Best windproof lighter of 2021 for camping and backpacking

best windproof lighter

When camping out, one of the most important thing that you have to do is make a fire. You need fire to cook your food, keep yourself warm or to simply keep any animals away.

Making a fire in the outdoors is quite difficult and different than starting a fire indoors. It is very easy to start a fire indoors in a controlled environment, but in the outdoors you have the wind and gust trying to blow out the fire. You can use your regular matches or use a lighter but that is just not good enough. What you need to have is a good windproof lighter which can get the job done.

In this review, we are going to look at some of the best windproof lighters for camping and backpacking available in the market. We will also look at some of the factors to consider before picking the best windproof lighter for your needs and share our top picks. We would also list out some additional ways to make fire in the backcountry.

Best windproof lighters for camping and EDC list

Some of the best windproof lighters for camping and EDC and how they stack against each other

Zippo Chrome Lighter- Type: Flame Lighter uses lighter fluid.
- A true traditional masterpiece. Made in the US, windproof camping lighter with all metal chrome finish.
- Features the distinctive Zippo "click". Available in multiple designs with weight of 1.5 -2.4 oz.
- Available in unique patterns such as high polish, satin finish and diagonal weave brushing.
- Comes packaged in a gift box.
- Backed by a lifetime warranty.

Zippo Matte Pocket Lighter- Type: Flame Lighter uses Lighter fluid.
- Popular, Made in the US windproof camping lighter with all metal construction and matte finish.
- Features the distinctive Zippo "click". Refillable and has replaceable flint and wick
- Available in three designs - Slim, Logo and No-logo. Available in 11 different color combinations.
- Comes packaged in a gift box with 6 genuine flints dispensers and 4 oz. Zippo lighter fluid.
- Backed by a lifetime warranty.
Zippo Flex Neck Utility Lighter- Type: Jet Lighter uses Butane.
- Made in the US, flexible neck utility lighter with durable metal construction.
- Features the unique wind-resistant dual flame technology.
- Comes with an adjustable flame dial to control the flame size and a flexible neck.
- Equipped with patented child-resistant safety button.
- Available in two colors and sizes - 4.8" neck or XL with 13" neck.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.

Tesla Coil Windproof Arc Lighter- Type: Electric Arc Lighter, USB rechargeable.
- Best-selling, USB rechargeable electric arc windproof lighter with durable construction.
- Lights up on click of a button with a 5mm arc. Can last up to one week or 100-300 uses with a full recharge.
- Equipped with safety features to prevent accidental triggering when lid is closed.
- Available in 6 color combinations.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
SaberLight Plasma Beam Lighter- Type: Electric Arc Lighter, USB rechargeable.
- The original fuel-free, USB rechargeable electric arc camping lighter. Completely windproof and splashproof.
- 1-hour recharge can last up to one week or 300 uses. Produces a 5 mm. arc between the rods.
- Safe operation with safety feature to prevent accidental triggering when lid is closed.
- Comes with a USB charging cable and a gift box.
- Backed by a lifetime manufacturer warranty.

Saberlight Sparq Plasma Beam Lighter- Type: Electric Arc Lighter, USB rechargeable.
- Smartly-designed, compact and portable USB-rechargeable electric arc lighter.
- Equipped with unique dual beam plasma technology that produces a powerful plasma beam torch. Windproof and Splashproof.
- 1-hour recharge can last up to one week or 300 uses. Produces a 5 mm. arc.
- Safe operation with safety feature to prevent accidental triggering when lid is closed.
- Features a LED-lit ignition button and charging indicator.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.

