Best Inflatable Solar Lights for Camping in 2020

Digitalnerds blog is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. we never accept free products from manufacturers.Learn more.

Solar lights may seem a bit counterproductive at first.  Why would you need a light while the sun is out? Well the truth is, when the sun goes down when you are camping, you’ll be glad you packed your inflatable solar light to help you see at night.

Inflatable solar lights, or outdoor inflatable solar lamps, are one of the great ways to utilize the natural energy of the sun to enhance your camping experience.  

In this article, we will outline the benefits of inflatable solar lights, how to choose an outdoor inflatable solar lamp for your needs, and detail some of the best inflatable solar camping lights on the market in 2020.

Benefits of an Inflatable Solar Light 

What are the benefits of an inflatable solar light while camping?  

Here’s a quick look at some of the awesome benefits of owning an inflatable solar camping light:

  • Illumination – The number one rule for camping is to know where you flashlight is BEFORE it gets dark.  Bringing along an outdoor inflatable solar lamp or two will help you and your campmates see after the sun goes down.
  • Compact – These specialized gadgets inflate and deflate in order to maximize glow when being used and minimize space when in storage.  Storing an inflatable solar light is easy, as it decompresses down to a very small size.
  • RenewableInflatable solar camping lights are powered by the sun!  No need to purchase batteries or plug into an outlet, simply place your inflatable solar light in the sun and watch your device charge!
  • Portable – If you’re using a gas powered lantern, you won’t want that inside your tent emitting harmful fumes and potentially causing a fire!  With an inflatable solar light, you can bring the lightweight device anywhere that you need illumination!
  • Easy to UseWith an inflatable solar light, there are no wires, no plugs, and no maintenance required.  These devices are some of the most hassle-free ways to provide light to a campsite.   
  • Affordable – Most inflatable solar lights are great products that come at reasonable prices – perfect for not breaking the budget while camping.
  • Limitless – The beauty of inflatable solar lights is that they are self contained illumination machines!  If you want to add one or several more to your camping kit, they will simply complement each other by providing as much light as you need.

With all of these great benefits in mind, do not forget that inflatable solar lights are extremely versatile and come in all shapes and sizes.  

LuminAID PackLite Nova USB Solar Inflatable Waterproof Light
Price
$24.95
Battery Life
24 hours of light if fully charged
Powered By Solar And USB
Charges Phones
Lumens / Light Area
75 lumens / 125 sq. ft.
Mookis Solar Powered Camping Lantern, Rechargeable Inflatable Solar Lanterns with Dry Bag Function, Ip66 Waterproof Portable 4 Modes LED Lights for Camping Hiking Fishing -Can be Used as Powerbank
Price
Price not available
Battery Life
10 hours by strong sunlight
Powered By Solar And USB
Charges Phones
Lumens / Light Area
90 lumens maximum
Solight Design Outdoor Solar-Powered Light, Inflatable LED Lantern - Waterproof, Compact, Portable - SolarPuff Warm White
Price
$30.40
Battery Life
12 hours with a 12-hour charging
Powered By Solar And USB
Charges Phones
Lumens / Light Area
N/A
Terra Friendly Floating Solar LED Pool or Hot Tub Light ~ Multipurpose, Waterproof, Inflatable Lantern with Battery Level Indicator.
Price
Price not available
Battery Life
6-12 hours
Powered By Solar And USB
Charges Phones
Lumens / Light Area
90 bright lumens / 15 square feet
Also Read:   Best Binoculars for the Money

Inflatable Solar Light Buying Advice

What should you look for when buying an inflatable solar light?  Here are the things to consider before making a purchase:

  • Purpose – Inflatable solar lights are an extremely broad set of products.  Some look more like lanterns, whereas others are designed and packaged to be used to be placed on the ground of a walkway.  Knowing the primary function of your outdoor inflatable solar lamp is the first step to choosing the right product.
  • Brightness – Light brightness is measured in lumens.  When you’re in the great outdoors, having a high level of lumens will enable you to see better and lower the chances of an injury or damage to your other equipment. 
  • Function – There is an endless amount of functionality when it comes to inflatable solar lights.  Having the ability to toggle between brightnesses or change the color of the illumination can help you adjust your device to fit the vibe of your campsite.  
  • Battery & ChargingHaving a large battery will help your inflatable solar light stay powered throughout the night.  It is also good to know the capability of the solar charging component of your device. If your outdoor inflatable solar lamp can be charged in partial sun (as opposed to full exposure), that will help your light stay charged on cloudy days. 
  • Warranty – Like in any purchasing decision, it is always good to have a warranty.  By purchasing an inflatable solar light backed by a manufacturer’s warranty, you know that you are getting a high quality product.  In the event of a malfunction, you will be able to replace your device free of cost. 

