July 26, 2012

Coast HP7 Flashlight and HL7 Headlamp - Review

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Since we started writing this site, we've become aware of a strong flashlight sub culture; a group of people obsessed with lumens, watts, and focused beams. These apparent dwellers of the dark seem to go hand in hand with knife enthusiasts, because, when you think about it...if you need a flashlight...there's a good chance you could also use a knife. So it's not much of a surprise that Coast is a company that has built a reputation around this marriage of steel and light beams. Recently, they sent us a knife to check out (more on that another day) as well as a flashlight, their HP7, and a headlamp, the HL7. And while we're by no means manic about flashlights, we are definite fans of their practicality and lead a lifestyle where they are an essential part of existence (i.e. "is that a raccoon up in that tree?" and "yes, dear, I'll go out to the wood pile even though it's 11:30 pm and the wood box is full).

So on to the review...

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First the flashlight...We've had this thing for a number of months now, probably almost a half a year. In that time, the HP7 has grown to be our favorite flashlight. Really. It's small and oh man is it bright. Coast says that it has a light output of 251 lumens which, when compared to a lot of other lights on the Coast site, seems sorta wimpy. But you could have fooled us. We'd be surprised if the HP7 didn't fulfill all of your flashlight needs, raccoon spotting or otherwise. Its size makes it perfect for the bedside drawer emergency light and the brightness makes it work as the "by-the-back-door-what-the-hell-was-that-noise" light.

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The focus is controlled by sliding the head of the light up and down the shaft. There is about 3/8" movement and it's enough to go from prison spotlight to diffused dawn sunrise. The light is activated by a rear-mounted click button, which we liked because it didn't accidentally turn on when it was in the pants pocket like slide switches do. There is also a small (very small) place to loop a cord or some other kind of tether.

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All said and done, it's small, lightweight, and bright, bright, bright.

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We like the headlamp a lot too. It doesn't feel as bright as the HP7, but it's enough light for snowblowing, stacking wood, and anything else we did these past few months at night. We honestly wear this thing all the time. We used to keep it in the truck, because we'd need it at work in crawl spaces, but now that it's summer and we're out a lot at night we keep it by the back door.

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The HL7 consists of two parts; the front light and the rear dimmer. The light clicks on with a top mounted switch at the front piece and the brightness is controlled at the rear. The light also is on a hinge so it can be easily directed at a particular spot.

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HP7 Flashlight ($44) at Amazon

HL7 Headlamp ($40) at Amazon

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at July 26, 2012 10:17 PM

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