A lighter and hay being used to start a fire.

5 Best Survival Lighters of 2021 (Reviewed)

5 Best Survival Lighters of 2021 (Reviewed)

Table of Contents

    A good lighter can make or break a camping trip. It’s possible to build a fire with nothing but your hands and some good dry wood, but it’s not easy. That requires a lot of work, it hurts, and it’s mentally draining to keep up the kind of friction and pressure you need to start a fire. Why make starting a fire harder than it needs to be? Survival lighters are built to last, they’re built to work when you need them, be it when you want to cook some beans over a fire or when you’re out of power and trying to fumble your way out of a natural disaster. A good lighter can save a trip and it can save your life. There are a lot of lighters out there, and not all of them are up to the challenge. If you want to cut through the crap and pick out the best of the best, we’ve done the work for you!

    In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

    Overview
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Title
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Price
    $19.99
    Rating
    Overview
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Title
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Price
    $19.99
    Rating

    5 Best Survival Lighters - Overview

    Overview
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Dual Arc Lighter Double Arc Plasma USB Lighter Rechargeable Flameless Waterproof Stormproof Windproof Mini Electric Lighter for Cigar Candle Cigarette Pipe Sport Outdoor(Blue)
    Windmill Classic Stormproof All Weather Lter Blaze Orange 362-0034
    SURVIVE Permanent Match Metal, 2 Pack, Reusable Survival Fire Starter Lighter, Emergency Waterproof Keychain Striker Stick Kit
    Saberlight Sparq Rechargeable Splash and Wind Proof Flameless Butane Free Revolutionary Plasma Beam Lighter
    Title
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Dual Arc Lighter Double Arc Plasma USB Lighter Rechargeable Flameless Waterproof Stormproof Windproof Mini Electric Lighter for Cigar Candle Cigarette Pipe Sport Outdoor(Blue)
    Windmill Classic Stormproof All Weather Lter Blaze Orange 362-0034
    SURVIVE Permanent Match Metal, 2 Pack, Reusable Survival Fire Starter Lighter, Emergency Waterproof Keychain Striker Stick Kit
    Saberlight Sparq Rechargeable Splash and Wind Proof Flameless Butane Free Revolutionary Plasma Beam Lighter
    Price
    $19.99
    $16.99
    $63.94
    $19.99
    Price not available
    Rating
    Overview
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Title
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Price
    $19.99
    Rating
    Overview
    Dual Arc Lighter Double Arc Plasma USB Lighter Rechargeable Flameless Waterproof Stormproof Windproof Mini Electric Lighter for Cigar Candle Cigarette Pipe Sport Outdoor(Blue)
    Title
    Dual Arc Lighter Double Arc Plasma USB Lighter Rechargeable Flameless Waterproof Stormproof Windproof Mini Electric Lighter for Cigar Candle Cigarette Pipe Sport Outdoor(Blue)
    Price
    $16.99
    Rating
    Overview
    Windmill Classic Stormproof All Weather Lter Blaze Orange 362-0034
    Title
    Windmill Classic Stormproof All Weather Lter Blaze Orange 362-0034
    Price
    $63.94
    Rating
    Overview
    SURVIVE Permanent Match Metal, 2 Pack, Reusable Survival Fire Starter Lighter, Emergency Waterproof Keychain Striker Stick Kit
    Title
    SURVIVE Permanent Match Metal, 2 Pack, Reusable Survival Fire Starter Lighter, Emergency Waterproof Keychain Striker Stick Kit
    Price
    $19.99
    Rating
    Overview
    Saberlight Sparq Rechargeable Splash and Wind Proof Flameless Butane Free Revolutionary Plasma Beam Lighter
    Title
    Saberlight Sparq Rechargeable Splash and Wind Proof Flameless Butane Free Revolutionary Plasma Beam Lighter
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating

    1. AbeuRox All In One Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter

    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    59 Reviews
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    • This rugged & heavy duty multifunctional tool, Made of aircraft grade aluminium for the main part. The small tool parts inside were made of Stainless steel. The whole item is very sturdy, high...

