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Thread: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Is it just an old Mag-Lite, a newer Surefire, or is it something else? I really like products that are rugged and won't quite just because they get dropped. The Pelicans look pretty rugged, but I also know that looks can be deceiving. Is an LED light always more reliable because incandescent might quite working if dropped vs. an LED light?

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    This is a tough one!
    Let's hope it doesn't end badly.

    My vote is for a basic 6/9P with a flat SS bezel ring and a Malkoff. I can kill the drop-in but it takes quite a bit of hard work to do it. There are defects in anything and you'll see failures in every product made if you get enough of them together. Your results will vary. Opinions differ wildly.
    Good luck

  3. #3

    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Surefire 6P/9P, Inova T series/X series (not including X1 due to failures in most versions)/Inova Inforce series, Fenix TK series, Gerber LX3.0 and Infinity Ultra, Stainless steel Solarforce L2 host with a Malkoff dropin (actually, any Solarforce L2 is pretty tough, and replacement parts are reasonably cheap), Surefire Titan.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic camaro09's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Just my 2 cents, but Ill give a vote for an Ra Twisty. Simple, reliable UI and a body, and bezel that can and has been proven to take a beating.

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    Flashaholic Jvalera's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Sorry but define rugged? coz my limited brain cannot imagine what cant be destroyed by sheer ignorance and willful carelessness effectively applied or intelligently designed by my 5 year old unborn twin
    Last edited by Jvalera; 12-21-2009 at 11:58 PM. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
    Flashaholic tundratrader's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Maglites are tuff as hell but the switches eventually go bad or batteries leak and get stuck. The lenses get trashed very easily. The bodies will likely last forever though. No one would disagree that they are rugged but maybe they are just rugged because they are so big and bulky.

    Rugged is a surefire C2 with the standard switch, standard cells and standard bulb. I have never been let down by that setup. I cant remember for sure but I do not think I have ever broken the filament in the standard p60 bulb. I have burned them out from use. But never from abuse. I will say that the Malkoff M60 that lives in my C2 right now is damn rugged as well. I have ran both of these setups through the wash more times than I can remember and have not had a failure to light!
    Zach
    New to being a Flashoholic but have always had a taste for the good stuff. I edc a Malkoff MD2 with M60W or Surefire C2 with m61. XM-18 along with Victorinox cybertool 29 and Leatherman crunch.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Thinking the G2/G2Z LED. Don't know what window is better, the clear plastic or glass. Still the tail will last forever I think. Guessing the 6P/9P has the same goodness too but kinda like the plastic body.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Surefire 6P with a G2 plastic lens/bezel hosting a malkoff M60L or LL. This setup will be tough as nails. The 6P aluminum bezels dent and the pyrex cracks when dropped. Best of all, no clicky to fail.
    Last edited by kramer5150; 12-22-2009 at 11:34 AM.
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  9. #9
    Flashaholic* fisk-king's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Ra Twisty
    "Now they will know why they are afraid of the dark. Now they learn why they fear the night."-Thulsa Doom PAYPAL FEE CALCULATOR; list of lights.

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* Flying Turtle's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    My toughest and maybe still the best is the CMG Infinity. My old Arc LS in twistie configuration may be my second best.

    Geoff

  11. #11
    Flashaholic Billy Ram's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    I don't believe you'll find a more rugged light than a plain old Fenix TK10. "They are built like a tank" The light I had that took the most abuse was a early model Streamlight 5D. It held up too extream abuse for more than 20 yrs. with out any break downs. It finally disapeared.
    Billy

  12. #12
    Flashaholic mightysparrow's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Ra Twisty
    "However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light." -- Stanley Kubrick

  13. #13

    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    I like the surefire 6P/9P design, a Malkoff, and without a doubt it must have the original twisty/momentary on switch.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* fisk-king's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Turtle View Post
    My toughest and maybe still the best is the CMG Infinity. My old Arc LS in twistie configuration may be my second best.

