Review: Zanflare F1 XP-L 18650 USB Rechargeable Flashlight

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WillyD
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Joined: 10/10/2012 - 15:55
Posts: 788
Location: Ohio
Review: Zanflare F1 XP-L 18650 USB Rechargeable Flashlight

I received this light at no charge from Zanflare for review purposes.

(non-affiliate links)
Official website: www.zanflare.com
Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2shDPek

Overview/Specs/Facts

Specifications from Zanflare.com:
Max Output: 1240 lumens
Max Beam Distance: 252 m
Max Beam Intensity: 16650 cd
Max Run time: 550h
LED: Cree XP-L(V6)
Special Modes: SOS, Strobe
Length: 136 mm / 5.35 inch
Weight: 96 g / 3.39 oz
Battery: CR123A x 2; RCR123 × 2; 18650 × 1
Activity: Gear, Hunting, Hiking, Camping

The F1 is extremely well packaged. The box contains spare o-rings, lanyard, case, and belt/pocket clip. Also included is a USB cable for charging. I just realized I still had it plugged in to my laptop when testing and didn’t include it in the pic.

It’s slightly longer than most 18650 EDC lights, but still small enough to slip in your pocket.

The light is turned on using the tail switch. The side switch is used for changing modes. Can be locked out with a quarter turn of the tail cap. There is also ‘tail safety hammer’ which you can see in the below pic. I really wanted to test this feature, but I’ll just have to hope it works should I ever require its use.

There is a recess above the lanyard hole, so you can still tail-stand with lanyard attached.

The F1 has some seriously bold knurling. None of the knurling/grips actually match, but I personally think they look great together. Big fan of the spline knurling. I wonder if this will start a new trend.

LED is XPL V6 behind a smooth reflector. The reflector is much longer than the typical ones found in 18650 EDCs.

Here’s a wall beamshot. The SMO reflector puts out a surprisingly smooth beam. Where this is really evident is outside. Lens is AR coated.

I saw another thread on the F1 where someone stated they had issues with longer batteries. I had no issues at all with an unprotected flat-top and a protected button-top. There is no spring on the driver. It looks like a brass button perhaps.

The built-in charging system works very well. The port cover screws into place with 2 –rings which seals things up. An LED light will glow red while charging and change to green when finished. The charging stopped consistently at 4.15V.

The manual states that when the voltage drops below 2.8, the LED will blink once per minute. Once under 2.6V, the LED will blink 3 times, and the light will shut off. LVP does indeed work, however, my numbers were slightly different. In my tests, the light would start blinking once per minute when the voltage reached 3.20. Three blinks and complete shut off occurred at 2.78V.

Here are the numbers I got at the tail:
Moonlight 0.00A
Low 0.10A
Mid 0.53A
High 1.23A
Flare (turbo) 3.74A

On Flare (turbo) mode, the light will ramp down after about 30 seconds. It is a very smooth drop. My tests had the ramping down from ~3.65A to 1.23A in about 6 seconds.
The light is powered on at the tail, then modes are changed using the side switch. I love side switches, but sometimes all the switching can become cumbersome when using both tail and side switches. Personally, I like being able to lock a light out using a tail cap, but I like all the mode changing and on/off in one central location. The F1 has memory mode except for Flare. Once on, a quick double-click of the side switch takes it to Flare. While powered on, holding the side switch for 2 seconds will activate strobe. Each single click after will cycle through strobe and SOS. Hold the switch for 2 seconds to exit the strobe and SOS mode.

I tested this light at 14,400cd in Flare.

Zanflare’s site states this flashlight is IP68 waterproof. I thought this would be a good test to save for last for obvious reasons. I did lube up the o-rings before tossing into 4 ½ feet of water for 30 minutes.

No signs of leakage at all.

Conclusion

My tests in Flare mode seemed significantly higher than any of the other reviews here. Perhaps I received a factory freak. I ran several output tests, and all had the same results. I even put a new 9V battery in my Craftsman DMM. This puts the output at around 1,500 lumen. I would imagine closer to 1,350 if you subtract 10%. This makes this the brightest non-modded, single LED EDC with regulated current that I own. This light is bright! I loaned it to a co-worker for a week just to get someone else’s opinion. He did not want to give it back. The only criticism he had was that he would like to see low mode somewhere in between low and moonlight. I would have to agree with this as the jump from moonlight to low seems pretty significant. I think that and no tail-switch button.

I normally prefer an orange peel reflector in a small EDC light. SMO just seems pointless in something this small and usually spits out a ringy beam. HOWEVER…the engineers at Zanflare put a lot of time into this design. This reflector works and it works well. IMO, perfectly smooth blend of flood and throw. Before I turned it on outside, I thought that an XPL-HI would probably be a good upgrade, but I think it’s almost perfect in stock form.

I wanted to remove the reflector to compare it to the S2 SMO. This light is seriously glued together. Unless you are doing a review, I guess there’s really no reason to take it apart. I heated up the head and was able to unscrew it, but in the process the plastic spacer melted and split. I figure if I’m going to do a review, I may as well do it right. I wish these lights had blast ratings or UL 752 standards for bullet resistance. I’d love to test those out. I haven’t taken the rest of the light apart as of yet. You can see the internals in DB Custom’s review. I’ll post some more pics of the reflector next to an S2 reflector. I am curious as to the size difference.

Today, if I were going to recommend a bang-for-buck EDC light with built-in charging, I would go with the F1. Looking forward to seeing what else their engineers develop in the future.

huntking
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Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: 05/16/2017 - 21:03
Posts: 29
Location: USA

nice review