    Have you ever taken your lighter fishing? Not just along for the ride ready to light a cigarette or repair some nylon. Have you ever had a lighter that could confidently act as your fishing rod? If you haven’t, then take some time to consider this multitool tactical survival lighter. It isn’t primarily a lighter, but then again it isn’t primarily anything. This short little rod has enough features to make even the most grizzled Legend of Zelda protagonist jealous. It’s tough, it’s a little weird, and it might save you a lot of space the next time you pack your bags.

    This eight-inch modern wonder is capable of about six different functions. It’s a lighter, a light fishing tool, a shrill whistle, a tungsten glass breaker, a bottle opener, a small blade, a saw, and a lanyard that you can use to keep all of your other stuff on your person all at the same time. It’s small and it’s sturdy, it’s sealed from tip to tail with o-rings that will keep moisture out and leaves it with a high-quality feeling build quality. If you’re not using this thing regularly, it’s still nice to have it in your hands while you idle during your daily life.

    PROS

    • Great build quality, very satisfying to hold. It’ll last you a long time and serve you well when its time to shine comes along
    • The wide range of functions make it an easy addition to any survivor’s bag

    CONS

    • As is the case with any multi-tool, this tool can never do the job better than a specialized tool
    • The lighter is great in a pinch, but if you’re looking for something more like a torch, then this isn’t the tool for you

    2. Dual Arc Lighter

    Dual Arc Lighter Double Arc Plasma USB Lighter Rechargeable Flameless Waterproof Stormproof Windproof Mini Electric Lighter for Cigar Candle Cigarette Pipe Sport Outdoor(Blue)
    945 Reviews
    Dual Arc Lighter Double Arc Plasma USB Lighter Rechargeable Flameless Waterproof Stormproof Windproof Mini Electric Lighter for Cigar Candle Cigarette Pipe Sport Outdoor(Blue)
    • The internal lithium-ion battery eliminates the need for liquid fuel, and it can be easily recharged via any USB port using the included cord. It can also be used at all altitudes without requiring...

    This is a strange lighter, but arc lighters like this are becoming more common as people start smoking less, putting a dent in the disposable lighter market, and start looking for lighters that meet more specialized needs. This lighter runs on an internal lithium-ion battery. If you hate refilling lighters or the sinking feeling you get when you discover that your fuel’s run out without you noticing, then this lighter will brighten your mood every time you get to pull it out and put it to work. Instead of refilling it,  the lighter uses a USB port to recharge. If you bring along a portable charger then you’ll never find yourself with an empty lighter ever again. It comes packaged with a cord of its own, but if you’ve got a micro-USB of your own then you’ll be able to charge this lighter anywhere and everywhere.

     Lighters that work without a flame have quite a few obvious advantages over flame lighters. You can use this at much higher altitudes without requiring any oxygen intake adjustment and if the wind is usually a problem for you this lighter is never going to blow out because it just electricity arcing across a small gap. This lighter is capable of withstanding strong winds of around 80 miles per hour. If you’re typically surrounded by water when you’re out camping, then you’re not going to have to worry about having a wet sparking mechanism, just click the switch, and you’re in business.

    We think of water as the Achilles heel to electronics. This lighter is carefully sealed away to keep water from ruining your futuristic arc lighter. It’s housed inside of a buoyant case, so if you’re unlucky enough to drop it into the water, you’re going to be able to retrieve it quickly before any damage can be done. The cap of the lighter is also engineered to keep things nice and tidy. The cover is sealed with an O-ring and kept tight with a simple clasp. The body of this lighter is also incredibly shock-resistant. It’s going to last you a long time in extreme circumstances. As long as you’re careful about keeping the battery life topped off, then this lighter will serve you well in a wealth of situations.

    PROS

    • Stands up well against extreme weather conditions
    • Waterproof and shock-resistant, great for survival packs and hiking gear

    CONS

    • The combustible area of the lighter is a little narrow

    3. Windmill Classic Stormproof All Weather Lighter

    If you’re more partial to a traditional butane lighter, then this old standby from Windmill will fill that need perfectly. This is a dependable lighter that holds up well under pressure, is easy to use, and won’t give up on you when you need it the most. It’s one of the more durable and dependable lighters on this list.