Cobber Quad Flame Windproof Lighter- Type: Quad-flame Lighter uses Butane fuel.
- Premium quad-flame torch lighter with a sleek, durable Zinc Alloy construction. Lightweight at 3.5 oz. only.
- Features a piezo electric ignition that can last for over 30K uses.
- Produce a red quad-flame with a large flame base, visible even in the brightest sunlight.
- Comes with a flame adjuster, fuel level indicator and a retractable cigar punch on the bottom.
- Backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
Xikar Stratosphere II Torch Lighter- Type: Torch Lighter uses Butane fuel.
- High-performance, durable single-flame torch lighter. High-altitude and water-resistant design.
- The new design features a more durable composite plastic body and better spring-assisted lid.
- Has an adjustable windproof flame with quick thumb action ignition. Also has a butane level window.
- Available in three colors and comes with a reinforced lanyard for easy carry.
- Backed by a hassle-free lifetime warranty.
UCO Stormproof Torch Survival Lighter- Type: Triple Jet Lighter uses Butane fuel.
- Multi-utility survival windproof lighter with a durable waterproof ABS and silicone construction.
- Features a triple jet, windproof, water-proof, adjustable flame. Piezo-electric ignition.
- Available in two designs with 3 feet tape or integrated bottle opener.
- Comes with a secure lighter cap with a metal carabiner for easy carry.
- Backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
Ultimate Survival Technologies Floating Lighter- Type: Jet Flame Lighter uses Butane fuel.
- Waterproof survival lighter with the lighter secured in a durable, impact-resistant ABS plastic case.
- Features an efficient piezo-electric ignition that works well upto 80 mph wind and 8000 ft. elevation.
- The casing is O-ring sealed with a locking clasp. Designed to float on water when immersed.
- Backed by a 2-year limited warranty.
Scorch Torch Skyline Triple Jet Flame Lighter- Type: Triple Jet Lighter uses Butane fuel.
- Budget, butane-refillable jet flame lighter with adjustable triple flame.
- Features a manual open safety cap for safe, secure operation.
- Comes equipped with a cigar punch cutter tool and butane level window.
- Backed by a 1-year hassle-free warranty.

How to pick the best windproof lighter for camping?

A windproof lighter, as the name suggests should not extinguish in wind and it should be able to hold the flame. But that is not all that you need to see when buying a windproof lighter. There are other factors which you need to consider before picking the best windproof lighter for your camping or backpacking trip. These factors are summarized below:

  • Type of windproof lighter
  • Build type
  • Size and Weight
  • Capacity of the fuel tank
  • Other features

Let us understand these factors in more detail.

Type of windproof lighter

Windproof lighters can operate in winds as strong as 80-90 miles per hour. Henceforth, windproof lighters are the preferred type of lighters to carry for almost all types of camping. Such camping lighters can be categorized into three major types – jet lighters, flame lighters, and electric arc lighters.

  • Jet Lighters: Windproof jet lighters are butane lighters whose flames have a wide circumference. As opposed to standard butane lighters, Jet lighters operate because of high pressure. The fuel within the lighter is released in a very high-pressure stream, which when combined with oxygen, provides a flame like in a torch. That is why jet lighters are also referred to as torch lighters.This flame is stable in all types of winds and holds still in any kind of weather. The flame in such lighters can reach temperatures of nearly 2000 degrees Fahrenheit and can light up cigars in seconds and cigarettes in less than a second.
    Jet lighters can further be classified as single, double, triple or quad flame lighters. While a single flame lighter is enough to light a cigarette, while cigars may need double, triple or quad flame to light them due to their size.
  • The major pros and cons of such windproof camping lighters are listed below:

    • A high-power, prolonged flame makes such lighters suitable for survival situations.
    • Water and weatherproof and can work in inclement weather conditions.
    • Portable and lightweight.
    • Multi-flame lighters can be used with cigars as well.
    • Costlier to own and operate than flame lighters.
    • Butane as a fuel may fail in extreme cold weathers.
    • Not TSA compliant even when empty.
  • Flame Lighters: Windproof flame lighters use fuel which can be light petroleum distillate or synthetic isoparaffinic hydrocarbon (commonly referred to as lighter fluid or Naphtha). The world-famous Zippo lighter is a perfect example of a windproof flame lighter.
    These camping lighters have a copper covered wick which is immersed in the lighter fuel. When the striker is hit, it rubs against a flint and produces hot sparks which ignite the wick. The heat of the flame moves down the wick’s copper covering into the fuel tank, which then rapidly heats the fuel. The evaporating fuel sends a continuous flow of energy up the wick to keep the flame lit. This non-stop fuel flow helps the flame stay alight even in wind.
  • The major pros and cons of such windproof backpacking lighters are listed below:

