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Thread: Coleman 'Northstar' lanterns - Opinions, please

  1. #1
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    Default Coleman 'Northstar' lanterns - Opinions, please

    I am hoping for one of these lanterns in Santa's sack this year, and am wondering if anyone out there has any first-hand experience of using them.

    I currently have camping gaz lanterns, but having seen a Coleman in action recently, I am in spoilt child mode, and have decided that I WANT ONE!

    What do you reckon?

    Are they worth considering?

    Cheers

    Sean

  2. #2
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    Recent discussion
    Personally I prefer the older designs - the 282/285 doubles are good - but the very best are the bialaddin/vapalux jobs

  3. #3
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    Talking Northstar

    Well I love mine its too cumbersome for backpacking but car camping or even canoe camping with little or no portaging it brilliant!

  4. #4
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    I have a Vapalux M320, purchased as "new old stock" a few years ago now. Totally bulletproof lamp. And all spares are readily available. They are also available new.
    I prefer anything that runs on Paraffin as its a much safer fuel than petrol or Coleman fuel. They are also more efficient, and most importantly - British!

    Link to manufacturers site here...
    http://www.bairstowbrothers.co.uk/vapalux/index.htm

  5. #5
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    Hi Newbond
    I have used Tilley lamps for years but with the need to carry paraffin as the main fuel and methylated spirits for the preburn both of which are becoming harder to source in some areas I decided to switch to the Coleman.
    I did a bit of research myself and found that there are 2 different versions of the same lamp for sale in the UK there is the standard duel fuel which is primarily aimed at the U.S. market and there is one which is designed specifically for the European market and this is specified on the box.
    The difference being the european version has a different jet in it which doesn't soot up as quickly as the U.S. version when used with U.K. unleaded petrol.
    You have to use the extra long "cooks" type matches to light it through a small hole in the base of the globe or use a taper but is very easy to light requiring no preburn,and seems to run most of the night without having to repump and gives off a fair amount of heat and an excellent amount of light.
    The downside being it also gives off a LOT of water vapour which will run down the inside of your tent in little rivulets also it gives off quite a bit of carbon monoxide so much so we had to have the tent door open because we were becoming light headed and a bit nauseus.
    I now only use this lamp in the tipi and have gone back to the Tilley for the main family tent(glad I didn't put it on ebay).Mike B...

    It would seem that the Northstar has been improved with the addition of an electronic ignition device which would eliminate the problems of lighting with a match as on my early Northstar. Mike B...
    Last edited by Mike B; 11th-October-2007 at 04:42 PM.
    You only have the one life so live it

  6. #6
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    Default northstar lamps

    hi we have been using northstars on our bushcraft courses for years i cannot remember having any problems, you might need sunglasses they are bright on full blast.

  7. #7
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    Default coleman petrol lamps

    my input is simply to say that i own and run a single mantle version and a double mantle version. i bought the single from costco for around 20 some years ago. long spill lightup job,much loved and more recently invested in a hi tec double job for greater output and to have a spare. i have had no trouble with either, just make sure you remember to preburn the mantles before first fire up and you will have none either.they are economical and as bright as you could wish for.....cut them back and they provide an atmospheric ambient warm glow! w
    "Every action of our lives touches on
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  8. #8
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    Default

    I have had one of these for the past nine years and love it.

    Remember to run it on petrol and not coleman fuel as it is four times cheaper and works just a well.

    Go for it, get one today you wont regret it.
    Owners Club.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    Someone has told me to periodically fill it with Coleman fuel to prevent sooting up, as it burns 'cleaner' than petrol.

    Is this worth doing?
    Newbond

    'In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away.'

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbond View Post
    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    Someone has told me to periodically fill it with Coleman fuel to prevent sooting up, as it burns 'cleaner' than petrol.

    Is this worth doing?
    I have never done this and really don't see any point in doing it.

    What you do need to do is to open and close the valve a few times as soon as you turn it off, this cleans the fuel jets.

    Owners Club.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newbond View Post
    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    Someone has told me to periodically fill it with Coleman fuel to prevent sooting up, as it burns 'cleaner' than petrol.

    Is this worth doing?
    NO - when the generator clogs - and if used enough, it will - then no amount of coleman fuel will sort it. - there are ways of dealing with the problem but - if you have to ask, then the answer is "Buy A New Generator".

    Near as I can tell, at the moment, UK unleaded (NOT SUPER) works just fine - if you know any north american stovies or lampies, then they will tell you that unleaded does terrible things to coleman generators - but that's 'cos their unleaded is a totally different formulation.

    Given the choice of a Northstar and a Dual Mantle 282/285 - I'd have the old dual mantle every time.

    Panel Wipe, or if you can find it, Aspen alkylate.

  12. #12
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    One thing that I will add, is that you should always carry a few spare mantles. They are not impossible to buy but I have found that generaly found that you can only buy them from the retailers that stock the lamp.

    The other thing is to think about a padded case. Coleman make one specially for the North Star and well worth the 15 or so to protect the lamp.
    Owners Club.

  13. #13
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    Default

    I still live in an area where old Railroad lanterns are found easily. Unfortunately, rich old guys that wanted to be railroad men when they were kids in the 30's are now collecting them and will pay over $400 for them.

    Most of the old ones I see and use are originals but the fakes are just as good. Coleman even made them for a while. They are low tech 1800's technology but they can be fixed easily and are generally tougher than their modern counterparts. They burn almost anything but kerosene seems to be the favorite.
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


  14. #14
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    Default

    Looking on the web I find that Coleman has a battery/fluorescent bulb lantern, as well as a gas lantern designated as the "Northstar." Which are you after?

    I've used (and own) a number of Coleman's gas lanterns and have found them to work well. Sounds like some of their newer models have an electronic ignition - which would be nice until it decides to quit working. Call me reactionary, but sounds like one more thing to gum the works. As I've never had too much trouble lighting a match - I'd steer clear of it.
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

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