Today I’m delving into the world of survival and outdoor gear with the UCO Stormproof Match Kit. Claiming to be both windproof and waterproof, do these matches live up to the hype? Let’s find out in today’s review.
Where to Purchase
You can pick up the UCO Stormproof Matches at Amazon for about $10 for a 25-pack, as of this October 2023 writing.
Stormproof Matches Review
First impressions matter, and the UCO Stormproof Match Kit arrives with quite a few promises. For a price tag of $10, you get a 25-pack of matches housed in a waterproof case. The case also includes three replaceable strikers, and the packaging claims the matches can burn for up to 15 seconds. With an impressive 4.7-star rating on Amazon from around 9,000 reviews, expectations were high right out of the gate.
Besides the matches, the kit also comes with a cotton ball that can be used as tinder. According to UCO, these matches can be submerged in water and will even relight themselves. Ideal for camping, hiking, and emergency situations, these matches seem like a great idea, but I was still a bit skeptical, particularly after reading some Amazon reviews that criticized the smell and the quality of the striker pads.
Before diving into the extreme tests, I lit one match to see how long it would burn. In a slightly windy outdoor condition, the match lit on the first strike and lasted about 13 seconds—pretty much in line with the claimed of “up to 15 seconds.”
The test I was most excited to try was the submerging in water of a lit match, and I was not disappointed! Upon lighting the match and sticking it in a glass of water, the match fizzled, bubbled, and astonishingly relit itself when pulled out of the water. I continued my water tests by wetting a match and then lighting it after it had been wiped off. That test, unfortunately, didn’t fare as well. After multiple attempts and even a change of striker pads, it finally lit. Although it worked, this portion of the test was less than impressive. For my final water test, I lit a match and continuosuly sprayed it with a water bottle. The match stayed lit, even though it occasionally went out and re-lit itself. It seems as if these matches would have no problem if lit during the rain.
Windproof & Dunk Tests
When exposed to wind, the UCO match resembled those birthday candles that you can’t blow out. It kept relighting, proving its windproof claim. I blew on them continuously while lit and they never went out.
The case is said to be waterproof, so I dunked it in a bowl of water and held it there – and it did in fact remain waterproof. Both the matches and the cotton remained dry. I should mention that I forgot to remove the striker pad for the dunk test, which is supposed to be kept dry. In a real-world situation, however, I imagine that most people would not store the striker pad inside the case, so it would likely get wet if dropped in a puddle, for example.
In terms of the striker pad, it was noticeably less efficient than a regular matchbook striker. In a direct comparison, it took two tries to light a match with the UCO striker pad, while the matchbook striker worked on the first attempt. There were instances during other tests where it took numerous attempts to get a match light. Whenever I used a fresh striker, the matches lit right away. After a few uses, I struggled to get matches to light.
Ice Block Test (As Seen on TV Style)
For a dramatic finale, I froze a match in a block of ice overnight. Upon melting the ice and drying off the match, the tip fell off when I attempted to light the match. The extended exposure to water apparently degraded and softened the tip too much. To be fair, UCO never claimed these matches could be frozen or kept underwater for extended periods, but I had hoped it would be a fun test to try. Well, it was fun, despite being a failure.
Are these UCO Stormproof Matches a hit or a miss? For the most part, I would say they live up to their promises of being windproof and waterproof. However, they are not without their flaws. The striker pads could be better, and the matches may not withstand being wet for an extended period. Overall, if you’re an outdoorsy person or looking for something to add to your survival kit, these matches are a good option. Just be cautious of the striker pads; they may require some patience.
Have you tried stormproof matches like these? Tell me what you think in the comments below.