I’ve been interested in Exotac’s products for quite some time now after I’d seen some great reviews of their products. In case you don’t already know, Exotac (www.exotac.com) is a privately held, family owned small business based out of Buford, Georgia in the good old USA. On their website they state their vision “is based upon designing extraordinary, high-quality and unique outdoor and urban gear. We spare no expense and make absolutely no compromises when it comes to product design and manufacturing quality. Our products are not mass-manufactured by the lowest bidder. We manufacture each product in smaller quantity runs which allow us to make improvements along the way.”
All their products are proudly made in the United States of America.
I got in touch with Jeremy from Exotac and he kindly sent out a some samples of their best-selling products: the fireSleeve, nanoStriker XL and candleTIN Review.
You can view the rest of their product lineup at: http://www.exotac.com/product-list/
We all know how important fire is in a survival situation and how it is crucial that fire starting implements are kept safe and dry. This is often very difficult especially when out in the boonies where you face the elements head on. The fireSleeve is basically a protective case for a BIC Classic Maxi lighter and will keep it safe and dry.
It’s made from rubber, it’s waterproof even when submerged to 3 feet for 30 minutes plus it floats so even if it’s dropped in water you’re not going to lose your Bic lighter. You can get it in a few different colours: Orange, Black, Green and a limited glow-in-the-dark version which will cost you an extra $4 USD.
Cost is $14.95 USD
This is Exotac’s flagship product and the big brother of the original nanoSTRIKER. It is essentially a 1/4″ waterproof ferrocerium & magnesium rod (which is replaceable) housed inside a lightweight anodized aluminum capsule which separates into three parts. The striker handle is 46% bigger, making it easier to grip. The XL version also sports a 33% larger ferrocerium rod, which improves the durability and lifespan of the rod even beyond that of the original nanoSTRIKER’s.
The first part houses the ferro/magnesium rod and keeps it safe and dry, the second part (we’ll call it part B) is where the rod is screwed onto. You screw part A onto part B and that becomes the handle for the ferro/magnesium rod. The last part (Part C) is the ultra-sharp tungsten carbide striking tool. On the end of Part C there is a lanyard hole which you can attach the included lanyard or your own paracord to.
We tested out this ferro rod extensively and were able to get a fire going with a single strike every single time. This is by far the best fire starter we have seen on the market to date throwing the brightest and hottest sparks (nearly 5500°F or 3000°C) we have seen.
The ferro rod is totally waterproof and will work even when wet. As I mentioned before the ferro/magnesium rod component is fully replaceable and this can be accomplished by simply unscrewing it from it’s holder.
The verdict with the nanoSTRIKER XL? If we could rate it, we’d give it a full 5 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended and perfect for survival kits, emergency kits and bug out bags. You should definitely have this in any type of emergency kit.
Cost is $28.95 USD and there are three colours to choose from: Gunmetal (Greyish colour), Black, Blaze Orange and Olive Drab (Dark Green).
The hot burn wick provides a flame height of 1-2″. Use this candle for drying out tinder, boiling water, or warming an emergency blanket. Exercise caution when using all three wicks as the tin becomes hot to the touch. The hot burn wick will boil 8oz of water in 18 minutes.
The slow burn wick offers the longest burn time. Pair the slow burn wick with the large candle for a 30Hr continous burn candle.
|1 Wick||3 Wicks|
In conclusion, we very much like Exotac’s products. We highly recommend and endorse them and during our testing process we were unable to find a single flaw with them. That says a lot because we’re very usually very picky when it comes to survival gear following our hardcore philosophy of “keep what works and chuck out what doesn’t”.