Lantern recommendations

For my boat camping trips with others along, I like to have a lantern. I’ve had a small “camping gaz” unit for 25 years and it has served me well. It has one mantle (finicky to get started - especially with a new mantle), but it puts out lots of light and is relatively quiet. Unfortunately I can’t find the “GT 106” blue canisters anymore. I’d love to have a recommendation for a source for those old style canisters (all metal about 3.5" diameter and 2" high, that pierces the top and can’t be removed once inserted. I also have a rarely used stove that uses CV 206 canisters, about 4" high).

Failing a source for the replacement canisters, it may be time to purchase a more current unit. I have a candle lantern for backpacking, and am very happy with my new LED headlamp.

I searched this forum and didn’t find anything useful. The few shops I looked at had small lantern “heads” with one mantle that screw on to propane canisters, and could either stand on the gas can, or be suspended. One was by Century, another be Coleman. There was also stove “heads” that use the same gas can. These look good for canoe camping and I was wondering if anyone could recommend these, and which brand was better.

I also saw larger 2 mantle units that fit the same gas cans. One had a pushbutton starter (no matched needed).

I’m open to battery powered units (in spite of their weight) as long as the light output is high, and one set (charge for rechargables) would last for about 10 hours.

I am not a car camper so size & packaging for trips is important.

Recommendations, including where to find the items appreciated. I live in the Albany/Saratoga NY area.

I bought 3 battery lanterns from Coleman at Wal-Mart several years ago for power outages. There is one I will probably use for camping. It is the smallest. It collapses to make it smaller and protect the glass. It uses a krypton bulb which is supposed to be more durable.

your canisters are at my outfitter’s …
store. Both sizes too. So they’re still available. I’ve seen them recently at a new Galyan’s that was just built also. If you want, I can make sure. I’m not sure if they ship them. I ,too, have a lantern and stove that use iso-butane. Both mine have piezio(?) igniters. They’re extremely compact. A little pricey to use compared to regular propane, but the size makes it worth it to me. I also have the Coleman burner stove and single mantle lantern you’ve discussed, and they work great too…

LED lantern
West Marine:


Battery operated LED lantern designed for boating, camping, emergency or general use.

16 brilliant LEDs with an electronic brightness control to dim and brighten the light and extend the battery life.

Up to 300 hours on 4 D size batteries (sold separately)

High-impact polyurethane housing withstands the harshest weather conditions.

No metal components to corrode.

Suction cup mounts secure the light during rough seas or highway conditions.

Lifetime guarantee on the LED bulbs.

Packable candle lanterns…
About the size if a… well candle… lol. You can pick these up for about $10. You can also buy the 8 hour “dripless” candles, sold in a three pack, for $1.50. Also accessories like the deflector & neopreme carry case for $3. Great for backpacking. They can light up a tent and for “campfire chores” they work ok. Along with a “headlamp”. You have no weight & light to see by.

Paddle easy,


I love candle lanterns. in the winter they help make a tent warmer they give off a small amount of light so that your vision is not completely shot. I back up with an led headlamp for chores.

CMG bonfire lamp is also nice, small and light if you want to go big bucks ,no heat output, safe with kids.

I was about to…

– Last Updated: Jun-14-04 2:33 AM EST – asking for a link. Almost missed it in my Google search:

Made by Optronics it says. Looks very interesting, but I see no reviews unfortunately. Was also thinking you could line one side with shiny tinfoil to focus & increase light output, like those reflectors you can buy for Coleman gas powered lanterns. If this thing is bright enough to read by wihtout eye strain -and- lasts 300 hours I know I would honestly consider buying one. I wonder how hard it would be to make one yourself and save some cash?

I’ve never
Been in a town - no matter the size - that didn’t have a can of Coleman Fuel for sale. I use the Coleman Exponent 1 mantle lantern (although it is rather loud and only lasts for approx 4hrs on a fill up) It is small enough to fit in my Kayak (just Duck Tape the hell out of the original box so it don’t break). I also use a Coleman Exponent Apex 2 stove that highly adjustable and 1 bottle will cook Bkfst/luch/dinner in a cast iron skillet and have fuel left over for tomorrow – we planned a trip once using campfire meals – a couple years back NYSDEC banned fires in our area and we found out, luckily I might add, that this little stove is very efficient. I have 2 spare bottles which come in handy for spare lantern fuel and fire starter when the “beautiful” northern Adirondack weather doing it’s usual thing.

A friend uses the lantern which runs on “powermax” from Coleman (can’t remember the model off the top of my head) that “charges” somewhat like a refillable butane lighter. It will last up to 6hrs on one quick charge…Personally, I like everything to run on the same stuff and I don’t like the performance of the powermax stoves Food for thought.

Just remember
Others m ay not want or like YOUR light! You know the types, you out sitting near a nice stream watching the stars, then you hear what sounds like a little jet engine cranking up, then Blam your blinded by a Coleman gas lamp that sombody has set up on the bank to apparently light the way for the next D-Day landing!

I still have one of those original gaz
lanterns. But fuel issues also drove me to change. I still use gaz, but bought the new model that uses 270/470 cannisters. The lantern portion seems to be much the same except it is smaller in size. I have 2 of the old gaz stoves which I changed out with the new gaz stoves. So I just carry a couple cannisters and swap stove with lantern as required.

