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What’s a Good Windproof Lighter?

What would you suggest for a windproof lighter that is simple and dependable?


What would you suggest for a windproof lighter that is simple and dependable?

Submitted by - Bill, Lenexa, KS


At the last Outdoor Retailer trade show, I scored a very cool lighter from a Japanese company, Soto, that’s trying to commence business in the US. I love this lighter because, although it’s a bit heavy and bulky (2.2 oz. and about 4 inches long) it kicks ass. I left it outside my tent one horrid night in Wales on our Editors Choice Trip, and it puffed right to life for my morning brew-up. It’s windproof, submersible, but the cool thing is that, rather than refilling it with butane (which can be a hassle), you just pop a fresh disposable lighter into the handle, and it powers right off that (not Bics, but the squarish generic lighters found everywhere).

I mention this lighter because it’s cool. Problem is, you can’t get it in the US just yet, and disposable lighters do make me a feel guilty on the green front. So I’ve got some other options, too.
E-Gear’s refillable Windmill ($45. weighs only 1.1 oz. It keeps a flame in howling winds, and a rubber o-ring keeps it dry even if gets dunked. A much more affordable and equally awesome option is the Primus Power Lighter ($17,, which weighs 1.7 oz. and refills off an almost- spent fuel canister using the Primus Filling Adapter ($15). I love this refilling tool. It’s a great way to suck out and make use of the dregs of a fuel canister.  —Kristin


  1. lighterpro

    Hey All,

    Bill, I saw your question and opened an account just to comment. I have just what you are looking for. Its a new invention that a few climbing buddies and I thought up. It’s called Lighter Pro and it makes Bic Lighters Windproof. Bic lighters are pretty much the best disposable lighter, Inexpensive and reliable. Lighter Pro is a case that fits classic Bic lighters and protects your flame from wind and rain. I use Lighter Pro all the time in the Sierras. Lighter Pro is nation wide in mini-marts and convenient stores and I just sent some samples to REI. (Keeping my fingers crossed) They come in different colors too. Check out the website at:

    Profile photo of lighterpro
  2. Jim in California

    Regarding the Soto lighter.
    As I write this, REI, no longer carries this item.

    At sea level, the Soto operated perfectly. But up at 10,000 feet, no way. What was most surprising, is that when needing this during a heavy rain storm, we tried to light the Soto with the flame from another lighter….and I am reporting that the Soto WOULD NOT LIGHT!

    When we came down from altitude, to Mammoth Lakes, elevation @8000, the Soto still would not light. Taking off the cap, and activating the plunger, there was no spark.

    Getting back home to Anaheim, elevation @140, the Soto lit properly. Taking off the cap, and activating the plunger revealed a very feeble spark.

    Attempting to light the Soto with the flame from another lighter (140′ altitude), I am reporting that the Soto, again, WOULD NOT LIGHT.

    The problem is obviously with the piezo electric system. Perhaps if the Soto would use a flint based lighting system, it might work.

    The Soto is too unreliable, as for me, most of my backpacking is in the High Sierras.

    The Soto will be returned to REI.

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