Gear Test: Soto Pocket Torch Update

This super lighter won an Editors' Choice Award this year, but has been tough to find—until now

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Soto’s Pocket Torch has been a recent BACKPACKER editor favorite: In wet and windy weather, it lights up like a flamethrower—even after getting submerged in puddles of water. Best of all, you don’t need any specialized fuel: Simply pop in any cheap gas-station-style lighter (no Bics, though). We dug it so much we gave it an Editors’ Choice Award this year. Here’s our video review:

There’s only one problem: Until now, it’s been nearly impossible to find. But we’ve just received an update from the Japanese manufacturers that after getting swamped by an initial wave of U.S. orders, Pocket Torches are finally making their way to stateside retailers. For now, you can get them online at Summit Hut, Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, and Fin & Feather. Company reps assure us they’re working on the double to get Pocket Torches to Eastern Mountain Sports, Eddie Bauer, and REI as fast as possible.

So finally, you should be able to get your flame on. Just use it wisely—and let us know what you think.

—Ted Alvarez