    Geoff


    the Gerber Infinity Ultra is in my top 5 of rugged lights.
    "Now they will know why they are afraid of the dark. Now they learn why they fear the night."-Thulsa Doom PAYPAL FEE CALCULATOR; list of lights.

  15. #15
    Flashaholic* leukos's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jvalera View Post
    Sorry but define rugged? coz my limited brain cannot imagine what cant be destroyed by sheer ignorance and willful carelessness effectively applied or intelligently designed by my 5 year old unborn twin

    Yes, JAS, please define "rugged". There are lights designed for various purposes, and there are multiple situations I would consider "rugged". Lights mounted on an automatic rifle need to be "rugged"; lights that dive to depths of 200m need to be "rugged"; lights that go caving need to be "rugged".

    LEDs are probably going to be more "rugged" than incandescents or HID's, but only if their circuits are potted. Most drop-ins are not potted as well as most of the lower-end lights. However, without further clarifying what you mean by "rugged", I would unequivically give that title to a flashlight manufacturer in Spain: http://www.barbolight.com/
    Light is sweet and pleasing to the eyes....

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    The RA twisty and the CMG would be my choices too, but I would also add the small Barbolights (no experience with the big ones). These are dive lights and are well-built.

  17. #17
    Flashaholic* jhc37013's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    My vote would also be the Surefire models mentioned and also Inova models.
    My flashlight collection HERE

  18. #18
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Quite a few qualities relate to the ruggedness of a flashlight: LED, window, board and circuitry, heatsinking, potting, switching, body material, machining and construction, wall thickness, etc. Considering all these factors, Peak's stainless steel El Capitan and stainless steel Night Patrol are rugged in the extreme.
    Peakaholic!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    The most rugged I have used is a 2006 Peak Caribbean 2AA stainless steel with momentary switch. The combo of potted electronics, brass battery button, lexan window all wrapped in stainless steel made it one tough light. The worse thing I did to it was drop it while up in a ceiling, it fell 17 feet and slammed into a solid marble floor. The battery positive was dented from the impact, the floor was chipped but the light did not even shut off. The downside of the light was it weighed a LOT!

    A nice, lighter and brighter replacement that would be as tough (or tougher) would be the Eiger stainless steel with a 2AAA body. It would fit better on your belt but so to will the El Capitan single AA. The twisty on/momentary switch on worked very well and won't/can't break unless explosives are involved.

    Once Peak rolls out their multiple output heads with that momentary switch, I'm going to get a few. All I have to do is pick the narrow/medium or wide optics, pick what max power level I want, choose between HA-III aluminium/brass or stainless steel and if I want to run NiMH, E2 lithium or 14500 protected Li-ion for power. I will get all three types of optics, I can choose the beam pattern to fit my changing needs.

    I did break an Inova X5 though, it was a great light while it lasted.
    Peak Pacific AAA UP brass (EDC) E01 (keys), Peaks, Arcs, Fenix, Q5 Aspheric HA-III Mag etc.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Since water resistance is important to me, none of the surefires are considered rugged for me in that aspect

  21. #21
    *Flashaholic* kaichu dento's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    I think you could buy a wide range of Surefires and be very happy and most definitely; the second you hold a Ra in your hand, especially the Twisty, you get the feeling you could drive tanks across it or throw it from mountaintops and have it not only work, but laugh it off at the same time!

    Ra Twisty for absolute toughness!
    Marduke - Solitaire...I've seen matches which are brighter AND have a longer runtime. 光陰矢の如し

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    This site used to have a great video of some guys thrash testing an energizer hard case 2AA light. All the commentary is legit and they filmed the entire session.

    http://www.kokeytechnology.com/gadge...iew-and-price/
    *EDIT*
    found it here:
    http://www.viddler.com/explore/w00t/videos/4

    There also was a similarly destructive test done on CPF with the TK40, which included freezing and boiling it in water.

