Best Kerosene Lanterns & Oil Lamps 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
Last Updated on September 28, 2020
If you’re a frequent camper, boater, or just like to have an assortment of lights in case of power failure, kerosene lanterns, and oil lamps are a great choice. They not only provide more light than candles and battery-powered devices, but they can also be a heat source. Many kerosene lanterns are beautifully designed and can add much to the ambiance of wherever you are.
There are so many options of kerosene lanterns and oil lamps, though, that it can be difficult to find one to fit your needs. We’ve done the hard work for you and created a list of reviews of the six best lanterns. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide so you know what features to look for.
Ready to find the best lantern for you? Read on for our recommendations.
A Quick Look at our Favorites in 2020:
|Best Overall||Dietz #90 Lantern||
|Best Value||Stansport Lantern||
|Premium Choice||Coleman Lantern||
The 6 Best Kerosene Lanterns & Oil Lamps:
1. Dietz #90 D-Lite Oil Burning Kerosene Lantern — Best Overall
The Dietz D-Lite Oil Burning Kerosene Lantern is our best overall choice because it has a long burning time of 27 hours, thanks to its large capacity of 31 ounces. The lantern is wicked and ready for oil, with a wide wick of ⅞ inch. This lantern has a 12-14 candle power, which is equivalent to one small LED light. It also has a thermal output of 1,400 BTUs per hour, which will keep you warm and toasty. The lantern has a hanging loop so you can suspend it from a rope or wire. It also has a carry-handle for easy portability and to prevent your skin from being burned.
The lantern can be difficult to open and close, though, which is frustrating when you’re trying to refill the oil or light it.
2. Stansport 127 Kerosene Hurricane Lantern – Best Value
The Stansport Kerosene Hurricane Lantern is the best kerosene lantern & oil lamp for the money because it’s durable with a glass and metal construction. The lantern is 12 inches tall, which is a good size. It has a classic glass globe with a protective wire to keep it from breaking easily. The lantern includes a wick with a control knob for adjusting brightness. It has a stylish metal bail carry-handle that makes it look like a ship’s lantern, which also allows for easy portability. The lantern features a hanging loop at the top to suspend it from a rope or wire. The lantern also uses either kerosene or standard lamp oil.
This lantern seems to have quality control issues, where the red color is different in each lantern. It also seems like the lanterns aren’t that well made. Because of this, some can leak oil.
3. Coleman 3000001138 One-Mantle Kerosene Lantern – Premium Choice
The Coleman One-Mantle Kerosene Lantern is our premium choice because it’s durable and perfect for camping or outdoor use. It has a control knob for adjusting the brightness, which allows you to conserve fuel consumption as needed. It has a cool-touch bail handle for carrying and hanging. The porcelain coating helps the lantern last longer by resisting rust and corrosion. The lantern has a capacity of 2 pints of kerosene that can last up to 5.75 hours.
This is a pricier option, however. It can also be tricky to light.
4. Feuerhand 630-RED Hurricane Lantern
The Feuerhand Hurricane Lantern is made of galvanized steel, which is quite durable. It has a powder-coat-painted finish that resists rust, so the lantern is long-lasting. The fuel capacity of the lantern is 10 ounces, which allows it to burn for approximately 20 hours. This lantern uses standard lamp oil.
Some of the lanterns leak, which is not only a fire hazard but also a waste of fuel. The paint on the outside of the lantern also bubbles from the heat once the lantern is lit. This means that there are quality issues with the lantern.
5. V&O 200-30060 Camper Brass Trim Oil Lantern
The V&O Camper Brass Trim Oil Lantern burns a variety of fuels, including kerosene, lamp oil, paraffin, and citronella. The lantern is also zinc coated for rust resistance, which makes it durable and long-lasting. It has an 8-ounce oil capacity, so it will burn for nearly 20 hours.
Unfortunately, this lantern leaks, which is a waste of fuel and a potential fire hazard. The wick mechanism also jams easily, so it doesn’t burn properly. The overall lantern is thin, so it can break.
6. Shop4Omni Hurricane Kerosene Oil Lantern
The Shop4Omni Hurricane Kerosene Oil Lantern is 12 inches tall, which is a useful size. It has a metal body with a classic glass globe that’s both beautiful to look at and gives off a nice light. The wick is adjustable, so you can control the brightness.
This lantern tends to leak, though. The metal is too thin, so you have to be careful not to burn yourself. It doesn’t seem that durable, which makes us question its overall quality. The metal is also not rust resistant, so the lantern can’t be left out in the elements.
Kerosene lanterns and oil lamps aren’t complicated to use, but there are still several features to be aware of. We’ve created this handy buyer’s guide so you know what to look for before purchasing.
Anything to do with fire should be made of quality materials, and a lantern is no exception. If you’re looking for a more portable lantern or lamp, then you should seek out ones made out of high-density plastic or metal alloy that won’t melt. These types of materials are lightweight but can still withstand the heat from the flame.
If portability doesn’t matter to you, then you can choose a lantern made of glass and metal. Not only are these lanterns beautiful, but they’re also extremely durable, resist high heat, and last for a long time.
We also recently: reviewed kerosene heaters. Click here to see our favorites picks.
Fire needs oxygen to burn, so a lantern must have proper ventilation. There also needs to be a way for the gas to leave the chamber after combustion; otherwise, fog and soot will dim the light and extinguish the fire.
Look for lanterns and lamps that have good ventilation through the top of the lamp or the bottom. Some even have circular cutouts to let the air pass through. The placement doesn’t matter as much as the lantern having a way for proper airflow.
It’s also important to have good ventilation in the room where the lantern is lit. This is because carbon monoxide is a byproduct of kerosene lanterns. You don’t want to inhale the fumes. If you have the lanterns outside or in a well-ventilated space, though, there is no risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.
You don’t want to have to constantly refuel your kerosene lantern, so its storage capacity is important. Most lanterns can stay lit for 20 hours on about 25 to 30 oz. of fuel. Kerosene also keeps well in a metal container, so having a lantern with a metal lining for the fuel helps it last longer.
You don’t want to touch the glass of a lantern because it can burn you. Handles need to be heat resistant to not melt or burn you if you touch them. Bigger handles on the side make it easier to grab hold of the lantern and transport it. If you plan on hanging your lantern, then look for one with a hook attachment at the top.
A cylinder made of glass is the most heat-resistant option. These cylinders come in various shapes and sizes, and many can be quite beautiful. It depends on your personal preference which type you choose. It’s also important to know that a wider cylinder shape can help the wick burn longer.
Lanterns come with an ignition key, but they also have a way to adjust the heat and fuel usage. Some lanterns have knobs for adjusting the heat, and others slide continuously. The one you ultimately choose depends on the mechanism that’s easiest for you to use.
Our best overall choice is the Dietz #90 D-Lite Oil Burning Kerosene Lantern because it has a large oil capacity and a long burn time. The lantern can burn for approximately 27 hours. It also has an easy-carry handle and hook to suspend the lantern.
Our best value choice is the Stansport 127 Kerosene Hurricane Lantern because it’s made of durable metal and glass. The lantern has a stylish red design that looks like a ship’s lantern. It also includes a control knob for the wick so you can adjust the brightness.
We hope that our list of reviews and buyer’s guide have helped you find the best kerosene lantern & oil lamp for your needs.