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Fuel-Burning Lanterns

Top Picks

How we choose: The best fuel-burning lanterns highlighted here were selected based on 266 reviews of 47 products. Our top picks are those that are readily-available in the United States and have received the highest overall ratings from reviewers.

How we test: Trailspace is powered entirely by our community of readers. The reviews posted here reflect the real-world experiences of outdoor enthusiasts just like you.

If you've used a fuel-burning lantern that you think should be listed here, please share your experience.

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UCO Original Candle Lantern

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (19 reviews)

I carried one of these (as well as other candle lanterns) for years, then...

Reasons to Buy

  • Light
  • A modicum of warmth
  • Ambience

Reasons to Avoid

  • Weight for the amount of light
  • Glass globe is heavy and breakable
  • Hard to load after dark
  • Like all such, it can drip wax on your gear.
  • Fire hazard.

Once upon a time I never went into the woods for an overnight without a candle lantern of one kind or another. I probably had five or so different makes and models. They still lurk in my gear storage. This is one of the better ones, maybe the best one. For example, this lantern gives nearly 360 degree light as many do not. Still, all candle lanterns have problems and this is no exception. There is potential for spilled hot wax and, if you are not vigilant, fire. There is also the issue of the glass globe.

Read more: UCO Original Candle Lantern reviews (19)

Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

I have used many propane and white gas lanterns over the years, I must say that the Coleman 2 Mantle Premium Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern definitely gets the job done, and is even brighter than its cousin the Regular Dual Fuel Lantern by Coleman. These types of lanterns are most beneficial to people who plan on driving to a campsite or a cabin. Another great use is for emergencies such as power outages. Large lanterns are too heavy & bulky for hiking any real distance, however they take up little space in the back of the family vehicle and have the benefit of lighting up large areas in a campsite.

Read more: Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel Lantern reviews (3)

Snow Peak GigaPower Lantern, Auto

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

The Snow Peak GL-100A is a brilliantly designed gas lantern. This is a compact and lightweight lantern that puts out a lot of light for its size. It's simple to use. It uses widely available isobutane/propane canisters that are used by most compact backpacking stoves.

Reasons to Buy

  • Compact
  • Bright
  • Lightweight
  • Built-in piezo igniter
  • Simple to operate
  • Well made
  • Comes with case
  • Uses isobutane/propane gas cannisters

Reasons to Avoid

  • Hard to find
  • Prices vary

I'm on my second GL-100A. I bought the first one in 2009 when they were plentiful. It was great for car camping and backpacking. I kept it in the back of my Cherokee along with other compact camping gear for those instances when I go camping on a whim. I also took it backpacking. This lantern only takes up a small amount of space and its weight is negligible. The GL-100A is a brilliantly simple design that is well crafted. The main body is machined from aluminum. The gas fittings are brass.

Read more: Snow Peak GigaPower Lantern, Auto reviews (4)

Coleman Premium Dual Fuel Lantern

user rating: 5 of 5 (1 review)

One lantern to rule them all!

Reasons to Buy

  • No batteries
  • All weather function
  • Long fuel life

Reasons to Avoid

  • Mantels can be annoying
  • Starting up fires with old fuel can be problematic

  Don't like propane or constant battery failure? Neither do I. So I bought this lantern. If you enjoy camping with the family frequently, this lantern is the long haul one to own. I've broken tons of battery lamps, flashlights, and headlamps over the years, yet this lantern continues to be almost bomb proof. Some variation of this lantern has probably been around for 60 plus years. We have put this lantern through the paces for about 8 years now. I can attest that this lantern is great for day trips, night fishing, and camping trips where weight isn't an issue.

Read more: Coleman Premium Dual Fuel Lantern review (1)

Coleman 2 Mantle Propane Lantern

user rating: 5 of 5 (4 reviews)

Years ago we had a power cut in my neighborhood. One thing I remember was the guys down the street with a propane lantern, laughing and drinking beer. While cleaning out a cellar, I found a Coleman two burner propane lantern. Brought it home (with permission) and it sat for a couple months. A friend had a power cut, in the winter time. I brought it to him, not sure how it would work. Turn the valve, flick a lighter into the hole under the mantle. The lantern lit up the entire first floor of his house, and provided heat too.

