At TentLife we believe it is important to write about products from experience, not just from what it says on the box. The Coleman Twist camping lantern has now been away with us on 4+ camping trips so you can rest assured that we've given it a thorough workout before we spoke about it.
Firstly lets start off with the price. At the time of writing (June 2018), the Twist was available from numerous online stores, priced between £40-50. For those of you who may think that's expensive for a camping light, well would you still think it was expensive if this was probably the last camping light you would need, will be reliable for a very long time and be handy in areas other than camping?
Type 'camping lantern' into google and you can pick them up from a little as £5, but is that a reasonable comparison? I can pick up a cheap driveable car for £200, but would I be doing it justice by comparing it to a Porsche? It isn't down to us to convince you this lantern is worth £50, it's down to us to show you the features and advantages that make it a useful bit of camping gear. The lantern needs to convince you it's worth the money by us testing it in the field.
It's not small and it won't be fitting into your backpack with the rest of your gear any time soon, that's what head torches are for.
It is however, easy to use and quite bullet proof. It has 4 light settings, low, medium, high and disco/rave (sorry, emergency). There are no small fiddly buttons to find and turn on or off, just grab the non slip chunky handle on top, twist and you're done.
The wide base is also non slip and because the battery and plug are stored in the bottom it makes the lantern more difficult to knock over accidentally.
Usefully, as well as being supplied with it's own USB cable it also comes complete with a stow-away 3 pin USB plug which breaks apart to fit neatly into the bottom of the lantern.
As well as using it sat on a table top, the base also incorporates a large clip for hanging it upside down in your tent.
How long will it last?
We've purchased many cheap and cheerful LED camping lights for the tent to leave on overnight so there is some light for when the kids need the toilet etc. They have usually gone off by the next morning and end up needing to be recharged (every day). Well that's fine if you have an electric hookup (EHU), but what if you don't and you need a light source that will last you the length of your trip without running out of juice.
I decided to test how long this lantern would last on full power. I charged it fully, turned it on (2pm Sunday) and left it running. I came back to it in the evening (4 hours on) and it was still going strong. I checked on it before I went to bed (9 hours on) and it was still sitting there glowing away, all happy with itself. It is now the next the next day, 7 pm in fact and the damn thing is still going strong 29 hours later. It is stopping me publishing this article, so I've given up waiting for the stubborn thing.
I shall just edit the post at a later date, when it finally decides to DIE. I must say that I'm rather impressed and thinking how useful this will be when we don't have an electric hookup.
What about between uses? Will I go to it after it has been stored and not used for some time, and find it be completely flat? Or will I find that the battery has leaked ant the whole thing has to go in the bin? Apparently not, because Coleman have developed and incorporated into this lantern a feature called 'battery lock'. What battery lock does with a twist of the base is disengages the terminals of the battery from the device, rendering the battery isolated and not in use. This will result in battery power lasting longer when the lantern is not in use. How many times have you grabbed for an old torch, only to find it is flat or even worse the batteries have started leaking and corroding, we are told that this won't happen with the Coleman Twist so it should always be ready to 'light the way' for a very long time into the future.