Cloeman Exponent Excursion Lantern
I just used a Coleman Exponent Excursion lantern

(uses the Powermax Fuel). The lantern has a small valve on the bottom of the lantern that when pressed down on the cartridge fills the built in tank. A full tank will give 6 hours of run time. There is no adjustment for the brightness. The lantern is either on or off. Samll in size, about 6 3/4" by 3" base ( which screws off to fill the tank) and about 12 oz in weight. It gives off considerably more light than a candle lantern, about 10w. It has built in globe protectors, one of which is also a reflector. They both slide down for use of the lantern.

I bought an Outdoor Product insulated bottle holder that I think the lantern will fit in for extra protection.

(I also use an OR bottle insulator for my Candelier).

The mantle is the push on type ( has a brass grommet that pushes on to the fuel tube). Very convenient, no tying of strings!!

I am very pleased with it. I used it last month on a backpacking trip to Isle Royale.

270/470 canister lantern

– Last Updated: Jun-15-04 9:18 AM EST –

I've got a 1-mantle Camping Gaz lantern that uses the 270/470 canisters.

It's still quieter than any other "brand" of lantern I've tried out and it works quite well in most conditions.

My biggest complaint with all canister gas is that it can be absolutely horrible in cold conditions. I've had the 270/470 canisters go dead on me when they were still half full as soon as the temp drops below freezing.

When that sort of weather arrives is when I most want my lantern and stove, and it's when they work the least well. :(

For that reason, I've begun switching all my gear to stuff that you "pump up" yourself. The variable pressure things (think: MSR Dragonfly stove vs. MSR IsoPro stove, for example) work great in cold weather and are refillable (less waste).

I haven't (yet) found a lantern that matches this description in small size, so for now I've got a Coleman 1-mantle "NorthStar" lantern for car camping (it's big, bright, noisy, and allows me to vary the pressure when it's cold like a champ in below-zero weather) and I've got a candle lantern for the "other" times.

I've found if you take your candle lantern and put a deflector on it, it casts more light than you'd expect. I use this:

(if that doesn't work, search for the Pac Flat Candle Lantern Reflector)

Good luck!

Snow Peak
has a stove and lantern that are VERY small and use the same gas canister. I love the stove (auto-ignition) but rarely even take the lantern even though it’s small. I just don’t really need the lantern. I use a headlight instead. I take a candle lantern instead for backup. I really like the Snow Peak stove, but I find the canisters harder to find than the salesman at Galyans told me it would be. I’m sure that other brands would do fine, but you know the proprietary fuel mix mumbo-jumbo talk about using the Right canister for the stove. The canisters come in two sizes which makes it nice when I’m really concerned about weight and size of the gear I’m taking.

I also like my Swedish Army alcohol stove kit that I bought from the Army-Surplus store that uses HEET automotive additive for fuel (alcohol). Costs .88 cents at any walmart or automotive store.


Had a friend
who had the old style Gaz stove which got me to buy a turbo stove and lantern

They work very good and go on almost all of my short trips with small parties. This weekend I’ll take the 2 burner colemaan but the gaz lantern always seems to go


my recommendation is that you leave
the lantern at home. Why on earth do people feel that they need so much light. If you would allow your night vision to develop (which, by the way, it will naturally do as the daylight fades) instead of cranking up the artificail candle power as soon as dusk approaches, you will be surprised at how well you can see at night. Especially if there is any kind of moon. Get a very small, low-reach krypton hand light for those rare occasions when you need more light and enjoy being out in nature.

Squid Light
Just saw this the other day when looking up something else. It apears to weigh about the same as a candle lantern. I don’t own one so I can’t report on it (have been using a small candle lantern) but it’s design has certainly piqued my curiosity!

Coleman Propane Review
This won’t help answer your question, as you made it clear that size and weight are important, but I thought I’d share what I learned of my new 2 Mantle Coleman propane lantern.

I bought the 2 mantle propane lantern and the single burner propane stove at Walmart for a recent car camping trip. Both worked very well. I have found that the Coleman propane cylinders are sold at Walmart and our local supermarket, for under $2.00 each. They sell at EMS and at the campground for about $4.00.

I used the lantern for two evenings, about 3 hours each, and cooked 3-4 meals on the stove, and used about 3/4 of a cylinder of propane.

My only complaint with the stove, is that as you adjust the flame down, it is very easy to accidently shut it off. If you are low on matches, this can be a pain.

One lesson I learned: The first night, all I had were those “wind and waterproof” matches, which act like sparklers when you light them. They make it very tough to burn the lantern mantles evenly and to light the lantern.

I thought both of these items worked fine for the $20 or so they each cost. They aren’t light or small, and the lantern certainly puts out enough light to obscure the stars for all of your neighbors.

My wife was a little jealous though, when our campground neighbors set up their gas grill and a large propane stove, and cooked themselves steak, lobster, and corn on the cob for dinner, after we had just boiled water for cup-o-noodles.

Electric Lanterns
I have had several electric Coleman lanterns. They have one that you can get at Wal-Mart that uses a tougher Krypton bulb. It collapses down to half size so it is small and protects the glass. It uses 4 D cell batteries. I have had one for years and bought a second yesterday for backup.

West Marine has an interesting one that uses 12 LEDs. I think LEDs are the most efficient light. It uses 4 C cell batteries so would be lighter. I have not had one but thought about it. I decided to stay with the Coleman because of the smaller collapsed size and protected glass.

I agree with tinkerbell.

– Last Updated: Jun-22-04 4:24 PM EST –

Take advantage of your dark adapted eyes. Bright light in the camp takes away your ability to see the things outside of the light cone. Critters can see you but you can't see them. It attracts bugs. Lots of neat things happen at night. Turn off the light and open your eyes. I do carry a UCO candle lantern which provides warm, yellow flickering light if needed and a headlamp for chores around camp.