What I want to compare is a 50 year old Coleman 220H lamp with a new Coleman Kerosene lamp
To begin with, the 220H is old and lookls it. However, the generater and globe are new as is the pump leather and the mantles. The fuel is Coleman Camp Gas and is from a new can. Lighting is accomplished with a Coleman spark igniter that pokes up through the match hole on the base of the lantern. Ignition is pretty quick. Pump the lamp 30 times, open the valve 1/4 turn, wait for gas to hiss and spin the sparker. Poof, lamp lights, wait a minute to warm up and open the vale all of the way. If needed, rotate the cleaning needle one or two turns and you should have light for the next 6 to 8 hours. The lamp put out a brillian white light with a mild hiss of pressurized gas. There is very little odor and not too much heat produced given the brilliance of the light. Drawbacks: Coleman fuel is now $10 a gallon in my neck of the woods and it's not always easy to find., Second, gas is highly flamable and every once in awhile you get a huge pop and flair up at first lighting. Not often but enough to know you are working with gas. Positives: the lamp is very robust. All parts except the globe are metal built to last. That this lamp is pushing 50 and still works well dispite years of hard use speaks to the durability of Coleman lanterns. Mantles are cheap, and available almost everywhere. That good because they tend to develop holes...a real no no. A holed mantle can lead to a plasma burn through tin the tank. That's too scary to even dewll on. In sum, these lamps are real good.
My next lamp is a modern Coleman Kerosene lamp. I bought it from Amazon for $79 and change. It uses K1 kerosene as a fuel. This is a lot cheaper than Coleman fuel running about $7 per gallon if bought in supplies of 10 or more gallons. Unlike Coleman gas which has a shelf life of about 5 years (according to Coleman) K1 lasts almost forever if kept out of the air and light. The Kerosene version of the lamp looks almost exactly like its 220E counter part with two exceptions. First, it has no cleaning needle. That function is integregle with the on/off knob. The second is that the pump unit contains plastic parts. I don't knw if that's good or bad, but there is plastic where only metal used to be. Oh, and the bail holds the vent cap to the top of the lantern...no more nut on the top. that's going to make using the side reflectors (an option from Coleman) impossible. Anyway, to light you do as follows. First you tie and pre-burn the mantles. The Kerosene unit uses a #11 mantle, about 2x the size of the #21 the gas unit uses. It is a single mantle to be sure but that mantle is twice the size. After the mantle is pre-burned (something you do only if you change mantles) you fill the pre-heater cup with denatured alcohol. They give you a cute bottle with a long brass tube so that you can do this function by sticking it up through the match hole. I just remove the globe and fill it that way. No spilling, no flash. With the globe back on and the bail attached, I light the preheat cup and let it burn until almost gone. While this is going I pump the lamp 30-40 times. Just before the pre-heat burns out i open the valve and poof, we get light. Much brighter and much noiser than the gas lamp. Without pumping it will run another two hours. Pump it a bit midway and you'll get almost eight hours out of it. The light is much brighter but at a cost. It generates a ton more heat, maybe a good thing in winter! it also smells of kerosene...not too badly but enought that one notices it.
The big question....which is better? Well, that depends. If K1 is easy to get and if high output is criticle, then the kerosene version is tops, hands down. If fuel safety is an issue then the K1 model is best also. But, if quick lighting is needed and you don"t want to carry the alcohol bottle, then you want the gas lamp. Next report will be on one of the new dual fuel Colemans. They might prove to be the best of both worlds.