Once you’ve considered these features, the hunt to find your perfect inflatable solar light may seem a little less daunting. 

camping solar light

camping solar light Photo: bobbyburchphotography

How to Choose the Best Solar Light for Camping

Now that you are aware of the different features to keep in mind, here are a few of the most crucial things to think about when choosing your inflatable solar camping light: 

How to Choose the Best Solar Light for Camping

How to Choose the Best Solar Light for Camping

  • Price – With any buying decision, price is going to be a weighing factor.  Thankfully, most inflatable solar lights are extremely affordable. Depending on your budget, you may be able to purchase more than one to really enhance your camping experience. 
  • Size – Are you going to be primarily car camping or doing a bit of backpacking?  Although inflatable solar lights are collapsible, they can still take up valuable room in a backpack.  Likewise, you may be more interested in getting a few smaller lights, rather than one large one, depending on your preference.  
  • Durability – The great outdoors are not made for the weak.  If you plan to use your inflatable solar camping light fairly often, it is recommended that you seek out a highly durable model.  
  • CapabilityHow capable is your solar light?  Can it provide enough light to illuminate a campsite for four people for an entire evening?  Will it be able to recharge with only 3 hours of direct sunlight?  
  • Extra Features – Some solar lights actually double as portable power banks.  If you need to charge your devices, such as a cellphone or Kindle, while camping, having an inflatable solar light that doubles as a portable charger is a great additional feature.

By knowing your price range and overall desired functions of the device, choosing your inflatable solar light for camping should be fairly simple.  

The Best Inflatable Solar Lights Reviewed

Now that we’ve outlined the benefits, features, and what to look for when purchasing an outdoor inflatable solar lamp, we’d like to highlight some of the best models available for purchase. 

Below, we will outline the 10 best inflatable solar lights for camping by analyzing the pros and cons of the products you can buy in 2020.  

Here are our honest, expert reviews for 2020’s best inflatable solar lights. 

LuminAID

The LuminAID made a huge splash on the popular TV series Shark Tank, and is our top choice for the best inflatable solar light in 2020.

The company was founded by two Columbia students that do their part in aiding natural disasters around the globe, however this completely waterproof product is also perfect for your weekend camping trip.

It is extremely durable as it is completely waterproof, dustproof, and shatterproof. 

This powerful little light electricifies 50-75 lumens and most notably has a battery life that will last between 12 and 50 hours, depending on your usage!  This is way beyond any other solar light on the market in terms of lightweight battery storage.  

LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lanterns

LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lanterns

The LuminAID can be recharged via its built in solar panel or by a USB port.  Solar charging requires 10 hours of direct sunlight, whereas USB charging can take as little as 2 hours.  The battery will keep 80% of its capacity for 2 years, which is an impressive degradation rate for such a small, compact design.  

What We Like

  • Great Battery Life
  • Bright Light
  • Packs Well
  • Damage Resistant

What We Don’t Like

  • Long Solar Charge Time
  • Finicky Blow-Up Valve

Check Prices of LuminAID

MPOWERD Luci

MOWERD’s Luci is a great inflatable solar camping light that is built to last in the most rugged conditions.  The company itself offers a few different models, however the Luci is the best overall inflatable solar light for its value. 

Backed with a one year manufacturer’s warranty, this device is not only waterproof, but it can be fully submerged in water and still be entirely functional.  It’s rugged exterior features a top and bottom strap for quick installations wherever light is needed.  

The Luci delivers up to 50 lumens and has settings for full brightness, dimmed, and strobe.  This is pretty powerful for a product that weighs less than five ounces! 

Its battery takes approximately seven hours of full sun to charge and will last up to 12 hours as a lantern.  Compared to most inflatable solar lights, this is an extremely high charge hour to battery life ratio.  

