One thing that should be important to all preppers is having the ability to make a fire in a variety of situations. Many of you who are reading this article have spent countless hours honing your bushcrafting and survival skills. There is no doubt that a lot of you can make a fire using primitive techniques such as flint and steel or even a bow drill.
Those are impressive skills to have but the reality is that there are far more people that don’t have those skills than those that do. This is why my personal preference when it comes to starting fires is using modern and reliable butane lighters.
My husband would enjoy using primitive fire starting techniques but as a woman, I would much prefer to use a simple butane lighter and get my fire started quickly and easily.
A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking about using butane lighters to start a fire and I started doing some research about “windproof” lighters. It was then that I stumbled upon a unique lighter that I had never seen before called that infiniteLite refillable windproof lighter.
Whenever I’m out in the woods, I carry a simple disposable butane lighter and I have several in my bug out bags but while I was doing this research, I saw the infiniteLite and realized that someone had built a better mousetrap.
Let me take a brief moment and explain what it was that caught my eye about this particular type of lighter. We’ve all seen those disposable lighters that have a plastic handle and a long metal neck. They can be real handy when it comes to getting your flame to the exact place that you need it to be while you are starting a fire.
Over the years, I’ve bought countless numbers of them. As a matter of fact I’ve got several of them sitting around that have run out of fuel that just need to be thrown away.
The infiniteLite is similar to that type of lighter in the sense that it has a long neck and that it uses butane as the fuel source. While it’s similar, there were some features that I saw that instantly caught my eye and made me think that this particular lighter is a big improvement on that design.
Let me first tell you about the similarities and I’ll tell you about the differences. InfiniteLite lighters have a plastic handle, a long metal neck, and they use butane as their fuel source.
That’s where the similarities end between the cheap disposable lighters and the infiniteLite. The infiniteLite is actually a refillable butane lighter that has a long flexible neck. This “flexible neck” feature is what initially caught my eye when I saw this lighter.
The first thing that came to my mind was that with a lighter like this, it would be really easy to put your flame exactly where you need it to be after you had prepared your fire to be started.
The company that is behind this particular lighter is called Sun Equipment Corporation. They sell two versions of it. One comes with a 16.25″ metal flexible neck and the other one comes with a 5.5″ metal flexible neck.
The other thing that caught my eye about this lighter is that it was advertised as being “windproof”. Even when using a disposable butane lighter, it’s not uncommon for the wind to blow out the flame while you are trying to start a fire.
I read the information on the company’s website and it was intriguing enough that I sent an email to the company asking them if they wouldn’t mind sending me a lighter to test and review here on Preppers Illustrated. They responded promptly with a few questions about how I learned about the lighter and what my interest in it was and they were kind enough to send me not one, but two lighters to test and write about.
In the interest of full disclosure, they didn’t charge me for the lighters that they sent me to test. The only reason I tell you that is because I don’t want you to think that the opinions that I’m about to share with you were influenced by the fact that I didn’t have to pay for these lighters. They sent them to me in exchange for my honest opinion of their product. This is exactly what you’ll get in this review.
Let me take a minute and tell you about the features that I really like about these particular lighters and then I’ll tell you about my my experiences while actually using them.
The Features That I Like
- Both lighters have a long flexible metal neck which allows you to direct your flame to virtually anyplace that you want it.
- The lighters are actually refillable so instead of ending up with junk drawer full of lighters that are empty with no way to refill them, I can simply refill my infiniteLite lighters and use them over and over again.
- They come with a unique child-resistant switch that makes it difficult for a child to be able to light one.
- They use an electronic ignition system that is powered by a single AA battery that is capable of producing a continuous spark that will automatically re-light the flame in the event that the wind should blow it out.
- Lastly, they come with a two-year warranty against manufacture defects. I don’t consider myself to be a lighter expert but I can honestly tell you that I’ve never owned a lighter that had any kind of warranty whatsoever.
My Actual Experiences During Testing
The lighters don’t come filled with fuel so after making a trip to the hardware store for a can of butane, I was excited to fill them up and see how they worked.
As previously mentioned, I’ve never used a refillable lighter before so I was a little bit confused about how to get the butane from the can into the lighter itself.
The instructions on the package show where the butane gas refill hole is but I wasn’t able to clearly understand from the instructions exactly how to fill the lighter. Fortunately, I was able to get better instructions on their website and within a few minutes I had both of my lighters filled up and ready to test.
They have a clear window in the handle that you can look through to see whether or not you have any butane left in the lighter. I looked through the little window and they appeared to be full so I pushed the button and expected to see flame come out the end of the flexible neck but I didn’t.
I’m a little bit embarrassed to say that I played around with it for quite some time before I actually took the time to read the instructions to see how to properly use the child safety switch.
After I figured out that I should have read the instructions in the first place, I was really pleased with the way the lighters performed. I have to tell you that I’m quite impressed with the steps that this company has taken to make the lighter difficult for children to operate. Unlike the cheap disposable long neck lighters where you simply need to pull the trigger for the flame to light, you need to follow the exact procedures on the package to get these lighters to spark a flame.
There are two components to the switch. There is a “locking piece” and an “ignition button”. To get the lighter to spark a flame, you first pull down on the locking piece with your thumb, then while holding the locking piece down, you push on the ignition button with your thumb, lastly you slide the whole switch forward and a flame will come out of the end of the flexible neck. This may sound cumbersome but with a minute of practice, it’s quite easy to do one-handed.
As long as you hold the ignition button down, a tiny spark will pulsate at the tip of the lighter which is what makes this lighter windproof. During testing, I intentionally blew the flame out with the goal of simulating what sometimes happens when it’s windy outside. Because of the pulsating ignition switch, the flame instantly re-ignited.
My Overall Impression of This Product
I have to say that I really like both the lighters. Like I mentioned before, they sell two models. If I were just choosing one to keep with my camping supplies or in my bug out bag, it would probably be the one with the shorter neck. They both function the same but for survival or camping situations I don’t see a real advantage to having a 16.25″ long neck.
Now, on the other hand, if I were buying one for use around the home, it would most likely be the one with the longer neck. The longer neck would be really convenient for things like starting a pilot light on a gas water heater or furnace. It would also be real handy for lighting a gas barbecue grill. I really think that the longer neck would be a good safety feature when working around combustible gases like natural gas or propane. I don’t like to get my hands real close to appliances when I’m starting the pilot lights so my preference would be the model with the longer neck for home use.
I really looked these lighters over closely and the only thing that I can say that concerns me a little bit is the fact that they need a battery in order to ignite the flame. This certainly isn’t a deal-breaker but from a preppers perspective, I would suggest that you keep a spare battery with you just in case the one that is in it doesn’t have enough of a charge to ignite the flame.
I can’t really say that this a criticism about the product because I really like that it has an electronic ignition. That’s what makes the flame instantly restart if the wind blows it out.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that the lighter with the shorter neck will be going in my bug out bag along with a spare battery, just in case.
Where You Can Get One
You can buy them from the company’s website which is sun-lighters.com.
The model with the 16.25″ flexible neck will cost you $49.99 and the model with the 5.5″ neck will cost you $39.99. Sure, that’s more than you might have to spend for a cheap disposable lighter, but in my opinion, it’s worth spending the extra money for a lighter that is both refillable and windproof.