The New York-based BioLite is well-known for their unique wood-burning stoves however their camping lantern collection is certainly as impressively executed. The model we like best in their range is called the AlpenGlow 500, which combines with a stunning 500-lumen maximum output with a well-organized features, such as an integrated loop for hanging the lantern on the campfire, the integrated USB port for charging devices such as your smartphone or tablet, and a range of different color options, from warm to cool white to the fun “fireworks” feature. Overall the AlpenGlow is sleek and contemporary designed, well-built and powerful enough to be the only source of light in camp. We’ve even began using it at night in our van and it’s proven to be sufficient to be our sole source of lighting during cooking and cleanup.
What are the disadvantages? What are the drawbacks? AlpenGlow 500 is on the expensive side, costing $80 and quite bulky and heavy compared to some of the options below (it isn’t able to collapse to fit into a trunk or gear box). BioLite does offer the smaller and less costly AlpenGlow 250 ($60; 7.4 oz. ) However, we think people who camp will appreciate the extra power that the 500 version offers well worth the cost and weight penalty. The only downside is that neither model has the option of a solar panel to recharge however, the battery’s life is quite impressive, at 220 hours at low, and five on high. A final point to note is that it’s difficult to pinpoint the most suitable setting–changing through the different modes is pushing buttons as well as shake the flashlight. However, the learning curve isn’t as steep and the BioLite provides a unique blend of brightness, technology features and overall quality which is why it’s the top spot in 2022.