    • Most flame lighters, including Zippo, are self-standing. So, you can have a continuous uniform flame until turned off.
    • Versatile and easy to use. The fuel and the cotton wick inside the lighter can be used for emergency situations to create fire.
    • Single wide flame. Wick length can be adjusted to create a small or large flame.
    • There is a problem of evaporating fuel, even when not in use.
    • Due to the fuel type and small parts, they are not fully weather-resistant.
  • Electric Arc Lighters: Some manufacturers also manufacture electric arc lighters which do not require any fuel to burn; instead they burn with the help of electricity. Such lighters have a rechargeable battery and use a spark to create a plasma conduit between electrodes, which is then maintained by a lower voltage. Electric Arc windproof lighters are also known as plasma beam lighters.
    Electric/plasma arc lighters are battery powered, which can even be charged through a USB port. Once fully charged, such lighters can last for anywhere between 150 to 300 uses. Needless to say, they work in windy conditions as well.
  • The major pros and cons of plasma beam lighters are listed below:

    • Flame-less with no fuel required to operate. Pretty safe to carry.
    • Compact, lightweight and portable.
    • Weatherproof and work well even in high winds.
    • Easy to carry around and charge through USB. One full recharge can last 150-300 charges.
    • Small ignition surface, because of the electric-arc design.
    • Create high pitch, electric sound when lit, which can be irritating to humans and pets.

Irrespective of their type, since the windproof lighters can operate in winds as strong as 80-90 miles per hour, they are undoubtedly the preferred type of lighters to carry for all types of camping.

Based on the major advantages and disadvantages listed above, you can decide which is the best windproof lighter type for your needs.

NOTE: Until sometime back, electric arc lighters were TSA-approved and allowed in carry-on or checked-in luggage. However, nowadays like the flame and fuel lighters, Electric lighters are prohibited in carry-on and checked-in luggage. You can check the latest regulations here.

Build type

A good camping lighter should be sturdy enough to sustain the occasional drops. They should also be reasonably weatherproof and should be able to work well even when wet. So you should check out the durability and all-weather performance of the lighter before picking the best one for your needs.

Standard everyday lighters are not very sturdy and can explode when dropped on a hard surface from a considerable height. Most windproof lighters are sturdier and more durable as they have a metallic body. The popular Zippo lighters listed above have a metallic body, making them safe against a drop. Other brands of windproof lighters such as the UCO Stormproof Lighter have outer armor which makes them impact resistant. Such lighters are also waterproof and can withstand even the strongest winds. So, if you are looking for something specific for inclement weather, then you can consider these stormproof backpacking lighters as your preferred option.

Size and Weight

The size and weight of the windproof lighter is also an important consideration, especially if you are backpacking and carrying your own load. While most windproof lighters are lightweight and compact, they are still heavier than the standard everyday lighters (such as Bic lighters) because of their heavier metallic/plastic casing.

So if you are backpacking, keep this trade-off between weight and durability in mind before picking the best backpacking lighter for your outdoor trip.

Capacity of the fuel tank or recharge

If you have zeroes in on camping lighters which use some kind of fuel to light, you have look at the overall capacity of the tank that holds the fuel. Fuel-based lighters are reusable and can be refilled when they are out of fuel.

The size of the tank decides how long the lighter can be used before it needs to be refilled. Generally, most flame or butane lighters can last for about a week with moderate use but some fancy lighters have smaller tanks and can last less so you need to consider it. You also need to be mindful of the fuel evaporating when not in use. If you are a serious camper or a regular smoker, it is better to pick a lighter with a large enough fuel tank.

For rechargeable electric arc lighters, the rechargeable battery is its “fuel tank” and refers to the number of times you can get an piezo-electric arc on full recharge. Most electric arc lighters can last for more than 150 uses before they need to be recharged. Check the charging time and the maximum arcs per charge before deciding upon the best option.

Check the fuel tank capacity (recharge time and number of possible uses for plasma beam lighters) before picking the best windproof lighter for camping and survival.

Other features

While the only thing that you will expect from the best windproof lighter is to work as expected even in heavy winds, some lighters come with additional features which are good value for money. Some windproof lighters such as Ultimate Survival Technologies Floating Lighter offer a waterproof, floating design, other lighters such as the UCO Stormproof Lighter have an impact resistance design, making them an attractive buy. Similarly, for jet flame lighters, the presence of a cigar punch hole is an added advantage. It is worthwhile to check if your choice has any such features before finalizing your purchase.

The warranty and after-sales support provided by the manufacturers is also something that can make a particular windproof lighter a better choice. We have tried to list only the models which provide reliable multi-year warranties on their products, so you can pick any of them without worrying about the reliability or durability.

Finally, the color combinations and design of the windproof lighter can also be a factor, especially if you are using it work backcountry adventures. A vibrant color that is easily visible even in low light is definitely a better choice. Zippo lighters score big in this category as they are available in a bunch of colors and designs.

