Best Gas Camping Lantern and Liquid Fuel Camping Lantern in 2020

Best Gas Camping Lantern and Liquid Fuel Camping Lantern in 2020

Camping and hiking is a lot of fun, but without light and a good camping chair, a night in the wood becomes pretty boring. For years,  a gas camping lantern or a  fuel camping lantern was the defacto standard in camping lighting, but the advent of powerful LED lights replaced them.

Nowadays, most people consider gas camping lanterns as bulky, heavy, and outdated, especially with the recent improvements to LED tech and battery technology. But there are still really good options to chose from if you need a flame driven camping lantern. In this article, we review the best gas lanterns for camping in 2020. Read on for more details, but the COLEMAN Dual-Fuel 2-Mantle Lanternis our overall winner if you want the quick answer! For a more compact lantern, stick with the PRIMUS  MicronLantern; it’s a powerful and compact gas camping lantern that’s super bright!

The reviewed lanterns are best for campground stays and hanging out with friends and family around the campsite!

Anyone who likes to go hut-to-hut hiking trips enjoys hunting or kayak excursions, and even snow sled expeditions in the winter will know the benefits of having a fuel-powered camping lantern.

I am looking for a portable, bright lantern that would do admirable service for hut-to-hut ski trips or sea-kayaking excursions. Is there one available that runs on liquid fuel?

Table of Contents

What types of Gas Powered Camping Lantern are there?

If you want to buy a gas or fuel-powered camping lantern, there are two basic types: Either you stick with a liquid fuel camping lantern or a gas-powered camping lantern. Gas, in this case, means some mix of propane or butane, and liquid fuel means either white gas or unleaded fuel. Both methods have pros and cons; we will discuss them below.

What is a dual fuel camping lantern?

Some liquid fuel-driven lanterns can be driven with liquid lantern fuel and even unleaded fuel from the gas pump. Note: Dual fuel does not mean that you can drive these lanterns with Propane type fuel or liquid fuel. It just means you have a wider selection of liquid fuel to choose from.

What is a duo valve camping gas lantern?

Some of the camping lanterns come with a dual valve, which means you cannot just use the manufacturer’s gas cartridges, but any duo valve equipped gas cartridge. It’s a nice feature, and if you have the money, I would always prefer a duo valve equipped lantern over the single valve version.

Pros and Cons of liquid fuel camping lanterns

  • PRO: Fuel-efficient
  • PRO: Most can be used with automobile gasoline or white-gas
  • PRO: Tanks hold a large capacity
  • PRO: Heat can be generated can be nice in winter
  • PRO: Super warm light
  • PRO: Large lighting radius
  • CON: Noisy and bulky
  • CON: Generates heat and need ventilation
  • CON: Careful with children, the lantern is hot
  • CON: Refueling can be messy, especially with automobile gasoline

Pros and Cons of gas camping lanterns

  • PRO: Fuel-efficient
  • PRO: Most can be used with automobile gasoline or white-gas
  • PRO: Available with propane and butane
  • PRO: Some tanks refillable, some disposable
  • PRO: Very high light intensity
  • PRO: Heat can be generated can be nice in winter
  • PRO: Warm light
  • PRO: Compact
  • PRO: Large lighting radius
  • CON: Generates heat and need ventilation
  • CON: Careful with children, the lantern is hot

Pros and Cons of  LED camping lanterns

  • PRO: Long battery lifetime
  • PRO: Put out a lot of light
  • PRO: Rugged and can handle abuse
  • PRO: Quiet and clean
  • PRO: Safe for kids (LEDs stay cool when used)
  • CON: Battery use
  • CON: Can be problematic in wet conditions
  • CON: Disposal of batteries
  • CON: Light is cold, not great for large areas

What Types of Gas and Fuel Powered Lanterns Did We Review for This Article?

We focused on Campingaz and propane-powered lanterns as well as gasoline-driven lanterns. All these types of lanterns are what we consider as gas or fuel camping lanterns. For this review, we didn’t include candle lanterns as they are very different from fuel-driven camping lanterns both in terms of light output and fuel method.