    The body of this lighter is the biggest selling point. The blaze orange polycarbonate body is incredibly durable. The mechanisms of a lighter are all pretty similar, but if they get busted up, then you’re not going to have much luck getting anything out of it. The polycarbonate is durable enough to keep your lighter and its internals safe no matter how much regular wear and tear it incurs. The cap and o-ring seal make it water-proof. Storms, lakes, and oceans stand no chance against this lighter. The simple seal on the cap keeps water out, giving you peace of mind as long as this lighter is on your person. 

    The body of the lighter is also built with a small window into the fuel chamber. If you’ve been disappointed by lighters running out on you without warning in the past, then this little window will save you a world of pain with a simple glance. Refilling this lighter is as simple as refilling any other lighter out on the market. A small, easy to access refilling point located on the bottom of the lighter takes a standard butane refilling canister, no special tools, no obstacles, no fuss. 

    This lighter is incredibly dependable. It’s going to do one thing, and it’s going to do it well no matter what. The sturdy build, the compact design, and the waterproof casing go a long way in creating a reliable piece of equipment.

    It’s also worth mentioning the bright orange color of the case. It’s incredibly eye-catching. When you need a lighter, you usually want to find it quickly, the orange of this lighter pierces directly into your eyes, it’s hard to miss. It’s not much of a stretch to call the vibrant coloring one of the key features of this lighter.

    PROS

    • The bright orange of this lighter makes it easy to spot no matter your lighting conditions or how cluttered your bag is
    • Easy to refill
    • The sight glass on this lighter makes it easy to monitor your fuel levels, so you’ll never be caught off guard

    CONS

    • This lighter has a lot of trouble at higher altitudes, you may need to fiddle with the settings for a long time before you figure out how to get it to cooperate

    4. SURVIVE Permanent Match Metal

    SURVIVE Permanent Match Metal, 2 Pack, Reusable Survival Fire Starter Lighter, Emergency Waterproof Keychain Striker Stick Kit
    1,062 Reviews
    SURVIVE Permanent Match Metal, 2 Pack, Reusable Survival Fire Starter Lighter, Emergency Waterproof Keychain Striker Stick Kit
    • CLASSIC UNIQUE WILDERNESS LIGHTER. AMAZE FRIENDS AND FAMILY. Perfect campout gadget for campfires, grilling, stoves, gas grills and barbecues. No match sticks, it’s forever matchless and...

    Moving parts create several points of failure. A waterproof lighter can still get wet if you forget to shut the lid when you’ve put it away in your bag, and sometimes it’s a pain in the butt to refill a lighter when your butane has run low. This is less of a lighter in the traditional sense, and it’s closer to a new age flint and steel. This permanent metal match from SURVIVE solves a lot of problems that lighters create, and it’s all packaged in an attractive, durable canister.

    This permanent match fits neatly on a keychain or any loop you can slip a keychain onto. It’s also almost impossible to find a space this won’t fit in. It’s not much larger than a small bundle of matches, so if you’re packing for a long trek or you’re aiming to keep your provisions as light as possible, then this unique firestarter is going to slip into your loadout without imposing on you at all.

    You’re probably curious how something like this could possibly work. It just marries the best aspects of a lighter and a match. The body holds onto butane, and the cap is home to a metal match that rests inside of your fuel. They create a seal together and keep your match ready to strike on the canister.

    PROS

    • Always ready to strike
    • No moving parts, removing the possibility of mechanical failure
    • No smoke filling the air after you strike this match

    CONS

    • Requires maintenance. If you’re striking this match often, you’ll probably need to change the wick

    5. Saberlight Sparq Rechargeable Plasma Beam Lighter

    This is another dual arc lighter. The body of the lighter allows you to light fires a little more easily than an arc lighter built to mimic a flip-top lighter. The area that the arcs are crossing is still very narrow on this lighter, but they’re situated, unencumbered at the very top of the lighter, so you can touch them against the object you’re trying to ignite, rather than being forced to fit it between a small opening. 

    The increased utility of this lighter is a massive benefit over arc lighters that look to mimic lighters you’re more used to seeing does sacrifice some of the weatherproofing those lighters strive to include.

