Relative "durability and quality" of these 3 brands: Sofirn, Zebra, and Convoy?

MTHall

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This is highly subjective question, but I have had some dissapointments in the lastt few years, along with some pleasant surprises. The 3 brands I have now with what I consider the most reliable brands are Nitecore, Fenix, and Coast. Trying for a different UI than I have had in the past.These 3 brands I am asking about have models that sound appealing to me. Has anyone tried all 3 brands? If so, do you feel they are similar in durability or is there one clear best? (Budget is under $100.00)
Thanks very much.
 

bykfixer

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Coast lights usually die because an alkaline battery left inside leaked. Also they are not regulated so they dim as the battery depletes. If you use ultimate lithiums, neither of those is an issue. Lithiums as a rule don't leak and hold their voltage steadier than alkalines.
 

Burgess

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FWIW --

I have Multiple flashlights of Each
of those 3 brands for YEARS and YEARS now,
and have (to date, anyway (1/01/2023)
experienced *ZERO* problems with any of them.

:lovecpf:
_
 

rwolfenstein

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Granted I dont own any coast or sofirn branded lights. However, I recently got a zebralight and I am not easy on things. It has held up.
 

MTHall

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Coast lights usually die because an alkaline battery left inside leaked. Also they are not regulated so they dim as the battery depletes. If you use ultimate lithiums, neither of those is an issue. Lithiums as a rule don't leak and hold their voltage steadier than alkalines.
Thanks. I.didn't think of regulation.
 

3_gun

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Have & use 2 of your 3, Sofirn + Convoy. Only lights that have failed were both Sofirn & no fault of the light. SP10v3 didn't make it after a 30' fall on to a steel floor & a discontinued 18650 light (don't remember the model) didn't survive a 14yo. I didn't expect it to which is why I let him use it. I doubt anything short of a rock is safe with him & even then don't be shocked if you get pebbles back.

Both are brands I trust but are brands I grab when there is a good chance something bad is going to happen to the light
 

chillinn

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Zebralight costs about 5-6 times more than Sofirn, Convoy or Coast, but you'd probably go through all 18 of 6 each of these lights and more before you somehow managed to destroy a Zebralight. I think the attraction to Convoy is how inexpensive and small they are for an 18650 light, plus a constant current driver. Zebralights have reasonably small 18650 models, they have potted electronics, they're regulated for constant brightness, they tailstand better than anything else, they don't use PWM, and they have a 1xAA model that is effectively as bright as single CR123A light from a few years ago. I think the biggest issue with Zebralight, aside from the tint lottery that really only tint snobs care about, is that they're an expensive habit to have and highly addictive.
 
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KITROBASKIN

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You can get a bad apple from any of the brands. Take your time between flashlight purchases. Truly it is not that expensive as a subject of interest and flashlights can always be given to others. If your conscience or significant other questions multiple units, a reminder that they are more useful than classic cars, or vintage comic books might help.

Do you have a specific application?

Sofirn is a question mark for me so I´d say go for it if you want to try that user interface. Then let us know what you think.

Having purchased 5 Zebralights and used that system for years, yeah they are good; get one. My experience is that the UI is quite different from other flashlight mode switching but can be learned easily enough. Compact, relatively powerful, durable anodizing, tough glass and solid internals.

Convoy flashlights are such a good value, get one.

Have you tried an Anduril type of ramping UI? Get one.
 

MTHall

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You can get a bad apple from any of the brands. Take your time between flashlight purchases. Truly it is not that expensive as a subject of interest and flashlights can always be given to others. If your conscience or significant other questions multiple units, a reminder that they are more useful than classic cars, or vintage comic books might help.

Do you have a specific application?

Sofirn is a question mark for me so I´d say go for it if you want to try that user interface. Then let us know what you think.

Having purchased 5 Zebralights and used that system for years, yeah they are good; get one. My experience is that the UI is quite different from other flashlight mode switching but can be learned easily enough. Compact, relatively powerful, durable anodizing, tough glass and solid internals.

Convoy flashlights are such a good value, get one.