Best Gas Camping Lanterns – Our Complete Review

COLEMAN Dual-Fuel 2-Mantle Lantern: A very bright liquid fuel camping lantern – Rating 4.8/5

Colemans Dual Fuel 2-Mantle Lantern is somewhat of a classic. You can use Coleman liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline straight from the pump. This lantern has really good fuel efficiency, a gallon of fuel (around 4 liters) will last as long as around 5 cylinders of propane or butane gas will last on an ordinary gas lantern. That means you can bring more fuel with you or save packing space compared to gas lanterns. The lantern is really bright too, a steady glow of 700 lumens is enough to lighten up even large campsites.

You need to bring your own matches, as this model has no piezoelectric ignition switch. Light reaches up to 16m (around 50 feet), and you can finely adjust the light intensity with a control knob. The fuel tank provides a steady base for the lantern as well, and you can hang the lamp with the handle as well. No assembly needed, making it quick to stove away too. When you set it to low, you can get 14 hours of light with one tank of fuel.

COLEMAN Northstar Propane Lantern: A giant super bright lantern –  Rating 4.7/5

Wow, Coleman makes a huge lantern with the Northstar. This lantern is no joke, it is pretty large and is very bright. Due to the size, this lantern is more suited for car camping than for backpacking and hiking. In terms of lighting, it’s the brightest lantern in the test, reaching 1500 lumen. If you want a lantern to light up your whole campsite, the Northstar really gets the job done. The name is not just a pun, but this lamp really shines. It comes with a plastic base set and a single mantle.

Coleman makes this model with a metal guard to protect the lamp globe, and it works well in wind and rain. The wire metal cage also protects the glass dome, and you can remove the glass easily with a metal lid when you need to replace the mantle!

One canister of gas, in this case, propane, is 16oz (480gr) and will last you for five hours on high intensity and eight hours on low intensity.

PRIMUS  MicronLantern: Most versatile, powerful little gas lantern – Rating: 4.7/5

The Micron Lantern provides very atmospheric lighting – and s is the perfect outdoor lighting for everyone for whom the light from LEDs is too cold. Brightness can be infinitely adjusted via the gas valve and achieves a luminosity of up to 360 lumens. Thanks to its minimal packing size and low weight, the lamp can be easily transported in a backpack – the plastic box supplied protects it from damage. The EasyTrigger system with piezo ignition allows uncomplicated ignition; the burner is optimized for low-noise operation and low gas consumption. Whether cooking, pitching a tent, or playing cards – the MicroLantern provides light in all situations. The mantle is relatively sensitive, something we didn’t like so much, but its a super compact and light lantern, and that gives extra points for versatility!

PRIMUS Mimer Duo / Mimer Lantern: Good allrounder gas camping lantern – Rating: 4.5/5

Primus Mimer comes in two versions: A duo version, for use with primus gas cartridges and other gas cartridges, and a single valve version. Go with the duo version if you can!

Mimer without Duo Valve

If you have always been looking for a simple and inexpensive gas lamp for your next camping holiday, the Mimer Lantern from Primus is the right choice for you. The lamp is adjustable up to 330 lumens via the gas supply, burns almost silently, and leaves no residue. A rugged stainless steel housing protects against incoming wind. For unrestricted compatibility, Primus recommends the use of the in-house valve gas cartridges (with screw valve) in the sizes 100 g, 230 g, or 450 g. This makes the Mimer Lantern not only a handy light source but also a heat source on boats or in larger tents in case of doubt. Our only concern is that it is not 100% waterproof.

Mimer Duo

Primus Mimer Lantern with duo valve is really an all-rounder among the camping lights. The gas-powered lamp burns soot-free and almost noiselessly. It works exactly like the non-duo version of this lantern, but Primus gas cartridges with screw valve are suitable for operation as well as most other commercially available screw gas cartridges, here with Duo valve. Whether as a heat source in cool rooms or as a light dispenser when playing cards on the campground in the evening – the Mimer Lantern definitely brings light into the darkness.

