Ultimate Flashlight Test (and my dream weekend)!

swsccassidy

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
45
This weekend has been quite the test for a few lights that I brought along with me to a trip up to the mountains. It started Friday night with a drive up a long stretch of highway starting at around 1500 ft and ending at a little over 7000 ft. We hit rain and 30-50 mph winds on the way up and at ~5000ft we had to stop to put tire chains on because of snow. The visibility was literally 10 yards with the wind and snow, making for awful driving conditions. I used my EagleTac P100A2 and G2X Pro when putting the chains on, worked like a charm. These lights have a nice tint that were much better than some of my other LED's in the snow.



Once we hit the top of the mountain ( 90 mile drive, left at 6, arrived at 10:30 pm), the snow was really coming down. Around 11pm, the power went out! We're at a cabin with 12 people and everyone froze. I used my Surefire G2X Pro to get to my bag and spread out several cheapo AA lights, an Energizer 1 watt (1 AA), a Life Gear 1 AA, M@G 2D LED, EagleTac P100A2, River Rock 2C, Inova Icon Rogue (2AA), and I kept the G2X Pro (running on a 17670) and a Princeton Tec Byte. I still had a Solarforce Masterpiece Pro I and Surefire G2 LED (R2 @ 8.4V) that didn't get put into use. Power came back on around 1am, by that time everyone had headed to bed and took a light with them.



The next day, someone had to head down the mountain last minute at night. By that time, we had already gotten at least a foot of snow. It was snowing and as he was heading out, his chain flew off his tire. I used the EagleTac P100A2, G2X Pro, M@g LED and Princeton Tec Byte out in the snow for nearly 30 minutes while we tried to get the car out of a rut and put the chain back on. We accomplished that and got the car back in the driveway, there was no way he could safely leave. At one point the M@g was set down for a few minutes, left on, and was buried in snow as we worked. No problems once I found it and dug it out.



Then tonight, after returning from a day out, a car was stuck at the bottom of our road after trying to do a u-turn into a snow bank and lost a chain (people just don't think sometimes...). We had to shovel out the tires and tried to get some traction. They had spun the tires so much they had a 4 inch rut down into the mud through the snow. I used my G2X Pro and the Energizer 1 watt to see what was going on (it was pitch black) and then used the Surefire as I hooked up a tow strap after all other options had been tried. We finally dragged them out and got them back on the road. Used the lights to put the chain back on and send the people back on their way.



Over the last couple of days, my lights have been through more than I could have imagined. Why on earth I brought so many lights, I have no idea. But I sure am glad I did, and everyone else certainly was. I had the Solarforce, M@g, Life Gear, and some cheapo 1 AA lights in my car that I grabbed when the power went out, all the other lights I brought with me in my bag. Some of the lights were exposed to extreme weather conditions, from rain and snow, to ice and drops on asphalt. Each and every one of them performed flawlessly and I couldn't ask for more. I was careful to lube all the threads and o rings before I left and made sure to check each light after they were used in bad weather. Not one of them showed any signs of taking on water or failure after abuse.



This weekend has taught me a few things:

1. It pays to always have a light on you. Power went out unexpectedly and we're on top of a mountain in a snow storm...it was DARK.

2. Make sure your batteries are always charged up and you carry spares (I haven't changed any batteries this weekend, but I will need to charge some batteries up tomorrow.)

3. Low modes are a necessity! Some of the larger lights were used as room lights on tail stand and higher power was ok. With the smaller lights, brighter isn't always better. Low modes or lights with regulation that can squeeze useable amounts of light out of a single battery were the most used. 20 lumens is more than enough light when it is pitch black.

4. A $300 light may be nice and there is nothing against them, but a $40 light that I can actually use and abuse without worrying about it is priceless to me. I use my lights and this weekend I had no reservations about grabbing a light and getting it wet or dropping it.



Hope this post wasn't too long, details were a must :thumbsup:
 
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