Have you tried an Anduril type of ramping UI? Get one.
Thank you.The light I am thinking of would need side switch mode selection, with a fairly large,.well focused Hotspot. Minimal spill is fine. It will be used mostly for nocturnal animal spotting.
 

chillinn

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The light I am thinking of would need side switch mode selection, with a fairly large,.well focused Hotspot. Minimal spill is fine. It will be used mostly for nocturnal animal spotting.
Right now, I'm sort of enamored with the idea of the 26650 dual channel Noctigon D4S V2. I'd like E21A 3500K on one channel, E21A 2000K on the other, but it looks like Hank is out of E21A for this or never had it. There is a smaller version in 21700 also in Ti and Ti & Cu. Both sizes will accept 18650.

I've always heard that animals don't mind green light. You could get green LEDs on one channel, white on the other, and use independently, but mixing those tints would be a catastrophe.
 

chillinn

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Until a few days ago, me either. I have two Noctigon KR4. It is surprising how well the TIR optics collimate quad LED into a hotspot, but it is a floodier light than a single LED. Regarding durability, for whatever reason one of them keeps getting knocked on the vinyl-covered concrete floor from about 3 feet off my bedpost. I want to blame the rescue kitten, but I've been clumsy with it. The tailcap has some dings, but otherwise there's been no ill effect to its function.
 

CarpentryHero

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Sofirn and Convoy are good budget brands, good for the price. Zebralight is more towards the medium quality lights cost wise. I feel like the qc is above average, the precision machining and design feel like its higher end.

The downside of Zebralight is they are out of stock almost everywhere and buying from them directly only works if you are in the USA.
I don’t have a lot of experience with convoy, but the only downside I can think of is user interface isn’t as nice as the other two brands.
Sofirn I’ve never put one through its paces just cause I have trust issues for budget brands ;) the ui isn’t bad but it’s not my coup of tea
 

greenpondmike

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The Christmas before last I bought my brother in law a convoy c8 and my nephew bought me one. Both are good light and still going. My nephew also bought him one at the same time he bought mine. He just told me a few weeks back that his died after 3 days.

If he would have told me sooner I could have checked it out or had Simon at aliexpress make it good. I still want to check it out--probably just has a section loose or a bad battery.
 

Poppy

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The first time I heard of Sofirn, was after they created the BLF 348 it was a little aaa / 10440 stainless light. It sold for less than $10 and everyone wanted one. They sold out and made a second run of them. I have two of them, and they didn't get a lot of use, but never failed.

More recently I bought a Sofirn D25L headlight, and liked it enough to buy two more. It too, hasn't been used much, yet, but its build quality gives me confidence that it will hold up over time. It is a in-flashlight rechargeable light, and its micro USB port is protected under a screw on cap, that is O-ring sealed. And another feature is that the cap will not screw all the way off, so that it can never be lost.

I have 15-20 convoy lights, mostly the S2+ and a couple or few C8. Again, I don't use a light for work, so they only get house-hold use, but none of them ever failed me.
 

Jean-Luc Descarte

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Convoy:
I've been using this brand almost exclusively for going on 7 years now, and I had a few even before that (that I swapped drivers on). So far I haven't managed to bust even a single one permanently, and they do get used, left running, dropped, scraped, bumped and banged to the point where the bezels on my S2s and S2+es are all dented out of circular shape to varying levels. They're very very reliable, and in the rare occasion they do clock out, they're super simple to troubleshoot with basic tools.

EDIT: And for those that become lost causes, Simon really stands behind his products. Dude's a real one.

Sofirn:
Only have an SP40 headlamp that sees occasional usage. Not enough use time to judge.

Zebralight:
No idea, never had one and doubt I'll ever afford one, but I don't see complaints about them going kaputz, ever.
 

bykfixer

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When Sofirn did a 1x aaa not unlike the Fenix E01 and called C01 I passed on it. That one had a Yuji LED. They sold out quickly. If I recall correct 1000 were produced. Later I found 2 in the CPF for sale area.
Later they did a version with a Sophia LED. Still a limited edition but several body colors were available including doo-doo brown and tootsie pop orange. It seems like 500 per color took place.

Both versions are pretty solid little lights. The warm Sophie version has a more golden bias where the warm Yuji version has a bit of pink bias. That's the only Sofirn's I can speak of with experience.
 

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