CAMPINGAZ Lantern Camping 206 L – Rating 4.5/5

The Camping 206 L lantern from Campingaz is used with a cartridge that disappears completely under a protective bell. The cartridge must not be removed until it has been completely emptied. This lantern can be used with Campingaz C206GLS cartridges. The glass protection grille of the lantern and the integrated handle complete the lantern. It is simple to use, and one canister gives 5 hours of light with. That’s not super long, but the small form factor and low price make up for it, which is why this classic can still be recommended!

Replacing a mantle can be fiddly, but canister change and replacement are easy enough even inside a dark tent.

PRIMUS Easy Light Duo / Easy Light: Not robust enough for backpacking – Rating: 4.4/5

The EasyLight from Primus provides a pleasant light when camping – ideal for all those who find the light from LEDs too cold. The brightness is infinitely variable and reaches a luminosity of up to 490 lumens. The valve of the EasyLight is specially designed for use with Primus gas cartridges. Thanks to piezo ignition, matches, and lighters can be safely left at home; the electric ignition works under all conditions. The burner works noiselessly and economically. The EasyLight is supplied in a sturdy plastic box so that the lamp is not damaged during transport. While the lamp is sturdy enough for daily use, it’s not super robust, and we wouldn’t recommend stuffing it in a backpack. The glass is not breakproof! It’s bright enough thanks to 490 lumens. Wind proofing of the lanterns is not super great, which means there are better lanterns for sitting out a storm!

CAMPINGAZ Stellia CV Gas Lantern – Rating 4.3/5

The Stellia CV gas lantern from Campingaz is a practical and sturdy lamp that you will love to have with you when camping or hiking. It is compatible with Campingaz valve cartridges of the CV Plus line and is therefore particularly practical to handle, as the device can be removed from the cartridge even if it is not yet empty. The lamp is equipped with two glow plugs so that a strong light output can be provided. The PerfectFlow system with an integrated pressure regulator ensures constant output in all weather conditions, regardless of the amount of gas in the cartridge. The stand ensures that the lamp stands securely and stable even on uneven ground.

We think the Campingaz Stellia is more than bright enough, even for larger campsites, and when you use it in smaller areas, you will likely even have to dim the light, like with other powerful gas camping lanterns. Things we didn’t like about it are the on/off knob, which doesn’t click in the off position, meaning its easier to turn it on accidentally.

CAMPINGAZ Lantern Lumostar Plus – Rating: 4.2/5

The Lumostar Plus lantern from Campingaz can be used in conjunction with Campingaz CV Plus valve cartridges. It is particularly practical as you can remove the lantern without having to empty the cartridge completely. The Easy-Clic system allows the lantern to be mounted quickly and easily on the cartridge. Simply press the device onto the valve and then turn it 45°. Then the lantern is ready for use. A practical detail is the attached chain with which the lamp can be hung everywhere.

We feel that the Campingaz Lumostar Plus is bright enough to lighten up a 30 square feet campsite, but not for larger areas. One canister of gas gets you between 6 and 12 hours of light, and that’s not a great performance. Be aware, there have been many people complaining about this lamp in the past for malfunctions, but it seems Campingaz addressed many of the problems in the newer versions. It’s cheap enough to give it a try!

Things to Consider when Buying a Gas or Fuel Driven Camping Lantern

When you want to buy a gas or fuel camping lantern, it’s good to keep some of the following thoughts in mind. In some regards, gas camping lanterns are a bit different from your standard LED camping lanterns. Mainly this involves the fuel or handling gas cartridges, but also other things like how to properly position and handle a gas camping lanterns can be interesting. Let’s have a look at some of these points now.

Advantages of gas camping lanterns

Gas camping lanterns are super bright. And they have a very wide range, which makes them ideal to light up large campsite areas, cooking tables or group tables where you want to plan routes with a map or play cards. Moder gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns also can reach burn times of up to 20 hours, making them really fuel-efficient.

