Coleman 360 Light and Sound Lantern review: let there be light…and some banging tunes

The brilliantly bright 360 Light and Sound Lantern from Coleman illuminates and livens up any camping set up or outdoor shindig

Coleman 360 Light and Sound Lantern
(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)
T3 Verdict

Simple to set up and dead easy to use, the ace Coleman 360 Light and Sound Lantern projects a party atmosphere onto any outdoor setting. You can use it just as a light at night, or crank up the Bluetooth speaker for an al fresco disco.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Decent all-direction light output

  • +

    Three brightness settings

  • +

    Good quality sound

  • +

    Very easy to use

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No red setting to enable night vision

  • -

    No capacity for battery back-up

Two things bring campers together at the end of the day, after the sun sets and the twilight solidifies into the thick inky darkness of nighttime proper: sources of light and happy sounds. The Coleman 360 Light and Sound (which has an RRP of £69.99 in the UK and $64.99 in the US) delivers both with aplomb, while taking up next to no room in the boot of the car or the corner of the tent, making it one of the best camping lanterns out there. But let’s take a closer look at how it performs in the field.

Coleman 360 Light and Sound Lantern

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

Weighing a pretty reasonable 620g, the Coleman 360 Light and Sound lantern features a carry handle, which can be used to hang the device from a tree or a hook on the ceiling of your tent, enabling you to enjoy ambient light with musical accompaniment.

Camping is fantastic, but once darkness descends around your site and dinner is done and dusted, you need a little entertainment to properly enjoy the evening, especially if the weather isn’t with you and you’re confined to the living area of your tent. The rechargeable Coleman 360 Light and Sound Lantern provides plenty of illumination to play games or read, and can also be simultaneously used as a wireless sound system. It’s basically everything you need in one compact tubular package – just remember to keep it charged. 

The Coleman 360 Light and Sound lantern is powered by a rechargeable battery – you simply plug it in using the USB port and a light indicates when it’s charged. 

With a waterproof rating of IPX4, this robust lantern-come-sound system can survive a few splashes and a little light rain, so you don’t have to be super precious about it, but don’t go dropping it into rivers, lakes or the sea – it won’t like that.

 

Coleman 360 Light and Sound Lantern lit

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

The light

With three brightness settings, the lantern throws out an impressive level of light in all directions that will see you right whether you’re walking across a pitch-black site and trying to find the toilet, or sitting around a camping table playing cards or just chatting.

Fully charged, the 400-lumen light will last 7 hours on the high setting, 16 on the middle one and 40 on the lowest, projecting its glow from between 2 and 8 metres.

Having used it several times on star-spangled evenings, my main criticism with the light element of the 360 is that there is no red setting, which would be really useful if you wanted enough illumination to locate something without completely blowing your night vision. 

One other criticism is that the lowest setting is still a bit too bright to be used as a nightlight if you have young children who want a bit of reassurance during the hours of deep darkness in the tent. However, the main reason for this is probably because the lantern is primarily designed for those who want to crank out a few tunes of an evening, rather than sit quietly outside the tent while children sleep.

Coleman 360 Light and Sound Lantern with guitar

(Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

The sound

I found it really easy to pair the Coleman 360 Light and Sound Lantern with my iPhone using Bluetooth, and once this is done you can play tunes, podcasts or whatever audio you want through the speaker. You can adjust the volume via your phone, or on the plus and minus buttons atop the speaker itself. 

While not quite at the Bang and Olufsen level, the sound quality of the speaker is reasonable, with only a touch of muddiness coming through when the volume gets cranked up. Like the light waves, the sound waves are projected across 360 degrees, so this is something to be conscious of. 

On a full battery, you can get up to 20 hours of tunes from the speaker, but this will obviously be reduced if you’re using the light at the same time, especially if it’s on a high brightness setting.

Final thoughts

Like moths, campers gravitate towards light when night falls, and this lantern helps keep you entertained as well as providing illumination, with a good-quality speaker. Both sound and light are projected in all directions and the lantern/sound system is robust and very easy to use. It’s an excellent addition to your camping kit – just don’t get carried away and keep the rest the site awake with your al fresco disco.

Pat Kinsella
Editor T3 Outdoors

Pat Kinsella has been chasing adventures and writing about the outdoors for two decades. In pursuit of stories he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked across the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived speed records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s nine Great Walks. A former editor of several Australian magazines he’s a longtime contributor to publications including Sidetracked, Outdoor, National Geographic Traveller, Trail Running, The Great Outdoors, Outdoor Fitness and Adventure Travel, and a regular writer for Lonely Planet (for whom he compiled, edited and co-wrote the Atlas of Adventure, a guide to outdoor pursuits around the globe). He’s authored guides to exploring the coastline and countryside of Devon and Dorset, and recently wrote a book about pub walks. Follow Pat's adventures on Strava (opens in new tab).