Propane is a common choice for Coleman lanterns. One advantage of using a propane lantern is that you can match your camping stove and your lantern for compatibility with the same fuel canisters, greatly simplifying your shopping for camping supplies. It is also a widely available fuel format, and refueling your lantern is as easy as screwing on a fresh propane canister. However, propane does not perform as well as other fuel formats in sub-zero conditions, making it a poor choice for winter campers.
As of 2010, Coleman has only one kerosene lantern in its product line, the 1 Mantle lantern. Kerosene is an old-fashioned fuel for camping lanterns, but it has its advantages. It is relatively cheap and almost as widely available as propane. Kerosene lanterns also function as miniature heaters, which is a plus in colder conditions. However, they are more awkward to refuel than propane in adverse conditions, produce visible smoke and a strong, petrochemical smell. Also, kerosene lanterns often require priming to light.
The rest of the Coleman lantern product line operates on a dual fuel system. These lanterns can use either standard unleaded gasoline or Coleman camp fuel. Sometimes also called "white gas," Coleman fuel burns cleaner and hotter than kerosene. Lanterns of this kind can also burn ordinary unleaded gasoline, which is the cheapest of all of the fuel types available for Coleman lanterns. However, it still has the drawback of being a liquid fuel, and pouring liquid fuel into a camping lantern can sometimes prove to be an awkward process.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.