OUTDOORS

Best Windproof Lighters: Blowing in the Wind With 9 of the Best Ones

windproof lighter featured
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Scraaaaaatch! Scraaaaaatch! Scraaaaaatch! Remember that time you stood exhausted and cold after a long hike and kept scratching the match against the striking pad hoping to get a flame?

Every time you thought you had it, a gust of wind blew it out. Or, how about the time you capsized your canoe forgetting that you had tossed the matches unprotected in your pack at the last minute? No soup for you!

We have all had these frustrating experiences and have longed for the best windproof lighter that held a flame against the wind. And, rubbing two sticks together isn’t as easy as the Boy Scouts make it look. (I think there is a badge for that.)

starting campfire with zippo lighter

The bottom line is we need a reliable source of flame to get heat and warm food. It really could be a life and death matter in some cases. We are going to look at the best windproof lighters to help you find one that will keep you out of a fireless predicament in the future.

Introduction: There’ll be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight

So we ask the question, “What would you want to see in a windproof lighter?” We have gathered some features that are well worth considering; some will have some high-tech features and other qualities will be plain old common sense, yet good to have. Let’s take a look.

  1. Windproof: It should go without saying if we are reviewing the best windproof lighters that the number one quality for all of them would be windproofs. We want a lighter that stays lit until your fire starter (grass and twigs) captures the flame. We want this to happen on the first try. (Fussy aren’t we?)
  2. Ignition Technology: There are some lighters with the flint wheel ignition. There are those that have high-tech piezoelectric ignitions.
  3. Number of holes in the chimney: It is a scientific fact that fire needs oxygen. The number of holes in the chimney of the lighter will help regulate the amount of air that gets through. You want just enough to keep a steady flame.
  4. Water Resistant: From time to time you will find yourself caught in a downpour or overturned riding the waves. You want to be confident that under such conditions your lighter will still light.
  5. Refillable Fuel & Type of Fuel: If you sign up for green technology, you don’t want to be buying a bunch of plastic lighters and throwing them away when they run out of fuel as you march down the trail. To cut your carbon footprint, even if it is just a bit, you want a refillable lighter, so you don’t have to trash the plastic. Some lighters have specific fuels to go with their brand; others will use the traditional butane. Whatever lighter you choose, make sure it is easily refilled and that the fuel is readily available. The USB rechargeables are even greener, no waste at all.
  6. Performs in extreme environments (-40ºF and high altitudes): Like most adventurists, you are not always sure where your next adventure will take you. If you find yourself at the top of Mount Denali or Mount Everest, let’s say, you want to be able to light up your stove and have a cup of Joe for breakfast and some warm soup for supper.
  7. Case: This is probably a personal preference. You want a good, sturdy case, so your lighter will last for years to come. You don’t want it too heavy. You want it to fit your hand. Women, for example, may want a smaller case because they have smaller hands and it will be easier to grip and operate. You also want it to be pocket-sized. Keep it in an inside pocket on your body, and it should stay warm and dry even in extreme cold.
  8. Warranty: How long will the company stand behind their lighter? Lighters come with a variety of price tags, and it is hoped the higher priced ones have a more extended warranty. We’ll have to wait until our reviews to see how they stack up.

zippo lighter on a blanket

The Lighters: Where’s the Fire?

What we have here is a list of nine of the best windproof lighters. Some I would say are “old school, ” and others use the latest technologies.Of course, the one you choose will be based on personal preference. For some, “old school” is in; for others, high-tech is the way to go. You be the judge.

Zippo Matte Lighter

zippo

Windproof: Yes, difficult to extinguish without closing the lid

Ignition: Flint Wheel Ignition

Chimney: 16 holes for optimal oxygen

Refillable Fuel & Type of Fuel: Yes, with Zippo Premium Light Fluid

Case: Powder-coated brass; rectangular; rounded corners

Warranty: Lifetime; has replaceable flints and wicks

Most of us are familiar with the Zippo name; a lighter that originated back in 1932. It was a great support to US troops during World War II, when all civilian production was stopped, and only military models were made. Zippos have become collectibles over the years, and there are quite a few fans of the Zippo lighters.

Zippo lighters got their name for being windproof due to the chimney or windscreen and the way the fuel is delivered. The Zippo Matte Lighter has the classic flint wheel ignition.

Simply spinning the wheel causes a spark and lights the fuel on the wick. Zippo fuel has a high rate of evaporation which means a more consistent flow of fuel to the flame thereby keeping it going.

One thing to note: Zippo fuel will evaporate in about five days from your lighter, so you need to refill regularly if you use it often. It is, however, very easy to refill.

The Zippo case is made of brass, and this model is powder coated. It gives it a smooth feel and will last for a long time to come. The case measures 2.25”x0.58”x1.5”.

