Headlamps and handheld flashlights are great when on the trail, but around the campsite? You want something bigger, brighter and with a hook to hang it from. In other words, you want to look for a reliable camping lantern. Our pick? The Fenix CL23 of course. It’s a lightweight, portable camping lantern packing 300 bright lumens of illumination.

While 300 lumens in great, what really sets the CL23 apart is its multi-directional lighting capabilities; it can throw light 360 degrees around and vertically, with a maximum distance of 65.5 feet. This makes it perfect for lighting your path but also for setting on the picnic table and lighting up the whole campsite. Or, hang it up inside in the tent with the help of the sturdy pop-up hook. Since it weighs just 4.9 ounces, you can be assured it won’t pull the tent down (or weigh you down in your pack).

Another reason we love this lamp over the countless competitors out there? It’s waterproof and dustproof. IP66-rated, it can be hauled anywhere and everywhere you go in even the worst of weather – without being damaged by rain, dirt in your pack, or sudden drops and impacts.

Compact and functional, the Fenix CL23 is easy to operate, too; it has only a single button for toggling on/off and different settings. At its lowest, it puts out 40 lumens and has a 45-battery life. (Impressive!) At 300 lumens, you’ve got 7.5 hours (enough for a night around the campsite). And since it uses AA batteries, you don’t need to worry about charging it. Just bring some spares and throw it in your bag.

Trust us, you’ll love this thing. For a lightweight, bright, compact camping lantern, the CL23 delivers – and won’t leave you smarting in the pocketbook. Sure – we’re a bit biased. But give it a go and let us know what you think.

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