Etekcity is known for the affordable electronics. When it comes to a camping lantern that’s inexpensive, effective, and bright there might just be a no better option. This Etekcity LED lantern packs more LEDs and light output capacity than any on our list to this point. It won’t cost you an arm or a leg, and it’s easy to grab right off Amazon!
These lanterns blow the Black Diamond Apollo Lantern and the Helix lantern out of the water when it comes to affordability. If a low-cost lantern is a high priority for you, consider the Etekcity among the top choices.
These lanterns operate on 3 AA batteries. Depending on the quality and type of AA batteries you choose, you’ll get the performance of up to 12 hours of continual brightness at 60 lumens. However, there is admittedly little information available from the manufacturer that details exact light output and varying levels and corresponding run times. This is one of the biggest oversights on these lanterns in my opinion and it quite honestly gets in the way of being able to form an objective comparison.
However, it is clear that the primary goal of these lanterns is to provide a budget oriented solution to camping light output. With that said, these lanterns certainly perform their function. Users love the reliability and function as well as the inventive features.
One thing I like about this lantern is that it automatically turns on when you pull the globe up. It collapses to save space and automatically turns off when collapsed. That makes it almost impossible to be turned on in your pack, car, or storage. It’s always irritating to put new batteries in and find that they’re dead when you need to use them because the power switch got bumped. Not a problem here.
The legs act both as a stand and as a hanging hook. Unlike the Helix lantern, you’ll be largely restricted to only a few options with the Etekcity lantern. There’s no way to hang upside down or remove the globe. However, with the fewer features comes a lower price.
This lantern is sold as a two pack and comes with batteries ready to use out of the package. We’re talking 20% of the price of the Helix lantern at current prices so it’s really a matter of deciding which features you really want and how much you’re willing to pay.
Of course, this lantern isn’t really an option for hiking as it’s a bit too bulky and heavy to carry on the trail. It’s packed size is similar to the Apollo lantern but, due to the lower efficiency, you’ll end up having to carry a ton of batteries. As an example let’s examine a situation:
The Apollo can burn for 60 hours on 4 AA batteries which each weigh about 0.8 ounces. That’s about 3.2 ounces of batteries per 60 hours or 0.0533 ounces of batteries per hour.
The Etekcity runs 12 hours (the only burn time information available from the manufacturer) on 3 AA batteries. That’s 2.4 ounces of batteries per 12 hours or 0.2 ounces of batteries per hour.
So how much “battery weight” will you burn if you use the lantern 3 hours a night for a 7-day trip?
- Etekcity = 3 hours * 7 days * 0.2 ounces = 4.2 ounces of batteries
- Apollo Lantern = 3 hours * 7 days * 0.0533 ounces = 1.2 ounces of batteries
Of course, batteries can’t be replaced infractions at a time. However, the comparison gives you a very visual way to compare the efficiency lost. This does not, however, account for the difference in lumen output between the two models. It’s solely a measure of longest possible run time.
This battery performance difference might be worth noting if you’re looking for a lantern that can maximize efficiency in battery use. The battery hungry Etekcity will eventually burn more batteries and cost you more to use in the long run than other more efficient models. However, the break-even point would be the equivalent of weeks or months of continuous use. This is most likely a moot point for most users.
If you’re looking for an affordable and effective camping lantern to use around camp, in the tent, or at the RV there’s probably a no better option. Having two lanterns means more light output and more options. Plus, with a 90-day warranty, you’ve got a promise that the lanterns will operate as expected or you’ll be compensated adequately. Best for general home use or campsite use for RV campers.