Travel in a Teardrop

Retro Camping Across America

Product Review #2 – Biolite Lantern

We love the Biolite SiteLight XL Overhead Stringlights Lantern!


Of all the little things we have in our teardrop camp setup, the one that gets the most oohs and ahhs other than our teardrop itself, is our galley lighting, specifically the Biolite Lanterns we have hanging from our shelter over the galley. 

It’s like they made these lanterns just for Teardropping!

#1 – They pack small, light, and easy 

The Biolite Sightlight XL folds small!

These lanterns fold down so small and thin that we can easily toss them in one cubby of our galley, along with our Luminoodle lightstrip, first aid kit, battery charger, and more. 

Packing is a cinch, just twist the Biolite Lantern, and stuff it into its stuff sack. We had ours stored, stuffed in their sacks for 8 months, and they opened up, and turned on without a hitch! 

The Biolite Lantern twists down to tiny!

#2 – They are bright, but not too bright

The Biolite XL lanterns are rated at 300 lumens, which is bright enough to light a galley, or hang over a picnic table to light up a dining area. Matthew has taken them tent (gasp!) camping, and used two to light up the entire camping area with no problem. What’s nice is that they are lit “globes” of light, so there’s no harsh light source to blind you. The light is soft, bright, white light that doesn’t feel glaring or out-of-place in an outdoor environment.

#3 – Overhead light is just better

The Biolite Lanterns are designed for backpacking, so they have a long, thin line that acts as a power cord, and a “rope” you can use to hang them over a tree branch, your awning, hooks from your trailer’s canopy, etc… The cord is 15′ feet long, but the whole thing weighs 92 grams. Actually it is so light, takes a bit of practice to toss it over a branch. 

These are the “baby bear” of lighting solutions, not super bright, not too dim, but just right. The overhead lighting makes for a nice area effect that allows you to see everything without feeling like you’re in a well-lit parking lot. If you’ve ever looked at a gas-lit lantern, or had a gas or battery-powered lantern sitting on a picnic table you know how they can just destroy any night vision you might have. The Biolite lantern will let you see comfortably without burning your retinas. 

#4 – USB power and the ability to daisy chain

So Matthew thinks this is the best feature of these lanterns. First off, the Biolite Sightlight XL lantern is powered off of USB, so if you have USB ports in your galley (like we do) it’s a no-brainer. That said, a USB power brick, or even on of those little USB “lipstick” power sources are enough to light them up for an evening. 

What’s cooler than that is that the Biolite lanterns are designed to daisy chain together! You can plug one into another; we have two we link together that have only one power source (and Matthew is planning on getting two more to have all four corners of the trailer’s awning lit with a lantern). With each lantern having 15′ feet of cord, there’s plenty of line and space to work with to set them up just right to your liking. 

Biolite has their own USB power sources, and even solar charged power sources for their lighting system, so you can mix and match lights to your heart’s content. 

Here’s a link for it on Amazon: Biolite SightLight Overhead Stringlights, SightLight XL


and the Biolite marketing department’s take on the lantern.



Transparency and all that: We are set up as Amazon Affiliates, so if you click the link above and decide to buy off of Amazon, we get a little something to help pay for the blog. We only review stuff we’ve actually used ourselves and have received nothing at all from the manufacturers.

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