Sofirn SD05 Otter survival torch, 3,000 lumens, 277 metres – top performance above and below the waterline! Customer reviews
The SD05 Otter is a powerful and compact torch for snorkelers and others who work and play in the water – but it's also ideal for adventure racers, sailors, emergency personnel and anyone who needs plenty of light when the going gets wet (like when your 4x4 gets stuck in a river at sunset!!)
Even if you're not planning to say hello to H2O, this is one of the best compact torches around for regular stuff like camping, braais, investigating bumps-in-the-night and surviving load-shedding.
The Otter is small enough to fit into a jacket pocket but blasts out 3,000 lumens (or more, according to some reviewers)! Better yet, it's super-simple to operate – a rotating ring provides one-handed access to three brightness levels, and "off". The one thing this torch won't do is confuse you!
"Low" delivers a very useful 300 lumens for the whole night – enough to hike a trail, set up camp and light your tent. "Medium" produces an impressive 900 lumens for two and a half hours – to snorkel a reef or ride some gnarly single-track – while the gobsmacking 3,000 lumen "high" is just what you need to spot a jetty or plot a route up a mountain from 50-100 metres away.
In terms of range, I've measured a beam distance of 277 ANSI metres (for comparison with other torches) or 88 real-world metres (with ten times the illumination of the misleading ANSI formula). That's for a big fat beam – an extraordinary feat for a pocketable torch.
Sofirn rate this torch IPX8 waterproof to a depth of 100 metres, making it the perfect partner above and below the waterline! Note that all of my torches are IPX8 rated to a metre or two, but unlike the Otter they must not be turned off and on underwater because the change in internal temperature will suck water past the seals.
The Otter can be powered by a high-drain 18650 battery or a new-generation 21700 Li-Ion for the longest runtimes. Note that the 21700 format is a bit bigger than other Li-Ions and won't fit into most chargers, but I stock a long-cage four-channel USB charger/powerbank that takes this format along with all the older sizes.
And there's a surprising level of sophistication under its tough hide, including the impressive Luminus SST-70 emitter, reverse polarity protection, low-voltage warning from 3v and cutoff at 2.6v, which is essential if you use unprotected ("vaping") Li-Ions.
You don't need to be Bear Grylls to want this light – it's a cracking compact powerhouse that you'll reach for every day, not just when the flood arrives!
And if you expect this kind of durability and power to come at a premium price... you'd be wrong! Check out the prices above, and note that I can give you a healthy discount if you pay by EFT-on-invoice – just drop me a line and I'll send you an invoice.