How To Choose The Best Permanent Match (5 Options)

So, how do you choose the best permanent match?

First, let's just remind ourselves why you don't want to be venturing into the wilderness without one...

There are very few foods you can cook without using heat, so you will always need to be able to get some kind of flame going so you can eat. 

Moreover, a little fire can also help you to keep warm when it’s cold outside. And having a fire going makes you more visible in the dark of night, if you were to need a rescue.

And permanent matches aren’t just for emergencies. It makes for a great addition to your regular camping equipment or every-day carry because they are very practical yet take up no weight or space.

To figure out what is the best permanent match I've studied the blogs of 20+ of the webs top survivalists and preppers, spent 5 hours scouring survivalist forums, poured through manufacturer specs from the top 10 brands and analyzed over 3,000 user opinions to find the 5 best choices.

I believe the following permanent matches to be the top options...

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The Best Permanent Matches: Top 3 Options Explored First

OUR TOP PICK

Now, this is a bargain - you get a total of 2 permanent matches for a price not much more than what you’d pay for one.

You get one silver and one gold, so you can share with your partner, and easily identify which one is which, so you can determine which has the most fuel inside, and from there decide which one to use.

The gold one has a nice shabby chic look.

It comes as a key ring, so you can attach them to your keys, and always have a permanent match on you at all times.

Unlike the variety of permanent match that also functions as a bottle opener, the Somgem permanent match is far more slimline and easy to pack into smaller places - perfect for a fanny pack.

It’s designed to last for over an impressive 15,000 strikes before you’ll need to replace the wick.

What we love about this one is that it’s waterproof, and even if you’re out in the rain, you can still get a flame going.

This is an upgrade on Somgem’s previous versions, with more reliable sealing.

Pros

  • Very slimline so takes up absolutely no weight or space.

  • Pack of two so you get two for your money.

  • Nice color scheme if you're into aesthetically pleasing gear.

  • Works in damp weather so no matter the situation you should be able to light it.

  • 15,000 maximum strikes meaning it'll take a lot of use to wear this out.

Cons

  • Lighter fluid is sold separately but is readily available just about anywhere

EDITORS CHOICE

This is a great little permanent match from Lintai.

And it’s a multitool - you can use it as a permanent match or as a bottle opener, or both.

With it’s gold color, it makes for a very smart looking yet practical stocking filler, come Christmas time.

And this gold color also makes it very easily identifiable against any camping cookware, cutlery or hunting knives. Very easy to find.

Or to make it even easier to find you can keep it with your keys, using the keyring part, or you can use the durable spring clip to keep it attached to a belt loop or backpack strap.

But that’s not all, it also comes with a free flashlight, of comparable weight and size, so you get several tools for just one small price.

It’s designed to last for over an impressive 10,000 strikes.

What we love about the Lintain permanent match is that you can still get it to light even if it’s damp outside.

We also find the 60 day warranty very reassuring.

Pros

  • Waterproof so should it get wet it's still useable.

  • Doubles up as a bottle opener because at some point you're gonna want a beer.

  • Clips onto your belt for ease of carry.

  • 60 day warranty.

Cons

  • Lighter fluid is sold separately but is readily available just about anywhere

BEST VALUE

It comes as a pack of two, so you could keep one on your person, and give the other to your partner.

Or simply keep them in two different locations, or just use the second as an emergency back up.

It comes as a key ring, so you can attach them to your keys, and always have a permanent match on you.

We love how well it performs in bad weather. While regular matches are easily put out by the rain, the Survive permanent match is waterproof.

And the wind won’t put it out either. How convenient is that!

No matter how damp and windy it is outside, you still get a decent flame.

This match will last you a long time - up to a whopping 15,000 strikes in fact, before you will need to replace the wick.

It has a tough and rugged build, despite its smart appearance, made of solid stainless steel.

Pros

  • Comes as a pack of two - two for the price of one.

  • Waterproof and windproof meaning regardless of the weather it should work.

  • 15,000 maximum strikes which will take a long time to get through.

Cons

  • Lighter fluid is sold separately but is readily available just about anywhere

RUNNER UP

Now, this is a very smart looking permanent match. Gold with a nice brown pattern.

It comes as a pack of two, so you could keep one on your person, and give the other to your partner.

 Or simply keep them in two different locations, or just use the second as an emergency back up.

It comes as a key ring, so you can attach them to your keys, and always have a permanent match on you.

We love how well it performs in bad weather. While regular matches are easily put out by the rain, the Survive permanent match is waterproof.

And the wind won’t put it out either.

How convenient is that! No matter how damp and windy it is outside, you still get a decent flame.

This match will last you a long time - up to a whopping 15,000 strikes in fact, before you will need to replace the wick.

It has a tough and rugged build, despite its smart appearance, made of solid stainless steel.

Feedback from customers has been really positive.

Pros

  • Comes as a pack of two.

  • Waterproof and windproof so you'll not struggle to light a fire in most weather conditions.

  • 15,000 maximum strikes.

Cons

  • Lighter fluid is sold separately but is readily available just about anywhere

RUNNER UP

When we saw just how well this particular permanent match was selling, we just had to see what all the fuss was about.

And we weren’t disappointed!

If you’re anything like us, you love your survival multitools - and that’s what you get this beauty.

