Coleman versus Versalight

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 02:26
ThreadID: 9461 Views:4770 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
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Have been reading favourable comments on both the Coleman rechargeable twin tube lantern and the Versalite in this forum. Have looked at the Coleman today in Bunbury ( WA ) and was impressed , didn't ask what type of rechargeable battery they use ? As to the Versalite , do they come in a lantern syle or what ?!
What are the opinions of our fellow travellers in comparing the two lights please ?
Happy trravels ,
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Reply By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 08:07

Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 08:07
I returned the colemans and got versalight. I found that the colemans were great for the first night or so, but then never really performed well after that, they seemed to charge really well off 240v but never took a full charge off 12v.

They were very convenient however.

Versalights are great, huge light output, minimal battery drain
AnswerID: 41619

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 12:41

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 12:41
Yep, I'd have to agree with you Dave. We have 2 Coleman's and they only last 6 to 7 hours with both tubes going. You then need to to charge them for about 15 hours from the car before you get 3 to 4 hours light. A 4 to 6 hour drive each day gives you enough power for about 2 to 3 hours light. The lower the charge, the greater the chance to damage to globes.

I now use mostly LED lights and only use the Colemans in a "support" role. Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
FollowupID: 304381

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 12:51

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2004 at 12:51
Oh, I forgot to mention that the Coleman uses a 4.5 (4.6?) amp, 6 volt SLA battery. If you have a decent 2nd battery, with a good level of charge, you can recharge the Coleman straight from that (driving not necessary).

You cannot overcharge the Coleman but they do need to be kept as fully charged as possible. As an SLA they do not like to be run down too low and when they are, they cannot properly ignite the fluo gasses so these burn at a lower rate and blacken the inside of the tube, significantly reducing the light output.

Otherwise, they are an effective alternative to the Versalight style.Smile, you're on ExplorOz
Rohan (Sydney - on the QLD side of the Harbour Bridge)
FollowupID: 304385

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 09:24

Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 09:24

We've got both, but of two, Versalite is better. Coleman can be used in areas away from vehicle, and the V'lite, to light up whole campsite. Think Coleman uses SLA battery, should be available from likes of DSE, or Jaycar. They need to be kept charged, ie through the day when travelling etc.


AnswerID: 41627

Reply By: Phil G - Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 10:56

Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 10:56
I've noticed that its hard to make the light useable from a lantern. With the Versalite-type fluoros, you can mount them horizontally from a height and light up a big area.
AnswerID: 41632

Follow Up By: Camper - Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 13:19

Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 13:19
I agree with you Phil I don't know the versalite but we have often wished our Coleman woul distribute the light better. Aredesign to make it horisontal would be great
FollowupID: 304115

Reply By: Wayne - Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 13:31

Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 13:31
Hi Brian, We use both, We bought the Coleman and then next trip away saw a Versalite. I couldn't believe how bright they are. We bought one when we got home. :-) We decided to go with the original Versalite only because thats the one we had seen, there are quite a few different brands around now but I don't know if they perform better or worse. We made up an extension lead with some parts from DSE. I don't know if this has any effect on the current draw etc. but maybe someone clued in on Electrics could comment?
We find we use the Coleman in the tent, walking around, fishing etc. We usually have it on charge during the day as we drive around. This seems to keep it topped up, but i suppose if youre not driving it could be a problem. It's really become the standby now. It is good if you want to drive off for a bit as its independant of the 4by. As for the battery I believe it's a sealed lead acid one. Instructions I have are not to let it go dead flat. We turn it off as soon as we notice it has dimmed a bit.
The Versalite is our camp light, works great and lights up the whole area. As said above if you mount it horizontal its a great reading light etc. We have it set up so we can use it light up the cooking area and table etc. We quite often run the Versalite into the tent when we hit the hay and use it to read the paper/books etc.
We've done a 4000k and a 2500k trip and both have worked without a glitch. Only ever had to turn off the Coleman once as it went flat. Used together they cover our needs, but if it was one or the other I'd probably use the Versalite
Probably haven't helped you much but if you'd like to ask anything else bout them give me a yell.
AnswerID: 41641

Reply By: stillthinkinaboutit - Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 14:57

Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 14:57
Hi Brian,

I have two of the Coleman Rechargeable lanterns ( Black Rectangular Shaped ones ) and would regard them as an excellent investment. One of them is 2 years old and the other is 18 months old. They are totally portable which suits me better than just having a Versalite alone. Just remember to charge them the next morning or before retiring to bed for the night. I have sockets in our camper and also in the Patrol and can use these, have had no problems recharging them from 12V or 240V. They use a sealed lead acid battery ( SLA ) which is readily available if you need to replace them, but you should get a few years from them without any worry.
I also have a Versalite that is used as an area light around the general campsite, these are also very good, although my first one only lasted 5 nights before the electronic inverter decided to die, the replacement seems to be alright, though time will tell.

Regards, Mark
AnswerID: 41645

Reply By: Clarry - Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 15:37

Saturday, Jan 03, 2004 at 15:37
Ditto...ditto...ditto....we use Versalite in camp.... excellent and 'versatile'.... Know someone who has a Coleman type but not impressed. Re lights for moving about, we have a selection of torches, and have found the LED headlamps (around $40) to be a winner too."This is a situation, up with which, we should no longer put ! (W. Churchill, on plans to reduce 4WD access in some parks).
AnswerID: 41650

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