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To some people, propane lanterns are a thing of the past, but with the amount of light that they give off and their overall reliability, they shouldn’t be!
That said, while the right propane lantern is a great way to illuminate any room, the wrong one can create nothing but problems when you try to use it. So, we created comprehensive reviews for 10 of the best propane lanterns on the market today. Also, the buyer’s guide will walk you through everything that you need to know about propane lanterns before purchasing one.
|Best Overall||Coleman Quickpack 2-Mantle Lantern||
|Best Value||Coleman Lantern 2 Mantle Deluxe||
|Premium Choice||Signature Northern Nova||
|Signature Elite Perfectflow InstaStart||
|Coleman Lantern Df 2 Mantle Up||
|Light output||810 lumens|
If you’re looking for the best overall propane lantern, it’s hard to top the Coleman Quickpack 2-Mantle Lantern. It’s a great mix of price and performance and comes with an industry-leading 5-year limited warranty, so you won’t need to replace it anytime soon. It also has a long flame life at 7.5 hours per 16.4-ounce propane container.
Since it can push out 810 lumens, it’s more than enough to light up a wide area. When you don’t need things quite that bright, it has an easy-to-use dimmer function to get you to the exact brightness level that you want and need. The only drawback to this propane lantern is that the porcelain design isn’t the most rugged option. While it’ll last a long time if you take care of it, all it takes is one drop in the wrong location, and it’ll break.
|Light output||1,000 lumens|
Just because you want a propane lantern doesn’t mean you want to spend a ton of money to get one. That’s where an option like the Coleman Lantern 2 Mantle Deluxe is a great choice.
It’s an extremely affordable option, and it still comes with tons of features that you’ll love. With the maximum lumens at 1,000, it’s more than bright enough for whatever you need it for. It also has a 7.5-hour runtime on a single 16.4-ounce tank of propane.
While it’s affordable, it’s not a product that you have to worry about breaking on you after just a few uses. Don’t just take our word for it: Coleman offers a 3-year limited warranty that ensures that it’ll last month after month and year after year.
You do have to use matches to light it, though, so if you’re outside during inclement weather, that can be a bit of a chore. Still, with everything that it does right, it’s not hard to see why the Coleman 2 Mantle Deluxe is the best propane lantern for the money.
|Light output||3,000 lumens|
If you don’t mind spending more, the Signature Northern Nova propane lantern is something to consider. It’s undoubtedly expensive, but it comes with many extra features to help justify the cost.
The first thing that it offers is a high maximum lumen output of 3,000. When you don’t need it that high, you can easily lower the light level with the easy-to-adjust knob.
Another huge perk is that it uses an InstaStart system, so you don’t need any matches to light it. This propane lantern even comes with a carrying case to help you take it from place to place.
The only drawback to this propane lantern, outside of the initial cost, is that it burns through propane much faster than most other propane lanterns. At the highest setting, it only lasts 3 hours, and even if you turn things down, you’ll need to replace the propane cylinder after just 6 hours.
|Light output||1,300 lumens|
The Signature Elite Perfectflow InstaStart propane lantern gives you an outstanding mix of price and performance, and as the name implies, it uses an InstaStart system, so you don’t need to use any matches to light it.
It also has a high maximum lumen output of 1,300 lumens, and you can easily adjust the brightness levels to get exactly what you want. Moreover, with a 3-year limited warranty, you know that it will last, and you can either hang it or carry it around with ease.
Despite all these great things, though, it has a few issues. The first is that it flies through propane. At the highest setting, it only burns for 4 hours before you’ll have to swap out the propane tank. Also, while the 3-year warranty is great, it doesn’t match the 5-year warranty that other products come with.
|Light output||700 lumens|
The Coleman Lantern Df 2 Mantle Up isn’t technically a “propane” lantern, but it’s close enough that it still deserves a spot on this list. It runs off either Coleman liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline.
Other than the different fuel types, it works exactly like a propane lantern. There are a few advantages to ditching the propane. For one thing, with Coleman liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline, you can get a much longer runtime.
In fact, you can get a maximum runtime of 13.5 hours with this lantern, which is among the best in the industry. You can also easily adjust the brightness anywhere up to 700 lumens, which is more than bright enough for most applications.
Add in the durable design, and there’s not much to complain about with this lantern. But you do need to light it with matches, and it’s expensive. Also, while 700 lumens is quite bright, it isn’t as bright as many other options.
|Light output||235 lumens|
The Primus Micron Lantern With Piezo Ignition is a unique choice that combines many great features for a great price, but it keeps the cost down by significantly lowering its lumen output.
