So you want to find out what the best survival lighter is? Well, luckily we’ve pieced together an updated list of the best survival lighters on the market for you.
If human beings didn’t discover fire, we probably wouldn’t have progressed as much as we have. It put us in a completely different league in terms of survival. And from that point, fire has been an essential part of our lives in one form or another.
From heating our homes to powering the car – it’s essential.
When it comes to surviving an emergency situation, you’re going to need to cook food. You will have to want to prevent hypothermia by keeping yourself warm. You may need to dry your clothes or illuminate your campsite. Either way, it’s pretty much impossible to not survive without the ability to create fire. You need a survival lighter.
Directly below you’ll find 12 of the best survival lighters on the market. If you’re curious about the different points to look at when buying a survival lighter, you’ll find a buying guide at the bottom of the page.
There you can find FAQs, lighter uses, and a survival lighter guide.
Best Survival Lighters
Zippo Emergency Fire Kit
First up we have the Zippo Emergency Fire Kit, which is one of my favorites.
This isn’t technically a lighter, it’s a fire kit. However, it will allow you to start a fire outdoors in a very short space of time.
I wanted to give you the best advice possible and my preference lies with this fire starter which is why I’ve placed it in the first position.
It’s water-resistant, so when its been pouring down and your lighter gets wet, you’ll still be able to build a fire.
This is down to the waterproof seal around the O-ring. It ensures the sparks stay dry no matter how much moisture the lighter is subjected to.
The flint wheel is built in the US and can produce a maximum of 1700 sparks.
It’s also rather comfortable to hold, the ABS plastic body has a textured grip which helps a lot if your fingers are freezing cold.
There is even a molded lanyard hold on this which means you can attach it to your kit with ease.
I would recommend buying one of these for your survival kit.
UCO Stormproof Torch Windproof Lighter
Now we have a real survival lighter here. One that seriously impresses me with its quality and performance.
The UCO Stormproof Torch Lighter is the ultimate emergency survival accessory.
I have tried this lighter multiple times and I can tell you that it even manages to get wet tinder lit!
The outside case is a little large but other than that it’s fantastic.
It’s reliable, has a triple jet windproof flame, waterproof and it even has built-in duct tape. The duct tape is a nice addition.
Let’s look at the lighter features:
This lighter actually has three torches in a triangular pattern.
The lighter carries enough butane to give you 700 ignitions. The striker comes with a guarantee for 30,000 uses too.
This is one butane lighter that lasts forever.
I would not recommend swimming with it, I do not think the lighters casing is sealed enough to endure that.
You should have a few lighters in your fire starting kit anyway. One that performs better in the wind, one that performs better when wet, etc.
Windmill Classic Stormproof Lighter
If you’re looking for a rugged lighter that can put up with a lot of abuse, this one by Windmill Classic is worth looking at.
It has an elastomer armor outer body that gives the lighter added protection.
It is built with plastic though, so for a premium product, this is disappointing. I figured the outer casing would be stainless steel but no.
When it runs dry, just add some lighter fluid and you’ll be good to go again!
The Stormproof lighter will typically last you for 2 years, then you’ll need to replace it.
The lighter does come with a 2-year warranty too, so if you manage to break it in the first 2 years you can just get it replaced pretty easily.
Blazer CG-001 Butane Torch
The Blazer CG-001 Butane torch is one super tough lighter. It creates a spark even if there’s no fuel. So it can come in handy. It is wind resistant and has an extra-wide flame.
Icfun Waterproof Lighter
The Icfun Outdoor Windproof And Waterproof lighter are a plasma lighter you want to try! It has a metal-ring sealed lighting cover and locking clasp. This gives the lighter an IP56 waterproof rating because water cannot seep inside the lighter.
No need to worry about the rain getting in or it being ruined after dropping it in a puddle. Now it’s a plasma lighter so no need to replace any butane or gas for it to work. Just make sure the lithium battery is charged and you’re good to go.
You will struggle to find some bad reviews on this lighter, it’s pretty good!
The overall build quality is good too, it uses durable materials like zinc alloy and ABS. You can also carry it hands-free by using the thick lanyard that comes with it.
Everstryk Matchpro Lighter
This minimalistic butane lighter is very simple but also a very good lighter. There are some problems though, I wouldn’t say it’s the best for being unaffected by the wind. I would recommend that you use this as backup instead. Why? Well, it has a replaceable striker and wick. So this lighter can technically last forever if you keep changing these parts.
