The Surefire Defender was loaded to me by my friend Chris, who is usually right on with his gear recommendations. I didn’t know why someone would pay over $100 for a palm sized flashlight, but was immediately intrigued by the brilliance of the beam, and questioned the function of the scalloped ends of the unit.
This is a full-on, aluminum anodized model that has no filament to burn out, throwing out a staggering 200 lumens from a single LED. I used the light in the woods, and was really impressed by the illumination, which clearly out distances any flashlight that I’ve ever used, and I have used some big boys.
The down side is that when initially turned on, the unit default to the high setting, but one more push of the rubber switch give the user a low (5 lumen) beam that was fine for most work outdoors. If the light were accidentally switched on while in a backpack, the heat generated on the high setting would melt plastic. Rotating the end cap disables the push switch, a habit that you’d be advised to develop when the light is transported in a suitcase or backpack.
The printed material about the flashlight notes that it is waterproof to a depth of 33 feet, however I didn’t test that capability.
The light uses two CR123 batteries, which sets you back about $10 if purchased in a two pack in a store. These batteries are much cheaper when purchased in bulk from internet vendors.
Make no mistake about it, this unit is primarily targeted at military, law enforcement, and aviation personnel. Note that the “ Crenellated Strike Bezel® and scalloped tail cap provide enhanced self-defense capabilities”. Translation: You can hold this thing in your fist, flail away, and gouge the flesh out of any bad guy that proceeds to violate to your personal safety zone.
I wouldn’t buy this light for my personal use, which generally favors a hands-free headlamp light that allows me to use my hands to bring in firewood, backpack at night, or read a book in my tent.
Alternatively, I’m headed up to Belfast tonight , where I‘m going to detour to Ocean State Job Lot where I can check out the “6 Pack of 9 LED Flashlights” that are currently on sale for $10- “Batteries Included”! Maybe if I cluster those half dozen lights with duct tape and keep them out of water I can blaze the landscape with 200 lumens ? I’ll let you know !