In the age of indoor smoking bans, the outdoor utility of windproof, jet-flame lighters is undeniable. But the 21st century aficionado would be mistaken to overlook situations in which the soft-flame variety can add a degree of accuracy—and style—to the cigar-smoking experience. It also avoids the undesirable charred notes of a torch gone wrong. Thankfully, the cigar accessories market is ripe with a range soft-flame lighters with designs fit for any occasion.
Take, for instance, Caseti's Lumos (center, $75), an ultra-slim soft flame designed for mobility. Less than one-eighth of an inch thick, the Lumos slides easily into trousers of even the slimmest cut, but still produces a robust yellow flame capable of lighting large-ring-gauge smokes. The one-press igniter has an easy-action trigger, which means you can take your time slowly roasting the foot of your premium hand-rolled without straining your thumb. The flame is sparked by an electro-quartz ignition that—unlike a flint lighter—does not need to be replaced.
Several soft-flame designs have proven durability for puffing in the elements. The Colibri Julius (right, $125) lighter is all about power—even when compared with jet-flames. Made of tough metal alloy with an easy-grip diamond pattern exterior, the effortless roll bar ignites a double-flame that's sturdy enough to compete with gusting winds on the beach or golf course. For added range, the Colibri positions one flame upright and the second at a 45-degree angle, which combine to generate a large, all-encompassing flame.
If the elements aren't a factor and the intention is simply to impress, the quintessential Ligne 2 lighter from S.T. Dupont is never a bad choice. The Parisian company has been producing luxury goods since the late 19th century and has become a symbol of quality with its sturdy and dependable lighters. But the real showcase here is the exuberance of elegance displayed by the Ligne 2's classic precious-metal finishes, available in silver, palladium and gold (as pictured, left, $950). There's also, of course, the unmistakable "ping" of an S.T. Dupont lighter when it's flipped open and ready for ignition. Beyond the standard finishes, the Ligne 2 line is also popular with collectors for its special-edition offerings. Designs have been inspired by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, The Rolling Stones and James Bond.