Sometimes evolution comes in big steps, sometimes it comes in small ones. In the case of the Colibri EVO, which gets its name from the word evolution, its roots lie in the company’s Julius model, but a small change nudged the cigar into its own territory.
The company preserved the Roman column design that was found on the Julius, though on that model it served as the cylindrical roll bar ignition that sparked a dual soft flame. Here, it moves up to the top of the EVO and holds the assembly from which the single jet torch originates.
It also retains the Pachmayr grip and extends it to the ignition and the flame adjustment wheel, whereas the lid of the Julius did not feature that texture.
But while it might look like a typical single flame torch lighter, a subtle surprise awaits once the single-action ignition is depressed, the lid is lifted and the torch lit.
WHAT IS IT?
The Colibri EVO is a single flame torch lighter, but instead of just being another new external design, the company decided to try and improve the cigar lighting experience by tilting the flame away from the lid. The result is that you’re not having to contend with scraping the foot of your cigar against the lid, or even feeling like that might become an issue.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
The torch is angled 35 degrees away from the lid to help create some space for lighting your cigar. It’s a small thing that you’d probably dismiss if someone just told you about it, but use it and you’ll likely see what a difference it makes.
- The angled flame seems like a small deal, and in practical use, it’s not something you’re really likely to notice. But pay attention and you will see the merits of the subtle shift and how it’s a bit better than a typical flame that points straight up.
- The texture — I had no idea that Pachmayr was missing from my life until using this lighter. It’s commonly found in firearms but it makes sense here as well.
- The ignition is about as rock-solid and reliable as I can recall in a lighter.
- Unless you go out of your way to touch the metal that surrounds the torch, you won’t feel any heat from the lighter. The lid does a good job shielding the thumb from any heat, with the angled flame seemingly helping as well.
- It feels incredibly solid in the hand while also being portable enough to throw in your pocket or travel humidor.
- Additionally, I haven’t seen a single scratch on the Colibri EVO over several weeks of use.
- About the only thing of note is that there’s just a bit of play in the ignition mechanism. It’s almost insignificant enough to not even mention, but I wouldn’t complain if it could be tightened up.
The list of single flame lighters that the Colibri EVO could be compared to is seemingly endless, both from the company itself and a number of competitors. The angled flame makes it unique in that regard, so the number of direct competitors is much smaller, but here are some lighters that are commonly found in cigar shops that you might be tempted to consider.
- Colibri Falcon ($45) — A different spin on the angled flame concept, the entire lid rocks back to reveal an angled flame. I haven’t used this model, but it’s probably the EVO’s most direct competitor in terms of a single angled flame pocket lighter.
- XIKAR Linea ($29.99) — XIKAR doesn’t offer an angled flame lighter, but in terms of design, this and the Forte torch ($69.99 or $79.99, depending on finish) share some of the design aesthetics, namely the push-down single-action ignition. Both are worthy competitors, though neither made me love them either from a design or performance angle.
- JetLine Super Torch Single Flame ($12.99) — For me, any discussion about a single flame torch lighter starts with the JetLine Super Torch. A clear plastic body, very wallet-friendly price and generally reliable performance has led me to both collect and give away more of these than I can count. This is the baseline in the segment, though it doesn’t have the angled flame feature.
A FUN FACT
The original Colibri Julius was named in honor of Colibri’s founder and intrepid inventor Julius Lowenthal, not Julius Caesar as the Roman column design might suggest.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
Yes. It’s tough for me to say I have a true favorite lighter, but this would be in the running for the title if I needed to name one. Other than having this become available in multi-torch configurations, I can’t think of a single thing it is missing.
The Colibri EVO retails for $49 and is available in several color options: rose on black (pictured above), as well as black on black, red on black, blue on black, chrome on black, and a solid brushed gunmetal,
The lighter used for this review was purchased by halfwheel. Site sponsor JR Cigar carries the Colibri EVO.