Coleman Tent Light – Worth the weight

I took the Magnetic Tent Light by Coleman along with me on the Rupin Pass trek in May 2015. I felt the tent light made a huge positive difference as compared to head lamps and torches I used on my previous treks. 

The brand:

Coleman Company is an American brand that specialises in outdoor products, especially camping gear. Having been established in 1900, it is one of the pioneering companies when it comes to sporting good. Their products are available at different stores across India.

The product: 

Coleman Tent Light
Magnetic Tent Light

The Magnetic Tent Light is a simple and effective tent light. It has a krypton bulb that runs on AA alkaline batteries. It can be attached to the tent by a simple magnetic technique. It’s built in such a way that it doesn’t harm the tent fabric. 

I have always wanted more light in my tent. I know how difficult it is to locate hidden medicine pouches, scarves, tissues and other tiny things with just my headlamp. Sometimes, I hang a headlamp from the ceiling of the tent, just to flood the tent with more light. So, when I was given the Coleman tent light to review, I was rather happy. Perhaps my search for a good lamp had come to an end. I took it along with me on the Rupin Pass trek.

Heavy yet light worthy!

First up, the tent light felt heavy. It weighed more than 500 grams and every gram matters to a trekker. I was wondering if I had made the right choice by carrying the tent light. 

Anyway, at Dhaula, our base camp, I decided to try out the tent light. 

Easy to set up

Fixing the tent light was a cakewalk. The mounting plate is nothing but a strong magnet. All I had to do was hold the lamp inside the tent and slide the mounting plate in between the fly sheet. It clamped onto the lamp instantly. I was afraid the lamp would not hold onto the roof of the tent. But it clung on until I took it off. The light caused no damage to the fabric either. 

So, there I was, with the Coleman Tent Light stuck on the roof of my tent.  

Soft & Bright

I was immediately impressed with its performance. The light from the lamp was bright and engulfing. It flooded every corner of the tent. There weren’t any harsh blinding beams; the matte cover on the lamp took care of that. I loved the soft light immediately.

The real test came when I wanted to write my notes. I was wondering if reading and writing would be easy. Reading is a treasured simple pleasure for a trekker and I did not want to miss out on that. With the Coleman tent light, I could read clearly, even small prints. Writing my notes was easy too. 

Battery lasts long

The next day, I decided to give the lamp a long haul. I switched it on when dusk fell, and let it play until I quit for the day, four hours hence. The lamp didn’t flicker or dim even for a moment. The following day, I used the lamp again, for two hours. The battery held. It was only on the third day, when I had run the lamp for perhaps 7 hours totally that the battery drained out. The lamp works on AA alkaline batteries. With rechargeable batteries around, a trekker is really not handicapped for light. 

Pros: 

  • Emits smooth light that doesn’t flicker 
  • Floods every corner of the tent with light
  • Doesn’t cause damage to the tent fabric 
  • Good battery life

Cons: 

  • Slightly heavy for a trekker’s backpack

 

Final verdict:

3-5-stars
3.5 stars

The Coleman Tent Light gives out superb light. It is truly the best in class. I would use it any day as base camp lamp or kitchen lamp. For a multi-day trek, however, where I need to pack light, I would still use my headlamp. But if I’m with fellow trekkers and weight can be shared, then I would even take it along with me on a multi-day trek. The light is  fabulous. It makes a trekker’s life a whole                                                             lot easier.    

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Sandhya UC

Sandhya UC

Sandhya is a partner at Indiahikes. Over the past ten years, she has explored and put on the map few of the greatest Himalayan treks in India, including Kashmir Great Lakes and Kedarkantha. She believes in sustainable living just as she believes in sustainable trekking.