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UCO Waterproof Matches

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: UCO Waterproof Matches fire starter

Last fall, I reviewed a very disappointing brand of "waterproof" matches. Since then, I have obtained two types of UCO matches, and both are amazing upgrades, and are dependable components of our fire kits. When canoe camping, and tent camping in all types of weather, we need to have reliable matches.

This review is for the UCO WATERPROOF MATCHES, which we have used through last fall, winter, and early spring.


  • They light even when wet
  • Reasonably priced
  • Sticks do not easily break


  • Not easy to light if striker strip is wet
  • May sputter a bit
  • Box is not waterproof, just resistant

These are dependably, easy to light matches, which we use for camping in all weather conditions, year-round. We like the "waterproof" aspect, since our gear may get wet in rain, or from snow, and though we keep matches in plastic cases, prior experience has taught us that all matches that are reported to be reliable, are not.

These matches come in a 4-pack (4 boxes, with 40 matches in each box), so they will last a long time. There are two striker surfaces on each box, which adds to the reliability. The wood sticks are durable for little matches, and do not break easily.


The matches are described by UCO as being waterproof, but the box and striker strip are "water resistant". This may account for some of the sputtering, when trying to light the matches with very wet striker. The video below shows the match being lit, after being doused in water a few times times. The striker plate is only lightly wet.

These matches have served us well, and are the regular matches we use on each trip. Because they may be resistant to lighting if the box is completely soaked, we do carry the UCO Stormproof matches in our emergency kit. Those matches are reviewed separately.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $3

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Price Historic Range: $1.99-$3.49
Reviewers Paid: $3.00
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