Saturday, 14 May 2011
Eurohike Double Jet Storm Lighter, Review
I got a few bit's and pieces recently from Millets for review including the Primus Express Spider which really needs no introduction but hopefully I can add something useful to the reviews already out there. First though I'm going to look at the Eurohike branded Double Jet butane storm lighter.
I've tried a few butane storm lighters in the past but was left unimpressed with the result that I went back to using cheap disposable lighters. The 1st one I tried was a Turboflame, it worked for a while but it was extremely temperamental and surprisingly didn't like the cold. I found that in temperatures around freezing that it wouldn't light even if I'd had it in my trouser pocket. Refilling was a pain too, the instructions for refilling ran to 10 steps, See Here the 10th step advising repeating steps 1-9 if it didn't work (since I posted this I've managed to locate the instructions that came with mine, mine had a 9 step filling procedure, step 9 advising repeating steps 1-8. In addition just below the refilling instructions it warns that "Turboflame works best at room temperature, in cold conditions warm up in hands before ignition"). The other things I disliked were that there was no way of telling how much gas there was remaining and the flame adjustment was difficult to use in the kind of conditions you'd actually need a specialist lighter. In the end the piezo ignitor button return mechanism broke probably due to repeated attempts to get the lighter to actually work.
Next up I tried an unbranded storm lighter bought from ASMC in Germany, it was much more fragile looking than the Turboflame but only cost about €5. It worked well, much less temperamental than the Turboflame but eventually it too stopped working. What I discovered when I took it apart was that it was really nothing more than a small generic storm lighter in a tougher looking plastic and rubber shell although I didn't realise the significance until after buying my 3rd Storm Lighter.
The 3rd Storm lighter was an impulse buy, I'd been in Cotswold in Belfast and as they didn't have what I was looking for I bought the Silva Helios. It really looked the part in the packaging with a tough looking body that appeared to be alloy with rubber grips, it also came in a nice presentation tin and was supplied with a lanyard. I was pretty disappointed when I got it home and opened it to find that the 'alloy' body was in fact plastic, things went from bad to worse when it stopped working later the same evening and as if that weren't enough under the tough looking shell the actual lighter looked identical to the cheap unbranded version from ASMC. Although I probably had one that was faulty and I don't believe that they're all as unreliable as mine yet the Helios cost £17 and given that the lighter part was the same as the unbranded/£5 one I'd effectively paid £12 for the presentation tin!! I'm not sure if there's any significance in the fact that I can't find the Helios on the Silva website, maybe I've missed it or maybe they no longer stock it.
Having given up on 'Outdoors' lighters I simply went back to disposables, normally ones with a clear reservoir that let you see how much gas remains. It was only after being asked by Millets to choose a few items for review that I even considered using a 'Storm' type lighter.
When the Eurohike Double Jet windproof lighter arrived the 1st I did was fill it, no instructions required. Once filled I adjusted the flame using the large knob on the base and it fired up straight away.
The lighter isn't metal bodied but it does feel quite robust weighing in at around 85g, it's symmetrical with the raised section that holds the latch button being replicated on the opposite side where a lanyard can be attached.
The body has a flip up lid to protect the actual burner head and that looks to be the only weak point as the hinge is quite small. The body is quite tall yet tapers nicely so it's easy to get it out of a trouser pocket, that said the absence of any rubberised grips makes it a bit slippery. Where I find it better than my regular disposable lighters is that it'll work even if my hands are wet and as the flame is directional it's easier to light stoves light a Trangia where you need to point the lighter down to reach the fuel.
There are a couple of gimmicky features though, 1st and immediately obvious is the small compass set into the lighter body. I suspect it's more of a styling exercise than of any real use but if I was really upset about it I could just break it off, to be honest I think they should just omit it as in my opinion it cheapens the appearance of the lighter.
The 2nd gimmick in my opinion is the double flame, I don't see it as serving any purpose and I suppose it must mean that the lighter uses 2x times as much gas, that said I've been using it for over a week and it hasn't been refilled since I got it. The one other thing I'm not keen on is that it doesn't have a 'window' to let you see how much gas remains but that is a fairly common feature with lighters generally.
Obviously I can't comment on long term durability but so far it's lasted longer than my Silva Helios which failed within hours. As far as performance is concerned it's vastly more reliable than my Turboflame, easier to fill easier to adjust wearing gloves, it also feels more durable than the £5 from ASMC. It's a good product in my view and works as a lighter should without any unnecessary faffing around, at £7.99 if you need a 'Storm' lighter it's worth considering, definitely don't be put off by the compass or the double flame feature.