Photo: Amazon

This $50 Gadget Revolutionized My Camping Gear Setup

Technology + Gear Camping
by Tim Wenger Apr 2, 2024

One of the most important aspects of camping is packing lightly and efficiently. A piece of gear that serves more than one purpose is much more likely to earn a permanent spot in my pack than a one-trick specialty item. No tool better encapsulates dual-purpose efficiency at the campsite than the Lander Cairn camping lantern, available at Amazon right now for $49.95 with free Prime shipping.

We hope you love the Lander Cairn camping lantern! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Buy Now

Why the Lander Cairn has been my favorite piece of camping gear for five years running

lander cairn camping lantern

Photo: Amazon

A good camping trip involves a lot of downtime. This is true whether car camping or backpacking – part of the appeal is relaxing at the campsite after a day of adventure, unwinding with a cold beverage, hot food cooked over the fire, and often, a good book. The latter can require as much forethought as the two formers, due to the natural aspect of camping – once the sun goes down, there’s no light by which to read.

This issue plays out again in the tent. So many times I’ve crawled into my tent to go to sleep, and attempted to get myself organized and set for the morning, yet only managing to turn my tent into a disheveled mess by using my hands for eyes. Yes, headlamps help alleviate the darkness, but to really settle into camp, hanging a light from the tent’s ceiling hook is essential.

Lander’s Cairn camping lantern solves both these issues. Its 300-lumen light easily brightens even family-sized tents to the point where reading, organizing, and conversing are done with ease. The multi-axis elastic tether ties to tent hooks, branches, or anywhere else you wish to hang the light. I’ve also used it on bike rides and other activities where I know I’ll be outside at night. I find it helpful to tie the tether tightly when in social settings – either outside or in the tent – but then loosen the tether so the light hangs closer to my head when I’m reading.

The Cairn’s light dims as desired and can glow white, red, or strobe (if you feel like having a tent dance party). When it’s time to pack up, the tether wraps around or tucks underneath the lantern for easy storage at under 4 inches in height and width. It’s easy to hold in your hand when searching for something or to set up on or above a camp stove when preparing food.

Putting the Lander Cairn over the top, though, is that it doubles as a charge port with a USB port and cable. This cable also charges the Cairn’s 3300 mAh battery. Lander claims up to 100 hours of power per charge, and while this is a stretch if you’re charging a phone or other device and using it for light, the battery tends to last through a two-night backpacking trip with overnight phone charges and ample campsite use just fine.

The lantern is waterproof and easy to wipe clean if it gets smudged or dropped in the dirt. I’ve used the same Cairn for nearly six years and haven’t had any issues with performance or loss of battery life.

lander cairn charging a phone

Photo: Amazon

Lander Cairn camping lantern specs

  • Battery: 3300mAh lithium-ion
  • Run time: Up to 100 hours (on low mode)
  • Dimensions: 2.17 x 3.58 x 3.78 inches
  • Weight: 0.355 lbs
  • Water resistant: IP65 rated
  • Built-in power bank
  • Multi-axis lanyard for hanging

Buy Now

Discover Matador