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Exotac MatchCap XL

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Exotac MatchCap XL fire starter

A great waterproof match case that can hold approximately 20 UCO Stormproof matches and includes both strike anywhere and red phosphorous striking surfaces.


  • Includes strike anywhere striker
  • Includes red phosphorous striker
  • O-ring sealed
  • Lanyard attachment point
  • Can hold about 20 stormproof matches
  • Durable aluminum construction


  • Strike anywhere striker only works for Strike Anywhere matches
  • Scalloped interior can be difficult to pack

I bought the Matchcap XL a few years ago as an upgrade from my Exotac Matchcap, which was a great match case, but a bit small for my taste. The Matchcap XL gave me another great waterproof match case, but extended the available striking surface and made it easier to carry both matches and tinder for wet day / emergency fires.

After carrying this match case for the past few years, I can't imagine going off without it. It feels much sturdier in my hand than the old brass match cases we had in Boy Scouts, but is also lighter weight. It has plenty of striking options for any matches I may have.  

Finally, it gives me the option of carrying what amounts to a small emergency survival kit (matches, tinder, clothespins, and fishing hooks) in a single waterproof capsule.


The Matchcap XL uses the same anodized 6061 aluminum found in Exotac's other products. This makes it both durable and extremely lightweight (approximately 1.3 oz). In theory, the Matchcap XL comes in four colors, though I've found that orange is a bit of a unicorn. I have been after an orange Matchcap XL for a long time and never seem to catch it in stock.

NOTE: My scale only goes to 1 significant digit, so Exotac's claims of 1.25 oz may still be accurate.


The Matchcap XL presents a pretty sleek package. At 3.3" long, it looks like an elongated pill case with a small strike-anywhere surface mounted on the bottom. The case unscrews into two pieces at the middle with an O-ring seal to keep everything nice and watertight.

The top section is just a cap, but the bottom includes storage for tinder, matches, safety pins, etc. as well as a scalloped rear wall which hides a stick-on red phosphorous striking surface (good for kitchen matches as well as stormproof matches).  

In addition to waterproof storage and 2x striking surfaces (strike anywhere and red phosphorous), the Matchcap XL can hold up to a claimed 25 Stormproof matches (I was able to fit 20), 32 NATO matches, or 40 kitchen matches. However, the longest of these (the stormproof matches) comes in around 0.3" shorter than the Matchcap XL itself, meaning you have room above or under your matches for tinder, small fishhooks, etc.

Be warned, though—items packed above or below the matches can be really tough to get out when you're cold and tired.

IMG_2978.jpg IMG_2979.jpg 
IMG_2981.jpg IMG_2991.jpg


After playing with various packing configurations, I abandoned Exotac's advertised configuration (matches above / below tinder) and instead have started packing my Matchcap XL with a mixture of TinderQuik tinder bundles, UCO stormproof matches, and safety pins with 2x small (#8) octopus fishing hooks (a type of hook that curls back on itself) and a very small amount of fishing line packed on the bottom.

In the past, I would carry matches and a match case as a worst-case-scenario way of starting a fire. The Matchcap XL's size makes it large enough that I can carry a decent amount of matches along with enough TinderQuik bundles to start wet day fires and still leave myself with plenty of supplies for an emergency.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $35.95

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kitchen matches Stormproof matches NATO matches
Price MSRP: $31.95
Current Retail: $35.99-$39.19
Historic Range: $25.99-$39.19
Reviewers Paid: $35.95
Match Capacity 40 25 32
Weight 1.25 oz
Diameter 1.20 in
Length 3.60 in
Strikes 25-50 per pad
Product Details from Exotac »

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