Current thoughts on the Surefire Saint?

Mr Bigglow

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 24, 2010
Messages
406
These haven't crossed my path until last weekend and then I didn't even get a chance to look at the unit except under glass (kids), but I know where a full version Saint, not the Miniumus but the one that takes both AAs and 123s, is lying in a display case waiting for me to pay the full price and take it home. However, while I thought this was a great idea when I first heard of the Saint, I haven't had the impression that they are an entirely successful product, even when allowing for their local scarcity. Does anyone with Saint-ly field experience have any feedback to offer before I plunk down the $200?
 

vtunderground

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Joined
May 26, 2004
Messages
945
Location
Roanoke, VA
I guess it depends on what you're looking for in a headlamp, and what the intended use is.

I've owned a full Saint, put it through a variety of use, and then sold it. It's a good idea, and it has a great battery pack, but the LED is out of date and the beam sucks for most uses.

I found the Minimus to be an excellent headlamp for night hiking. Past that, I wasn't impressed. I tried the full Saint on my caving helmet for a while - now I use a $35 PT Corona, and I like the Corona a lot better.

If I had $200 to drop on a headlamp, I'd buy a Spark ST6-500, a few of AW's 18650 batteries, and spend the change on a nice dinner for my wife. Or I'd save up $80 more, and try out the new Surefire Maximus.
 
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Mr Bigglow

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 24, 2010
Messages
406
I guess it depends on what you're looking for in a headlamp, and what the intended use is.

I've owned a full Saint, put it through a variety of use, and then sold it. It's a good idea, and it has a great battery pack, but the LED is out of date and the beam sucks for most uses.

I found the Minimus to be an excellent headlamp for night hiking. Past that, I wasn't impressed. I tried the full Saint on my caving helmet for a while - now I use a $35 PT Corona, and I like the Corona a lot better.

If I had $200 to drop on a headlamp, I'd buy a Spark ST6-500, a few of AW's 18650 batteries, and spend the change on a nice dinner for my wife. Or I'd save up $80 more, and try out the new Surefire Maximus.

Thanks for the feedback and I'll consider a Maximus- assuming they're easier to find than a Saint ever was. I'm not one of those who are inspired by SF's move to rechargeable batteries however, if only because I look ahead to the battery wearing out and me spending a hundred or more bucks to obtain a new one-since they don't say it will, I take it the Maximus won't accept regular 123s.
 

The-David

Flashaholic, Formerly KE7AYF
Joined
Feb 17, 2005
Messages
386
Location
Western Washington
I have a Miniumus, Grate for when I need to get something done and not be woring about or fooling with my light... not the brightest out there and I would go with the Vision if I had it to do all over agean. The flat white just makes a wall in front of you in the fog.
 

Stainz

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Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
266
Location
Pinson, AL USA
My Minimus, bought new last spring, is indispensable. I use it - and some dollar store readers - to work on the car or machinery - or to search under beds, etc for cats. My wife absconds it to spelunk in the unlit attic, where we store who-knows-what. I got a buck back from a C-note at a local store - they had a sale. It's all I need. Beats a 6P LED on a hat band!

Stainz
 

Jeffa

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Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
140
I've got a Saint and a Spark ST6-460 NW. I like the color of the Spark a lot more and the throw blows the Saint away. I also do not like the light rings or artifacts of the Saint TIR that reflect down onto my face and body when using it.

That said the Saint is built very durable and has the best battery pack I've seen, however if weight is an issue than the Spark is the better option.

You can also wear a baseball cap or hood with the Spark and not have it block your light like the Saint because the Spark protrudes out away from your head.

They both have well built and comfortable head straps.

The AA option of the Saint is nice but the 18650 option of the Spark is also nice.

I like the reostat UI on the Saint better than the UI of the Spark but not enough to make a difference. When I turn on my Saint the position I have it pointing always has to be adjusted because the turning of the reostat causes it to always move. I jammed a rubber washer between the Saint headlamp and the holder to give it enough resistance that it would not move everytime I turned it off and on this seems to have helped a little.

I want to check out the Surfire Maximus but will not do it without going hands on first to ensure how well it stays in place when turning it on/off and the beam quality first.

I did send it back to Surefire for repair or replacement because of the TIR rings and they told me that was normal and sent it back unrepaired. I am happy with all of my other SF lights but not this one.
 

Mr Bigglow

Enlightened
Joined
Feb 24, 2010
Messages
406
I've got a Saint and a Spark ST6-460 NW. I like the color of the Spark a lot more and the throw blows the Saint away. I also do not like the light rings or artifacts of the Saint TIR that reflect down onto my face and body when using it.

That said the Saint is built very durable and has the best battery pack I've seen, however if weight is an issue than the Spark is the better option.

You can also wear a baseball cap or hood with the Spark and not have it block your light like the Saint because the Spark protrudes out away from your head.

They both have well built and comfortable head straps.

The AA option of the Saint is nice but the 18650 option of the Spark is also nice.

I like the reostat UI on the Saint better than the UI of the Spark but not enough to make a difference. When I turn on my Saint the position I have it pointing always has to be adjusted because the turning of the reostat causes it to always move. I jammed a rubber washer between the Saint headlamp and the holder to give it enough resistance that it would not move everytime I turned it off and on this seems to have helped a little.

I want to check out the Surfire Maximus but will not do it without going hands on first to ensure how well it stays in place when turning it on/off and the beam quality first.

I did send it back to Surefire for repair or replacement because of the TIR rings and they told me that was normal and sent it back unrepaired. I am happy with all of my other SF lights but not this one.

Aha, if there's one thing I really hate it's a flashlight or, even worse, a headlamp that scatters light directly into my eyes. Thanks for that!
 

P_A_S_1

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 1, 2010
Messages
1,271
Location
NYC
I picked up a SF Minimus this past sumer. It is the first headlamp I've purchased and did so primarily for night hiking. It's the newer model with the more aggressive knurling and lack of detent on the dial. I've used it twice on night hikes and found the light to work well in that aspect. It does lack throw as the beam produced is more flood. When cranked to high it puts out a nice blanket of light however at 100 lumens run times should be slightly better then 1.5 hours until 50 lumens (my HDS will burn at 120 lumens steady for 1.5 before dropping and then it still goes 20-25 minutes before dropping below 60 lumens). The back scatter some complain about I really never noticed and only discovered it after looking for it. IMO not an issue but then again I don't were glasses so not sure if that would be an issue for those that do. IMO the pros of the SF are it's build, UI, and warranty. It's cons are price and average runtime.

The Saint with have better runtimes, obviously, due to the battery pack but all else is similar.
 
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