Keep these small features and factors in mind before picking the best windproof lighter for camping or every day use.

Which are the best Windproof Lighters and what our picks are?

Zippo Chrome Lighter – Best windproof lighterZippo High Polish Chrome Pocket Lighter - Best windproof lighter

Buy It on REI

The world-famous, a true made in the USA, Zippo’s Chrome lighter is a hugely popular choice. It boasts of an all-metal chrome finish with some unique patterns such as satin chrome, diagonal weave and direction weaving.

Like other Zippo Lighters, the Zippo Chrome lighter is a wind-resistant, durable and extremely reliable lighter that is a true buy-it-for-life product. It is a perfect item to keep in the car, tool box, the emergency kit, on the workbench, in the garage or anywhere a reliable lighter might come in handy.

The Zippo Chrome lighter has a dimensions of 1.5″ x 0.5″ x 2.2″ making it quite compact to carry around. It weighs a light 2.1 ounces. Each lighter is refillable and has a replaceable flint and wick. The lid is smartly designed to avoid accidental opening or closing. The flame produced is a yellow, cool flame and can be turned off by blowing or closing the lid.

Like other Zippo Lighters, the Chrome lighter is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. Each design is available in multiple colors – the Classic design is available in 11 color combinations. What’s more is that each lighter comes packaged in a gift box, making it an ideal gift for hikers, campers, and backpackers.

And if you are looking for a more heavy-duty windproof lighter, check out the range of Zippo American Flag Lighters, which are about 1.5 times thicker than the standard Zippo lighters and weighs a manageable 2.5 ounces.

For its tradition, superior quality and durability, the Zippo Chrome Lighter is our Editor’s choice for the best windproof lighter for camping and EDC. If you are looking for a reliable camping lighter for your outdoor excursions or every day carry, then you should definitely consider this model from Zippo.
  • Made in the US, BIFL windproof lighter with a durable all-metal chrome finish. Lightweight at 2.1 oz.
  • Can be refueled countless times, with replaceable flint and wick.
  • Produces an odorless, yellow flame which can be adjusted by changing the wick size.
  • Available in multiple unique patterns and colors. Comes packaged in a gift box.
  • Backed by the Zippo lifetime warranty.
  • The fuel can evaporate if left unused for long.
  • Leakage of fuel can happen if lighter is not reassembled properly.

Tesla Coil USB Rechargeable Arc Lighter – Best electric arc windproof lighterTesla Coil Lighters USB Rechargeable Windproof Arc Lighter

The Tesla Coil Arc Lighter is a rechargeable electric lighter that requires no flame, no butane and is absolutely hassle-free. This innovative lighter works by creating an electric arc with one press of a button. It can be charged up through a USB cable (included) with a single charge lasting for 100 to 300 uses or a full one week.

Since the lighter uses no flame, it is not only windproof but also economical and environmentally friendly. There are no lighter fluid refills or disposal hassle. The lighter has a safety feature which prevents it from lighting up when the lid is closed, even if you accidentally press the ignition button.

The lighter is about 3 inches in height and weighs a mere 3 ounces. It has an arc length of 5mm, so you essentially have a 0.5 cm flame.

The Tesla Coil Arc Lighter is available in 5 different color combinations and is backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.

The Tesla Coil Lighter is simple, safe, reliable and our pick for the best electric windproof lighter.
  • High-quality rechargeable electric arc lighter that requires no fuel
  • USB rechargeable. One charge lasts for 100-300 uses.
  • Windproof with safety features that prevent accidental ignition.
  • Available in 5 different colos and backed by one-year warranty
  • Create a white noise when ignited.
  • Difficult to light candles etc. directly

Cobber Quad-Flame Windproof Lighter – Best jet flame windproof lighterCobber Torch Lighter, Quad 4 Jet Red Flame Refillable Butane Lighter with Punch

The Cobber Quad-Flame Windproof Lighter is a high-quality, premium butane refillable windproof lighter.

The Cobber Torch Lighter has a sleek and sturdy Zinc alloy body, textured grip and a button switch operation for fast and easy use. At a size of only 2.9″ x 1.2″ x 0.7″ and a weight of 3.5 ounces, the Cobber Torch Lighter is one of the most compact jet flame lighter to carry around.

