The Pack Away+ 250 LED Lantern from Coleman is a premium quality, versatile camping lantern, with some great practical features, but how well did it perform on camp?
- Bright 250/80/50 Lumens (high/medium/low)
- Battery Life Extending – BatteryLock™ Technology
- Smart Pack-Away Feature
- Robust Rugged Exterior to withstand High Impact
- IPX4 Water Resistant
Being able to illuminate your tent and campsite is an essential part of any family camping experience. Today, many of us rely on electrical hook-up for this, and that’s fine, but when there’s no hook-up (and even when there is), you simply can’t beat the versatility of having a good quality – full sized – battery powered lantern.
Don’t get me wrong, torches, headlamps and small lanterns are fine around the campsite, especially when navigating to the toilets at night. However, when it comes to illuminating a large family tent; a torch or small lantern just isn’t enough!
The advances in LED technology over the past few years has dramatically changed the capabilities of the humble camping lantern, both in terms of illumination and battery life.
Today at the peak of this technology some manufacturers claim runtimes measured in the tens, and even hundreds of hours from a single pack of batteries. The Pack Away 250 is no exception, with a claimed runtime of between 30 – 400 hours, depending on the setting.
In our test we managed to get just over 28 hours on high mode with Duracell batteries. At £4.00 for a pack of 4 ‘D’ size batteries, that’s about 14p an hour. By comparison our old lantern cost approx. £1.25 per hour, so a big thumbs up here.
Another key features of this lantern is Coleman’s BatteryLock™ technology, which further prevents battery drain and extends battery life. The system, which works with a simple twist switch in the base, effectively disconnects the batteries from the electric contacts (internally) – without the need to remove them. This not only saves your battery life until it’s required, but also helps prevent battery corrosion when storing the lantern between seasons.
On the high setting, the bright 250 lumens output easily illuminated the 4m x 3.6m living space of our Outwell Concorde L. While outside, the medium setting provided the perfect mood lighting for pleasant al fresco dinning. Finally in the bedroom, the low setting was perfect as a nightlight for our granddaughter.
Size, Weight and Durability
When it comes to buying any camping gear I always consider it’s ‘packability’. When you have a small car, packing camping gear for a trip is bit like playing ‘Tetris’, so a lantern that packs away to half its expanded size is a welcome bonus.
It is however, a little on the heavy side at just over 1.3kg, and I would not really consider it for backpacking or hiking. This is partly down to the lanterns rugged construction that includes a protective exterior shield and a shatterproof polycarbonate lens.
We tested Colemans claim it is can be dropped from 2m without damage. It can! Ours simply bounced with no problems, and I’m confident this level of durability means it will last for many years.
Another practical feature I liked was the integrated carabiner handle, which just makes things easier. Without the need for a separate carabiner or hook, the lantern hangs just that little bit higher in the tent. Those of you over 6 feet tall will know exactly why this is important!
Overall, the Pack Away+ 250 LED Lantern from Coleman is a high quality, versatile lantern, with practical features that actually make a difference, and at around £35 it represents good value for money.
It’s durable, rugged construction means it will illuminate your campsite for many years to come and that’s really the point isn’t it.
If your looking for a family camping lantern, the Coleman Pack Away+ 250 LED Lantern should definitely be on your short list.
You can find the complete Coleman Tech LED lantern range on their website: http://www.coleman.eu/uk/c-776-tech-led-lantern.aspx
What’s your favourite camping lantern? Please share your experience with us in the comments below.
As always, thanks for your attention.
Credits and disclaimer: All product photos are copyright to Coleman. All opinions are our own.