In a somewhat crowded cigar accessories marketplace, JetLine has managed to carve out a unique place for itself at the intersection of great value and reliable performance; while not everything in the company’s entire portfolio fits squarely in this description, some of its best known and most highly praised products do, and last year the company looked to add two more lighters into its niche.
The Aspen was one of a handful of new releases from JetLine that were unveiled at the 2015 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show, and was one half of a duo of value-oriented lighters that shared some design aesthetics but fairly different formats. The cylindrical, triple-torch Aspen was unveiled alongside the Tempo ($9.99 MSRP), a dual-flame torch lighter in a shorter, more rectangular design.
The Aspen stands a hair over 3 1/4 inches tall, with a diameter width of about 7/8 of an inch, or approximately a 56 ring gauge cigar, though it feels significantly smaller in the hand. Weighing in at just two ounces, the Aspen is one of the lightest lighters I have used, yet its lack of heft doesn’t automatically translate into questions of its quality.
From a first look aesthetic, the Aspen is by no means flashy, yet the overall presentation is clean and polished. The black version offers a bit more streamlined look, while the silver, gunmetal and red versions shot off the lighter’s individual sections more prominently, with the lower two-thirds or so along with a small sliver underneath the lid showing the chosen color. The top third is the torch, with perforated metal screens that circle the flames to provide plenty of air flow and a standard black framing and ignition mechanism. The lid is also a standard black, with the JetLine logo on the lid in a light gray.
Getting the Aspen fired up is a two-step process: first, the lid needs to be flipped open, something easily accomplished with a flick of the thumb; second the ignition mechanism needs to be slid down to start the flow of fuel and fire the piezo ignition to light the butane. It’s a fairly easy process, though the small slider does present my first two issues with the Aspen.
In terms of sheer ease of use when it comes to the ignition mechanism, the Aspen falls a bit short in comparison to other offerings from both JetLine and other companies; At its highest point, the slider rises about 1/8 an of inch from the cylinder and offers three small ridges to provide traction for the thumb—or whatever finger you prefer to use.
Second, the plastic piece of the slider has begun to wiggle a bit after several weeks of daily use, getting to the point where it is a little too noticeable and has begun leading me to worry if it might be destined to come off at some point in the not too distant future.
One thing that is fairly unique about the Aspen is the distinct sound that the lid makes when it opens and closes, a bit duller on the former than it is on the latter, and while certainly no S.T.Dupont ping, it is something I haven’t come across on my other JetLine offerings. For those wondering, there is no mirror on the underside of the lid as some other models offer.
Adjusting the flame height is incredibly easy, as the Aspen uses the flip down tab that has been found on other JetLine lighters and eliminates the need to use a small screwdriver or fingernail. The full adjustment range spans three-quarters of a full turn; at its lowest setting the Aspen will not ignite at all, while at its fullest the blue flame reaches about twice the height of the lid and gets unregulated, flaring up at times and not offering a controlled way to light a cigar. A 180 degree turn from the absolute minimum provides a near optimum setting, offering plenty of heat and height while keeping each individual jet balanced and consistent.
It’s here where my next issue with the Aspen arises, however; after several weeks of adjusting the flame with no issue, one day my attempt to twist the tab resulted in the entire cylinder moving, suggesting that the unit had somehow become detached from its decorative casing. Now, in order to negate that, it’s necessary to hold onto the upper part of the lighter. Additionally, the gunmetal casing on my unit now spins fairly freely; not loose enough to do it on its own, but offering no resistance to any movement I might cause.
Filling the lighter is once again simple and familiar, simply invert the unit to reveal the fuel valve on the bottom. Purge the lighter between fills using JetLine’s Cigar & Lighter Tool or a similar instrument, insert a can of premium butane and in seconds you’ll be topped up and good to go. There is a small fuel window on the side of the unit that shows how much fuel remains; I didn’t find it to be as accurate as the fully visible tank on the Super Torch and Pocket Torch, but it provides a usable approximation. A full tank is more than enough to get through several cigars before a refill is needed, and is certainly comparable with many triple-torch pocket lighters on the market.
While I’m still a huge fan of JetLine’s Super Torch and Pocket Torch series and would take any flame configuration of that series over the Aspen due to its preferable ignition system and slightly more solid construction, the Aspen makes a worthy option for those looking for a triple torch lighter that is extremely friendly to the wallet and efficient on cigars, especially if you’re looking to have a few reliable lighters stashed in your favorite cigar smoking locations.
The JetLine Aspen is available in four colors: black, red, silver and gunmetal, with an MSRP of $10.99.
The lighter for this review was purchased by halfwheel.