The biggest selling feature of this lighter is the powerful flame it produces. The lighter comes with a reliable piezo electric ignition button that produces a powerful quad-flame with a large flame base. This adjustable quad jet flame is hot enough to light up a cigar in seconds. The red texture to the flame is provided by the color burners over the flame and appear within 2-3 seconds of lighting. The red flame is distinctively visible even in sunlight preventing any accidental finger burns.

The lighter is equipped with a safety cap and comes with a flame adjuster and a retractable cigar hole punch tool on the bottom. The only issue with the flame adjuster is that you need a small tool or long nails to reset it, you would have to improvise if you do not have one handy – not really a deal breaker!

The lighter has a clear fuel level indicator to help you identify when it is time to refill the lighter. It is worth mentioning that , because of the restrictions on online purchases, it does not come pre-filled with fuel. You would have to buy the fuel separately to fill in the lighter.

Like other Cobber Lighters, the Cobber Quad-Flame Windproof Lighter is backed by a one-year hassle-free manufacturer warranty. And it comes neatly packed in a gift box, making it an excellent gift item.

The Cobber Quad-Flame Windproof Lighter is our pick for the best butane jet flame lighter for camping and other outdoor activities. If you are looking for a reliable, lightweight butane torch lighter, then definitely check this model out.
  • Premium butane windproof lighter with a sleek zinc alloy body and textured grip.
  • Produces a hot, red quad-jet flame with wide surface, making use easy in inclement weathers.
  • The bright red flame produced by color burners is easily visible even in bright sunlight.
  • At 3-inches and 3.5 oz., smaller and lighter than other jet flame lighters.
  • Comes with a safety-cap, fuel-level indicator and cigar hole punch.
  • Backed by a one-year hassle-free warranty
  • The flame adjuster is small and difficult to operate with hand.
  • Does not come pre-filled with fuel due to restrictions.

Windproof Lighter Accessories

There are a lot of useful accessories and items available in the market for reuse and maintenance of your favorite windproof lighter. One of the most important items required for any fuel based lighter is the appropriate fuel. If you are looking for fuel for your lighter, you can consider the following items. Many lighter bundles that include a fuel canister with the lighter are also available online.

Another useful accessory for backpacking and hunting is lighter pouch. Most manufacturers have custom pouches for their lighters, but here are some standard ones to consider:

Windproof lighters vs. other options for starting a fire

Windproof lighters are one of the multiple ways to start a fire in the wild. Other options include disposable lighters such as the Bic disposable lighters, Stormproof Matches such as UCO Stormproof matches and ferrocerium fire-starters. Do check out our detailed article on the best camping firestarters if you are looking for one.

The choice of your preferred mechanism depends upon factors such as weather and personal preference. Windproof lighters offer distinctive advantage such as they are multi-purpose, reusable and can be used to start hundreds of fires without a fuss. They work extremely well in inclement weather conditions and are pretty durable. So for a regular camping or backpacking trip, you can safely rely on a windproof lighter of your choice.

On the other hand, as mentioned above, liquid-fuel and butane windproof lighters use petroleum-based fuel which can evaporate. Similarly, electric arc lighters require recharge before use. Hence they are not preferred for long-term survival kits and bug-out bags. For such kits, you are better-off having some storm-proof matches or a fire-starter in the kit.

Finally, as a recommendation, we would suggest having two mediums of creating fire. These mediums can be a windproof or disposable lighter backed up by a box of stormproof matches or a fire-starter.

Final thoughts on the best windproof lighters for camping

Having a reliable means to start a fire in the wilderness is an essential requirement for any camping or backpacking trip. Windproof lighters provide an excellent way of ensuring this even in the most difficult weather conditions.

When looking to buy a good windproof lighter, it is important that you consider not just the cost but other factors like the type of lighter, its build quality, any extra features that it has and whether it is indeed the best value for your money. In this article, we looked at some of the best windproof lighters for camping and backpacking. We looked at the different types of windproof lighters, their relative advantages and disadvantages and shared our top picks.

We hope that this article would help you in picking the best camping lighter for your next outdoor trip. Do let us know your feedback by commenting below. Until next time, happy camping!

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3 thoughts on “Best windproof lighter of 2021 for camping and backpacking

  1. Always pick up a powerful lighter for camping. It will really make your life easier. Your post is very informative. Thanks for sharing

  2. Good article on ultralight tents. Big Agnes does have a good set of tents – some of them pretty light. ZPacks is another option to look at.

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