Having a reliable source of ignition is invaluable when travelling solo or with a group for multi-day expeditions in remote places. Soto have produced two wind-resistant Micro Torches that are lightweight, compact, reach a high of 1300 degrees, and can be filled either with lighter gas or using an adapter can be filled straight from a gas canister. The only difference between the two lighters is the shape of the head, one being vertical the other horizontal.
The Vertical Micro Torch weighs in at 34 grams which is the lighter of the two. Fitting neatly within our solo cooking pot along with a gas canister and stove, it is not far off the size of a standard lighter so should fit into most compact systems.
The Horizontal Micro Torch has an extended head which adds an extra 8 grams to the total weight (42 grams). It is the less compact option of the two due to its shape, but this does provide easier use for some fuel sources. Meths stoves, Kelly Kettles, or natural fuel are much safer to light if you can keep your fingers out of the way.
Although both versions are made almost entirely out of plastic, they certainly don’t feel fragile. The protective cap can be opened with one hand and keeps a solid hold in either position. The cap not only protects against dirt and moisture but also accidental ignition when placed in your pocket. The push button to ignite is large, easy to press with a satisfying click, and can be operated when wearing a thick pair of winter gloves. An issue we did find is that when you release the ignition button there is a slight delay in the gas/flame actually switching off. This isn’t a massive problem but just a reminder that care is needed when removing the Micro Torch away from your stove.
The high intensity of the flame easily lit our stove throughout late summer through to the cold winter months. The flame height can be easily adjusted by the large wheel at the base, although we did find anything less than halfway open and the flame was prone to auto extinguish. We couldn’t be sure if the Micro Torch hit the 1300 degrees it claims but its certainly produces a very high temperature. Kindling and small sticks could easily be lit making quick work in getting our portable grill ready to go whilst on a recent bikepacking trip.
The Micro Torch comes in a variety of colours and has a small hole to add a piece of cordage. The orange version would have been our preferred choice as it can be easily found if misplaced or at night.
Soto are fast becoming one of our favourite brands due to their continuation of producing excellent stoves and accessories. We have found torch style lighters offer much more than simply lighting stoves in poor weather. Sealing frayed ends of a piece of cordage or making quick work of kindling being a couple of common examples. The Soto Micro Torch is well built and worked in a variety of environments and temperatures. A couple of our favourite features were the protective cap and large ignition button. If we could pick one version it would be the vertical option as we found the compact lighter fitted neatly into our cooking system whilst also saving on a few extra grams.
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