This model comes in a variety of fun colors. The case has a special hinge meant to keep the lighter closed when not in use. It is this hinge that makes the famous Zippo click.

Check the price on Amazon

Tesla Coil Lighters

Tesla coil

Windproof: Yes, no flame to blow out

Ignition: Switch button creating electric arc

Chimney: None

Water Resistant: Unknown

Refillable Fuel & Type of Fuel:  USB rechargeable battery

Performs in extreme environments: Not for temps higher than 122ºF (in other words a hot desert!)

Case: Rectangular; rounded edges

Warranty: Unknown

The Tesla Coil Lighter is a remarkable lighter in that it does not use any liquid fuel. It has a rechargeable battery that when fully charged will last for 100-300 uses.

By a simple press of the switch, it produces an arc which will light your stove or fire. The thing to remember with this lighter is not to hold the switch longer than 5 seconds at a time. Also, while it doesn’t have a flame, it can still burn you or light highly flammable clothing or tents on fire, so use precautions.

A necessary safety feature is the lighter will not ignite when the lighter is closed, so it is safe to carry around in your pocket. The lighter is environmentally safe as there is no liquid fuel to burn and no throw away plastic lighters.

The Tesla case is metal and very sturdy. It is 3”x0.5”x1.75” and weighs 3 oz. The bottom of the lighter has a display light to indicate when the battery needs charging (red) or is fully charged (green).

It only takes about 1½ hours to charge. This little lighter comes complete with a charging cable and a carrying pouch. The lighter is available in a variety of colors.

Check the price on Amazon

Dual Arc Lighter

dual arc

Windproof: Yes, no flame to blow out

Ignition: Switch button creating electric double arc

Chimney: None

Water Resistant: The arc yes, will light in any weather. The whole instrument, no.

Refillable Fuel & Type of Fuel: USB rechargeable battery

Performs in extreme environments: Yes

Case: Rectangular; rounded edges

Warranty: 100% satisfaction guaranteed

Here we have another USB rechargeable lighter with dual arcs. The Dual Arc Lighter is twice as hot and lights up to 5 times faster. It also means no liquid fuel with which to deal.This lighter is quiet even though it has no plastic parts.

This lighter will charge with any USB charging device. It also comes with an adapter so you can charge it in your car as well. It has an extended battery life and will hold the charge for many hours. In fact, it will hold a charge and will still work even have months of non-use.

So this would be a perfect lighter to keep in your home safety kit for emergencies. Just remember to check the charge every few months. It burns easily by pressing the switch located on the side. It has an automatic shut off after so many seconds.

Closing the cap, however, does not prevent it from lighting. So, you need to be careful when just carrying it in your pocket.The case is very sleek and rectangular. It comes in several colors.

Check the price on Amazon

Vertigo Cyclone Torch Lighter

vertigo

Windproof: “Triple” windproof

Ignition: Piezoelectric ignition

Chimney: 10 holes

Refillable Fuel & Type of Fuel: Yes, butane

Performs in extreme environments: Yes

Case: Modified cylinder

Warranty: Unknown

The Vertigo Cyclone Torch Lighter has a modified cylinder shape that is somewhat like an hourglass as well. There is a large, transparent fuel tank on the bottom with the igniter switch on the side.

It is easy to see when you need to refuel. It uses butane fuel which is readily available. The refuel valve and fuel adjuster are in the body of the lighter.

The case measures 2.85”x0.95”x1.35”. The cap and flame mechanism are metal while the fuel tank is plastic. The lighter is a dual action, meaning the first action is to open the lid; the second action is to press the switch. The action produces three stable flames that continue as long as you are holding the switch. It comes in two colors, charcoal and clear.

Check the price on Amazon

Single Jet Flame Torch Lighter

single flame

Windproof: Yes, single torch

Ignition: Piezoelectric ignition

Chimney: Yes, no apparent openings

Water Resistant: Unknown

Refillable Fuel & Type of Fuel: Yes, butane

Performs in extreme environments: Unknown

Case: Cylinder shape with angled torch head

Warranty: Unknown

The Single Jet Flame Torch Lighter has an adjustable flame that adjusts easily with a lever rather than a screw. The angled torch may make it easier to burn certain items such as candles, pipes, etc. It has an easy-to-use piezoelectric switch; just press down and voila! You have a flame.

This set contains five lighters, one each in a different color. The fuel tank is plastic, but opaque so you can see the amount of fuel available. It uses regular liquid butane. It has some difficulty in refilling due to pressure. The tank needs to be empty to fill it back up.

