Travel Guides

The Outside is Calling

Coleman men sitting by water in coleman chairs

Who would have thought that when W.C. Coleman created a gas-powered lantern in 1900 that The Coleman Company of today would be an iconic company for those who are called to the outdoors? With a variety of lanterns and other lighting options, coolers, camp kitchen offerings, camp furniture, tents, canopies, and many other camp essentials, Coleman® remains a go-to source for all kinds of campers.

“Much like our consumers, Coleman is on a journey of discovery,” says Jim Pisani, CEO of Newell Brands Outdoor Division. “We believe that when people connect in the outdoors, anything is possible. We also believe that the outside is a place for everyone. The outside is calling us.”

Coleman’s great website makes it easy to shed a little light on the company’s history. For instance, in 1905, lanterns that W.C. Coleman had created were used to light the first evening football game west of the Mississippi. In 1942, Coleman camping stoves (now tailgating and campground fixtures) were created for World War II soldiers.

Coleman cooler fans will love learning that, way back in 1954, the company’s plastic liners revolutionized what were then called “ice chests.”  This development was followed in 1960 with the introduction of Coleman tents and sleeping bags. 

Coleman logo

In 1986, the 40 millionth lantern was produced, while, in 2002, Coleman developed the Olympic torch for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 2003, the portable RoadTrip Grill was launched, leading to another level of outdoor cooking at campgrounds, tailgates, and beyond. Coleman’s 120th anniversary in 2020 celebrated “120 Years of Outdoor Memories.”

Of Coleman’s campaign and mission, Bill Kirchner, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Coleman, says, “As a brand that is an anchor in the outdoor industry, we are dedicated to honoring our past as we imagine a better tomorrow, understanding that every decision we make is an opportunity to leave the outside better than we found it.”

Family camping with Coleman products

For those called, today’s Coleman can help more than ever, with much more than lanterns. Of the company’s hundreds of offerings, interesting possibilities for Coleman veterans and first-timers include: the RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill (one of many portable grill choices); the Reunion™ 54-Quart Steel Belted® Stainless Steel Cooler (among many varied coolers); the 7 x 7 Go Shade Backpack Sun Shade (again, just one of many campground shade options to expand an RV’s awning shade); and the Cooler Quad Chair (Coleman features many great camp furniture options). There’s now even a line of heated camp chairs, blankets, stadium seats, and sleeping bags from their Coleman OneSource™ line.

Part of a system that powers outdoor gear, Coleman’s One Source Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery can be used interchangeably in a range of compatible devices, including lanterns, flashlights, wireless speakers, air pumps, tents, and shelters (sold separately, of course). It’s easy to recharge the battery from wall outlets, vehicles, other OneSource batteries, or universal power packs with the included USB cord. There’s also the bonus that the OneSource battery helps eliminate the need for multiple power sources by letting users charge external devices, like smartphones or tablets, through a USB port, even while powering gear. One system, one source, power anywhere!

Of course, there are still classic (and modern) Coleman lanterns, a Coleman line we still love after purchasing our first lantern more than 30 years ago. There are now more than 15 gas-powered lanterns and more than 20 battery-powered choices. There are also flashlights, spotlights, headlights, and lighting accessories in today’s line-up.

In addition, there are many Coleman licensed products, including: Coleman® travel trailers; Coleman® outboard motors, boats, ATVs and UTVs; Coleman® apparel; Coleman® luggage; Coleman® insect repellents; Coleman® Saluspas (inflatable hot tubs that are great for chilly campsites); Coleman® solar products; Coleman® cameras, binoculars, and scopes; and more.

Family with Coleman tent, chairs and coolers

As part of their campaign, “The Outside is Calling. Answer It,” Coleman is inspiring connections between people and the outside, and their gear is everywhere from the campground to the backyard and beyond, in that the company believes time spent outside reconnects people with each other and with the planet, paving the way for a better tomorrow for everyone.

The Coleman Company is owned by Newell Brands, a leading global consumer goods company with a strong portfolio of well-known brands, including Coleman®, Marmot®, Mr. Coffee®, FoodSaver®, Sunbeam®, Oster®, Calphalon®, Yankee Candle®,  Rubbermaid®, Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Dymo®, EXPO®, Parker®, Elmer’s®, Rubbermaid Commercial Products®, Graco®, Baby Jogger®, NUK®, Contigo®, First Alert®, Mapa®, and Spontex®. Newell Brands focuses on building beloved #1 and #2 brands that brighten lives inside and outside every day.


Visit for information about their varied outdoors-oriented offerings. Online explorers should also be sure to click on “About Us” on the home page for more information about the Coleman Collective, a group of seven varied explorers creating a better tomorrow and better outside for everyone, one community at a time. The “About Us” link also features some great campground recipes, “Campsite” (a convenient one-stop shop for all things camping), and “The Outside is Calling Guide,” with helpful articles about destinations, bucket list activities, the cleaning and care of Coleman gear, building the perfect campfire, gear storage, and more.

Long-time TrailBlazer contributors Lynn and Cele Seldon started camping together almost 30 years ago with a Coleman lantern that they still own and use.

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