Propane Coleman Lanterns

What works best?

Coleman Deluxe PerfectFlow Propane Lantern with hard carry case 1500 lumens

Our Rating: 4.8
$48 on sale, usually $80

If you need to make it bright as day, this truly is a great lantern; it lit up our tent better than expected upon purchase. While the price is a bit higher on this model, it comes with a carrying case which means you won’t break the glass in transport and you can keep replacement tube-mantles stored with it. Most stores carry this size mantle for replacement, making them easy to find.

Coleman Gas Lantern Compact 1 mantle 300 lumens

Our Rating: 3.3
$25 on sale, usually $40

At first glance it looks great, uses the same size propane tank as the big one, which should make it convenient. While it did produce good light, the “insta clip” mantles are not so instant (they’re a pain to attach) and you’ll probably have to order replacement mantles online, as they are not commonly found in local stores. Also, the globe cracked from heat after about 6 months of use at the highest setting. Its nice that it’s cheap and it works well for light, but its not the most convenient long term.

So Why Coleman Propane Lanterns?

Why Coleman specifically? Because the refill propane can be found in nearly every Walmart in existence. The refill lantern mantles for the big ones can usually be found right alongside them in stores, and they are a reliable brand. 

Why propane over Electric? Because they produce so much brighter light, and they last a long time. Refill propane is cheap, and you will not get the same quality of light from something battery powered AND get the same battery life that a propane lantern will offer.

Any precautions that should be taken with lantern use? YES, they do get hot during use, you’ll want to make sure you don’t hang them against a tent wall, and make sure you have the handle or carrying clips/chain attached. DO NOT pick up a lantern by its globe/glass after it’s been running for a few minutes. You WILL regret it. Because the mantle which produces the light works by essentially burning the majority of the mantle away and then heating the remains which produces the bright glow, they are a bit shock-sensitive, meaning that if you rattle the lantern too hard or drop it, if the glass doesn’t break you may mess up the mantle inside and need to replace it. The replacement process is not, however, very difficult. 

Between the two that we tested, we regularly use the large ones, and own more than one. We only have the one small lanterns, because when compared (while the small one isn’t bad) the larger lantern outstripped the compact model on every front for not too great a hike in price. Both items we listed above are currently on sale at the time of writing this, so if you have been thinking about getting one, now’s your chance.


-High Lumens
-Cheap refills
-Easy to light
-Easy to find replacement parts
-Reliable brand
-Better, longer lasting light than electric alternatives


-Glass is fragile
-Mantle inside is fragile
-must be wary of heat produced, these lanterns could potentially be a fire hazard
-more expensive than cheap electric lights

Our Verdict?

Get the big one. Most people use some variant of Coleman lanterns, and the large ones listed up top have variants which come without the case if you want to save the money, we just recommend the case because transport is always a key factor going to and returning from events.