Indestructible. Now there’s a claim.
Mrs Muz’s homemade lasagne is indestructible. We’ve abandoned it on train tracks, launched it off bridges and hit it with claw hammers, yet still it lives. As I type it’s slowly collapsing in to a black hole while propping open the kitchen door.
So for a company to claim ‘indestructible’ when it comes to a traditionally delicate piece of equipment, well, that’s brave.
A few years ago Varta took it upon itself to launch a range of six such torches, all with a three-year guarantee. Not contradictory at all. No sir.
We here at GWA have one of the most expensive in the range – the £30 3-watt LED 3C with a claimed 85-hour battery life, and I think I’ve just broken it. One minute it was fine and dandy, switching on and off, casting a good strong beam, and the next minute, after I’d popped the three C-sized batteries out and back in again, it wouldn’t switch on. Now this may mean duff batteries or something else, like a hitherto undiscovered element of cack-handedness on my part, so I’ll plough on regardless. [Ed – It was the batteries, see comments below]
This is a simple torch and unashamedly uncomplicated. It’s a manly man’s torch. It should sport a neckbeard and smell of old beer. At 25cm it’s a mid-range unit in terms of length but it weighs almost as much as SausageTheCat. He’s our cat. If he was also constructed out of hardened aircraft-grade aluminium this would be understandable, but no, he’s a proper fatty. So this isn’t a chuck-it-in-the-tent-and-forget-about-it kind of torch. If you did that and it hit the fabric you’d probably rip the tent off its pegs. I think of this more as a builder’s toolbox torch.
At either end of the Varta lies a secret to its indestructability. Thick rubber caps to protect the plastic lens and screw-in battery section and to absorb shocks. The rubberised power button is on the very end, further protected by the rubber, and offers no more and no less than:
- on/140 lumens
- on/a bit dimmer (can’t find a stat)
That’s it. No strobing, no SOS flashing, no red nightlight and no fancy crap that nobody uses. Simple.
The white LED beam is powerful and throws out a claimed 140 lumens to 140m (460ft), but it can’t be tightened-up. So the reasonably wide beam you’re stuck with has a slightly dimmer dead spot in the centre that can’t be adjusted. It’s a common issue with torches, and a bit of a niggle. Another niggle is that it’s matt black so if you’re already in the dark, trying to find your torch to make it not dark any more, you might struggle.
And so it came to the indestructibility test. All of a sudden, like a femur being tossed by a man in a threadbare ape suit, the Varta arced and spun its way through the cloudless Shropshire sky and thudded to Earth with enough force to raise Charles F Richter’s long-departed eyebrow. Starlings took to the wing. Sheep scattered. Windows rattled. Mrs Muz wet herself.
The torch lived.
But it was instantly pounced upon by a feral Ford Fiesta that was lying in wait and was crushed in to the ground under the wheels while the GWA misfits stood idly by. Evil chuckles ensued.
The torch lived.
Not blessed with much of a collective imagination or easily-accessible heights, we embarked upon further airborne shenanigans, varying in height and force. We introduced muddy puddles and concrete surfaces. We jumped on it. We swore at it. We dissed its mum.
The torch lived.
In fact, other than a couple of titchy chips in the anodising, the Varta still looks pretty much like new and (until a few minutes ago when I messed with the batteries) works like a charm despite everything. I’d like to be able to set it on fire, but as this is my new house torch I don’t really want to risk losing it. And besides, if the zombie apocalypse befalls us and we’re left with just the lasagne and the torch, we’ll need a weapon each.