Gear Windmill Trekker Stormproof Lighter
Test Report by Jennifer Koles
June 29, 2010
Skip to my Initial
Report- February 14, 2010
Skip to my Field
Report- April 26, 2010
Skip to my Long
Term Report- June 29, 2010
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: Orange County, California,
getting into the outdoors scene camping while 4-wheeling
and day-hiking, I switched to backpacking in the early 2000's. I have backpacked
extensively in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho along with California, Pennsylvania
and Nevada. I have slowly been cutting my base weight to be able
to go longer in duration and distance. I have done
so mainly by using better gear and dumping heavy luxuries. I backpack year
round in all weather, and usually take a free standing tent
and a gas stove on all my trips. I love trying out new gear.
The author in the Narrows at Zion
National Park, Utah.
Information and Description
Windmill Trekker Stormproof
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer Website: www.essentialgear.com
on Website: 2.5
oz (71 g)
on Packaging: 2 oz (57 g)
Measured Actual Weight with Fuel: 2.5
oz (71 g)
Fuel Capacity: 4
g (0.14 oz)
Size Listed on Product Website: 3.7
x 1.2 in (9 x 3 cm)
Size Listed on Packaging: 3.7 x 1.5
in (9 x 4 cm)
Measured Size: 3.7 x 1.2 in (9
x 3 cm)
Available Case Colors: Matte
Black, Smoke Black, Blaze Orange, Clear, Smoke Green
Color Tested: Matte Black
MSRP: $55.00 US
Image courtesy of the Essential Gear website.
The Windmill Trekker lighter is a butane
gas, Piezo-electric lighter. It is marketed as being windproof
(withstands 70-80 mph/113-129 kph winds), has a catalyzer
coil, water resistant (with 5 O-ring seals) when the cap
is closed, an extra large fuel tank, over 1,000
ignitions on a single fill, and burns with a clean hot
flame at 2,000 F (1,093 C). The lighter is operated by
a Piezo-electric ignition system that allows for one handed
operation and is ignited when the ignition lever is pressed
down. The Trekker is marketed as being able to last over
It is recommended
by the manufacturer to use Premium Butane or Quadruple-Refined
Butane Gas Fuel. The fuel is not included with the
lighter. The manufacturer sent me a 3.38 fl oz (100
ml) canister of Quadruple-Refined Butane to fill
the lighter. The fuel is the brand Lucienne and is
marked as having zero impurities and has fueling
instructions on the canister.
The case of the lighter
is larger than traditional lighters I have around
my house. It has a diameter of 1.2 in (3 cm) and
is 3.7 in (9 cm) long. The rubberized casing of
the lighter has six raised grips on one side and
has a smooth type of grip on the opposite side. There
are two fuel indicator windows opposite of each
other splitting up the two different styles of grip
on the lighter. These windows measure approximately
0.65 in (1.65 cm) long.
The Trekker lighter comes with
a lanyard measuring 8 in (20 cm) long to the plastic
end piece. The lanyard is secured to the lighter
by passing through two holes (below the grips) about
0.5 in (1.27 cm) from the Trekker base. The lanyard
has a standard type of cord lock to make the opening
smaller or larger.
Before receiving the Trekker I viewed the manufacturer's
website to learn about the product. The instructions
can be downloaded from the site and the basic information
about the lighter is listed. When I received the Trekker
I was surprised that it had such a rugged appearance.
It definitely does not look like a typical
disposable lighter I would purchase at a grocery
I opened the packaging and glanced
over the instructions. Without wasting any time,
I decided to go ahead and fill the Trekker with
the butane fuel the manufacturer provided. It
was simple to fill it up. I just turned the lighter
upside down and placed the butane filler tip
into the inlet valve on the bottom of the Trekker.
I pressed down and I could see the fuel level
rising in the fuel window. After a few seconds
the Trekker was full.
The flame can be adjusted by using a small screwdriver
or a thumbnail to turn the flame adjustment ring
on the bottom of the lighter. I chose not to adjust
the flame at this time. There are markings of -
and + to indicate which way to turn the adjuster
for the desired flame height. The flame can be adjusted
for changes in altitude or temperatures.
Now time to play with fire. I opened the cap by releasing
the metal lock handle. I then pressed the side switch
to flip the cap open. I ignited the Trekker with no
difficulties by pressing down on the lever. And there
was fire. There was also a noise that sort of sounded
like wind in a confined space. This is normal. The
manufacturer has in the directions there is a hissing
noise when the Trekker is lit. The flame is not a typical
orange flame from a disposable lighter. The flame is
blue at the base and has a slight orange color in the
upper portion of the flame and it is barely visible
in daylight. The flame is pointed at the top. The flame
indicator window located
on side of combustion chamber glows a light
orange when the Trekker is lit. Heat is produced about
6 in (15 cm) above the flame. So, I have to watch where
my hands and fingers are when I am using this.
When I was done playing with fire, I released the
lever and the flame disappeared. So did the noise.
I flipped the cap down and locked it with the metal
I decided to melt the ends of some cording to make
zipper pulls for one of my packs. I lit the lighter
again and I did not have to put the cording in the
flame to melt the ends. I held the cord close to the
flame and the ends melted without blackening.
So far I am impressed with this lighter. I will be using
it from sea level to over 10,000 ft (3,048 m). The manufacturer
has on the packaging material that with the controllable
gas flow the lighter can be used at varying elevations
up to 10,000 ft (3,048 m). I would like to see if it
works in higher elevations.
