When camping, having good lighting can make or break your experience. Yes, the flashlight on your phone works, but having a good lantern and headlamp makes a world of difference (and they won’t drain your phone battery). There’s a wide variety of lighting options to illuminate your campsite, but if you’re looking for a cheap, no-frills lantern, the Black Diamond Moji Lantern is absolutely the one to get.
This tiny lantern has just enough brightness to illuminate your tent or a small picnic table. It doesn’t have fancy features, but if you just want a light to help you get ready for bed or read a book, you can’t beat this $25 lantern.
How I found the Black Diamond Moji Lantern
Like many during the pandemic, being stuck inside really rekindled my love for the outdoors. However, as I was pulling out all my old camping gear from my parents’ basement, I realized a lot of the stuff I used as a kid just wouldn’t cut it. I was getting into backpacking, so while the ancient, gas-powered Coleman lantern that my dad and I used had a special place in my heart, it was way too bulky and cumbersome. So like any good shopping writer, I became hyper-fixated and started googling.
It didn’t take long for me to come across the Black Diamond Moji Lantern. It’s been a favorite in the backpacking community for a long time thanks to its ultra-small, lightweight design. I picked one up a couple of years back and haven’t gone on a trip without it since.
Why it’s a score
The Moji’s size makes it a great option for backcountry campers, but you definitely don’t need to be traveling ultralight to get use out of this lantern. Since getting a dog, my partner and I don’t do much backpacking, but regardless of where we’re going, the Moji always finds a spot in my bag.
I love it so much because it strikes the perfect balance of practicality and price. No, it doesn’t have fancy features and lighting modes like the BioLite AlpenGlow, but its 200 lumens gives off more than enough light to illuminate the inside of your tent. At full blast this lantern has no issues lighting up the interior of my spacious two-person tent, and when it gets too bright, you can easily adjust its brightness in seconds.
The Moji operates with a single button, has small hooks so you can hang it on the loops inside your tent or on a line above a picnic table and is powered by either three AAA batteries (which I personally prefer over USB-charged lanterns since you can bring extra batteries) or Black Diamond’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery. I’ve had mine powered by AAA batteries ever since I got it over two years ago and it’s still going strong.
Black Diamond also offers other Moji lanterns, including the Moji+ which has more light modes and magnets for additional mounting options for just $5 more. The Moji R+ is similar to the Moji+ but is rechargeable via a micro-USB port and costs $45.
While the Moji lantern is fantastic for activities in the tent — think card games, getting ready for bed or reading a book — if you want to illuminate an entire picnic table for a whole party of people to chat and play games deep into the night, you’ll want to invest in a brighter lantern. However, if you just want a simple lantern to light up small activities, we don’t think you can get much better than the $25 Black Diamond Moji.