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I actually just camped down south of Mammoth Lakes, California and we had winds gusting up to almost 80 miles per hour on our final day.
In that kind of wind, the soft flame produced by your classic BIC lighter just isn’t going to cut it. That’s why we recommend a windproof lighter that can light tinder with a single click.
Our Top 5 Windproof Lighter Reviews
A windproof lighter serves a very simple purpose: to help you light a fire in windy conditions. But even the best lighter can’t overcome poor fire building skills, so be sure to learn how to build the perfect campfire before selecting the best windproof lighter to help you start it up.
Best Overall Windproof Lighter: IcFun Dual Arc Lighter
- Wind Resistance:
The Explorer is an electric arc lighter that doesn’t need to rely on a specific fuel for ignition. It comes in a waterproof casing that boasts an IP56 ingress protection rating so it’s an excellent choice for camping or backpacking in wet environments.
Because it’s an electric lighter, it also functions well at high altitudes and isn’t as heavy as many fuel-based lighters. There’s a built-in lithium battery inside the base of the lighter that is rechargeable using the included USB cable. It has a total runtime of about two hours when fully charged.
The high-quality ABS and zinc alloy materials used in the construction of this lighter make it super durable for long-term use. And if you prefer to keep it attached to you at all times when you’re in camp, it comes with a convenient lanyard.
- Windproof and waterproof
- Performs well at high altitudes
- Built-in rechargeable lithium battery
- You’ll need to bring a solar charger or power bank to recharge it on longer trips
Best High Tech Windproof Lighter: RONXS Candle Lighter
- Wind Resistance:
This high-tech windproof lighter features a lengthy design that allows you to light tinder without getting your knuckles too close to the fire. It requires a three-step process to light so it’s super safe for kids. Remove the cover, slide the button to the ‘ON’ position, and press the switch button to generate the spark.
On the side of the lighter, you’ll be able to see how much charge is remaining with the LED light indicator. If all five lights are on, the lighter is fully charged and ready to use. It is rated to last for up to 400 uses on a full charge, but you’ll still want to bring a solar charger or battery bank to recharge this lighter on longer trips.
Because it doesn’t rely on any liquid fuel, this lighter performs better at high altitudes and in cold temperatures. You also won’t have to worry about a soft flame blowing out when trying to light tinder in windy conditions.
- Triple safe design
- Battery display indicator
- Splash-proof enclosure
- Lasts for up to 400 uses
- Will require a solar charger or battery bank to recharge on longer trips
- Lack of flame may make it harder to light tinder
Best For Long Term Use (Refillable): Zippo Street Chrome Pocket Lighter
- Wind Resistance:
As long as you keep refilling it with appropriate fuel, this Zippo lighter can truly last a lifetime. The Zippo brand is well-known for this style of lighter and this particular model features all-metal construction for superior durability.
You’ll want to invest in Zippo premium lighter fluid if you want to guarantee the most effective performance from this lighter. If you ever need to replace any elements of this lighter, be sure to buy Zippo-produced flints and wicks as well. All Zippo products are made in the U.S.A. and backed by Zippo’s lifetime guarantee: “it works or we fix it free.”
This specific lighter boasts a healthy-sized flame that comes alive with Zippo’s distinctive “click.” The flint-and-wick system used in these lighters makes them highly windproof and it’s a design that Zippo has been perfecting since 1932. The only downside of this lighter is that the lighter fluid inside can sometimes evaporate over time, especially in dry climates.
- All-metal construction
- Long lasting
- Easily refillable for continued use
- Backed by Zippo’s lifetime guarantee
- Works best with specific Zippo premium lighter fluid
- Fluid in lighter may evaporate over time in drier climates
- Not waterproof
Best Portable Lighter: UST Tekfire Fuel-Free Lighter
- Wind Resistance:
The UST TekFire is also an electric lighter that features a single arc design. With compact dimensions of 3 x 1.5 x 0.8 inches and a total weight of just 2.1 ounces, it’s one of the most portable windproof lighters out there. And with a 10-second timeout safety feature, it’s also safe for the kids to use.
Unlike many electric arc lighter that can make it difficult to light tinder, this model comes with its own length of ParaTinder thread. Simply light the thread using the electric arc and then utilize the extra length provided by the thread to light the tinder for your fire.
