Stone River Gear Adjustable Focus 3-Function LED Flashlight
Like most folks, we have drawers full of flashlights that weíve accumulated over the years. Some work and some donít. Most commonly the non-functioning ones have broken bulbs, which are the major shortcoming of all flashlights prior to the advent of the LED (light emitting diode). It is hard to argue against the brightness of halogen or xenon bulbs in modern flashlights, except that the bulbs commonly fracture when you drop the flashlight. If you are on a hunting trip and moving around in the dark it is easy to trip and fall and the last thing you need is for your flashlight to malfunction. That is the most significant benefit of LED lights. You can drop them, submerse the good ones in water and they still work. In addition, battery live is greatly extended.
The Stone River Gear flashlights are among the best on the market and if you take into consideration their price, they are the best for the buck. The high performance SRG3TAF produces a discrete beam reaching out beyond forty feet.
There are significant differences in the LEDs on the market today. The cheap LED lights sold in big box stores and at flea markets may have 9-11 LEDs, yet their candlepower is measured in micro candelas. They average about 90,000 micro candelas (1,000,000 micro candelas =1 lumen), and their beams become diffuse and useless after about six feet. The CREE LEDs in the SRG flashlights produce illumination which can be measured in lumens. There is a telescoping function that adjusts the beam from wide (flood) to a spot beam. The SRG3AFT produces 150 lumens on its 3-Watt setting, 80 lumens on its 1-Watt power-saving setting and 150 lumens on its strobe mode. In short, if you are venturing into the woods at night, you want to see where you are going, what is up ahead and on occasion where you came from. Additionally, the head and barrel of SRG lights are machined from aircraft aluminum, rather than the weaker, thin-walled aluminum tubing found in knock-offs.
We took Stone River Gear lights with us on Jimís Ibex hunt and asked each of the guides and our outfitter to give them a try. Because the guides frequently bring the hunters off the mountain at night, they need reliable flashlights. Prior to our arrival, all of the guides were using either the Surefire or small Maglights. While reliable, the guides didnít like the expensive lithium batteries required for the Surefire and they all wished that they put out more light. They liked the Maglights for their tough construction and standard alkaline batteries, but complained about the bulbs breaking when dropped in the rocks.
Neither of these problems exist with the Stone River Gear SRG3TAF flashlight. It produces more lumens than either the Surefire or small Maglights and uses standard AAA alkaline batteries. In addition, the guides loved the strobe function of the SRG, which made it easier for them to locate each other at night. By the second night, every one of the five professional guides and our outfitter were using the SRG lights to come off the mountain. Suffice it to say, when we asked them if they wanted to return the lights after the nine-day hunt was over, they declined and offered to pay us for the lights. We refused the money and James Economos of Stone River agreed to let them keep the lights. The MSRP of the SRG3AFT flashlight is $34.95. It carries a 10-year warranty and costs about half the price of a comparable Surefire.
If you buy one of the SRG3AFT lights, you will probably also want to pick up one their small 1-Watt SRG1TA lights for your vehicleís glove box. They are more powerful than any single battery LED flashlight on the market today. As a final note, the batteries included with the SRG flashlights are Duracell, not cheap Asian imports, which says a lot about the companyís commitment to excellence.
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