Gear Review Classic Lanterns - Coleman mantel lanterns

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by DKR, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    I'll look at the Coleman lanterns - white gas fired lanterns first. Single and dual mantels.

    A bit of background
    Coleman has been making liquid fuel lanterns since before my father was born.

    (Short story)
    Coleman® Company History
    W.C. Coleman could see the light for the darkness. The young salesman was taking a stroll after a hard day’s work selling typewriters, and spotted a new type of lamplight in a drugstore window in Brockton, Alabama. This new light burned with a strong, steady white flame and was fueled by gasoline. The standard lamp of the era burned kerosene and produced a smoky, flickering, yellowish light. W.C. was stricken with very poor eyesight, and was very interested in this new, steady white light that enabled him to read even the smallest print in books and on medicine bottles. Coleman saw potential in the new light, and through his vision a new company was born that would put America’s farms and ranches in a new light, and would eventually make his name synonymous with outdoor fun.

    So - Why a liquid fuel lantern?

    Years ago the choice for light at night - at home or camp - was a gasoline or kerosene lantern. The pressurized gasoline lanterns put out more light - a white light - and so provide the best light to work with.

    I have several for the simple reason that even at temperatures of -40F, a maintained Coleman pressurized gasoline lantern will light and provide bright light for hours on a single fill.

    The lanterns are still made and sold today, so replacement parts are easily had. The design hasn't changed in decades, making it simple to use and maintain. Full documentation is found on line both from Coleman and from dealers..

    There are many You Tube videos that show how to operate, clean and perform maintenance on these lanterns. Like this

    A common question set is -
    How long will a Coleman pressurized gasoline run on one filling?

    The correct answer is easy - it depends. The lanterns came in several models - single and dual mantle and more than one font (tank) size. The rule of thumb time I count on is 7 hours hours.

    How much light will a Coleman lantern produce?
    .Single mantle - about 700 lumens
    Dual mantle - oddly, not double, 700 lumens
    If you look at the ads for these, all the liquid fuel lanterns advertise the light output at about 700-800 lumens.
    As an aside, the propane lantern ads claim light output of 1500+ lumens..

    Here's a list of common models and their output in Candle Power:
    (H/T to the folks at Coleman's Collectors Forum)
    -222 Peak One (125CP)
    -222A; 222B; 226; 229; 3022 (125CP);
    -3025 (125cp)
    -214; 214A; 222 Colmax; 234 (175 CP)
    -241; 241A (200 - 250)
    -241B (200-250CP)
    -242; 252; 252A; 282; 285(220 CP)
    -286; 286A; 288 (220CP)
    -241G; 243 (250CP)
    -All the Quick Lite models; 200; 201; 218; 220 all versions (300CP)
    -The Sun, (2 × 10500 CP)
    -223; 225; 228 (All variations)(300CP)
    -242 (All variations except A); 246; 247; 249 (All variations)(300CP)
    -275; 275A; 290; 290A; 295; 331; 335; 321 (All variations) (300CP)
    -325; 325A; 333 (Colmax); 335(350CP)
    -339 (350CP)
    -206 (550CP);
    -236; 237; 238B; 555 Colmax; (500CP)
    -621 (All variations)(550CP)
    -625 (All variations); 635; 635A (550CP); 635B (550CP)
    -639 (All variations); (550CP)
    -2000 Northstar (550 CP)

    Candlepower and lumens measure different light qualities, and 1 candlepower equals 12.57 lumens. When measuring lumens, you can also think of it as the light illuminated in a 1-square-foot area one foot away from a single candle. Now you know

    Are Coleman lanterns safe to use?

    Yes - but.
    Coleman lanterns burn a volatile fuel, gasoline. They produce a lot of heat. They produce a lot of fumes and CO. These lanterns can (if misued) - and have, burst into a flaming ball of death. This, I believe, falls under the "You can't fix stupid".
    When maintained and used as designed, these lanterns provide decades of reliable service..
    Bandit99, SB21 and HK_User like this.
  2. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Kerosene lanterns by Coleman

    The tip off the lantern is kerosene powered is the burner cup on the generator tube. It is used to preheat the generator tuble.

    Here is the guts of the lantern

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The cup holds fuel (I recommend alcohol) to preheat the generator tube, needed to vaporize the kerosene.

    Since the picture is worth a 1000 words, a video is better

    and with Lamp oil
    Tully Mars likes this.
  3. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Propane lanterns
    Fuel stores nearly forever.
    Easy on, easy off.
    Easy to vary the light levels
    produces a lot of heat

    Lose pressure in the cold.
    produces a lot of heat - that really doesn't help maintain pressure.

    While I do have a single propane lantern - for indoor use, I'm not a fun

    Tully Mars likes this.
  4. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey++

    I've got about 40 lanterns and 30 stoves! I'm good.
  5. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+++

    just picked up one of the last model Coleman catalytic white gas heaters - got an earlier model also - talking about fun fun fun >>> if you think firing up a lantern can be volatile ....
    Oddcaliber likes this.
  6. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Far less drama with kerosene if you have a leak. It's just a leak, and could make a puddle. With white gas, that leak and the puddle are on fire. Propane is even more exciting and deserves respect.
  7. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey++

    Got like 5 heaters to. There fun to light up!
  8. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I'm curious to hear of your success with the catalytic heaters. Yes, great fun to watch burn, but do they really make any useful heat? I've got an enormous blue Sears that I bought for $5 that has never made much heat at all. Tried to recover the catalyst twice with the denatured alcohol burn off method, but no luck. I've given up on it as a heater and have refocused my attention into converting that giant fount into a low pressure (bottom bulges at 20 PSI) kerosene lantern fount for extended interval between refueling and extreme fat-bottom stability.
  9. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+++

    I haven't fired this new one up yet - the old Coleman worked just fine - eazily was up 8K BTU >>> I have them for reserve reserve - I have a variety of propane and then I'd go to kerosene - these Colemans are better than a wood burning fire barrel and that's how I rank them .....
  10. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Aladdin Blue Flame Mod #37 heater - a wick changing video.

    If you can find one of these sweet heater/cookers, it is worth snapping up...


    heater vs lamp s heater (no mantle) and what they look like - Brit fellow where these heaters seemed to be most popular.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  11. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    I only have the one Tilley, but it never gets cold enough here to need heaters in the garage. It fits in well with your OP about gas pressure lanterns.

    TILLEY HEATER - Bing video
  12. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    heating a boat (or small cabin) with an Aladdin lamp. Note how he has secured the lamp and the vent/reflector used - very clever.
    Also - note how this fellow raised the flame spreader and now get a lot of light w/o a mantle - imprtant to remember if you should break your mantle - the light will be yellow vs white - but usable.

    Aladdin lamps do put out a missive amount of heat (2,800BTU/HR.) - and water vapor.
  13. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey++

    There's a Coleman collector forms that should have trouble shooting guides for your heater problem. They work like a kerosene lantern in which the fuel is pulled up by a wick to the head. Let me do some research on this and PM me. All mine work.
  14. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+++

    there's a couple of UTubes on the Coleman catalytic heaters - one covers pulling the head and replacing the wick - they get gummed up and hardened to the point that the white gas can't penetrate - there's very little to them and not much can go wrong >>> definitely don't use regular gas in them - run them dry or empty the tank ....
    DKR and Oddcaliber like this.
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