Coast EAL17 Emergency Area Lantern

By Dr. Jim and Mary Clary

Coast EAL17 Lantern
Illustration courtesy of COAST Products, Inc.

The need for a good lantern in any base camp while hunting is a no-brainer. It is also not a bad idea to have one around the house in case of a power outage.

Before the advent of LEDs, we had a choice of Coleman white gas lanterns, propane lanterns, oil/kerosene lamps and battery lanterns with incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. Coleman and propane lanterns were the brightest and most popular, but the mantles tended to break if you bumped the lantern too hard, or it fell over, and the fuel was very flammable. Their combustion byproducts were deadly; they could only be used safely where there was good ventilation. These were their major short-comings.

After LEDs were developed, it was not long before they were incorporated into area lanterns, rendering most other lantern types obsolete. LED lanterns are bright, safe and offer long battery life.

The Coast EAL17 LED lantern can safely be used anywhere, including in your house. This is a major advantage over propane and white gas lanterns.

Oh, we still keep a propane lantern on hand with new mantles as an emergency backup. Call Jim old-fashioned in that respect, as it would be a lot easier to simply carry some extra batteries and buy an additional EAL17. (I am working on him!)


  • Bulb: CREE LED
  • Lumens: High - 460
  • Runtime: High - 30 hours, Low - 50 hours
  • Weight: 45.4 oz. (1,287 g)
  • Height: 9.9 inches (25.2 cm)
  • Base Diameter: 4.2 inches (10.7 cm)
  • Frame: Stainless steel
  • 4-Mode Switch: High, Energy Saving, Solid Red, Flashing Red
  • Batteries: 4 x D cells (not included)
  • Warranty: 5 Years (materials and workmanship)
  • 2017 MSRP: $35

There are a few LED lanterns on the market that have a higher lumen output, but they utilize more batteries and have substantially shorter runtimes. The Coast EAL17 is, arguably, the best compromise available. It uses four D cell batteries, provides 30 to 50 hours of runtime and offers a 460 lumen max output. There is even a handy carrying handle.

The EAL17 is a sturdy, stainless steel lantern that weighs 2.8 pounds and is only about 10 inches tall. It is weather and impact resistant. Using the mode switch, you can cycle between high, low (energy saving), red and flashing red light modes.

The flashing red light mode makes the EAL17 a handy light to have in your vehicle in case of a breakdown, or accident. The continuous red light mode will appeal to amateur astronomers for preserving as much night vision as possible while setting-up instruments, etc.

With a 2017 MSRP of $35, the Coast EAL17 has to be one of the best lantern deals around. It becomes even more appealing when you see it advertised on Amazon for under $25.

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Copyright 2017 by Jim and Mary Clary and/or All rights reserved.