Among the best-selling and most readily available premium cigar accessory manufacturers is Colibri, a brand that is perhaps best known to cigar enthusiasts for their deep-cutting V-Cut cigar cutters. Colibri Group was founded in 1928 by Julius Lowenthal, a German-born inventor that debuted the company alongside his innovation of the Colibri Original, the world’s first functioning semi-automatic lighter.
In recent times, the company changed ownership and is now headquartered in New York City (formerly Providence, London, and Germany), focusing on revitalizing the brand with a new logo and a slew of updates in the premium cigar arena. At IPCPR 2017, Colibri debuted upwards of 10 new additions to their lineup of cigar accessories, including six new lighter options. Colibri Daytona is a frontrunner for the brand’s newest offerings, featuring a clean design inspired from auto racing (hence the name).
Colibri Daytona Breakdown
- Manufacturer: Colibri Group
- Flame: Jet Flame
- Style: Single Torch
- Lighting Mechanism: Side Trigger
- Size: Mid-Range
- Fuel: Butane
- Refillable: Yes
- Visible Fuel: Yes
- Color: Brushed Gunmetal + Black
- Warranty: 2-year
- Price: $59.00 (MSRP)
Colibri Daytona is offered in eight color variations and retails for $59, placing it as a mid-range option for consumers. The lighter is a single-flame torch and boasts features such as a large fuel tank (reportedly 20% larger than average lighters of its size), an oversized fuel adjuster, six air vents to fuel flame with oxygen, and an easily visible fuel indicator on the lighter’s side.
Daytona is modeled after the world of auto racing, as with other new Colibri products, such as the Colibri Rally (inspired from F1 racing). I’m not quite sure how this translates to the finished product, but the black ridges on the lighter’s front side are fairly reminiscent of the window vents often seen on the Ford Mustang. This could also (and probably more likely) be derived from the lighter’s six air intake vents—because both fire and engines are oxygen-hungry systems. For me, the first features I noticed are the lighter’s adjustment wheel and visible fuel tank. The adjustment wheel is quite substantial, with grooves carved into brass metal and the lighter’s chassis cut away to allow the full wheel to be accessible from the lighter’s side. For the fuel indicator, there is clear plastic running the length of the lighter, which is reflectively tinted blue; meaning the tank appears a vibrant blue wherever there is fuel, and clear for the remaining headspace.
It’s a clean and classy overall style with a modern flare—I’d welcome the Daytona to my tabletop rotation (based on looks alone) without hesitation.
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At roughly 1⅝” x 2¾” x ⅝” at its thickest points, the lighter fits somewhere in between pocket size and the tabletop range. Daytona seems to be designed for portability, however, with Colibri boasting fuel capacity at 50% above average single-jet lighters, it seems the tank may have slightly impacted the lighter’s overall size. In other words, the lighter is a bit larger than something I’d throw in my jeans pockets, yet a bit small for tabletop use.
Like all side-button lighters, there’s always that minor struggle for balance, where you fear that, if squeezed at just the wrong angle, the lighter may spin to the side and go flinging from your hand and onto the floor. Of course, this never actually happens… at least until the alcohol starts flowing. Realistically, the switch is clicked relatively easily by the thumb or index finger, depending on the lighter’s orientation.
A trend that’s been gaining in popularity in recent years is the oversized fuel adjuster. These are often seen on cylindrical lighters, where the entire bottom of the device is used as the adjustment wheel. Daytona may not be quite that accessible, but the gesture is extremely easy and looks a bit sharper in the process.
The boxy feel isn’t the most ergonomical on the market, and I could use a smidgen more weight (considering the overall size) for a more solid feel, but it’s an enjoyable experience overall (besides, I’ll generally trade a little comfort for sleek style in the accessories department).
On the first butane fill, Daytona performed flawlessly, lighting roughly 99% of the time. But with added refills, the success rate goes down a bit (don’t worry, the lighter was fully purged and used Colibri fuel). The adjustment knob doesn’t have preset flame intensities, instead allowing for a full gradation of user preference, but we estimated a general “low,” “medium-low,” “medium-high,” and “high” settings based on flame height.
|Setting||Flame Hight||Lighting % on 1st Try|
As you can see, Daytona is at its best when set to one of its mid-range settings. However, once lit, it is very easy to adjust the flame’s height to any level within the full range (around ⅛” to 3″) and maintain a constant flame. In testing, the flame burned consistently for at least two minutes—which was as long as we were willing to go. With long lights such as this, the lighter’s thick frame allowed the body to stay cool for about 45 seconds. Also, the lighter never got “too hot” to hold (impressive, considering it is built primarily of metal); it was a little uncomfortable around the 1:30 to 2:00 points though. The large fuel tank burned roughly 10% of its visible butane in this test, meaning it could realistically last for at least 20 minutes per butane fill up. This was certainly far from a scientific test—just a quick way to asses as much as possible for daily usage.
- Clean design
- Ease of flame adjustment
- Long-lasting fuel
- Low reliability in low and high flame settings
- Slightly large for pocket carying