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Biolite Sunlight Solar Rechargeable Lantern Review

When I first purchased Biolite Sunlight rechargeable solar lantern, I honestly questioned why I even bought it. It was so small, didn’t give off a lot of lumens (compared to some other lanterns), and it didn’t do much besides just turn on. Or so I thought.

I was even considering not including it in my best rechargeable lanterns post.

But then I started using this little light and it quickly has become one of my favorite camping lanterns. This lantern is honestly great. It’s light weight, small, gives off plenty of light, has a long battery life, recharges quickly, and even offers multiple light settings (colors, sos, and so on).

Read on to find out more about why the Biolite Sunlight is one of my favorite rechargeable solar lanterns.

Check Out Our Post On The Best Rechargeable Lanterns to see even more great lanterns.

Overview of The BioLite Solar Rechargeable Lantern

Editor’s Rating32/35
100 – ? Lumens
Battery Life★★★★
3 – 50 hrs
Weight / Size★★★★★
1.6 Lbs – 9 x 4.25 x 4.25″
No device charging
Ease Of Use★★★★★
Overall Value★★★★★


The pros of the Biolite Sunlight are many.

  • Lightweight and small.
  • Long battery life.
  • Quick solar recharging.
  • Multiple light colors.
  • Bright enough to light up a tent.
  • Dim enough to be easy on the eyes in the middle of the night.

First off, it is small and light weight. This is a lantern that you can easily pack for backpacking, canoe camping, or any type of camping where weight and packing size are important.


  • You cannot charge other devices from this lantern.
  • Not bright enough to light up an entire campsite (though I don’t consider this necessary personally).

Editor’s Opinion

As I stated in the introduction, the Biolite Sunlight rechargeable solar lantern has become one of my favorite camping lanterns. The main reasons for this are it’s low price point, quick solar recharging, long batter life and small weight / size. To me, these are the four most important factors of any camping lantern. Then throw in the fact that it is well built/durable, and offers other features, and you’ve got a great product.


You can purchase the Biolite Sunlight Solar Lantern at the Biolite website.

About The BioLite Solar Rechargeable Lantern

Biolite Sunlight Rechargeable Lantern

The Biolite Sunlight is a small solar rechargeable camping lantern that won’t break your budget but yet offers many features not found on more expensive camping lanterns.


On high, the Sunlight offers 100 lumens of diffused light. Honestly, I cannot find how many lumens the lantern outputs on low mode anywhere, so I have reached out to Biolite to provide this. I will update this post if/when they get back to me.

Battery Life

On high, the Biolite Sunlight will last you roughly 3 hours. But as most campers know, you really don’t need to run your lanterns on high very often (if at all), so the battery life on low is what really matters. On low, the Sunlight will last you for 50 hours.

Battery / Charging

Many solar lanterns can take an extremely long time to charge up in the sun. Often even more than 1 full day. That is why I like the that Biolite Sunlight solar lantern charges in 5-7 hours in direct sunlight.

What makes the charging of this lantern even better is two small features that you typically wouldn’t even think about. The first is a kickstand so that you can tilt your solar panel directly towards the sun when charging, thus getting optimum charging. The second is a sundial on the back of the lantern. This helps you center the sunlight on the solar panel so you can get the quickest charge possible.

Weight / Size

The Biolite Sunlight measures a small 3.4″ x 3.3″ x 0.9″ and weighs only 3.4 ounces.

Many of you who read Beyond The Tent often know that I live in Minnesota and know that my favorite camping is canoe camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota.

When I’m camping in the BWCA, I want to pack as little as possible. I always aim to single portage and I take the heaviest pack in my crew. So depending on what canoe I am taking (a 1, 2, 3, or 4 person), I may have to carry a 35 – 65 pound canoe on my shoulders along with a 50-60lb pack up and down some very rugged terrain. Every ounce counts and size seriously matters. If I am looking at a lantern that weighs 1.6 lbs vs a 3.4oz lantern, this is a no brainer for me.


From my tests, the Biolite Sunlight is a really well built and solid solar camping lantern. It has an IPX4 water rating meaning it will be just fine in the rain, but shouldn’t be submerged in water. I tried to pull out the kickstand to see if that would be an issue, but it wouldn’t budge. I really thought the kickstand would break, but not a chance.


The features that you notice first with the Biolite Sunlight are the built in solar panel and kickstand.

The kickstand serves multiple purposes. First, you can use it to alight the solar panel perfectly to the sun for the most efficient charging. Second, you can use it to set up your lantern to shine how you’d like in your campsite. Third, it makes a great hook to hang the lantern in your tent or in a tree.

Once you turn the lantern on, you’ll discover a few more nice features. I expect every camping lantern to offer high, medium, and low light modes, but I consider it a nice bonus when the offer different colors of light. The Sunlight offers red, green, blue, and mixes of these to give you yellow, orange, and purple. The colored light is even dimmable as well.

Ease of Use

As with most lanterns, the Biolite Sunlight is incredibly easy to use. One button controls all of the lighting. Click once to turn on, again to go to colored light, again to hit “party” mode, and again to turn off. On any one of these settings you simply need to click and hold the button to cycle through brightness levels.

You don’t need to do anything but point the solar panel at the sun to begin charging. But a simple extra feature makes even charging easier. When charging, the Biolite Sunlight will flash once ever couple of seconds. This is great reassurance that you are getting the battery charged during the day rather than wondering if it is working or not.

Overall Value

I absolutely love it when I find a piece of gear that I really like and it has a great price tag. That is the case with the Biolite Sunlight rechargeable solar lantern. It retails for $24.95 which in my opinion, is a fantastic price for such a great solar camping lantern. The cheapest rechargeable lanterns I have seen (that aren’t junk) start at $20, but they are typically heavier, do not offer solar charging, nor do they offer the range of features that the Biolite Sunlight does.

Final Opinion

The Biolight Sunlight solar lantern is one of the pieces of gear that I have reviewed and then moved into my long tern personal use gear. It will be going out on camping trips with me for a long time.

I highly recommend it for any style of camping from car camping to backpacking.


You can purchase the Biolite Sunlight solar camping lantern at Biolite’s website.

Check Out Our Post On The Best Rechargeable Lanterns to see even more great lanterns.