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Product Review: ThermaCELL Patio Lantern

Mosquito Repellent

ThermaCELL has created a unique line of self contained mosquito and bug repellant devices that uses a butane heated pad to release a common repellant that works exceptionally well at stopping mosquitoes from bothering you.

Ease of Use/Performance: 23/25
Convenience/Storage 24/25
Appearance/Design 22/25
How much I enjoy 21/25

Total: 90/100

I live in Minnesota and the underlying joke about the state bird is that it’s the mosquito and not the Loon, mosquitoes around here can carry a grown person off if enough of them get together. Okay, maybe not that bad but at times they can be very annoying and frustrating to deal with so a way to eliminate the pesky things without throwing on a bunch of repellant that works is great.

I was quite happy to try out the ThermaCELL Mosquito Insect Repellent Patio Lantern and really test it against our version of pests in Minnesota. The Patio Lantern is a simple design for a repellent device with a base that has some LED’s for lighting and the main portion of the lamp with the heating element and pad for repelling mosquitoes.

To start up the repellent lantern you pull the base off the lantern which has the base and the patterned bars that cover the white plastic body. The top of the lantern that houses the repellent device and the white plastic body hides the butane cartridge.

You simply pull off the base and insert and twist the butane cartridge in place and push the base back on then insert some AA batteries in the base for the lights. The lights turn on and off using a rocker switch for high and low lighting for the lantern portion of the lamp.

The lamp is bright enough to read by if you hold your book close to the lantern on high but is more for mood lighting than anything else. For that really romantic mood lighting just turn the lamp on low and you can snuggle with your friend or loved one without the threat of being carried off by the local pest population.

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That brings me to the repellent portion of the Patio Lantern which really does work well, simply install the butane cartridge into the lantern and insert a repellent mat into the top of the heating element. With the flip of a switch and the push of a button you can fire up the repellent and drive those mosquitoes away.

Turning on and off the butane is done with a slide switch and the push button igniter starts the element to heat up which heats up the repellent soaked pads. The heating element is a small metal plate over the heating element that is heated using the butane.

The pads or mats are soaked with a common mosquito repellent that is often used for mosquito coils and other types of insect repellent that uses heat to disperse the repellent. The repellent works well on the Minnesota species of mosquitoes and I had no problems with other flying insects like small flies.

I literally walked out into my backyard during a five day period at several times during the day and waited for the mosquitoes to flock. I then turned on the lantern and only had to wait a minute or two for the mosquitoes to start backing off and leaving me alone.

I had a couple of days that were a bit windy and found that if you just sit upwind of the lantern the wind would blow in the direction that I was sitting and reading a book and enjoying the bug free zone the lantern provides. The instructions and website for the ThermaCELL states that it provides a 15 foot zone around the lantern depending on wind and direction which is very correct.

You could have one of these on a small deck and provide some good protection from mosquitoes and black flies while barbequing or just enjoying the outdoors. This would be a perfect lantern to take camping or picnicking as it is fully self contained and has plenty of protection from flying insects.

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The lantern has a small loop of wire for a handle and the lantern is easy to use and even simple to make sure it is lit. The small hole by the controls is used for ensuring the lantern is lit simply by looking into the hole and looking for the blue and glowing flame.

The butane element will start with a blue glow that is the butane burning and then an orange glow will start as the element warms up and heats the metal plate. The metal plate is below a heat proof plastic like material that protects fingers from getting burned.

The heating plate is not easy to get at but you should use the lantern with adult supervision as it is a heating device that uses a fuel that burns for the heating. The device is simple and very foolproof as far as starting and running and you can even start the lantern in moderate winds without a problem.

The butane cartridges are self contained and have a seal on them so fuel does not spill out when storing and changing cartridges. The lantern is very simple to use and for trips like campouts you can carry several replacement mats and cartridges easily due to the small size.

The lantern is about 8 inches tall and 5 inches square with the lantern handle loop being 5 inches tall and adding four inches to the height. The butane cartridges are 3 1/2 inches tall and about an inch around while the repellent mats are 1 1/4 by 2 inches and about as thick as a dryer sheet folded in thirds.

The dryer mats are stiff and easy to install and remove when used up and is easy to tell when it’s time to replace them. When the repellant is about out of the little mats the mat will start to run white so it is very easy to tell when you need a new one.

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I ran through two mats and found they last about four hours as the package claims which works out well for a good barbeque or evening on the deck. In order to replace the mat you may have to use something to pull it out as it may get slightly malformed and stick in the slot but using a toothpick worked well.

I had no problem using a toothpick and a knife point to pull out the old mats and replacing them was easy and quick. You may also have to wait a few minutes to change out the pad as it will be hot from being in direct contact with the heating plate.

Knowing when to replace the butane cartridge is also easy as you can simply pull the base off and tilt the top to see how much butane is still in the cartridge. The cartridges are a slightly cloudy white plastic but you can easily see how much butane is in them.

The ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent Patio Lantern is a great way to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects in a device that you can hang from a deck rail, post or simply set on a table. The patio lantern works very well against mosquitoes and I had no problems with other small black flies that are also hanging around my backyard.

The ThermaCELL lantern is simple to use and very easy to operate for an adult or young adult as well as being safe for a butane heated device. I highly recommend the ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent Patio Lantern for a great way to repel insects on your patio, deck or at the campground.