The ability to start a fire is an essential survival tool when you’re in the outdoors. But, not all fire starters are created equal.
With the right camping lighter, you can quickly and easily build a fire for warmth or start up your stove to cook a scrumptious dinner. If you don’t have a good torch, though, you may end up spending a cold, wet night in the outdoors.
However, there are literally hundreds of different lighters available, so it’s difficult to figure out precisely which ones are worth your money. To get you started, we’ve reviewed ten of the best camping lighters on the market today and created a buyer’s guide so you know what to look for as you shop.
If you don't have time for the details, here are our picks for the best lighters for camping:
- 1Best Camping Butane Lighter - Bic Mini Lighter
- 2Best Camping Stove Lighter - Bic Multipurpose Lighters
- 3Best Camping Arc Lighter - Icfun Waterproof Dual Arc Lighter
- 4Best Electric Lighter For Camping - Tesla Coil Lighter
- 5Best Plasma Lighter For Camping - Green Vivid Dual Arc Plasma Lighter
- 6Best Zippo Lighter For Camping - Zippo Matte Pocket Lighter
- 7Best Windproof Lighter Camping - UCO Stormproof Torch
- 8Best Wand Camping Lighter - Boncas Flexible Wand Lighter
- 9Best Emergency Camping Lighter - UST Wayfinder Lighter
- 10Best Survival Camping Lighter - Icfun Survival Lighter
Table of Contents
- Best Camping Lighter on the Market Reviews
- 1. Best Camping Butane Lighter - Bic Mini Lighter
- 2. Best Camping Stove Lighter - Bic Multipurpose Lighters
- 3. Best Camping Arc Lighter - Icfun Waterproof Dual Arc Lighter
- 4. Best Electric Lighter For Camping - Tesla Coil Lighter
- 5. Best Plasma Lighter For Camping - Green Vivid Dual Arc Plasma Lighter
- 6. Best Zippo Lighter For Camping - Zippo Matte Pocket Lighter
- 7. Best Windproof Lighter Camping - UCO Stormproof Torch
- 8. Best Wand Camping Lighter - Boncas Flexible Wand Lighter
- 9. Best Emergency Camping Lighter - UST Wayfinder Lighter
- 10. Best Survival Camping Lighter - Icfun Survival Lighter
- Camping Lighter Buyer’s Guide
- The Verdict
Best Camping Lighter on the Market Reviews
Here are our reviews of the ten best rated camping lighters around:
1. Best Camping Butane Lighter - Bic Mini Lighter
The Bic Mini Lighter is a smaller version of this time-tested classic. Made with a thick plastic casing, Bic lighters are durable enough for everyday use. They have a child-resistant safety strip that can be removed if you’re looking for an easier lighting process.
These lighters are some of the most affordable out there and are decently water-resistant. Although they’ll struggle a bit in heavy rain and high winds, they are a good all-around option that doesn’t break the bank.
2. Best Camping Stove Lighter - Bic Multipurpose Lighters
Yet another great model from Bic, these multipurpose lighters have a long metal want that helps to keep your hands away from any open flames. Due to this long wand, they are ideal for lighting stoves and campfires.
They have a child-resistant lighting system to help protect your little ones from getting into trouble while you camp. The fuel cartridge is also made in the USA and undergoes over 50 separate tests before it leaves the factory.
3. Best Camping Arc Lighter - Icfun Waterproof Dual Arc Lighter
This lighter from Icfun is fully waterproof with an IP56 rating, thanks to a metal ring that seals the device’s internal elements from the conditions. It has a robust ABS shell that’s durable enough for outdoor adventures.
Additionally, the Icfun Waterproof Dual Arc Lighter has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery which eliminates the need to refill it with butane The lighter’s plasma will even work in high winds, so it’s a good option for more remote backcountry trips.
4. Best Electric Lighter For Camping - Tesla Coil Lighter
The Tesla Coil Lighter is an innovative solution to outdoor lighter needs. It has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that requires no flames or butanes to operate. The device’s battery can easily be charged via USB.
With the push of a button, the lighter produces an electric arc that can be used to start a stove or light a fire. It also has a built-in safety feature that prevents it from lighting when the lid is closed. Plus, it can operate up to 300 times on a single charge for added versatility in the outdoors.
5. Best Plasma Lighter For Camping - Green Vivid Dual Arc Plasma Lighter
Green Vivid’s Dual Arc Plasma Lighter has a fully waterproof and windproof design for use in rough conditions. It has a locking clasp with a metal ring that seals the inside from the rain and snow.
Due to its flameless design, the lighter can work in the windiest of storms. It is USB-rechargeable and can last for up to 300 uses on a single charge. Plus, this lighter is eco-friendly since it doesn’t have to rely on butane to start a fire.
6. Best Zippo Lighter For Camping - Zippo Matte Pocket Lighter
Zippo is well-known for making some of the best lighters in the industry. Their line of matte pocket lighters is no exception.
This lighter is fully windproof and has an all-metal construction that’s durable enough for use on-the-go. It makes the distinctive “clicking” noise when opened to let you know that it’s a genuine high-quality Zippo lighter.
All of these lighters are made in the company’s Bradford, PA factory and are stamped with the date of manufacture. They’re also super easy to refill and are backed by a lifetime warranty.