The casing is watertight too. Plus its extremely small so it won’t take up any room.
WakeyPQ Sailors Windproof Rope Lighter
This WakePQ Sailors Windproof Rope Lighter is slightly different from the rest. If you’re fed up with traditional lighters that always need topped up with fuel, then this design might interest you.
With this design, you strike the flint wheel in order to create sparks. You’re trying to burn the charred cotton rope. The idea is this will catch a flame and you can use this to light things.
It actually does really well against bad weather, high winds will not have too much effect on this. Another benefit is the lack of gas, no need to always top it up with butane, etc. The other benefit is there is no chance of the gas leaking.
This lighter comes with three ropes, so you’ll get a bit of life out of the product. Another benefit is this lighter works very well at high altitudes.
Another great option to add to your fire starting kit.
Windmill 307-0041 All-Weather Lighter
Another lighter by Windmill is the AWL All Weather Lighter. This lighter works well at high elevations, against heavy winds and it’s waterproof too.
Zippo Outdoor Lighter
The second item by Zippo is the Zippo Outdoor Lighter. It has an all-metal structure, it looks and feels durable and is windproof. In fact, they take pride in how windproof the lighter is. This is the sort of lighter you want when it comes to survival. Something strong and durable that can cope with the outdoor elements.
However, it’s not waterproof, which means you need to try and keep this lighter dry. That’s ok but you should have a secondary lighter just in case.
It comes with an elastic lanyard and metal loop too, so you can make sure the lighter is secured to your body at all times.
This Zippo lighter is probably one of the more famous refillable lighters out there. Zippo lighters have a tonne of respect in the survival community.
Vertigo Cyclone Torch Lighter
The Vertigo Cyclone Torch Lighter is a wind-resistant triple torch flame. It is lightweight and will sit in your pocket or bag without any issues.
I have read reports at this lighter having a very short lifespan and then read others that claim it’s the best thing since sliced bread. My experience with this lighter has been good, I have not experienced any issues.
I like the clear fuel tank as it’s easy to see how much fuel is left this way.
Xikar 9660BK Stratosphere II Lighter
If you’re looking for performance in strong weather conditions, this Xikar 9660BK Stratosphere is one to consider. The rubber body provides a great grip. It’s windproof and is water-resistant. So if there’s a torrential downpour, you will be ok.
It is slightly pricey but honestly it’s totally worth it.
Tesla Coil Lighters™ USB Rechargeable Windproof Arc Lighter
This Tesla Electric lighter utilizes electric plasma bolts to spark a light. Yup rather than using gas this lighter uses a battery to power itself. No hassle of butane gas!
A full charge can give you 100-300 uses.
You should use this lighter alongside a power bank and you’ll have a much longer life span.
We would also recommend making sure you’ve got the ability to generate your own power so that you always have access to some sort of fuel no matter where you go.
Soto Pocket Torch
This is not a stand-alone lighter. You put a normal lighter inside of it and it will turn it into a torch. It will make your disposable lighters way more effective. This fire starter can reach up to 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit and lasts 60% longer.
It’s also immune to the wind and will burn for a solid 20 minutes! I would certainly add this to my survival gear kit.
Lighters are small items that we might overlook when building our emergency gear list. However they can be incredibly useful and we recommend that anybody who wants to prepare themselves properly invest in a good one.
Remember, lighters allow us to:
- Create a fire for warmth
- Cook food
- Dry Clothing
- Boil (and sterilize) water
- Illuminate our campsites
- Keep predators away
All of the above lies in lighters. Fire gives us heat energy and by having a lighter, we have the ability to tap into this at any time.
Things to Consider When Choosing
Before you buy a survival lighter, map out in your head what kind of situations are likely to happen. A good survival lighter will light a fire very fast but you should take into consideration things that can stop this from happening.
In survival situations you could trip, fall, be pushed, etc. You really don’t know what could happen. Therefore all of your equipment should be durable. They need to be capable of being damaged severely and still function properly.
Your survival lighter should be rugged and be capable of producing a fire even if it’s fallen from a great height. You should also choose a lighter that can withstand a lot of weight.
Try to opt for a stainless steel type of lighter as they are very durable and will remain rust-free after a significant amount of use.