The light can inflate itself to about 85% of capacity, which means you will only need to use your lungs for the last remaining bit.  If you are planning to camp for an extended period of time, the Luci from MPOWERD may just be the best outdoor inflatable solar lamp.

What We Like

  • Lightweight, Portable
  • Tough & Rugged
  • Great Value

What We Don’t Like

  • Only Solar Charging Capable (No USB)
  • Difficult to Deflate

Check Prices of MPOWERD Luci

Mookis Solar Camping Lantern

The Mookis solar camping lantern may be the most unique product on this list.  In addition to being a great inflatable solar camping light, it’s also a dry bag, and a power bank!

That’s right, when you are not using this product as a lantern (or even when you are), you can store your camping essentials, such as your electronic devices or food items, directly inside.  

Additionally, you can use this device to charge your cell phone, as the battery doubles as a portable power bank.  The battery can be charged via full sunlight or via USB, making the possibilities endless for your light and power. 

The solar light itself is quite powerful with settings ranging from 1 to 90 lumens and makes for the perfect inflatable solar light for camping with as you can quickly switch from the powerful bright light setting to a  very low-light, night light setting. 

The design of the device is just like any other drybag, with a foldable, clippable buckle for easy hanging.  It is waterproof, so your electronics or food stored within the device will stay safe from weather or harsh conditions. 

What We Like

  • Solar Light + Drybag
  • Powerbank
  • Different Settings

What We Don’t Like

  • Less Durable than Competition
  • Solar Panel on Bottom / Difficult to Charge via Sun

Check Prices of Mookis Solar Camping Lantern

SUAOKI

The SUAOKI is a solar powered light that looks and acts a bit more like a traditional camping lantern.  Able to inflate from an inch to roughly the size of your hand, the SUAOKI camping lantern is a great option for camping.

This device can be charged via its built in solar panel or by USB and is also capable of acting as a power bank to charge portable devices. 

With its unique collapsible design, the lantern can be collapsed and used simply as a flashlight, rather than an ominous source of light. 

The battery itself is not very large, only able to power the light at full brightness for approximately five hours, however its user friendly design makes it great for kids to bring along to the campground. 

What We Like

  • Durable
  • Can be Easily Hung
  • Dual-Purpose

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavier than Alternatives
  • Small Battery

Check Prices of SUAOKI

Solight Solar Puff

The Solar Puff from Solight is another great outdoor inflatable solar lamp able to deliver lots of light in an easy to store and use package.  When compared to the rest of the inflatable solar lights on this list, the Solar Puff may provide the most aesthetically pleasing light. 

The Solar Puff is self inflating, waterproof and both flexible and durable simultaneously.  It’s cool origami-inspired design made out of recycled materials makes it one of the most attractive inflatable solar lights on this list for the eco-conscious consumer. 

The package breaks down to an impressively flat size (about one quarter of an inch), but is still able to light up a 100 square foot room.  It also easily clips onto a backpack, with the solar panel still exposed, for some serious backcountry illumination.  

The battery life of the Solar Puff is approximately 12 hours on a 12 hour sunlight charge, which is not nearly as impressive as the company’s ethics.  Solight puts 3% of profits towards NGO partners and utilizes low-waste packaging when shipping.

What We Like

  • Extremely Collapsible
  • Cool Looking Design
  • Socially Conscious Company

What We Don’t Like

  • Long Charge Time
  • Only Solar Charge Capable

Check Prices of Solight Solar Puff

Terra Friendly Floating Light

The Terra friendly floating light is an inflatable solar light specifically designed for your pool or tub.  However, this well-crafted product also makes for a great inflatable solar camping light.

Obviously, this system is fully waterproof.  It is built to stay in water or spend long periods of time outdoors.  However, some reports have said that the weight of the solar panel will cause it to flip over, and thus not be able to charge while in water.

The Terra inflatable solar light is extremely user friendly.  With its large red power button and battery capacity indicators, you will always know how much juice is left in your lantern. 

Backed by a 30 day money back guarantee, the Terra Friendly Floating light is a viable option for the experienced river camper.   