You’ll need a USB cable to recharge the lithium battery inside of this lighter and an indicator light will turn solid red on the lighter when it is fully charged. To turn it on, you’ll need to release the safety wire, press the black button to open the top, and hold down the front button to power it up. Then you’ll need to press the front power button twice to ignite the arc.
- Lightweight and compact
- Includes ParaTinder to help light fires more reliably
- Indicator light displays charge status
- 10-second timeout safety feature
- Requires no fuel
- You’ll need a way to recharge it on longer backpacking or camping trips
Best Butane Lighter: GStar® TorchZilla Series Lighter
- Wind Resistance:
This lighter relies on butane fuel and can be refilled indefinitely when the fuel is used. The flame itself projects from the lighter in a torch-style design that makes it easier to light tinder underneath a fire stack without burning off the hair on your knuckles.
Once you get the torch going, you can actually activate a locking mechanism to keep the flame at your preferred size. This eliminates the need to keep squeezing the ignition trigger while your hand starts to wear out.
This mechanism also allows you to adjust the size of the flame to your desired size. With dimensions of 4.5 x 0.3 x 0.3 inches and a total weight of 4.0 ounces, it’s slightly larger and heavier than other windproof lighters, so it’s best application is more likely for car camping than remote backpacking expeditions.
- Low price
- The torch-style flame makes it easier to light tinder from a distance
- Locking features to maintain flame size
- Adjustable flame height
- Must keep a backup of butane fuel to refill if it runs out
- Not great for cold temperatures or higher altitudes
Windproof Lighter Buyer’s Guide
It should be noted here that even the best windproof lighter is only as good as your fire building skills. Before you even select the best lighter for your needs, you’ll need to learn how to build a perfect campfire. But once you’re a fire master, consider these factors when selecting a new lighter.
Consider the most common elements in which you’ll be using your new lighter. For colder climates, electric lighters tend to perform better because they don’t require fuel. They also outperform fuel-based lighters for high-altitude applications.
That being said, you’ll need to use a very dry tinder that lights easily if you intend to make the most of an electric lighter. And you’ll also need to build a proper structure around that tinder.
So if you’re a bit less experienced as a fire starter, the larger flames that come with most fuel-based lighters make it easier to light a fire on the first try. In other words, fuel-based lighters are more user-friendly for beginners.
That being said, lighters with a soft flame aren’t well suited to windy conditions because they’re more likely to get blown out. So if you camp in regions that regularly experience high winds, there’s a good chance your standard BIC or matchbox isn’t going to cut it.
Because the best windproof lighters tend to cost a bit more than your standard BIC, you should make sure your investment is going to last.
Look for quality materials (such as ABS plastic) used in the construction and consult user reviews to see how well lighters have held up to real-world use. At the end of the day, a faulty lighter is just adding dead weight and taking up unnecessary space in your pack.
Not all windproof lighters are also waterproof, but most of them boast some level of ingress protection. If you camp in rainy environments, a waterproof lighter is a must. And even if you frequent desert-like climates, a water-resistant lighter will remain functional if you run into an unexpected thunderstorm.
Fuel/battery capacity dictate how long you can use a lighter before refilling or recharging. If you plan on using your lighter for multi-day backpacking or camping trips, you’ll need a backup fuel source or a way to recharge your lighter.
Keep in mind that this is going to mean carrying extra weight. Whether that weight is in the form of liquid fuel or a solar charger/battery bank, it’s going to factor into how much you need to carry to keep this lighter working throughout your time in the wilderness.
If you’re tired of your cheap lighter not holding up its end of the bargain on your camping trips, it’s time to invest in one of the best windproof lighters. These options will help you get tinder lit quickly and reliably on your upcoming outdoor adventures!
Tucker spent his childhood falling in love with the outdoors surrounding Lake Tahoe. A graduate of the Master’s of Tourism Management program at Colorado State University in 2014, Tucker has spent the last six years traveling throughout the United States (and Costa Rica).
He works as a full-time freelance copywriter and guides hiking, backpacking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and mountain biking trips in the Tahoe area during the summers. He currently resides in Truckee, California and regularly shares new adventure stories on his website, thebackpackguide.com.