Colibri Xtreme Lighter


All-conditions flame-maker

I don’t smoke, so what am I doing with a butane lighter in my pocket? My life has no end of candles, lanterns, and fires to light, that’s why. I had one of Brunton’s “Stormproof” Helios lighters until it turned out to be worthless at altitude on a mountain, where making a fire might be important. Besides, the Helios opens so wide you can’t reach it down into votive lights or fat candles or into the thick of kindling.

Solution: the Colibri Quantum Xtreme CX lighter. It’s nice and narrow—fits anywhere. Its “Electro-Flame” ignition has proved fully reliable. And you can dial in the altitude you want it to light at; it changes the fuel/air mix to suit, good up to 15,000 feet. No other lighter does this.

It lists at $100. The lowest price I found was at eLighters, $80—available in black, white, pearl, and blue. REI has a gaudy orange model with what looks like a clear fuel container and maybe lighter weight, but full price: $100. The weight of my black one is 1.85 ounces.

-- Stewart Brand 06/3/04