs Work

• Pricey.

• Not everyone is a fan of the light, which is more orange/yellow than other lanterns. However, we liked it and thought it fit in with Craftsman styling.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability. When we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money. 

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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