Read more: Coleman 2 Mantle Propane Lantern reviews (4)

UCO Mini Candle Lantern

user rating: 5 of 5 (2 reviews)

Awesome nonelectric light!

Reasons to Buy

  • Can reduce condensation in a tent
  • Pleasant
  • Can use when a campfire is not allowed
  • Uses inexpensive tea lights

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lower size and weight than regular candle lantern, but still more than LEDs
  • Gets hot, so use the chain and be careful!

I bought this as alternative to the Micro because of the potential for the Micro to spill. It doesn’t pack as small as the Micro, but is still smaller and lighter than the regular candle lantern. I like how it uses tea lights, which are super cheap. Because this one can be hung without a large risk of spilling, it is good for reducing condensation in a tent.  Unfortunately, a tea light won’t quite last all night. I generally just set it up, and if I wake in the early morning hours to condensation, I light it then. Warning: As the lantern does get hot, it is important to be careful in a tent as tents can burn! (Hanging it by the chain seems to ensure it hangs low enough.) (For those people not familiar with the dangers of candles!)

Read more: UCO Mini Candle Lantern reviews (2)

Primus Micron Lantern

user rating: 5 of 5 (3 reviews)

An ingenious twist on a small, lightweight, functional fuel-powered backpacking lantern! The Primus Micron Lantern - Steel Mesh is a durable option for backcountry illumination.

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Lightweight (4.4 oz)
  • Easy light integrated piezo electric ignition
  • Bright and adjustable light output

Reasons to Avoid

  • No "hard" case, (stuff sack provided)
  • Only comes with one mantle

The Primus Micron Lantern - Steel Mesh is a great lightweight option for backcountry hikers seeking more illumination. As a member of another website, on occasion I am given products to test and evaluate in exchange for a review. The Primus Micron Lantern - Steel Mesh falls into that category.  I recently had opportunity to put the Primus Micron Lantern to a three-week test on an extended backcountry trip and base camping to and from. As with any "techincal" gear, I force myself to exercise a smidgeon of humility and wisdom to read the instructions provided and watch a youtube video or two.

Read more: Primus Micron Lantern reviews (3)

Coleman Deluxe PerfectFlow Lantern

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1 review)

Solid, reliable, simple, yet runs forever.

Reasons to Buy

  • Bright
  • Long-running
  • Incredibly simple operation

Reasons to Avoid

  • Top-heavy/unstable without special base.

These lanterns are plenty bright, casting usable light even on low settings to 20-30 feet, depending on how cluttered your campsite is. On the higher settings it's not unlike a 100-watt bulb in intensity and color. After it's warmed up some it can be turned way down to a much warmer, less harsh light that, once your eyes adjust, is still pretty bright.  Over the last few years, I've been able to wrangle some significant burn times out of mine. while the published max time is about 14 hours, on the most recent trip, i used just one bottle over the course of four nights, running for a good 5-6 hours a night.

Read more: Coleman Deluxe PerfectFlow Lantern review (1)

Coleman Northstar InstaStart Propane Lantern

user rating: 4 of 5 (1 review)

Wow, a lot of light!

Reasons to Buy

  • Beefed up construction over normal Coleman models

Reasons to Avoid

  • Special mantle is more expensive.

I received this lantern as a gift, and am happy to have it. The light from this model is superlative compared to other Coleman products, and will really brighten up your campsite.  The piezo ignition is wonderful, and I won't buy another lantern without it. Having said that, when using it the first time, it was slow to ignite, resulting in a partial blow out of the mantle. No problems with the ignition system since, so perhaps there was a breaking-in that had to occur. Try giving the ignition system a dry run without fuel the first time — it may save you a mantle.  By the way, the biggest downside is the increased expense of the outsized mantle required for this model.

Read more: Coleman Northstar InstaStart Propane Lantern review (1)

More Reviews of Fuel-Burning Lanterns

Trailspace reviewers have shared 266 reviews of 47 different fuel-burning lanterns.

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