Camping lanterns have come a long way since the days of gas lanterns. To be fair, gas lanterns are still in use and work great, but some people are looking for more functionality. They want options, and they don’t have to look far to find them. Almost everything can be had today, from battery powered string lights that change colors, to solar lights, to hand-powered lights.
Princeton Tec put a lot of thought into their Helix Basecamp Bluetooth Lantern. For starters, it can be hung or mounted in just about any imaginable situation. There is a strap for hanging or carrying, and the legs have built-in hooks to hang from a rope, hook or nail. The dome is removable, allowing it to function as a dome light in the tent, or a focused spotlight. The dome also compacts, making it half the size for storage.
It kicks out 250 lumens, and has a burn time of 22 hours. It features fully dimmable white and red lights, is rechargeable, and accepts standard batteries as a back up. We saved the best for last though – it’s entirely controllable via your smart phone. In fact, your phone can control up to eight lanterns. There are many scenarios where this would come in handy, such as turning the light on outside the tent if someone needs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. This functionality combined with the mounting adaptability made it an easy choice for Gear of the Year.