Check the price on Amazon

Pard Relief Dragon Lighter

prad dragon

Windproof: Yes, no flame to blow out

Ignition: Switch button creating electric arc

Chimney: None

Water Resistant: Yes, but not water proof

Refillable Fuel & Type of Fuel: USB rechargeable battery

Performs in extreme environments: Yes

Case: Rectangular; rounded edges; dragon design

Warranty: Unknown

The great thing about the Pard Relief Dragon Lighter is there is no fuel to mess with – just clean electricity. Charge this battery with any USB charging device. It takes about 2-3 hours to reach a full charge and will last for about 300 uses.

Another nice feature for travelers, it can be taken aboard your flights. It has a ceramic electrode head that is resistant to high temperatures making it safe to use without fear of getting burned by the head after use. Another safety feature is that it will not light up with the lid closed; this means you can safely carry it in your pocket.

This lighter comes in a flashy dragon patterned case that is black in the background with a gold dragon. It also comes in other patterns such as scorpions, checkerboard, cross, others.

Check the price on Amazon

Scorch Torch Olympus Lighter

Scorch

Windproof: Yes, triple torch

Ignition: Piezoelectric ignition

Chimney: None

Water Resistant: Yes

Refillable Fuel & Type of Fuel: Yes, butane

Performs in extreme environments: Yes

Case: Oval, cylinder

Warranty: 1 year from the date of purchase

This triple jet lighter has the flame power you are looking for with adjustable flame control. The Scorch Torch Olympus Lighter comes with easy directions as to how to fill it with butane.

It is suggested to get the triple refined butane as it works better and there is less chance of clogging.A nice touch with this lighter is the case has an ergonomic grip; a place for three of your fingers and then use your thumb to open the lid and activate the switch.

It is an excellent size at 2.68”x0.78”x1.3”, which fits easily into your hand. Another nice feature for those cigar smokers, it has an integrated cigar punch. This lighter comes in a gun metal gray color.

Check the price on Amazon

NOVA Lighter

NOVA

Windproof: Yes, no flame to blow out

Ignition: Switch button creating electric arc

Chimney: None

Water Resistant: Yes, but not waterproof

Refillable Fuel & Type of Fuel: USB rechargeable battery

Performs in extreme environments:

Case: Rectangular; rounded edges

Warranty: 60 days

This NOVA lighter has a double criss-cross arc for extra firing power. The easy ignition button activates the electric arc creating enough heat to light most anything.

You can flick the cover up and press the switch and be lighting something in a matter of seconds. When the cover is closed it will not light; this is a great safety feature. The arc will time out after 12 seconds holding the switch; this is another nice safety feature.

The battery will charge in about 30 minutes and will last about 30 uses. So, not the best if you are going to be in a remote place with no place to charge. You could probably use one of those small solar chargers if need be.

The case is a beautiful gun metal gray with a shiny finish. There is a checkerboard design running down the center of the lighter. The lighter also comes in gold, silver, black and a mystical rainbow color.

Check the price on Amazon

Padgene Electronic Pulse Lighter

Padgene

Windproof: Yes, no flame to blow out

Water Resistant: Yes, but not waterproof

Refillable Fuel & Type of Fuel: USB rechargeable battery

Performs in extreme environments: Yes

The Padgene Electronic Pulse Lighter has a rechargeable battery that will last long enough to light four packs of cigarettes. The battery has a life cycle of 500 charges and discharges, which mean you can burn 2000 packs of cigarettes or many other things.

It takes 2-3 hours to charge the battery fully and there is a LED indicator that lights up to show it is charging. Because there is no flame, this lighter can go on the airplane with you when you travel. There is a small switch on the side to ignite the arcs.

There is no safety feature on this lighter with the lid, meaning pressing the button with the lid closed will still cause an arc. The case is metal and comes in a variety of colors and designs: black, gold, silver and gunmetal with floral or geometric designs.

Check the price on Amazon

Conclusion: Come on Baby, Light My Fire

These lighters are cool! Can we have one of each? Sure! To break it down, we have the Zippo with the traditional flint wheel ignition, we have several butane lighters with a piezoelectric switch, and we have the USB rechargeable. Each has their advantages.

Take the Zippo for instance, even though it is “old school” there is something sentimental about a Zippo. It has a great back story, and our grandparents probably used one. Some like to have an actual flame, like those produced with the piezoelectric lighters. They still run on butane, but they have more of an automatic switch that makes them easier to use.

lighted zippo on a table

And, finally, we have the high-tech rechargeables. These you can take with you all over the world without having to surrender them as the security checkpoint in the airport. But they are not going to last you if you are on a 6-week journey to the top of Mount Everest. There are disadvantages for each as well.

The butane lighters may come with a slight fuel odor, especially the Zippo because it evaporates quickly. The rechargeables may have freak incidences where they overheat and cause a fire, maybe in your pocket. Fire! Some are cheaply made and may not last the test of time.

Step back to the beginning of our article. We set out to find the best windproof lighters, and, all of these have that feature. So, the rest is fluff and personal preference. All that is left to say is “smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

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