With LED lanterns available, why should you consider purchasing a white gas or propane model using gas mantles?
The best way to answer that is to ask, “Why am I buying a lantern?”
The first and foremost reason, of course, is the desire for light. LED lanterns have low light output compared to a white gas or propane mantle lantern. The LED light is a harsher light than the softer, more pleasant light given off by a gas mantle lantern. Gas lanterns featuring mantles emit much brighter light that is far more effective and can be fully controlled from low to high by a twist of a knob to adequately light any campsite.
Some LED lanterns offer only one light setting. Others do not provide true dimmers, but have only low and high settings, which are just switches that operate different numbers of the LED, and don’t provide the full range of adjustments of a gas mantle lantern.
Gas mantle lanterns have an added benefit in emergencies. Such lanterns can be used as a heat source in an emergency situation (although, never indoors). LED lanterns, of course, provide no warmth when in use. A spare tire isn’t useful until it’s needed, and gas mantle lanterns as an emergency heat source should be thought of in the same way.
Don’t forget, that while gas mantle lanterns require fuel, utilizing LED lanterns means carrying a number of rechargeable lanterns or extra batteries. Those are an extra burden (and of course, dead batteries can be hazardous to the environment).
For anyone truly after superior lighting and the best camping or outdoor experience, gas mantle lanterns reign supreme over trendy LED lanterns.