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WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
Good small economical flashlight

This isn't about Surefire!  Sorry guys. I'm sure that Suefires are great flashlights, but just too pricey for the average sportsman in my opinion and too expensive to keep in operation for me to write about.  This is for those who want a very good reliable product without breaking the bank.

This is about Energizer's newer 1AA aluminum tactical LED flashlight. I wouldn't nessesarily rely on this one as a tactical light, but it's well worthy for general outdoor use or anywhere else you need a small reliable and bright flashlight.  As an outdoorsman I learned the hard way a long time ago to never be without a reliable flashlight when heading outdoors, even if you are certain that you'll be back long before dark, you just never know.  Back in the day a bright flashlight consited of a 2D cell clunker at best, too heavy and bulky to want to carry around all the time.  In 1984 Maglite changed all that and introduced the 2AA Mini-Maglite, and that remained the brightest and most reliable of the small flashlights until the mid 1990's when other makers gained the lead.  Heck I still often carry and use a minimag.

Today, especially since 9/11, LED flashlights have made leaps and bounds in brightness and throw, especially within the last 4 years or so.  I discovered Energizer's new aluminum tactical 1AA LED flashlight.  Picked one up at Target for $15.99.  I've also seen them at Autozone and a few other autoparts stores too.  Truthfully I wasn't expecting much from this flashlight at first, but was only looking to pick up a small inexpensive flashlight for my wife to keep in the glovebox of her vehicle.  Tried it out in the backyard on a clear moonless night, so it was very dark out and Wow!!  This light gives off a way brighter high quality beam than I would have expected.  Throws a useable wide beam out to 45-50yrds and lights up a reasonably large area.  I'd say it gives off about 55 Lumens, not nearly as good as a Surefire, but considering it's size that's plenty of light for most uses and much better than any other 1AA flashlight out there.  The clip also is set up so that the light faces forward if you need to clip it to the visor of your baseball cap for handsfree use, and it weighs so little as not to sag down on your hat too.  Sized right to easily carry anywhere, about 4 inches long and the diameter of a nickle, rubberized tailcap button switch with full-on/full-off/Momentary settings, and weatherproof with O-ring tailcap seal.  The finish is a basic dull matte black anodizing.  I don't think it's Class III hard anodizing at this price, but who cares?, neither are maglites, and their anodized finish holds up pretty well to rough use.  In the last 4 years I had upgraded my mini-maglites with LED upgrades and thought they were impressive for their size with the upgrades, until I experienced this Energizer.  This new Energizer is smaller, lighter, and brighter, and it's exterior knurling helps stop it from rolling off of smooth surfaces as easily.  So impressed I bought two more, one for my truck and one to keep in my hunting/fishing gear.  Runtime is about 1 hr with a basic 1.5V AA alkaline battery, but if you want to get longer runtime use a 1.5V AA Energizer ultra Lithium battery for 3.5 hrs runtime and much more tolerance to temperature extreams.  Not bad runtime when you consider it only uses one battery.  For it's size, inexpensive cost, and simplicity, this is a whole lot of flashlight.  Highly recommended!  As a longtime user of Maglite flashlights and as a fan of Maglite I only have one question - When is Maglite going to catch up to the 21st century and innovate?  Every other manufacturer in the consumer flashlight industry has!!

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