Stylish and portable, if you don't mind the investment then the Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern patio heater is a good-looking outdoor heater that's available in small, medium, and large
Three sizes available
Light enough to move easily
Heats up straight away
No self-assembly required
Only one heat setting
High energy use
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You’ve spent ages choosing just the right outdoor furniture and planting up your flower beds, so adding a patio heater to your garden that’s anything less than stylish isn’t an option. This is where Kettler’s Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater comes in. Designed to resemble a traditional lantern, complete with a large carrying loop at the top and a glossy brushed copper finish, it’s a world away from outdoor heaters that are utilitarian rather than design-led.
This makes it ideal for popping on a patio, so you can enjoy spending time outside even when the sun goes down, as well as balconies and outside areas that have limited shelter from occasional gusts. Plus, it's available in three size options; the 73cm high small lantern, the medium 84cm tall lantern, and the largest 98cm lantern,
But beyond its stylish looks, how would it perform? I've now tested out a range of bestselling patio heaters in my slightly exposed hillside garden, so I was eager to see how the Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater would perform against the competition.
I tested the largest 98cm tall Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater over several weeks, assessing its ease of assembly, ease of use after set up, portability, design features, and, of course, its performance, to see whether it could keep away the chill on a cool and breezy evening. Read on to find out how it performed compared to the best patio heaters on the market.
Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater review
- Heat type: Electric
- Dimensions: H103 x Dia22.5cm
- Weight: 4.5kg
- Power settings: 2000W
- Oscillation: No
- Self-assembly required: No
- Portable: No
- Other features: built-in-tip-over protection
How I tested
I'm Rachel, a freelance journalist who specialises in interior design and product reviews. I've tested out hundreds of appliances as well as plenty of outdoor living essentials, from the best BBQs to the best lawnmowers. When not happily unboxing and rigorously testing products, you’ll find me antique hunting, going for a gentle run, or unwinding with a glass of fizz.
I tested out the Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater in a sheltered spot within my windswept hillside garden, comparing it to other leading brand names to see how well it performed against the best-in-class outdoor heaters.
While the Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater arrived in a single outer recyclable cardboard box, unfortunately, that was where sustainability considerations ended.
Inside the box, it was packaged with two slices of polystyrene on either side, with a large chunk at the loop end, and a slim piece protecting the base.
The heater itself was wrapped in a plastic bag, with two more plastic bags containing the instructions (which didn’t need one), and screws and brackets (which did). All in all, plenty of plastic and foam that could easily be replaced with something more eco-friendly.
However, once it was freed from its slightly disappointing packaging, the Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater was instantly striking to look at. Its glossy copper finish glows in the sunshine, making it a stylish addition to your patio even when it’s not turned on.
While I am handy with a screwdriver, I was delighted not to need one for this heater. It’s truly ‘plug and play’ once it’s unpacked, unless you follow the manufacturer’s recommendation to secure the heater to the ground using the trio of brackets, screws and mini wrench provided. However, I felt this would be quite limiting – preventing the heater from being moved where it’s needed the most – as well as impractical should you have paving slabs or composite decking underfoot.
As an electrical heater with a halogen tube in the centre, this could just be plugged in to power it. The cable is the maximum 1.8m long, complying with current UK/EU safety standards.
There’s a lot to like about the Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater, from its noticeably robust build quality to the ability to be able to carry it around single-handed.
Beyond the grill, in the centre of the heater, there’s a slim halogen tube with a rose gold finish, giving the heater a beautifully minimal look.
Whilst it's hard to convey in pictures, the exterior mesh grill of the Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater is also soft to the touch with what feels like velvety flocking coating it inside and out. This suggests that should you brush up against it while in use – which wouldn’t be recommended – it may be less hazardous than exposed metal mesh. Another safety feature is its built-in tip-over protection, so it will switch off if knocked over.
My only real design niggle is the slightly confusing duplication of the on/off switch. The main on/off power switch is located discreetly on the base, while the touch switch on the copper lantern top is what you actually need to use to turn it on and off.
I found this a little frustrating as I’m not sure why you might leave the heater powered up but not actually on, or why you need to do two things to turn it on.
