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What's the purpose of such a lantern?
It is, for me at least, ideal as a lantern for backpacking in the winter, where days are short (read: nights are long) and cold, and the light & heat this little (and it is LITTLE!) thing kicks off is a wonderful luxury. It takes up little space in a backpack, and it is just a treat to have along.
Thanks. Why do you prefer it to an LED flashlight or lantern?
For me, I wouldn't bring an LED lantern when backpacking. I bring a headlamp (great for keeping your hands free when you need light), and a single-AAA LED light that is super small, and I can tie off to the roof of my tent to provide some soft light for getting ready for bed, etc. I have some Black Diamond LED lanterns that I bring car-camping, but I just can't justify the weight or bulk when backpacking (headlamp and small flashlight/torch cover my needs for light).
This Primus lantern really is a luxury item for me when it's going to be COLD and can't have a fire (Southern California mountains). It just creates a nice ambiance and gives off some comforting heat.
On a related note, I've seen some people discussing the Bulin alternative to the Primus. I bought one (as I was waiting for my Massdrop order for a Primus to be filled), and was mildly impressed with it. Ultimately I returned it and waited for the Primus, and I am glad I did. Night and day difference in build quality. And light output seems greater with the Primus, probably due to the more open mesh around the mantle.
I see, this is helpful, thanks.