 

Gas camping lanterns are ideal if you need large areas lightened

LED headlamps and camping lanterns are replacing gas camping lanterns. But sometimes, you just need more light. If you need very intense bright light, you will quickly reach the limits of LED lanterns. The luminosity of gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns, on the other hand, can be finely adjusted. The light itself is often perceived as a warmer and pleasant light compared to the light emitted by LED lanterns. This is not just perceived, camping lanterns powered by gas or liquid fuel actually emit heat as well, and can be used as a small source of heat when used inside a tent or small cabin. Gas and liquid fuel cabins burn fuel, and like with any burning; this immediately creates a warm and cozy camping atmosphere.

How to set up a gas camping lantern

You can place a gas camping lantern on a table, chair, or hang it up in the air with a chain. The higher the position of the lamp, the wider is the area it illuminates. A nice thing about gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns: They deflect mosquitoes quite well!

What and how much fuel should I Bring for a gas camping lantern?

You should always bring 3-5 canisters of gas if you have a propane or butane powered camping lantern. If you have a liquid fuel-powered camping lantern, bring an extra tank of gas with you or make sure that you have a gas station near your campsite to refill the lamp.

Always bring a replacement mantle with you

Most of the modern camping lanterns, no matter if gas-powered or liquid fuel-powered, can be easily stowed in your luggage. But there will be the time when you need to replace the mantle of the lantern. That’s why you should always bring a spare mantle or two with you!

Camping gas lanterns have a piezoelectric ignition, so you never have to worry about lighting them with a lighter

Most modern camping lanterns with gas or liquid fuel are using a piezo ignition. It makes switching it on and off really easy. If the lantern doesn’t have a piezo switch, you will need to use a match or a lighter, and it makes damaging the glow plug and mantle easier if you are careless.

Gas camping lanterns spread a nice and warm light, making them ideal for a classic cozy campsite feeling

When the LED came, the standard old school light bulbs slowly disappeared. While LEDs are all great and save a lot of energy, the light they emit is usually colder than standard light bulbs. Gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns have a wonderful warm light, and if you cannot start a fire for some reason, having a source of warm light and a bit of heat is cozy and creates a great romantic campfire atmosphere.

Don’t underestimate this – I know many people who were surprised by how much influence the temperature of the light has on the atmosphere, and that’s where a nostalgic light system like a gas or liquid fuel camping lantern can really shine!

Gas and fuel camping lantern mantles will age and break eventually

Lanterns that burn gas or liquid fuel all use a mantle, which serves as the torch. The mantle is brought to a glow by burning fuel around it, and it what makes the lantern function. If a mantle is used for a long time, it becomes fragile and brittle, and eventually, it needs to be replaced. If you go on a trip with a gas or liquid fuel camping lantern, it’s a good idea to bring replacement mantles.

Size and weight of a gas or fuel camping lantern

Weight and size might not matter a lot when you go car camping or on a roadtrip. But when you have a backpack and need to pack everything inside it, weight and size matter. If you want to lighten up a complete campsite with light, you most likely need a large gas camping lantern like the bigger Coleman models. But that means you need to reserve some space inside your backpack, and in this case, it’s best to split the parts of the lamp up to several backpacks if possible. Sometimes, a small compactable LED lantern might be a smarter idea, especially if you go on 1 or 2 person hiking trips with limited storage capacity inside your backpack. Maybe you don’t even need a lantern, in this case, stick with a high quality high powered LED headlamp!

Conclusion

No matter which of the reviewed lanterns you choose, these are all good choices. Some are heavier and better for car camping, like the giant Coleman Northstar, and some work better on a backpacking trip like the Primus MicronLantern. But you cannot really go wrong with any of these models, and a gas camping lantern is a great backup and addition of an LED camping lantern.

If you liked this review, check out some of our other camping gear reviews:

Best Bear Sprays – Review

Best Camping Showers – Review

Primus Firestick Portable Stove Review

 

 

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