Death Valley, California: The
Trekker Lighter was used here while car/bike camping for
two days. The elevation was approximately -180 ft (-56 m)
and the low temperature was 49 F (9 C).
Cleveland National Forest, California
(San Mateo Wilderness): The Trekker Lighter was
used here on an overnight trip. The low temperature was
in the low 50's F (10 C). The high elevation
on this trip was 2,000 ft (610 m).
Corona Del Mar, California: I
used the Trekker on the beach to light a fire pit
BBQ at sea level. The winds were
gusting 20-30 mph (32-48 kph).
in the Field
So far I am pleased with the Windmill Trekker
Lighter. It is heavier and more rugged looking than other lighters
I own. But, since it has not failed me, I do not mind the extra
weight. I have used it the past two months to light my solo
canister stove, my homemade alcohol stove, and a fire pit.
I also used it to burn the ends of cording and webbing.
The flame is hot! It lights my stoves without
having to put the flame into the fuel source. I can hold the
lighter about 1 in (3 cm) away and I am still able
to light my stoves. The lighter has ignited on the first push
of the lever at elevations ranging from -180 ft (-56 m) to
2,000 ft (610 m). I have yet to use it at the maximum elevation
range of 10,000 ft (3,048 m). I will be out in the backcountry
of Utah in June and I will see if the lighter works at just
below and above 10,000 ft (3,048 m). Even at low elevation
there has been no need for me to adjust the flame adjuster.
The lighter has a large diameter and my hands
are small. Therefore when I am holding the lighter my index
finger is not completely on the raised grip. If I use the lighter
in my left hand my fingers are resting on the smoother grip
and not the raised one. This has not created a problem for
me. But, it may be nice to have the raised grips on both sides
of the lighter; so that when I use it left handed I have the
benefit of the raised grips on my fingers.
I dropped the lighter on some wet dirt
when it was open and I found that it was still
able to ignite. It was also able to ignite it in a light rain
outside my home.
The fuel indicator window makes it easy for
me to see how much fuel is left in the lighter. Over the past
two months there has been no need for me to refill it, as I
have about 3/4 fuel remaining in the reservoir.
I like all the features of the lighter except
I could do without the lanyard. There has been no need
for me to use it as I carry the lighter in a pocket
in my pack. The locking latch and the side switch to open the
cap are holding up well. With just one press of the side switch
the lighter cap hinges open. The locking latch keeps the cap
locked in place even when bouncing around in my pack or when
I drop the lighter.
Cleveland National Forest,
California: This was a one night backpacking trip
with a first-timer friend of mine. The low temperatures
hovered around 40 F (4 C). The elevation at camp was 1,600
ft (488 m).
Near Red Rocks, Nevada: This
was a one night camping trip. It was very warm at night with
the temperatures in the upper 70's F (24 C) and the elevation
was around 4,500 ft (1,400 m).
Corona Del Mar, California: I
used the Trekker on the beach on two occasions to light
a fire pit BBQ at sea level. The winds were light.
Wasatch-Cache Mountain National
Forest, Utah: I used the Trekker Lighter here
at elevations ranging from 4,823 ft (1,470 m) to 8,200
ft (2,499 m).
Over the past two months I tried to use the
Trekker daily at my home at an elevation of 62 ft (to light
candles and just to see if it would light everyday. I am living
at about 67 ft (19 m) above sea level. I am happy to say that
lighter has never failed at this elevation. It worked on the
I have some bad news though. I tested the
Trekker Lighter in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah
and it failed at 8,200 ft (2,499 m) while trying to
light a backpacking stove. The
flame appeared for a brief moment and then went out completely.
Wind was not an issue since there was only a light breeze.
I tried changing the setting of the flame adjuster and I had
no success. However, in this same mountain range the Trekker
Lighter worked fine with no issues at 4,823 ft (1,470 m) and
6,900 ft (2,103 m). It was very disappointing to me that the
Trekker failed at higher elevations. I will say that the flame
adjuster is not easy to use without a screwdriver. My nails
are not long enough to turn the dial and I was without my multi-tool
on this trip. I opted to use a coin. It worked, but it would
be nice to have a plastic piece at the end of the lanyard to
use for adjusting the dial.
Near Red Rocks Nevada I used the Trekker Lighter
to light my stove for breakfast. The winds were gusty (over
30 mph - 48 kph) and there were no issues getting the lighter
I like the idea that I can see how much fuel
is remaining for use. When it was getting low I could see that
I needed to add more fuel. It is also nice to see when filling
the Trekker how much fuel needs to be added before it is completely
full. I had to refill the lighter one time during the past
two months and the process was very easy and straight forward.
I did not overfill it as I looked in the window to see when
it was full.
This is a durable lighter that works with
the push of a button at all elevations I encountered up to
8,200 ft (2,499 m). The flame is hot and there is no need to
push it completely into the item or the fuel I wish to light.
The cap stays latched and the Trekker works well in wind and
light precipitation. The
casing is durable and looks new; even after being
dropped several times. The lanyard has no real purpose for
my usage, but I would find it handier if it had a plastic piece
to use for turning the flame adjuster. The lighter is easy
to fill and I think it is great for lower elevation use.
- Looks durable
- Hot flame
- One button ignition
- Fuel window
- Latched cap
- Easy to fill
- Can do without the lanyard
- Did not work at high elevation
concludes my reporting on the Windmill Trekker
Lighter. Thank you Essential Gear and backpackgeartest.org for
providing me with the opportunity to test this product.