Review: Coleman 237 - Kerosene Mantle Pressure Lanterns.

Coleman's model 237 lanterns are at the top of their league when it comes to Coleman's largest, brightest and best built lanterns. They are rated at 500+ candlepower and equivalent in output to 400W of incandescent lighting.

The new Coleman mantles are lousy when compared to older iterations. Today's versions now burn a dingy yellow and cast a nauseating yellow light with far less intensity. The removal of the naturally occurring radioactive chemical "thorium" has been eliminated from the Coleman mantle manufacturing processes, due to public overreaction to something with extremely low amounts of radioactivity.

Luckily, I was alerted to a source for great new Peerless thorium coated mantles. The difference is (as they say) night and day.

Ive been experimenting with different gas tip sizes and fuel mixtures to see which ones put out the maximum amount of light while burning the cleanest. The greatest increases in output were realized by simply changing over to the Peerless 111 mantles.

My 237's get Peerless 111 thorium mantles and a blend of fuel to help them burn a bit more cleanly. Much, much brighter than before. All the talk about Peerless mantles is true. They are much brighter than non-thorium coated mantles and much stronger than Coleman mantles. Better rounded shape and cheaper too!

Left: Made in Canada 237 - burning 33% Coleman Fuel / 66% Kerosene
Right: Made in the US 237 - burning 15% Coleman Fuel / 85% Kerosene

The sensor on the camera was completely pegged, but the one on the left is noticeably brighter while burning the higher concentration of Coleman fuel. Standing 50 feet away from them while outdoors, the differences were negotiable between the two and my neighbors couldn't discern which was brighter.

My furnace went down and I used the 237's to helped heat my home till the repair guy showed up a few days later. They burn clean with zero fuel smell while in operation. Kerosene puts off less less CO emissions than gas or Coleman fuel, and the 237's burn very hot for good complete combustion. These lamps are truly awesome. Far better than the two brand new $120 Coleman Northstar duel fuel junk that I returned for not operating properly. I wasted so much time swapping parts and troubleshooting them with Coleman tech support. I even bought them several years apart thinking I had acquired a lemon with the first one. Lesson learned... only the older tried and true lanterns for now on. These things are beautiful and crafted mostly of heavy brass part. Even the tank and frame are brass with a high polished nickle coating.

Its to bad these have long gone out of production, but nice ones can still be found on ebay for around $100 or less.

Check out the warm welcome I received over on the CCF forum that i just joined. CCF is definitely the place to learn about pressure lanterns and how to maintain them. The crowed is very friendly, mature, earthy and sophisticated.

I think there are enough enthusiasts here that might also be interested... thus the lantern review for BLF.

Cheers & happy kero burning!

Thanks for the look at your nice day I'll have one. CCF is as good as it gets...completely opposite of CPF.

Great post Flash. I have been looking into the kerosene burners. I like the fuel, it’s what my garage heater burns. I can’t go to that forum though. I know what happens when I do things like that, I’ll have a garage full of Coleman lanterns.

Those lanterns and stoves breed like rabbits, turn around and there's another!

Its already way to late for me! Im starting to collect these darn things like AA flashlights, but Im really having a lot of fun with them. Thanks to CCF, all my lanterns are now running in tip top condition. I burn a 237 indoors almost every night, thanks to the kerosene fuel. Maybe some day the novelty will wear off, but from looking at most of the members on CCF, it seem hopeless that it ever will.

Im in the process of collecting parts to build a large hot-rodded 237 based floor lamp that should be good for about 14,000 lumens. A regular 237 is good for about 6,700 lumens, which is certainly no slouch.

I passed up one of those plastic carrying cases for a buck the other day ..I thought why do I want to carry it in one of these ? Just thinking it might be nice to have if you're selling and shipping a light .

Here's a couple, the shorter newer one is around 40 years old, the tall one I've no idea how old it is, but probably considerably older than me. The fuel tanks on both are pretty much the same size and may, in fact, be the same size.

Great heat sources.

Heres my video of nine vintage Coleman 237 kerosene lanterns burning simultaneously. As you can imagine, it got rather hot in the house very quickly.

Shot in HD:

Here’s the new jazzed up version of the 237 vid.

have any petromax lanterns to compare these to?
not trying to say these arent nice, but been drooling over the britelyt for a while now. wondering if it was worth the extra

Here’s my 237 vid :bigsmile: