Lighters are one of those often overlooked but essential pieces of camp cooking gear. Nothing can bring more frustration when attempting to light a stove, while surrounded by a group of hungry campers, than a malfunctioning lighter. Inexpensive barbeque style lighters are not refillable and their piezoelectric ignitions often fail to ignite the fuel. In light of this, we were excited to see Zippo’s new Outdoor Utility Lighter at the Outdoor Retailer show. The lighter offers a wind resistant dual-flame design, a refillable fuel reservoir, and rubber handle.
- Fuel: Butane
- Length: 7-3/4in
- Material: Chromed metal with rubber grip
- Flame: Adjustable wind resistant 'Dual-Flame'
- Ignition: Piezoelectric
The first thing any lighter should do is ignite, and the Outdoor Utility Lighter does that very well. The dual-flame design ignites the fuel upon the first click of the lighter nearly every time. The only time we experienced difficulty igniting the fuel was when the lighter had been sitting outside in the cold, and we attribute this to the lower fuel pressure seen at lower temperatures. The lighter’s wind resistant dual-flame works well in the windy conditions we often experience while camping in Idaho and Wyoming. We only noticed the flame extinguishing under the most sever wind, and even then our camp stove had a hard time staying lit.
|Step One: Depress the child-resistant button|
While we are pleased with the performance of the dual-flame design, we were less than thrilled with Zippo’s ‘patented child-resistant safety button.’ This is by far one of the most un-ergonomic lighters I have ever used. The ‘child-resistant safety button,’ which lies in a depression in the rubber grip opposite and slightly behind the ignition button, must be depressed prior to the ignition button. We found this to be rather cumbersome to try and master as our index finger and thumb would often squeeze together when trying to depress the safety button and resulted in errantly depressing the ignition button first. What should have been a simple operation, required additional concentration and dexterity. We found the best way to operate the lighter was to apply pressure to the top of the lighter with the thumb (as seen in the above image), press firmly on the safety button with the index finger, and then rock the thumb onto the ignition button.
|Step Two: Depress the ignition button|
We found the Zippo Outdoor Utility Lighter to be well built and deliver on the wind-resistant dual-flame. However, we found it very awkward, and at times rather frustrating, to use. Based on this we would not recommend the lighter. A simple change in the design to make it more ergonomic would have made a huge difference. Zippo would have an exceptional product if this one area was improved.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Outdoor Utility Lighter for free from Zippo