You’ve no idea what the weather will be like in a survival situation. You may face snowstorms, tornados, extreme flooding, or torrential rain for example. Your survival light has to work whenever you need it to. Now there are different types of lighters, some do better than others in specific environments. For example, a wick-based lighter will be able to start a fire in freezing temperatures much better than other types. Try to choose the best lighter for your environment/dangers. If you can’t choose one, take a few different types with you.
4. Direct Flame
Remember, a normal lighter will not work in the pouring rain or bad winds whereas a survival lighter will.
Direct flame lighters can be very useful in survival situations, these are lighters that emit a flame that looks similar to how a torch would shine a beam of light.
5. Water Resistance
Imagine the rain or damp environment rendered your survival lighter useless? That would be a nightmare when all you want is heat from a hot fire. You and your backpack are bound to get wet, it’s inevitable if you’re out in the wilderness. Even in the city, there’s a good chance you’ll be hit by a storm or a shower. It doesn’t matter how extreme it is, you want to avoid the rain if possible.
If you don’t there’s a good chance your lighter will get wet. Survival lighters should have a waterproof casing around it that ensures no moisture can get into the unit. This is a very important thing to look out for when buying a survival lighter.
Some lighters can even produce a spark after being submerged in water.
Lighters are generally very small. Small enough to fit into your pocket and generally shouldn’t weigh too much. They are almost always very compact unless it’s one of those fancy candle lighters which you should be completely avoiding anyway.
But that being said, with all your kit you should make sure it doesn’t weigh more than necessary because it will all add up.
Disposable lighters are cheap lighters that you buy, use, and then bin. You cannot refill them otherwise the big companies that sell them wouldn’t make any money. Sure, buying a couple of cheap lighters won’t hurt the bank balance in the short term but in the long term, you’re going to lose money. You want a refillable lighter that you can reuse time and time again. Plus it’s worth mentioning that the quality with a refillable lighter will be 100x better.
By buying a disposable lighter you are sacrificing durability, quality, and wasting your own money in the long term.
If you want to keep using your lighter for a long time you’ll have to make sure it’s possible to refill your survival lighter when the gas runs out.
One feature that is an absolute must is hands-free lighting. Look in a survival situation, you may only find yourself with one hand to use. There are lighters with this advanced feature of hands-free lighting though where you can hold, strike and produce fire with one hand.
9. Wind Resistance
You’ve probably seen a smoker cower into a corner with their hands shielding their cigarette from the wind while they try to light it. You don’t want to be wasting time in a survival situation trying to get cover to ignite your fire. Can you imagine yourself starting a fire in heavy wind with nothing to shield you? This is where you need a wind-resistant lighter that can be used in all kinds of weather.
Types of Survival Lighters: What fuels are best?
When choosing a lighter, keep in mind that there are many different options. Let’s take a look at your choices.
Lighter fluid is very easy to find which is always a plus for survivalists. If a natural disaster has happened, you want to be able to find supplies with ease.
There are two types of lighter fluid: Petroleum-based lighters and alcohol-based lighters.
You’ve then got Butane powered lighters. Butane is an organic compound that is used very frequently in “windproof” lighters.
Then you have Electric Arc and Plasma – These lighters do not have a flame and don’t use any combustible fuel.
How To Start a Fire
Lighters are simple tools, who would need to read a guide on how to use them? Well, it is good to understand the different mechanics involved and how you can replicate this without a lighter.
Lighters use two fundamental principles: fuel and heat.
The heat can be provided by the lighter but you still need fuel and you cannot rely on the fuel inside your lighter. So you should look for tinder like materials such as dry leaves, pine, bark.
You will then need some kindling which is things like branches, dried grass, cotton, feather sticks, twigs, or sticks.
Then you need some bigger bits of fuel like logs.
If the ground is wet, you should get some sticks and build a sort of platform to build your fire on. This will allow some air space to be under the fire building materials. This will help the fire catch a lot more quickly.
You can now tackle the fire building process by lighting your tinder with a lighter. Allow this to catch fire. And as soon as the flames start building you can start to add your kindling to it slowly. The fire will start to grow and you’ll be able to add your logs to it slowly.
See there’s a bit of a knack to it!
Make sure you get familiar with different fire starting techniques. It could seriously save your life.