We’ve all been there, stood outside the boozer trying to light a cigarette and the crappy 99p lighter you got from the corner shop won’t hold a flame. The slightest breeze seems to snuff the bloody thing out. Don’t fret, we’re here to save you from this all too familiar anguish, our guide to the best windproof lighters will make this an issue of the past. or at least until you forget to fill up your new zippo with fluid and have to go back to that cheap plastic piece of s***.
The Winner: Zippo Classic Lighter
The original and still the best. The classic Zippo is the best of the windproof lighters we tested. Simple and reliable, we never struggled to get a flame or light this in our simulated wind. The Zippo also gives off a strong flame, making lighting your cigarette a breeze. Zippo Lighters are known for their build quality and this one doesn’t disappoint, you just know it is going to last for years.
The High Polish Chrome lighter, one of Zippo's most popular finishes, has been in the product line since 1938. All surfaces of the lighter (front, reverse, top, bottom and sides) are finished with a lustrous, mirror-like finish.
VVAY Electric Rechargeable Arc Lighter
This is one nice looking lighter, if you are after something electric that you can just plug in to charge then this could well be the lighter for you. The VVAY electric lighter uses a “touch sensor” to light, that is what is advertised but it’s not really a touch sensor. There is a small light (laser possibly?) coming from one end of the black plastic to the other. When you break the beam with your thumb the lighter lights. Not really a touch sensor per se but has the exact same function, so who really cares? Plus its pretty fekin cool, I found myself turning this thing on and off as a habit, sort of like flipping a zippo lighter lid but with this plasma lighter you get to see an epic flameless arc lighter. This windproof lighter is USB rechargeable so you won’t need to keep any lighter fluid on hand, which is an advantage over butane fuel lighters. It comes complete in box with a charging cable although I’m sure like me you have tons of those things lying around anyway.
Electronic lighter with two crossed up electrodes, ignition by touch sensor, the flameless lighter is 100% windproof.
This is one cool looking lighter, whether you want to stand out that much when lighting up is a different question. Definitely one for the more flamboyant out there. Comes with charger and instructions manual in a nice box which makes it suitable for gift giving. One big advantage going forward is the fact its charged over USB. If you are someone who smokes a lot at work I can see this being pretty useful, plug it in and leave it on your desk and you will never be without a light – ideal. The Tesla arc given out by this lighter is definitely cool, and it does seem to light objects okay and provides the most windproof flame out of all the lighters we tested. Arc lighters have a windproof design as standard.
This is a good all round lighter, the only drawback being the strength of the “Flame”. Using an electric arc means it can take a while to light objects with this lighter. It will be fine for cigarettes but you can forget trying to light anything bigger such as a cigar on this.
VVAY 4 Jet Butane Lighter
The bright red flame this lighter gives of certainly stands out. A huge jet of red flame, maybe not the most practical way to light up but it definitely catches the eye. Comes with all the features you would expect including a see-through window to see the gas level, it is very easy to fill using a butane refill can so no complaints there.
Again this is a cool looking lighter, the bright red flame is sweet, I found myself a bit mesmerised by it to be perfectly honest. Like the first VVAY lighter it comes in a nice presentation box making it perfect for gifting. The body is full metal and it does heat up fast, not much of a problem if you are just lighting a cigarette but if you are using this for anything more substantial such as a cigar then your thumb is going to get really hot. A great looking lighter but maybe not the most practical. The torch lighter is definitely wind resistant, mainly due to the ridiculous size of flam this windproof lighter puts out.
The window for seeing how much fuel is left is completely useless. Give it a good shake and the level will change from empty to full. Meaning you never really know how much fuel is actually in the lighter. We also had issues getting a consistent light from this lighter. Every over attempt it would not light. Then other times it would light then immediately go out. Although a very cool looking lighter with an epic flame we would recommend against this lighter.
Ronxs 3 Flame Butane Lighter
Another lighter with a cool flame design. The Ronxs has a triple-flame design, which gives of a powerful but more controlled flame when compared to the VVAY 4 flame jet. This lighter runs off lighter fluid so will need to be refiled, unlike the USB rechargeable electric lighters.
Definitely a more practical option than the 4 flame lighter. The Ronxs ignition switch is down the side, meaning it takes longer to get hot, allowing you to light larger items such as cigars. The flame is decent but not as extravagant as the other, a lighter for the more sophisticated gentleman.
The window to see the fuel level is really small, making it difficult to see. However, unlike the VVAY it is at least accurate, giving consistent results. We also had a couple of issues with inconsistent lighting, again though this was nowhere near as bad as the VVAY.
What is a windproof lighter? How does it differ from a regular lighter?
Well, the hint is in the name… these lighters are designed to be windproof, or wind-resistant at least. They work well in windy conditions. For the electric arc lighters, this is due to the fact they use an electric ignition and electric “flame”. For some of the gas lighters the windproof design comes down to the large flame they put out and double, triple or even quadruple jets.
Are windproof lighters good for camping?
Yes well beyond being a great option for cold windy nights outside the boozer, windproof lighters also make a great camping companion. If you are out in the sticks and the wind is howling then a good windproof lighter will be a massive helper.
Can I light a fire with one of these lighters?
Yes, you can! For the ultimate guide on building a fire check out this article from the art of manliness