The maximum lumen output is just 235, but that’s bright enough for most situations where you want a propane lantern. This means you can get great features with your lantern without breaking the bank.
One such feature is the Piezo Ignition system. It’s a trigger-activated system that you use to activate the lantern without any matches. It’s also an extremely quiet, efficient, compact, and durable propane lantern.
Finally, it has dimming features that you can use when you need less light. It’s everything that you could want from a lantern — as long as you don’t want to exceed 235 lumens.
|Light output||810 lumens|
If you need a propane lantern that you can take with you from place to place, the Coleman Portable Propane Lantern is an outstanding choice. It’s an extremely compact propane lantern that you can get for an even more impressive price.
It can put out 810 lumens, which is bright enough for campsites, tents, garages, and much more. It also gets a minimum of 7 hours of use on a single 16.4-ounce propane bottle, and if you turn the brightness down, you can extend that battery life to 13 hours.
Since Coleman specifically ensured that this is a portable propane lantern, it has a rugged design that can handle a few bumps and scrapes.
You do need to use a match to light it, though, which can present a problem if you’re on the go during inclement weather strikes.
|Light output||600 lumens|
The Stansport Mantle Propane Lantern might be a simple propane lantern, but if you’re in the market for something affordable and don’t need all the extra bells and whistles, it’s an outstanding choice at an even better price.
It’s easy to use and extremely compact, making it easy for you to take it from place to place. However, it has a low lumen output of 600, it’s not the most durable, and it doesn’t have any advanced features.
Still, 600 lumens is enough for most applications, and if you don’t need all the extras, you can save yourself a bit of money and get the Stansport Mantle Propane Lantern.
|Light output||300 lumens|
The Coleman Compact Propane Lantern is a compact and affordable propane lantern that’s ideal if you need to take your propane lantern from place to place.
It’s also easy to use, and with the 3-year limited warranty, you don’t have to worry about it breaking on you anytime soon.
Another advantage is that it has an extremely long runtime on a single 16.4-ounce propane bottle. At the highest lumen output, it can run for 11.5 hours, and if you dim things down, it can run for 17.5 straight hours.
Still, it does have a low maximum lumen output of just 300, and you’ll need to use matches to light it. It’s not perfect, but at this price point, it’s still something to consider if you’re on a limited budget.
|Light output||970 lumens|
The Coleman 2 Mantle Propane Lantern has an outstanding lumen output of 970, and it can run for 7 straight hours on a single 16.4-ounce canister of propane.
It’s easy to install and use, and the adjustable dimmer knob enables you to easily control the brightness output to get exactly what you want. It also comes with a carrying case to help you take it from place to place, and it does all this at a price that’s great for the quality of the product.
However, it’s not the most mistake friendly. With its porcelain construction, all it takes is one drop in the wrong location to leave you without a propane lantern.
There are tons of great propane lanterns out there, and while that enables you to find the perfect one for you, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be overwhelming.
We want to help you get the right propane lantern, so we developed this buyer’s guide to walk you through everything that you need to know before ordering.
While some people think that they need tons of lumens in their lantern, the truth is that for most applications, 200 lumens is more than enough. This is especially true if you’re inside, but even for areas like campgrounds, 200 lumens can light up enough of the area.
However, if you’re trying to light up a large space like an auditorium, or if you want to see farther outside your campsite, you can up the lumen amount.
When most people think of propane, they think of the large tanks that you use to run a grill. A propane container for a propane lantern is much smaller.
The good news is that you can buy these tanks at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, or even a local hardware store. However, since it’s propane, you can’t get it through the postal service. Your new propane lantern isn’t going to come with one, so you’ll need to get a propane tank yourself.
While many movies show people heading out to their garage and pulling out a lantern that’s been sitting on a shelf for years, that’s not how you should store a propane lantern.
Instead of just placing it on the shelf, put it in a sealed bag. This keeps moisture, spiders, and other bugs out of the lantern and ensures that it’s ready to use when you need it.
If you’re still debating about what propane lantern is right for you after reading through the reviews and buyer’s guide, why not go with our top choice? The Coleman Quickpack 2-Mantle Lantern is an excellent mix of price and performance, and with a 5-year warranty, you know that it’ll last a long time.
If you are on a tight budget, the Coleman Lantern 2 Mantle Deluxe is a great choice too, and it still comes with a 3-year warranty.
Whatever you do, order a propane lantern so you no longer have to worry about working in the dark!
Featured Image Credit: Nipapun, Shutterstock
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Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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