    This lighter is small, easy to use, and if you’re clever you can use it ways a flame butane fueled lighter could never be used. The electric nature of this lighter means that users can charge it on the go, if you’re ever near any kind of source of electricity, you’re never out of fire. It’s much easier to recharge this lighter than it is to somehow come across lighter fluid after you’ve run out.

    PROS

    • Easy to use
    • Great for windy areas and people that hate fighting with fickle flames
    • Much more versatile than its simple design lets on 

    CONS

    • Not as sturdy or weatherproof as other arc lighters on the market. The cap especially is one of the weakest points on this lighter
    • The point of ignition is small, so you’ll need to spend more time cultivating your flame after getting your fire started

    Our Winner

    Overview
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Title
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Price
    $19.99
    Rating
    Overview
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Title
    AbeuRox All In One Gadgets Multitool Tactical Survival Gear with Lighter(No Fuel Include), Fishing Tool, Glass Breaker, Whistle, Blade, Ideal EDC kit for Car, Traveling, Camping and Other Outdoors
    Price
    $19.99
    Rating

    It’s going to be hard to find a lighter that’s more versatile than the AbeuRox multitool. If you’re in a jam, or you just love having more than one option on your hands, this lighter is going to come in clutch. The tools themselves are serviceable enough, and you’ll be delighted when the rare moment arises. It’s durable, easy to wield, and a fun novelty, even if it never has the opportunity to save the day. This lighter is an excellent addition to any survival stockpile, and it’s way more helpful than any lighter has any right to be.

    What Makes a Survival Lighter

    A survival lighter is something that can make or break your bug out bag or your survival plan. If you find yourself needing a lighter in a pinch or if you just like having a reliable lighter when you’re out camping, you’re going to be looking for a few key things in a survival lighter. Those are durability, reliability, and versatility. A lighter that’s able to tick all three of these boxes should be the lighter you choose to take along with you or store somewhere safe in case of an emergency. What do those three things mean? How do you tick all three boxes? We’ll let’s go for a quick deep dive.

    Durability: A durable lighter is going to be able to survive a tumble. Lighters tend to be pretty small, they’re usually tucked away inside of a pocket or found at the bottom of your bag. When a lighter is tucked away it needs to be able to survive the experience. A cheap lighter from the gas station might lose its hood and, in turn, destroy the jet or the valve. Cheap sparking mechanisms or flimsy bodies will render your lighters useless pretty quickly, so a durable lighter will have the structure and material to withstand a little bit of shock. A lighter doesn’t have to be built like Ft. Knox to earn a spot in a survival pack, but you should be able to drop it a couple of times without having to resort to sticks and rope to get your fire started. 

    Reliability: A reliable lighter does the same thing every single time you activate it. We’re going to pick on gas station lighters again. Some of those cheap lighters you find at the counter are made to be quick to build and easy to reproduce, but that means you’re sacrificing quality in a lot of areas. If you’ve ever tried lighting a cigarette with one of those, you’ll eventually run into the citation where your lighter is still full of fluid and all but one of the parts work. You can flick that wheel for hours without generating a spark, or maybe something happened in the valve and now your lighter is just a glorified piece of transparent plastic. Reliability matters when you’re picking out a survival lighter. It needs to be powerful and it needs to stay that way for a long time. You never know when you’re going to need to melt together the ends of some nylon or heat a needle. It’s not all about building fires and torching things. It’s about knowing that the lighter you pull out of your bag is going to perform no matter how much pressure is on it.

    Versatility: Versatility is the least important of the three, but it still matters a great deal. When you’re building a survival kit or planning a camping trip, you want to save on space. Tools with more than one function get sent to the top of the priority list because you can save on space, weight, and hassle. If you can find yourself a lighter that’s able to act as more than just your lighter then you don’t just have a lighter. You have a companion.

    Take the time to mull your decisions over carefully. What works for one person might not work for you. We try to make the best call with the information we have, but if you’re the tinder master and you feel like you can get along just fine with your favorite disposable lighter then that lighter ticks all three boxes for you, and as long as you’ve considered every angle as carefully as we have then you’ll be just fine.

    Bonus Tip: If you’re mystified by plasma lighters, then this video has a lot to teach you!

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    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.

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