Not only is it a permanent match, but it’s also a can opener. Perfect for opening a few beers to enjoy around a campfire.

It comes as a keychain, with two sizes of keyring, so you can attach them to your keys, and always have a permanent match on you at all times.

But that’s not all - it also features a belt clip, which makes it easy to simply clip onto your backpack or fanny pack for your camping trip.

As for how long it lasts, the match can be struck up to a whopping 10,000 times before you need to change the wick.

AND, there’s a spare wick included in the box - super handy. And the fuel can of course be replenished as often as required.

The manufacturer also operates a great after-sales service, a 90 day money-back guarantee, and 2 years of quality assurance.

Pros

  • Also a bottle opener.
  • 10,000 maximum strikes.
  • 90 day money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • Not weatherproof
  • Lighter fluid is sold separately but is readily available just about anywhere

Best Permanent Match Buyer's Guide

As promised, here’s your permanent match buying guide.

We’re going to start with the basics and cover your most frequently asked questions.

What is a permanent match?

A permanent match, sometimes referred to as an everlasting match, is a special type of lighter.

It consists of a threaded metal rod, “the match”,  with a concealed wick, which comes encased in a fuel-filled metal shell. 

The match absorbs the fuel, and when you’re ready to use the permanent match, you simply strike the metal match against the outer shell to get a flame.

Why a permanent match makes a great EDC?

With the right permanent match, you get a very light, easy to access, useful item that you can take absolutely anywhere.

You can use them either indoors or outdoors. You can use the flame as a distress signal to get noticed in the dark. Or you can simply start a campfire, get warmed up, and heat up your food.

They’re far more reliable than traditional matches, and give you a bigger and better flame. 

How to use a permanent match?

To use a permanent match from its fuel-filled housing, first, you simply unscrew the match.

Then you strike the match against the flint on the side of the housing. The wick inside the metal match should then give you a nice big flame for you to use as desired.

It should light at the first strike, but if it does not then this will either be due to the weather conditions where you are, or it will be because there’s not enough fuel on the wick.

If you come to realize that you have the latter problem, then this is easily solvable.

You simply need to screw the match back in, and shake the match thoroughly, perhaps by tipping it upside down a few times.

And then when you’re sure there’s bound to be enough fuel on the wick, try to strike the match again.

What to look for in a permanent match?

There are a number of different things to look out for in a permanent match.

Let’s walk you through.

How many do you want to buy?

Permanent matches are often sold in packs of 5. To be honest, though, we think that’s a little excessive.

That said, there’s certainly no harm in buying more than one. You can keep them in different locations, or have one for you and another for your other half.

If you want to buy a pack of two permanent matches, then we can recommend our number 1 pick, the Somgem.

Easy to Carry and Access

Permanent matches are very lightweight and are small enough to fit into your trouser/shirt/jacket pocket.

Most permanent matches come as a keyring, which is great because it means that you can attach it to your regular keys, and always have it on your person - which is exactly where you want it in an emergency situation.

And this makes it an excellent part of your EDC kit.

However, if you plan on taking your permanent match on a camping trip, you might decide that you’d prefer one that comes with a clip, so you clip it onto a belt loop or a backpack strap or fanny pack strap.  

If you definitely want one with a clip as well as a keyring, then we can recommend our number 2 pick, the Lintai.

Number of Maximum Strikes

A permanent match can last a surprisingly long time.

However, there will be times when you will need to refuel it, and there will be times when you will need to replace the wick.

There will be a maximum number of strikes that a permanent match will last before it needs replacing altogether.

We recommend that you only look at ones that have a maximum number of strikes of 10,000 or more since this seems to be the going standard now.

However, if you're looking for one that will last even longer, then we can recommend our number 3 pick the Survive permanent matches.

How Weatherproof is It

A match that works indoors is great, but one that will work well in outdoor weather is even better.

Too much wind and rain can easily put out a campfire, but with certain permanent matches, you can get a fire going again, no matter how cold and damp. 

We would argue that being as weatherproof as possible is something really worth looking out for in your permanent match, and that is why the more weatherproof matches made it further up our list than the others.

For a good weatherproof permanent match, we can happily recommend our number 1 pick, the Somgem.

Points to Note

Due to airmail regulations, lighters and permanent matches cannot be shipped with fuel already included. 

This means that you will have to buy your own fuel for when your permanent match arrives such as lighter fuel from Zippo.

How do you refill a reusable match?

First, remove the match from its container. Then using a filter if you’ve got one, pour in lighter fluid. 

Don’t fill it all the way up, as you need to leave room for the match. However, you need to get it at least 80% full, so check as you pour.

Return the match to the container, shake a few times, then test out the match.

What is the best permanent match?

Well, the correct answer to this is “it depends”. It depends on whether you want it for indoors or outdoors, it depends on how many you need, it depends on whether you also need a bottle opener, and so on.

We made the Somgem permanent match our number 1 pick for various reasons, but especially because it’s very weatherproof, and because it comes as a pack of two.


Conclusion

A permanent match would make an excellent addition to anyone’s everyday carry kit, or it can be used as a versatile camping trip aide.

They’re just as easy to use as a traditional match, they’re compact and lightweight, and they can make the difference between being warm and fed or cold and hungry.

Any one of the permanent matches in our top 5 picks would make a great addition to your EDC kit, but the Somgem ones are our favorites.

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