How to choose the best Coleman lantern 

A high-quality lantern is a useful and convenient tool that can come in handy in a number of situations. Coleman has been making reputable, trusted lanterns and outdoor equipment for over a hundred years, so no matter which Coleman lantern you choose, you can be confident you’re receiving a premium product. 

From providing some extra reading light during a weekend campout with friends to serving as a backup emergency light, Coleman lanterns are a multi-purpose essential for anyone who takes pride in being prepared. The Coleman Rugged Rechargeable Lantern is easy to charge and has an impressive run time, giving you light when you need it most. 

What to know before you buy a Coleman lantern

Common uses 

There really is no limit to the ways you can use a Coleman lantern, but a few common uses include:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Emergency lighting
  • Backyard lighting
  • Nighttime outdoor events
  • Ambient home lighting or decoration

Fuel type 

Depending on your preference, you can purchase Coleman lanterns that use a variety of different fuel types, each with its own unique benefits.

Battery-powered lanterns

This type of lantern includes both rechargeable options and those that utilize disposable batteries. Battery-powered lanterns are safer than propane-powered ones, as there is no true flame present or use of flammable gases. 

Another advantage of battery-powered lanterns is the option to bring along extra batteries or portable chargers to ensure you’ll have plenty of light. It should be noted that freezing temperatures may impact how well the batteries perform. 

Fuel-powered lanterns

There are propane, butane and liquid fuel lanterns available for those who wish to go the more classic route. Fuel-powered lanterns are ideal for colder temperatures and can produce a bright light, but extra precautions need to be taken, especially around young children or pets. If you’ll need your lantern for an extended period, it is a good idea to carry extra fuel canisters. 

Solar-powered lanterns

The most environmentally friendly lanterns are those that run on solar power. These also tend to be one of the safest options. Hikers and backpackers can benefit from solar-powered lanterns as they won’t need to carry any extra fuel or spare batteries. However, if there is not adequate sunlight, you may not be able to achieve a full charge. 


When choosing a Coleman lantern, you might want to take the overall size into consideration. If you plan to just use your lantern around your home, size may not be a determining factor, but for people planning on traveling with a lantern, a lightweight, compact model will be your best bet. 

What to look for in a quality Coleman lantern

Run time

The overall run time you’ll receive from your lantern is directly connected to the level of brightness used. The dimmer the brightness setting, the longer the run time. When choosing a lantern, try to pick one that has sufficient run time for your intended activity or situation. You may even want to overestimate your required run time in order to ensure you won’t be left in the dark.


Lantern brightness is measured in lumens. The higher the lumen rating, the brighter your lantern output. Propane lanterns are often able to produce anywhere from 1,000-1,500 lumens, while LED models are more likely to have lumen ratings below 1,000. 


The best Coleman lanterns will feature adjustable settings so you can switch from a dim reading light to a brighter light with just the turn of a dial. This will also allow you to maximize the lifespan of your lantern.


If you know you’ll be using your lantern while hiking, camping or traveling, you’ll want to choose a Coleman model that isn’t too large or heavy. There are multiple sizes available and some portable lanterns are even collapsible, making storage a breeze. 


Since you’ll most likely be using your lantern outdoors, durability is crucial. Many Coleman lanterns will have some level of water resistance so a rain shower won’t cause any damage, while others may even be shock-resistant, giving them the ability to weather accidental drops or falls. 

How much you can expect to spend on a Coleman lantern 

The smallest LED Coleman lanterns can be purchased for just under $15, while the most expensive gas-powered models run upwards of $150. You can often find high-quality lanterns in the $30-$50 range. 

Coleman lantern FAQ

Should I use a lantern or a flashlight?

A. This ultimately comes down to the specific situation. Flashlights are useful when in need of a more focused beam, while lanterns are better for lighting up the entirety of your surrounding area. Most lanterns also feature a handle, allowing you to hang them when you need to use both hands. 

What type of lantern is best for camping?

A. Compact battery-powered or solar lanterns are your best bet when camping, especially if you plan to use them inside your tent. Gas-powered lanterns are often larger, heavier and pose serious safety risks if used in enclosed spaces. 

What’s the best Coleman lantern to buy?

Top Coleman lantern 

Coleman Rugged Rechargeable Lantern

Coleman Rugged Rechargeable Lantern

What you need to know: Powered by lithium-ion batteries, this LED lantern is great for camping. 

What you’ll love: When used on the lowest setting, this lantern has a 20-hour run time and can even be used to charge your phone or other devices. 

What you should consider: The high setting can sometimes be overly bright.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Wayfair

Top Coleman lantern for the money

Coleman 1000 Lumens LED Lantern

Coleman 1000 Lumens LED Lantern

What you need to know: This small but bright LED lantern is suited for any type of outdoor activity or emergency situation.

What you’ll love: With four lighting modes and a power-saving Battery Guard system, you can consistently rely on this lantern. 

What you should consider: The battery cover can sometimes be difficult to remove.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Coleman Gas Lantern

Coleman Gas Lantern 

What you need to know: This bright propane-powered Coleman lantern is easy to carry and can cast light up to 23 meters. 

What you’ll love: A single 16-ounce propane canister will last over 7 hours when used continuously on a high setting. 

What you should consider: It requires the use of matches to light.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Matthew Young writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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