BackpackGearTest
  Home Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Lighting > Flashlights - LED > Cabela 3-Watt LED Flashlight > Owner Review by Brian Hartman

CABELA'S 3-WATT LED FLASHLIGHT
BY BRIAN HARTMAN
OWNER REVIEW
September 11, 2008

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Brian Hartman
EMAIL: bhart1426@yahoo.com
AGE: 40
LOCATION: Noblesville, Indiana
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 145 lb (65.80 kg)

I have always been active outdoors but just started backpacking last year when my son joined scouting. So far, I have been backpacking throughout the Midwest as well as Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. I especially enjoy winter backpacking and the serenity of the wilderness under the cover of snow. My backpack and gear are older and weigh 35+ lbs (16 kg). This has limited the distances I have been able to cover and my enjoyment while hiking. My goal over the next several years is to replace my existing clothing and gear with more suitable and lighter weight alternatives.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Cabela's
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.cabelas.com
MSRP: $39.99
Rated Output: 65 Lumens
Batteries: Requires 2 AA batteries
Listed Weight: N/A
IMAGE 1

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Cabela's 3-watt LED flashlight is 5.5 inches (140 mm) long and is made of light weight aircraft grade aluminum. It uses a 3 watt Luxeon bulb and runs on two AA batteries. It has a plastic lens and DC/DC regulated circuitry which provides consistent light output throughout the life of the battery. The flashlight has a clip-on style pocket clip and a lanyard which is secured to the light by a plastic ring that is secured by the tailcap. The light comes in plastic packaging and includes a nylon carry pouch.

The flashlight is turned on and off by a switch which is located in the tailcap. Tightening the tailcap turns the light on, while pressing in on the textured rubber button allows for momentary operation when the tailcap is unscrewed slightly. I can lockout the switch by unscrewing the tailcap two or three turns. This will prevent accidental activation when packing the light in your backpack.

The body of the light has a rubber "o" ring and Cabela's describes it on their website as being water resistant. The flashlight has a rated output of 65 lumens.

BACKGROUND

I purchased this flashlight from Cabela's six months ago in an ongoing effort to reduce my pack weight. Previously, I was using a 2 C-Cell Maglite. During my research of LED versus incandescent flashlights, I learned of several other advantages that LED's offer in addition to weight savings. These include: bulb life, shock resistance, size and diffuse light beam. The flashlight arrived in the mail within one week of ordering it online and I immediately started using it. I keep it in our kitchen while at home and on my waist belt or in my backpack while camping.

FIELD USE

I have been using Cabela's 3 watt LED flashlight for six months and it is incredibly bright and the reflector produces a very nice beam. While camping in Southern Indiana I compared the LED flashlight to my brother's 2 D-cell flashlight. The LED beam easily outpowered his 2 D-cell flashlight. The LED beam was also more diffuse, providing great illumination of surrounding objects.

The flashlight is easy to carry and operate due to its small size and body styling and with the lanyard attached there is no drop risk. The light is also extremely sturdy and although I have not dropped it, I doubt it would do more than scratch the finish unless a rock hit the lens directly.

There is a push button on back of the flashlight with a rubber cap that protrudes slightly for momentary on/off control. I can easily operate the push button with one hand although it requires two hands in order to twist the light to the ON position. The flashlight works fine in the "continuous on" mode as well as in the "push and hold" mode. However, I feel it would be nicer if it had a two or three position switch. With the current twist design I never know how far to unscrew the tail cap to ensure that in will not inadvertently turn on when in my pocket. Consequently I unscrew it until it is almost ready to come off the body, which is inconvenient because I have to unscrew the tailcap quite a ways to disable the light. Changing batteries is as simple as unscrewing the tailcap and dropping in a new set.

I have tried using this flashlight in my tent as a reading light, but it is way too bright. I have not tried it in rain so I cannot verify its weather resistance. I have found that the light output remains constant throughout the battery life which is approximately 1.5 hrs using alkaline batteries.

SUMMARY

Cabela's 3-watt LED flashlight is a small, well-made flashlight with a powerful beam. It is super bright and has decent runtime. It would be nice if it had a low beam setting as it is simply too bright for up close work. The lanyard and carrying pouch are nice additions and I use them on a regular basis. This was a great replacement for my 2 C-cell flashlight in terms of size and weight savings.

THINGS I LIKE

Water resistant
Tough / impact resistant
Bright
Easy battery change
Lightweight
Steady light output
Nice beam dispersion

THINGS I DONT LIKE

Too bright for close-up use
Twist cap requires two hand operation
Untwisting tailcap to turn off light may affect water resistance

SIGNATURE

Brian Hartman
bhart1426@yahoo.com

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Cabela gear
Read more gear reviews by Brian Hartman

Reviews > Lighting > Flashlights - LED > Cabela 3-Watt LED Flashlight > Owner Review by Brian Hartman



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson