Coleman 295 Lantern

blogEntryThumbnailI have owned a Coleman 295 Powerhouse Unleaded Lantern for many years. Mine was made in October 1992, 21 years old; all Coleman's have the date stamped on the bottom. I bought the lantern from a fisherman and used it occasionally on campsites, at motorcycle shows & in my T4 camper van.

As I have been sorting out my gear for our year living off the grid, I came across the Coleman, still in the original box & looking in great condition. At first I thought I would clean it up a bit and sell it but I have now decided to keep it as a standby light & heat source.

The American Coleman Lanterns are synonymous with quality. I would compare them to the beautifully engineered English Tilley lamp; how I wish we had been able to keep my Dad`s!

The condition of my Coleman was very good. Very little can go wrong with the lanterns and they only require the most basic maintenance. I ordered some new Mantles that come in packs of three which is odd as the lantern is a twin mantle. So my advice is always order 2 packs which gives you two spare sets. Before replacing the mantles, which are delicate, I decided to drain the very old fuel, clean the glass globe and clean and lubricate the pump.


All went well, that is until I washed the globe! It simply disintegrated in my hands as I washed it! I must be a clumsy sod! Anyway I ordered a new one on eBay (£10.00), bought some fresh unleaded petrol, attached the mantles, fitted the globe (carefully) and we were ready to go.

The lantern was last lit about 10 years ago. I still had the original fuel filter/funnel that prevents overfill during refuelling and filters fuel if necessary. We were ready to fire her up!

Lighting is very easy but it is safer to stick to some basic rules:

1. Undo the pump valve about one turn.
2. Pump 20 times or until you can feel the pressure within the tank. Remember to keep your thumb over the valve hole!
3. Insert your lighter/match up inside the globe FIRST and then open the Fuel valve to HIGH. You will hear fuel vapour pour into the globe. Soon the lantern will light. You can occasionally see flames but they soon calm down and if you follow this procedure it is unlikely.
4. Once the lantern has run for a short time you will have a very bright light!

During use the lantern becomes very hot indeed so never refuel or unscrew the filter screw on top of the lantern until it has cooled down. Painful!

So, the 21 year old lantern lit easily, burnt steadily & consistently & wow the heat it gives off was very noticeable. In fact I put the lantern into my unheated office which was 12.5c and within one hour had risen over 5 deg!

Maintenance is easy. Replace broken mantles, oil the pump and pump cup and clean the globe (carefully); that`s basically it. If you store it for a while drain all the fuel.

Spares are readily obtainable here in the UK; New Pumps, Globes, Generators & Mantles. Replacing them all is easy.

Coleman make an excellent plastic carrying case but it is not available in the UK. Nearest source I have found is Germany.


However I have found an English firm that make very good carrying/storage cases and I will be buying one.


This is an excellent lantern providing light and some heat and one that I will be taking with me during our year off the grid.

Interestingly when this lantern was made, 1992, unleaded petrol was only 45p a litre giving about 100 hours of operating for £5.00. In 2013, at £132.9 a litre, the costs have trebled!

For more details on maintaining Coleman lanterns this site is an excellent reference.

Find a YouTube video showing the Coleman lighting procedure here.

You can buy the UK carry/storage case on eBay here.

23 November 2013

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