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Zippo Introduces Outdoor Lifestyle Line to Accompany Lighters

December 3, 2013 at 12:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, we were warmed when we read a few of the inscriptions found on the sides of a collection of 282 Zippo lighters that belonged to soldiers of the Vietnam War. They were recently sold at auction for about $35,000, making headlines and prompting some positive press for Zippo.

The company has been making lighters since 1933, but earlier this year it reached out with some good news: After 80 years of focusing on fire, Zippo was launching a line of outdoor products. In 2009, it introduced a range of outdoor lighters, but now they are going beyond the flame to a larger variety of outdoor lifestyle products, including axes, wood carriers, cookware and utensils.

During the summer and fall camping seasons, we sampled a few of the new products, specifically the emergency fire starter ($10) and the Woodsman 4-in-1 ax ($90). We were impressed with the overall quality of the line and found both products useful. The emergency fire starter is obviously a good thing to have for worst-case scenarios, but we also liked it as a regular old fire starter on wet nights in the woods - the waxed tinder sticks went up reliably via the flint starter and were good kindling.

Because many campers don't find room for both a saw and an ax in their packs - it's typically one or the other - Zippo made a good call by creating a product that was both. The 4-in-1 ax (it's also a stake puller and a hammer) has removable blades with a storage compartment in the handle, allowing it to go from a saw to an ax in a matter of a minute without a screwdriver. Although it wasn't the best saw we've ever used in our lives (a bit flimsy), but it worked well on small projects and with the ax being solid, we feel the possibility and benefits of having both make it a worthwhile tool.

Zippo said it plans to continue to expand its outdoor and lifestyle line in 2014, but wouldn't spill the beans on any specifics. The transition into a competitive outdoor market won't be easy, but we like what we see thus far and are excited to see what's around the corner.

[Photos: Zippo]

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