Coleman manufactures a water heater and two catalytic heater models suitable for outdoor use. The portable water heater powers its Hot Water On Demand accessories. This heater runs on propane and battery power, and has the same heating capacity as a small residential water heater. Coleman markets this heater as a camping accessory and as a useful appliance to have during a power outage. The catalytic heaters, which require ample ventilation, are listed in Coleman's emergency gear category.Continue Reading
Both catalytic heaters require propane cylinders and are designed with handle grips for easy transport. Coleman specifies that its propane heaters should not be used while sleeping, and that consumers should instead use the heater to warm up a tent or car and then turn it off before going to sleep. In a 2006 incident, a pair of hunters who operated a Coleman heater inside a travel trailer died of carbon monoxide poisoning, prompting product recall litigation. The company did recall its patio heaters in 2005 due to the dangers of propane leaking and possible explosions.
A review of the newer-model Coleman Black Cat heater suggests that its design limits the dangers of heating indoors. The Black Cat, which heats without an open flame, is not as prone to starting fires as an open-flame heater. It also produces less carbon monoxide than other heaters in an environment with average oxygen levels. The Sport Cat can operate for 14 hours on one standard propane cylinder.
Coleman recommends that users keep its catalytic heaters away from sleeping bags and tent materials, because the heat could cause fabric to melt. The company also recommends that users avoid touching the heaters and take special precautions with the devices around children, animals and sleeping people.Learn more about Heating & Cooling