If scientists one day managed to successfully interbreed an anglepoise lamp and an octopus, they’d no doubt have a little celebration party with half-price Cava and those sausage rolls which seem to be all pastry and no sausage. They’d be all self-congratulatory and “Amazing, isn’t it?” about their breakthrough until someone pointed out that Joby had managed the feat years ago.
With the aggressively named ‘Blade’ (I reckon after the Vampire-slaying character, since this torch is so bright it’s like the sun coming up), Joby have created the half-breed Octotorch and given the world something rather unique and wonderful.
You may have read our GorillaPod review previously. Well, this torch works in the same way as that. It has three legs constructed from chains of plastic swivel balls, which make them poseable in pretty much any direction you care to twist them. This means that you can balance the torch on any uneven, curved or lumpy surface, and then point it in a full 360-degree arc. You can even wrap the legs around poles, strings and fenceposts if that’s where you need the torch positioned. And since they’ve included some nice strong magnets in the feet of each leg, the GorillaTorch Blade can be mounted on car bonnets, bicycles and anything else which magnets stick to.
The torch itself is detachable from the legs via a slider and button. It’s very simple to remove, yet totally secure in use.
On its own, the torch is about the same diameter as a 2p coin, and the exact same length as a sausage. It’s made from aluminium and has a nice solidity and weight to it. It feels sexy. And it’s waterproof to IPX5, which means rainproof, but not underwater-proof.
Turning it on is simple – a big rubberised button on the end heralds the bringing of a very impressive beam of white light from the little torch, and a further press ramps it up to a retina-frying 130 lumens. That’s enough to light up a tree at 30m on a dark night. Very impressive indeed and it widdles all over the Cyba-Lite torch we reviewed a few weeks ago.
The beam is very usable too – from a wide, even circle to an intense spotlight via a quick twist of the end of the torch.
Interestingly, and perhaps the only reason why this torch wouldn’t be great for a long camping break, is that it’s rechargable via a USB port. You can’t put replacement batteries in it if you run it down in the middle of nowhere. Battery life is a stated 6.5 hours on Standard mode, and 2.5 hours on ‘130 Lumens, burn the eyes out of squirrels’ mode. You’ll need a mains adapter (supplied) or a Power Monkey if you want to take this touring.
SUMMARY: The GorillaTorch Blade is a superb, brilliantly made piece of kit. It is robust, infinitely useful and bright enough to fool pilots into landing on your Tipi. However, since we’re reviewing outdoor gear we have to be context sensitive and give it 4-hammers instead of 5 because of the relatively short battery life and inability to be re-charged on the trail. As a home, workshop or touring torch it would be awesome, provided you had a charger or socket available during the day.
Price: £30 ish
From: Google Shopping
More Info: Joby
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