Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gear Review 2: Storm Proof Matches

REI Stormproof Matches, Coleman Waterproof Camp Matches, UCO Stormproof Match Kit (Left to Right)

I chose stormproof matches for my next review since they are an excellent addition to anyone's pack. I reviewed three popular brands at home, Coleman Waterproof Matches, REI Stormproof Matches, and UCO Stormproof Matches. All three matches advertise that they will light even after being submerged in water. The following are my thoughts on each match set:

Coleman Waterproof Matches:

Strikers: The strikers on the side of the box are the only ones that come with the Coleman. Once your box becomes wet the strikers become utterly useless. Even when they're not wet the strikers feel very cheap.

Matches: The matches themselves are just as cheap and made of extremely flimsy wood. Also, the matches are stored loose inside the box just like a normal box of matches. This offers no protection from submersion or heavy rain.

Burn Test: During the burn test I was less than impressed by the burn time. During serveral burn tests the aveage burn time was 18.4 seconds even when I let the flame burn the etire match. Also, the flame produced was very small compared to the other two matches.

Submersion Test: In my submersion test I placed the matches in water for 15 minutes to see if they would light after heavy saturation. The coleman failed miserbly with this test. The tip turned to muddy match dust then just streaked acorss the striker when attempting to light it. 4 out of 4 matches failed to light and 2 of them borke in half from the cheap wood obsorbing water.

Overall: Honestly,  I wouldn't trust Coleman waterproof matches any more than I would trust normal matches in a wet enviroment. I wouldn't recommend these matches to anyone who is serious about a reliable fire producing backup.

REI Stormproof Matches:

Strikers: The match box comes with two strikers on the side just like a normal match box. It also came with 4 spare strikers in waterproof sealed plastic bags. The side strikers are thicker and of better quality than the coleman but would most likely fail if wet. If it wasnt for the extra strikers, the REI would leave you in the same situation as the Coleman.

Matches: The matches are signifcantly better qaulity than the Coleman. These matches are thick and made of qaulity materials and the burning portion allows for longer burn times and bigger flames. The matches themselves are stored in a non-sealed plastic bag inside the box to help safeguard them from moisture.

Burn Test: The burn test was successful with the REI matches, offering larger flames and a longer burn time than the Coleman. The average burn time for the REI match was 25.1 seconds.

Submersion Test: I submerged the REI match for 15 minutes and it lit easily and quickly with little problems. I submerged another match for 30 minutes and it acted just as the Coleman did at 15 minutes, turning into mushy dust when I attempted to strike it.

Overall: The REI stormproof match is a good match compared to the other matches. My only issue is that its not completely stormproof since the matches aren't in a sealed bag. These matches will survive a downpour but not a fall into the river.

UCO Stormproof Matches:

Strikers: The strikers are almost identical to the REI matches as they come in a fully sealed plastic bag. The only diference is the UCO strikers can be installed on the case and removed so they can be stored safely inside the case when not in use.

Matches: Again, the matches are identical to the REI stormproof matches. The matches are made of sturdy wood with a long burning tip. The only difference is that they are stored inside a 100% waterproof case that keeps them dry no matter how much water they're introduced to.

Burn Test: In the burn test the UCO was the best performer out of the three. It had a significantly larger flame than any other match. It had a slightly shorter burn time than the REI match at 24.9 seconds.

Submersion Test: The UCO acted exactly like the REI match test. It lit easily at 15 minutes but failed at 30 minutes. In the end the UCO matches are stored inside the waterproof case and would only be exposed to water for short durations.

Overall: The UCO stormproof match is a bright burning, exceptional match. It has a large, long burning flame that helps ensure your fire is started easily.

The Final Descision:

The best match out of the three is the UCO Stormproof Match. All three matches are under $6 and at that price the UCO matches is the best choice. For $6 dollars you get a waterproof case that keeps all your components dry. The removable striker pads are a plus as well so you can save them from the rain. Also the matches are sturdy and reliable even when wet. I would recommend this match set to everyone, this is a great choice for any survialist.

Learn. Explore. Survive.

Used these products before, feel free to leave your thoughts.

No comments:

Post a Comment