The SOL Fire Lite is a cool little piece of gear that you might want to toss in your camp box. If you’ve never used an electric lighter before, they deserve more praise than criticism. Besides a small lighting surface and annoying buzzing sound when you use it, they’re pretty great. They’re easy to charge, safer than matches (when used by kids), and they’ll work in any temperature or altitude. All of this is especially true with the SOL Fire Lite Fuel Free Lighter, which I had the pleasure of using for a few weeks.
Made by the company Survive Outdoors Longer, the Fire Lite is described as featuring a simple touch-to-ignite button to activate a dual arc to start a fire; a rechargeable lithium battery that plugs into a USB port; and when you’re not using it as a lighter, you can use it as a flashlight as the opposite end is equipped with a 100-lumen LED light with three settings (high, low, and strobe). So, how did it hold up?
At under 2 ounces, the SOL Fire Lite weighs next to nothing and it has a really clever design. The way it works is when the lid is closed, the button activates the flashlight. While it’s not something you’d want to depend on if you’re stuck in the field, it provides enough light to dig around a cooler or make your way to the bathroom.
On the other hand, when the lid is open, I found the plasma arc to be very effective at lighting newspapers, fire starters, candles, my camp stove, and even birch bark. It also performed quite well in the wind. That was probably my favorite feature, as it made fire-starting on windy days easy to do. It also comes with three feet of cord, which you can use as a tinder.
Charging the SOL Fire Lite was super easy. It takes about 2 hours to fully charge and you get about 45 lights with it. Lastly, it comes with a waterproof case, which also covers the micro USB port so it can’t be damaged by the elements.
Overall, I found the SOL Fire Lite Fuel-Free Rechargeable Lighter to be an effective, well-designed piece of gear. Some people would say that the battery-powered aspect of it is negative because it could fail. I wouldn’t disagree with that, but I always recommend carrying a second fire source, so that isn’t a concern. For me, the ease of starting a fire easily in windy conditions outweighs the unlikely odds of the battery somehow failing. If it did I’d be prepared anyway.
Features & Specs
- Dual arc plasma flame
- 3 feet of tinder cord
- Flashlight with 100-lumen LED bulb
- Rechargeable battery with USB charger
- Waterproof and windproof case