    These 2 lights get my vote.
    Last edited by kramer5150; 12-22-2009 at 11:55 AM.
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    I don't have an opinion on the toughest flashlights. However, with a buttload of flashlight mavens from which to garner the very best info in the world today (CPF'RS); I am incredulous that manufacturers are not listening.
    For example: If a manufacturer is touting a "tactical" flashlight; hell, the least they could do is PROVE its toughness, since the 'tactical' label should not be an arbitrary one, it should exude macho toughness. Therefore, a 'Glock'-type toughness video should be the norm. The Fenix TK40 torture test was VERY convincing and a definite sales catalyst.
    Sometimes; seemingly small things, make a helluva difference between success and failure, especially if you're making a 'tank' series of lights.

    The torture test is but one seemingly small thing; there are many others.

    Happy Christmas and may you receive many tough lights to brighten your way!!!!
    4Sevens have some very tough lights, but you wouldn't know it

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* Cosmo7809's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Pretty much any SF and a Malkoff.


    Also the Fenix E01 is quite rugged.
    Its better to have it and not need it, then to need it and not have it.

  25. #25

    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    TK20....Try this with your light...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxy_B...eature=related

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Tempest UK's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    I wonder why the SureFire 6P/9P tend to be given so much praise as highly rugged and reliable lights. I'm not disagreeing that they are rugged/reliable, but no more or less so than just about any SureFire.

    What makes the tailcap of a 6P (Z41) any less reliable than that of a C2/M2/M3/M3T/M4/etc? I would, without wanting to get worms everywhere, suggest that click on/off tailcaps are generally less reliable than twisty tailcaps. But even with that assumption, in that respect the likes of the LX2/A2L/L1 are just as reliable as the 6P.

    Regards,
    Tempest
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  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* kramer5150's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tempest UK View Post
    I wonder why the SureFire 6P/9P tend to be given so much praise as highly rugged and reliable lights. I'm not disagreeing that they are rugged/reliable, but no more or less so than just about any SureFire.

    Regards,
    Tempest
    They really aren't. I have cracked and dented my share of 6P pyrex + bezels, from waist high drops onto concrete. The Lexan / Nitrolon G2 bezel is definitely more rugged than the 6P/C2.... from what I have found.

    The Z41 twisty on the other hand has proven to be very reliable in my light. I have dropped my 6P hard enough on that tailcap to gouge chunks of metal from it, but yet it continues to work 100%. It can also handle a TON of current at various voltages, with very low resistance so for the IMR-P91 crowd its a worry free slam dunk.

    I modded my Z41-HA to a reverse clicky and completely regret doing that.

    I dont intentionally abuse my lights, they just get roughed up from my own clumsy-ness. The 6P is my walk home from the bus stop late at night torch, as well as the light I use to change motor oil, and fix stuff around the house. The DX-MCE drop in has handled all the rough/tumble abuse just fine. The body was bored to 18mm by modoo and shows no signs of failure.
    Last edited by kramer5150; 12-22-2009 at 02:37 PM.
    CLICK HERE for my flashlight reviews.
    PAUL KIM... AN INDUSTRY GENIUS

  28. #28

    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post
    I modded my Z41-HA to a reverse clicky and completely regret doing that.
    If you still have the original boot, I'll be happy to restore your Z41 to its original twisty glory.

  29. #29
    Flashaholic brianch's Avatar
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    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by kts View Post
    TK20....Try this with your light...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxy_B...eature=related
    Try this with YOUR light

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82JLx...layer_embedded

    JetIIIM

    Brian C
    I am afraid of the dark

  30. #30

    Default Re: What Are The Most Rugged Flashlights?

    Quote Originally Posted by brianch View Post
    Nice..Now we just need to see if a Surefire will survive to be frozen, then brutally de-iced with an axe

    I found this wolf eyes video, seems pretty tough too...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uodD...eature=channel
    Last edited by kts; 12-22-2009 at 03:45 PM.

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