Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Gerber Recon LED Flashlight

REI held their Labor Day sale over the weekend and I wound up buying a Gerber Recon LED flashlight for around half off, about $15; regular price there is $29.95.

The Recon is an interesting little light. It runs off a single AA cell, but what makes it special is the rotating bezel which allows you to select white, blue, red, or green filters. White is for general use, blue for IDing fluids (i.e., blood), red for preserving night vision, and green for map reading. It weighs 2.6 oz. and has a clip for a pocket, or you can attach it to the brim of a cap. I wouldn't want to rely on the clip to secure it to my hat if I was doing anything strenuous, however. The base of the Recon has a hole big enough to put a piece of paracord through for use as a lanyard.

Even with the white lens, the Recon is not very bright. Compared with the single AA cell Gerber tasklight I picked up a couple months ago in a combo pack with one of their Multitools, the Recon is much less powerful. It is useful for small, closeup tasks, but I'd want more light if I was using it to walk around in the dark. In contrast, the task light I've had for awhile (no longer listed by Gerber but is very similar to this one, which is bright enough for navigating around in the dark. I attribute the difference in brightness to the task light's better reflector.

The task light supposedly has a burn time of 100 hours on one AA alkaline cell, while I can't find info on Gerber's page or in the packaging for run time.

One good feature is that the bezel has a flat on it which allows you to line up the red lens over the LED by feel before you turn it on, so you don't inadvertantly hose your night vision.

As with every other Gerber product I've handled or owned, the Recon's quality appears top-notch.

Although its utility is limited by low output, since it's so light the Recon could make a useful companion to a more powerful flashlight.

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