At just 4.5kg the Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater is lightweight and easy to move, plus the large static loop on top means you don’t have to bear-hug it to move it from one place to another.
One person can easily move it by themselves, and there are felt pads on the underside to protect any surfaces you rest it on from damage which is a nice touch.
The Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater is very easy to operate, as it only has one function of on/off to choose from.
However, as mentioned earlier, flicking on a switch at the base of the heater (it gives a double beep when you do so) and then actually turning the heater on via the touch button on the top of the lantern feels a rather redundant effort. I felt it could easily puzzle those unfamiliar with the patio heater as to why it isn’t turning on when they’ve already pressed one power button.
However, on the plus side, once it is on, whilst some patio heaters can take a while to get going, the Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater provides almost instant warmth from that first button press.
The maximum heat output is 2000W – toasty by most people’s standards – but it’s a shame that there’s only this one heat option to choose from. It feels very ‘all or nothing’, especially as patio heaters with far smaller price tags, like the Swan Column Patio Heater and Blumfeldt Heat Guru 360 Infrared Patio Heater offer choices of 1000W/2000W and 600W/1200W respectively.
It’s worth noting that this lack of a lower heat setting means the Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater's 2000W heat output could make it costly if used frequently or for long periods of time. At a rate of 34p per kWh, it would cost 68p an hour to run, meaning, for example, that an evening of three hours of use would cost £2.04.
On the plus side, the glow of the Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern's inner tube is very pleasing. Unlike the harsh glare of some heaters, it provides a soft light that's perfect for setting a relaxed ambiance as the sun goes down.
When standing, the heat is directed very much at the lower half of the body – it doesn’t diffuse upwards that much to the torso. Which makes it less suitable for casual drinks when guests can be milling around. The heater is far more effective when sitting down, bathing the sitter in warmth up to around a metre away. Sitting further away from that, I found that the heat tended to disperse elsewhere although I could still feel some residual warmth. When it was breezier, I tended not to feel the heat much when sitting more than a metre away, but could enjoy it when a little closer.
I used a thermometer to check how hot the exterior mesh was once the heater had been on for five minutes and then turned off. The thicker parts read at about 80°C and the thinner parts, 72°C. After a few minutes, these had completely cooled.
There’s no real maintenance required with the Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater, other than a wipe down with a damp cloth when disconnected, to keep it free from dust and dirt build-up.
The heater has an IP rating of IP55: this gives it good protection from water spray, meaning that it’ll survive the odd rain shower. However, the manufacturers recommend that if it won’t be used for a long period of time, to store it in a cool, dry location in its original packaging. It’s not ideal to have such a large box taking up room, so a cover might be advisable instead. The heater can’t be dismantled, so it could be a space hog in your shed.
If what your outdoor heater looks like is the most important factor to you, then the Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater is the perfect fit; sleek, stylish, and adding statement style to the patio. Plus, unlike some heaters that give off a dazzling light, it provides a warm glow that’s just right for setting the mood for an evening spent alfresco.
However, it does come up short in some regards. Whichever of the three size options you opt for, they're an investment. And for that price, you only get one heat setting – a rather uneconomical 2000W – with no option to tone the heat down to save energy and expense. It's a particular shame considering its price tag, and the fact that the two more affordable patio heaters I've tested – the Swan Column Patio Heater and Blumfeldt Heat Guru 360 Infrared Patio Heater – each offer two heat settings for less cash. There's also no oscillation mode with the Kettler Kalos, which the Blumfeldt Heat Guru offers for a far cheaper price.
That said, I liked that the Kettler Kalos Copper Lantern Patio Heater was easy to move around, supplied instant warmth, and had a pleasant glow. This makes it a great fit for anyone keen to spend more time enjoying their garden or balcony outside of the warmer months, and entertainers who like to cook outdoors.
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Rachel Ogden is a freelance journalist with more than 20 years’ experience of writing, editing and sub-editing. Since 2007, she's worked exclusively in interiors, writing about everything from extending your home to kitchen worktops, flooring, storage and more. She specialises in product reviews, having reviews hundreds of small and large appliances and homeware.
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