An LED lantern can be a crucial tool for outdoors enthusiasts, But if you’re buying one, you’ll want it to be made by a reputable brand, and you want all the functionality you can get. The Coleman Quad LED Lantern aims to be such an option. During the design, two things were kept in mind – maximum functionality and user-friendliness. Consisting of the main base and four detachable panels, you can either use it as a single unit for one light source or detach one of the panels and use it as a separate light source. This does add quite a lot of versatility to an already great design.
So, is the Coleman Quad LED Lantern worth it for the enthusiast who wants a great piece of gear? Let’s go through our review and find out.
Kicking things off with the functionality, as we mentioned, you have one main unit and four detachable panels. Each of those panels has 6 LEDs, which results in a total of 24 LEDs for the whole lantern. If you decide to use it as a lantern, with all panels attached, you’ll be getting a total of 190 lumens of light and a 360-degree radius. This way, the 8 D-cell batteries (which by the way don’t come in the box) can keep it running for 75 hours.
However, there are simple release buttons for each of the panels, and detaching them is very easy. They all come with their own NiMH batteries, which should keep each panel running around 1.5 hours. The best thing is that they charge when they’re attached to the base. Theoretically, you should have a full battery on each panel when you decide you want to detach it and use it separately. This way, you have 47.5 lumens of light from each panel.
Let’s discuss the LED panels for a moment. As we mentioned, there are 24 LEDs in total, and you won’t need to change them anytime soon. They’ve been proven to be extremely durable, which makes this more or less a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, provided you don’t damage it otherwise. Unlike a traditional lantern that doesn’t use LEDs, this one won’t get hot at all. There’s also the fact that the lenses are diffused, which significantly reduces glare. With low power LEDs, this isn’t too much of an issue, but with the Coleman, it’s something that’s very welcome. While we’re discussing the power, it’s worth mentioning that you can expect around 8 meters of range from the unit, regardless of whether you’re using it as a single unit, or as four individual panels.
By now you already have a good idea of how the Coleman looks, but let’s discuss a few more interesting design choices. To begin with, the unit has an easy carry handle on the unit which is collapsible if you want to get it out of the way. Also, all of the individuals LED panels to have their own carry handles, but these are fixed. They’ll do the job if you want to hang them in a tent, or on a tree branch, or wherever else you may need your light. Turning the LEDs on and off is very easy. The main unit comes with an on/off switch at the top, and each of the panels has its own switch at the back if you choose to use them individually.
Given that this is a product meant to be used outdoors, it makes sense for some resistance to the elements to be included. Coleman has decided to go with an IPX4 certification, which means it should be safe from water splashes from any angle. If you get caught out in the rain, this should give you plenty of time to pack it up and get it to a place where it won’t get wet.
However, while “get it to a place where it won’t get wet” sounds simple enough, this is where the Coleman lantern’s main downside comes into play – it’s large, and it’s heavy. As a complete unit, it is 6.5 inches wide, and 11.7 inches wide, which is fairly big. To add to that, it weighs around 6.15 pounds, which is far from lightweight if your idea is to carry it in a backpack when you go hiking on long distances. All of those D-cell batteries do weigh quite a bit.
Usability – who is it for?
One thing can be said with certainty – it is not for everyone. First of all, it’s far from the cheapest lantern we’ve seen. It doesn’t cost too much either, and it is actually worth it, but it’s something we believe is worth mentioning. Second, as we mentioned, it’s large and it’s heavy. For campers who use a vehicle to get to their campsite, this won’t be an issue. But for anyone who is backpacking or needs to carry their gear a longer period of time, 6.15lbs. is a significant amount of weight.
Last but not least, with LEDs this bright, some kind of adjustable light output would’ve been nice. Sure, you could remove a single panel and only use that if the entire unit is too much, but it would’ve been much more practical to be able to adjust the output. If you’re in a location where too much light could be an issue, you’ll need to keep it turned off.
Wrapping things up
At the end of the day, the Coleman Quad LED Lantern is still a great buy for many. It’s built really well, it’s IPX4 certified, and comes with functionality that makes it a truly versatile product, one you can use in a huge variety of situations.
If you can look past the weight and the lack of adjustability for the LEDs, it is definitely an LED lantern that you should take a closer look at.