7. Best Windproof Lighter Camping - UCO Stormproof Torch
The UCO Stormproof Torch is a survivalist-style lighter for use in rugged outdoor conditions. It features a durable ABS and silicone shell that’s strong enough to last through years of use.
This lighter can be refilled with butane over and over again for each new adventure. Additionally, it has a triple jet, adjustable-flame system that lets you customize the lighter’s output to meet your needs. It even has a built-in bottle opener for enjoying refreshing beverages while camping.
8. Best Wand Camping Lighter - Boncas Flexible Wand Lighter
Unlike many other wand-style models, the Boncas Flexible Wand Lighter uses plasma technology to produce a reliable fire-starter without the need for chemicals. This lighter has a 360-degree bendable neck that’s 3.7 inches (9.4cm) long and can be oriented in any direction.
It has a safety lock system that prevents children from starting up the plasma arc and an auto-shutoff system that prevents overheating. The Boncas Flexible Wand Lighter has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can last for hundreds of lights. It’s even fully windproof for use in bad weather.
9. Best Emergency Camping Lighter - UST Wayfinder Lighter
The UST Wayfinder Lighter is a solid all-around option for emergency use. It is lightweight and has a Piezo-electric ignition that can be lit up to 30,000 times.
This lighter is fully weatherproof and can still create a flame in winds up to 80 mph. It has built-in oxygen-adjustment technology, which allows it to work at elevations up to 8,000 feet. Additionally, it has a small compass built into the housing for added functionality in an emergency situation.
10. Best Survival Camping Lighter - Icfun Survival Lighter
The Icfun Survival Lighter puts a modern twist on the classic lighter design. This fully waterproof model has a tube shape that’s compact enough to pack on any trip.
It has a built-in flashlight with three different light modes. Additionally, it has a flameless construction and a USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can produce an arc flame for use in the windiest of conditions. For safety, it even has an automatic power-off function and short-circuit protection to give you peace of mind while camping.
Camping Lighter Buyer’s Guide
Since there are so many different lighters available today, it’s critical that you get the one that’s perfect for your needs. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind as you shop:
As with any piece of camping gear, weight is important as no one wants to carry around more gear than they need to. While most lighters are quite lightweight, others are surprisingly heavy.
Generally, heavier models will have metal casings, while lighter options will be made out of plastic. These metal options are usually more durable but will weigh up to twice as much as their plastic counterparts.
Most lighters are designed to fit into your pocket. However, wand-style lighters are purposefully larger as they help to keep your hands away from open flames.
The downside to these wand-style options is that they are bulkier than pocket lighters. But, if you’re looking to light a stove, barbecue, or large fire, a wand-style model might be best. This is particularly true if your stove or grill has heating units that are hard to reach with a traditional pocket lighter without burning your hands.
One of the main drawbacks of a traditional lighter is that they don’t work when it’s windy and rainy. That being said, many manufacturers now make weather-resistant lighters that can work in foul conditions.
You can often expect to pay a premium for these models, but they’re well worth the extra money if you’re camping in the rain. Additionally, since there’s nothing more frustrating than struggling to light a stove in the wind, it’s a good idea to look for a windproof lighter for more remote backpacking trips.
Modern lighters use two different types of fuel: butane and batteries. Each option has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. This is what you need to know:
The most traditional option, butane lighters have been around for years. These lighters simultaneously release butane - a flammable liquid - from a storage chamber and then use flint to strike a spark. The result is a flame that can then be used to light stoves and start fires.
This style of lighter has been popular for decades because it is simple and easy to use. Pretty much all disposable lighters you might buy will be powered by butane because it is relatively inexpensive.
However, butane models tend to be less water-resistant and windproof than their battery-powered cousins. Plus, they need to be refilled regularly if you want them to work throughout months or years of use.
Battery-powered electric lighters are the newest option on the market. They have increased in popularity over the years because they offer a flameless and more convenient alternative to butane lighters.
With an electric lighter, you can recharge the built-in lithium-ion battery with a USB cable. This battery then creates a small arc between two electrodes that’s windproof and hotter than a standard flame.
The main advantage of a battery-powered model is that you don’t need to refill them with butane. Plus, they tend to be more weather-resistant, which is ideal for backcountry use. However, they are often the more expensive option.
When you use butane lighters, at some point, you’ll run out of fuel. In these situations, you have two choices: refill the cartridge or buy a new lighter.
Some models, such as those from Zippo, are purposefully made to be refilled over and over again. Not only are these refillable options better for your wallet, but they’re also more environmentally friendly because they produce less waste.
Others, like those from Bic, are cheaper, but can’t be easily refilled. So, if you just need a lighter that you’ll use occasionally, a non-refillable option might suffice. But, if you frequently use lighters, then a refillable model is probably your best bet.
No one likes to buy a new piece of gear only to have it break after a few uses. With something as important as a lighter, though, durability is of the utmost importance, since the ability to start a fire can make a big difference in an emergency situation.
The most durable models will be made with an ABS plastic or metal casing that can withstand years of use and abuse. Others, especially the non-refillable kinds, can break easily if dropped, which is not ideal on a long backpacking trip or in a survival situation.
Best camping lighters might not seem like much, but they’re one of the most important pieces of gear that you carry in the outdoors. The ability to reliably start a fire is essential, so it’s critical that you have a durable, weather-resistant lighter that you can take on any adventure.