Best All Weather Matches

Our top pick and one of the best all weather matches you can buy today, is the Swiss Safe 5-in1 Fire Starter. It is a convenient magnesium rod fire starter that’s far more reliable than a lighter or regular matches, plus includes a compass, whistle and para cord.

If you’re looking for the best all weather matches for backpacking or survival kits, we’ve made a list of the best to get your fires started in all kinds of conditions. Great to have when camping or traveling outdoors and a must for any emergency kit, we’ve picked the best waterproof matches with all weather usage, a long shelf life and ones that won’t be ruined if they get wet. Read on for more of the best waterproof matches.

Top 3 All Weather Matches

 #1  Swiss Safe 5-in1 Fire Starter All Weather Matches

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: A magnesium rod promises an excellent lifetime of at least 16k strikes and gives a 5500º spark in all weather conditions, making these the best all weather matches for emergency kits.

Pros
  • Includes compass & para cord
  • Starts fires in all weather
  • More durable than matches
Cons
  • Takes more skill to use than matches or a lighter
  • More time consuming than matches

More than just the best waterproof match striker, this 5-in-1 backpacking survival tool combines a magnesium and ferrocenium rod and flint fire starter, a compass, a steel scraper, whistle and 450-lb para cord lanyard, so you can easily tie it to your gear or belt loops to have it with you. The metal permanent survival match is more durable and reliable than lighters, and will still work after being submerged in water.

These waterproof matches promise a lifetime of 16,000 strikes for the flint and rod, and can get a fire going in under 30 seconds. While they don’t require wilderness expert training to use, they do take a little more practice than regular strike anywhere matches. You can also use the best headlamp or the best uv flashlight for some light.

 #2  UCO Stormproof All Weather Matches and Case

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Easy to use waterproof matches that will burn for up to 15 seconds each, plus comes with a waterproof, floating plastic case.

Pros
  • Wind proof & waterproof carrying case included
  • Easy to start fires with
  • Will still light after being submerged in water
Cons
  • Takes up more space than the Swiss Safe all weather match
  • Only comes with 25 matches

This kit contains 25 wind proof, waterproof matches that will burn for up to 15 seconds, plus three replaceable strikers. They’ll re light after being submerged in water, making it easy to get a fire going even after a downpour or flash flood. The kit also includes a useful waterproof, floating plastic case. Once the matches run out you can even use the case for other things.

The strikers won’t work if wet, but once dried they will work again, and the matches themselves will re-ignite if dropped in a puddle or wet dirt, as long as there’s still phosphorus remaining. These stormproof matches are not as long lasting as a magnesium and flint fire starter, but they are much more convenient. Take these camping, along with the best sleeping pad. If you want another stormproof match kit that comes with a waterproof case, check out the UCO Stormproof Match Kit that comes with 25 matches with a burn time of 15 seconds each.

 #3  Coghlans Waterproof Matches 10 Pack

Award: BEST BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: This very affordable pack comes with 10 individual matchboxes, totaling 400 individual all weather matches, making them great for the car, camping or any where you need to store matches.

Pros
  • Great for car, bug out kit & camping
  • Will still ignite after being wet
  • Large quantity 400 count pack
Cons
  • Not as wind proof as the UCO Stormproof matches
  • Less durable than a flint fire starter
  • Shorter matchsticks than the UCO

These all weather matches are distinguished from regular wooden matches in that they will still light if you get them wet. Among the best value waterproof matches in bulk available, they come in a pack of 10 boxes that each have 40 matches and a striker pad. While the sandpaper pad on the box must generally be dry in order to light, these match heads are coated and can handle some moisture.

The main attraction of these bargain waterproof matches, bulk, is that you get a large quantity of them in the pack; making it easy to have matches on hand in your roadside emergency kit or take with you on camping and backpacking trips. They’re also easier for a novice to use than a flint fire starter. Pack them with some best water purification tablets for camping, as well as the best rooftop tents.

How We Decided

In order to narrow down our list to the best all weather matches you can buy, we looked at quality, durability and value. There’s a wide range of matches on the market, from safety matches to storm matches, so to simplify your search, we only chose matches and fire starters that were easy to carry and store, could be used even after getting wet and that could reliably spark and start a fire without requiring too much in the way of special expertise.

We also only included products that were safe and could be stored for a minimum of five years. That way, these waterproof matches can find a place in your emergency kit. While it’s not too difficult to learn how to make stormproof matches, it’s generally safer and more reliable to buy survival matches as part of a dedicated tool like in permanent survival matches, or in packs as with the UCO matches or Diamond waterproof matches.

Finally, we required that all weather matches on our list be able to light in the rain or after getting wet. Being windproof and reusable were considered a bonus.

Best All Weather Matches Buyer’s Guide

Top Features to Consider

  1. Striker vs Stick Matches
    If you’re looking for backpacking or wilderness survival tool that fits easily in your gear and is reusable, consider one of the rod-and-flint type striker survival matches, like the Swiss Safe 5-in-1. These can reliably spark over and over again using a magnesium and ferrocenium rod and flint, and are highly waterproof and durable. On the other hand, if convenience and quick lighting is key, consider waterproof matches that come in the traditional wooden match and striker pad form, like the UCO stormproof matches.
  2. Length
    With stick matches, the longer the match stick, the easier in general it is to start a fire with them. The UCO matches burn for up to 15 seconds and give you plenty of space to hold them, even with gloves on.
  3. Quantity
    When looking for a survival kit tool, you may want just one reusable permanent match, but for more routine uses having a large quantity of bulk waterproof matches can be much more convenient.

All Weather Matches FAQs

How long do waterproof matches last?

Properly stored waterproof matches should last a long time, with the best all weather matches having a shelf life of 5 years or more. A survival match like the Swiss Safe, with its flint and magnesium rod, should last for many years.

How do all-weather matches work?

Waterproof matches and water and wind-proof matches like the UCO stormproof matches work by a combination of having the wooden matchstick soaked in a water repellent compound and having the combustible part of the match be made of a chemical that will still burn after being wet, typically they use flammable metal compounds with sodium, magnesium or phosphorous.

Are waterproof matches strike anywhere?

Most stormproof and all weather matches are not also strike anywhere matches, though it is possible to give some degree of water proofing to standard strike anywhere matches. The special waterproof match heads on the UCO stormproof matches work best with the included striking paper.

What are the best matches to have?

Depending on your needs, a good set all weather matches can serve for most camping and emergency kit needs. If you’re looking for the best matches for backpacking, consider a simple, highly portable survival match or weatherproof flint and rod fire starter.

What are stormproof matches made of?

The match heads are usually made of potassium chlorate, sulphur, and a friction-increasing gritty material like ground glass or silica. Some stormproof matches add combustible metal oxides for increased waterproofing. The other elements needed to ignite the matches are often embedded in the striker to help avoid accidental lighting.

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Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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