Soto Pocket Torch XT

Soto Pocket Torch XT

I‘ve had my eye on the Soto Pocket Torch XT for a while now. When camping, it’s a good idea to carry a few items for fire starting because fire can be such an essential thing for survival. I personally carry a ferro rod, char cloth, a fire piston, some homemade fire starters, and a lighter. Now I will carry the Pocket Torch XT instead of the lighter.

Let‘s face it; you would be hard pressed to beat a lighter for fire starting while out in the woods. These things are pretty reliable, work quickly, and are not very bulky or heavy to carry. That being said, there are a couple ways that the Soto Pocket Torch XT is better than the ordinary disposable lighter, and that brings us to the first improvement. The Pocket Torch XT is refillable. Standard cans of butane fuel used for cigarette lighters can be used to refill. Soto sells an adapter for camping style fuel canisters so you can use them to re-fill the Pocket Torch XT as well. I do all that I can to reduce my waste, so I like getting away from disposable lighters.

Next, let‘s talk about the flame produced by the Soto Pocket Torch XT. The flame is much like a miniature propane torch that you would use for sweating plumbing joints. The combustible gas is released from the Pocket Torch in such a way that it creates blowtorch-like flame that is an inch to an inch and a half long, and pretty much wind resistant. Simply blowing on the flame won‘t put it out. A fairly strong puff from the lips is needed to blow out the flame.

Another great feature of the Soto Pocket Torch XT is that you can point the flame in any direction. Sideways and upside down are not a problem. And because the Pocket Torch XT has an extendable section to get the flame away from your hand, lighting those alcohol stoves is no problem. Attempting to stick an upside down disposable lighter into the top of an alcohol stove and not burning the hair on your hand is not even a consideration with the Pocket Torch XT.

Soto Pocket Torch XT extended

The Soto Pocket Torch XT has a safety switch to prevent accidental ignition. This switch must pressed inward toward the lighter before pressing downward toward the bottom of the Pocket Torch. A little practice is needed to get the method down. A few friends of mine all had a learning curve when trying out the Pocket Torch XT for the first time. Once the switch is released, it takes a second or two for the flame to go out. The gas in the extendable rod needs to be burned off after releasing the switch. You just have to hang on to the lighter for a second or two before setting the Pocket Torch down.

For you weight weenies, the Soto Pocket Torch XT is only slightly bigger than a disposable lighter and weighs in at about 1.8 ounces with fuel in it. I didn‘t weigh the lighter with the tank completely full but I can‘t imagine the fuel weighs that much. MSRP is $24.95. I bought mine at REI, but they are available on several places on the net.

– Mark

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