What We Like

  • Built to Withstand Harsh Conditions
  • User Friendly Design
  • Quick Charging

What We Don’t Like

  • Flips over in Water
  • Lacks Hanging Straps

Check Prices of Terra Friendly Floating Light

Also Read:   Best Portable LED Camping Lanterns - Powerful Camping Lanterns For Your Camping Needs

Longan’s Solar Telescopic Lamp

Longan’s solar lamp is not necessarily inflatable, so much as it is collapsible, but still deserves a spot on this list.  The outdoor solar lamp is perfect for camping as it is durable, lightweight, and portable.  

The foldable design of this device allows for easy packing, but the materials on the outside are built to last.  Longan offers a 12 month warranty on this device and even claims the light can be used in temperatures as low as negative 40 degrees celsius.  

Included with your purchase is a suction cup, allowing for easy mounting to any surface such as windows.  

This outdoor solar lamp has the same functionality as some inflatable solar lights, as it can be fully charged via sunlight in approximately ten hours, or by USB in about an hour. 

Once fully charged, the device has three settings and can be powered for about 4 hours of average illumination. 

What We Like

  • Tough, Built to Last
  • Dual Charging Capability

What We Don’t Like

  • Foldable, Heavier than Inflatable
  • Low Battery Storage

Check Prices of Longan’s Solar Telescopic Lamp

Aceline Solar Lanterns

Aceline makes solar lanterns that are perfect for camping or everyday use.  These inflatable solar lights are waterproof and shatterproof, making them built for both indoor and outdoor use.  Plus, it floats!

The battery charges in approximately 8-9 hours, which is ideal for a full day of sunlight.  With a full charge, the aceline inflatable solar light lasts up to 10 hours on its semi-bright setting.  This makes for an extremely efficient charge and use of energy.

This device is inflatable, and therefore takes up very little space when not being used.  It’s lightweight design and different illumination settings make it great for transporting and providing light wherever is needed.  

On top of the Aceline solar lantern is a convenient hanging strap, perfect for trees around your campsite or even inside your tent. 

What We Like

  • Efficient Charging
  • Great Light Output
  • Incredible Value

What We Don’t Like

  • No Charging Versatility
  • Tricky, Manual Inflation

Check Prices of Aceline Solar Lanterns

Choreau Inflatable Solar Cubes

Choreau offers great inflatable solar cubes at a great value.  Customers are able to buy higher quantities at a lower cost per piece, making this a great option for camping with many people.

These solar lights from Choreau are lightweight and waterproof.  They are said to deliver up to 90 lumens, however some Amazon reviews are disputing that claim.

The handles included on the top of the device make for easy hanging, but the straps themselves are a bit small so these are not the most versatile option.  

An eight hour charge of one of these inflatable solar lights will yield 6-12 hours of illumination, which is a bit more efficient than most alternatives on the market.  This is largely because of the energy saving LED design of the system.

What We Like

  • Great for Groups 
  • Efficient Charging & Output

What We Don’t Like

  • Quality Issues
  • Not Very Versatile

Check Prices of Choreau Inflatable Solar Cubes

Arols Inflatable Solar Lights

Last on our list are the inflatable solar lights from Arols, which are still great options for camping.  The value of these lights is incredible as the price nearly comes at half of most similar lights.

The one feature of these inflatable solar lights that literally sticks out is the inflatable valve.  Whereas some inflatable solar lights are self inflating or are able to cleverly store the inflation valve, Arols’s model fails to do so.  The finlation valve sticks out, making it unattractive and more prone to external damages.

The light itself performs quite well.  Charging in as little as 6 hours, the light is able to brighten a large area for a substantial amount of time.  It is recommended that the device should be deflated while charging, so this may become annoying having to inflate and deflate the light each day at camp. 

What We Like

  • Great Value
  • Efficient Lighting System

What We Don’t Like

  • Damage Prone
  • Deflation Required to Charge

Check Prices of Arols Inflatable Solar Lights

Conclusion

Ultimately, there are plenty of great options for inflatable solar lights in 2020.  Having a well lit campsite at night helps create a better overall camping experience. By utilizing a solar powered inflatable light (or many), you won’t have to rely on batteries or traditional electricity to keep your campsite illuminated. We hope this guide made it easy for you to understand the benefits of owning an outdoor inflatable solar lamp and helped you choose the device for your next camping trip!