The Coleman company has been around for over 100 years. Their name is synonymous with camping. They have a history and reputation of quality made dependable sporting goods at reasonable prices. They make just about everything that a camper would need. Chances are, if you have spent any time in the outdoors, you have probably used some of their gear.
I will concede the fact that most of Coleman’s product line is now geared towards the car camper. Yes, they make a few things for the ultra-light minded backpacker but not a lot. But that’s OK, that is not their target market. Their target market is people like me and most likely you. We are people who love to get outdoors, and we want quality gear we can depend on, but we don’t want to sink a ton of money into our hobby if we don’ have too.
Me for example, most of my trips, I either set up a base camp near my car, or I’m paddle camping carrying all my kit with me in either a canoe or kayak, so weight is not a big concern. If something I use weighs a pound or two more than another more expensive brand, that’s OK with me as long as it works. The Coleman gear that I use works great for me. More specifically, I almost always use their liquid fueled stoves and lanterns.
1. Why? First of all, the liquid fueled stoves and lanterns are a design that has been around for a long time. They are simple to operate and easy to repair. They are not affected by cold weather like propane and butane fueled stoves. But best of all, they are proven products and I have never had one fail me.
2. They are durable and they last. I currently have three Coleman liquid fuel stoves. A 413G large 2 burner, medium 424 2 burner, and a small 533 single burner. I also have a duel fuel lantern. My 413G stove was manufactured in 1966. It’s 54 years old and it still works. Yes, it’s a little beat up and has some wear and rust, but every time I pump it up, It works.
My lantern and single burner stove are 17 and 10 years old respectively. Other than changing the mantles on the lantern, I have never had any problems with them either. My medium sized stove is a newer model 424.
3. Another couple of things I like about them is fuel is easy to find and they are better for the environment. Since these are duel fuel models, they can be run on camp fuel (white gas), or unleaded gasoline which you can get most anywhere.
Compared to disposable propane tanks, which not only don’t last very long, but lose performance as they empty, these duel fuel designs maintain consistent performance until the fuel is exhausted. Not to mention, there is less waist. Yes, the small 1 lb. propane cylinders most campers use are easy to find anywhere, but they cannot be refilled. (according to the label) and must be disposed of at a recycling center.
But, in reality, most of these empty canisters from what I have seen end up in a trash can and then eventually a landfill. Since most people operating propane lanterns and stoves on a 3 day camping trip will burn through 3-4 canisters assuming they cook three meals a day, thats 3-4 canisters that can end up in the trash. Multiply that number by all of the people using these that don’t dispose of them properly and you get the picture. In contrast, I have been refilling the same 1 gallon fuel can for years.
4. They are easy to find on the used market at bargain prices, and replacement parts are cheap. If you search Craigslist, FB Marketplace, garage sales, you will almost always find them there.
5. Last but not least, I like that the liquid fueled and duel fueled stoves and lanterns are still made by the Coleman Company in Wichita, Kansas USA.
In conclusion, there are a lot of camp stoves out there, most of them are good. I just prefer Coleman for the above stated reasons. I use the large stove when I am car camping with a group of people of 6 or more, the medium one for 1-5, and the single when I am by myself or when I am paddle camping. The lantern comes with me only when I am car camping. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine camping without them.
Find your headwaters,