Monday, November 7, 2022

This Japanese Camp Lantern Impresses - SOTO ST-260 Butane Lantern Review

This is a Japanese made lantern that runs on Butane fuel; made by SOTO which is one of my favorite outdoor brands.  A few years ago I stumbled upon this product, had it imported from eBay and have been using it ever since.  Luckily purchasing these in the US is a whole lot easier.  
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:: SOTO ST-260 Butane Lantern Review ::

Materials : stainless steel construction, legs, break resistant mesh 
Measurements : 5” tall 3.5” wide plus the fuel canister 4.25” wide at the legs 

Weight : 9.5oz with storage bag

Cost : $75 off of Amazon

Includes : Lantern, Storage bag, 3 mantels 

Output : This information I haven’t been able to get a solid answer on; I’ve seen claims that this is comparable to a 80W light bulb on the highest setting. At the highest setting, I’ve ran this for over 3 hours.  At a toned down level it will go a lot longer. I’ve gotten over 6 hours with varying intensities. 

Mantels : These lanterns use the ST-2601 Mantel; these come in 3 packs and I was able to locate those on Amazon and ordered some.  You likely can use mantels from other companies such as coleman as well if you had to.

Shipping : When purchased from Amazon, it’s going to take some time for the product to arrive as it has to come from Japan.  It is not as far as I know available in the USA so it has to be imported.

I purchased mine off of eBay a few years ago and now, they are available on Amazon which makes these even simpler.  Talking about purchasing from Amazon, the listing calls this the Shinfuji regulator lantern; Shinfuji is the parent company of SOTO. 

This lantern features a regulator which allows for constant performance even when the fuel is cold - without the regulator the lantern would burn less bright in cold conditions. 

The regulator also provides some safety; if the unit falls over while ignited, it won’t flare up which is important.

Review Pros :
Very well made product - has a great feel and weight to it.
Fuel efficient - I’ve ran this 
Always ignites 
easy to use
Fairly compact design
Puts off a good amount of warm light - brighter than the Coleman NorthStar which is also a great lantern 
The company does make larger lanterns if you need more light
Puts off plenty of light for a small seating area and table.
Puts off a lot of heat and in fact, I have seen some Japanese camping videos with people cooking on top of these with a grill stand
Very stable 
Produces a very warm and comforting light 
can be used in a variety of situations; home, cabin, vehicle, in tents and so on
Incredibly quiet 
Replacing the mantels is quick and easy 
The Soto mantles last a very long time; I’ve been using this one for 2.5 years  

Review Cons
The storage bag offers virtually no protection - a hard case would make more sense 
No way to hang this so light is limited to what it is sitting on

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