Reliable 18650 Search Light? TM28? Or anything else?

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Studie
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Reliable 18650 Search Light? TM28? Or anything else?

Hi guys,

A scary incident happen over last weekend. My father went camping/hiking in the rocky mountains here in Canada.
And they almost got lost because by the time they hiked up to the hill it was night and dark. They could not find their cabin.
It was snowing and freezing. Luckily they had a China 18650 torchlight that was cheap and they were able to find the cabin eventually.
If they had stayed out any longer they would have frozen to death.

My father asked me which 18650 light would be best suited for such situations?

He is planning to overhaul his entire gear setup and get better equipment. Can you guys advise?

Thank you!

freeme
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21700/26650 SBT90.2 thrower might be a better choice for outdoor activities.

If budget permits, get another floody flashlight with multi-emitter (e.g SST40/XHP50.2), and 4x18650 lantern that can be used throughout the night.

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pennzy
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Everyone should have 2 of something small and reliable. Convoy S2+ would work.

sp5it
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Get GPS and learn how to use it.
Etrex or similar.

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Pip
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I’ll second the convoy s2+ recommendation. Mechanical switch so there’s no battery drain when it’s turned off. Simple, cheap and dependable.

If you were willing to upgrade to 21700 batteries I would recommend a convoy s21a, slightly more throw and about 50% more runtime. The down side is it’s a little big for pocket carry, though not terribly.

Sirstinky
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If you don’t want to mess with a separate battery charger, then the Sofirn Sp31T is good, or the Thrunite TC20 V2 is another fantastic option. A little bulkier than the S21 or M21, but lots brighter, comes with a battery, and has onboard usb charging. For 18650, I recommend the Thrunite BSS V4. Really bright, awesome quality, great beam, and is rechargeable. It’s about $30 more expensive than the Convoys though, but includes a high capacity battery.

the4ds9
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Isn’t there a saying a .32 in the hand is better than a .45 left at home? Thank God he had a 18650 powered flashlight. 18650 is the smallest I would go for a single cell. It will give just enough brightness at just long enough runtime to get you out of a jam. A Nitecore TM28 will be way too big and heavy.

jeff51
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Pip wrote:
I’ll second the convoy s2+ recommendation. Mechanical switch so there’s no battery drain when it’s turned off. Simple, cheap and dependable.
If you were willing to upgrade to 21700 batteries I would recommend a convoy s21a, slightly more throw and about 50% more runtime. The down side is it’s a little big for pocket carry, though not terribly.

An S21a would be hard to beat. Only a bit bigger than an 18650 light with more runtime due to the 5000mAh 21700 battery.
Keep to the lower brightness levels and it will light the way for a long time.
All the Best,
Jeff
sp5it
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More important in cold weather is battery. You need low temperature cells. NCR18650F for example.
Ordinary cell in frosty weather die quickly.

Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that. George Carlin

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Studie
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they had a GPS Unit but because the weather was so severe the snow covered up most of the paths that were seen to the cabin.
the GPS indicated only 600m away but they were unable to see the path because of the heavy snow.

Studie
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freeme wrote:

21700/26650 SBT90.2 thrower might be a better choice for outdoor activities.


If budget permits, get another floody flashlight with multi-emitter (e.g SST40/XHP50.2), and 4×18650 lantern that can be used throughout the night.

Perfect, thank you so much. I’m going to get the BLF LT1 Lantern for them.

Studie
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the4ds9 wrote:
Isn’t there a saying a .32 in the hand is better than a .45 left at home? Thank God he had a 18650 powered flashlight. 18650 is the smallest I would go for a single cell. It will give just enough brightness at just long enough runtime to get you out of a jam. A Nitecore TM28 will be way too big and heavy.

I feel like in extreme weather conditions in the rockys something like a big search light would do him some good. But the weather conditions are pretty extreme for any flashlight. Hence why I’m wondering if there’s anything he can get that will endure such weather conditions.

zoulas
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Complicated question. You seem to think you just need a light. You actually need a survival kit. You need multiple lights in case of failure. You need extra batteries. You need several methods to start a fire.You need a lot of things if you are going to tempt mother nature. You can have the best and brightest light. Won’t do you any good if you run out of food before your battery dies.

Bottom line, don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.

Correllux
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First, encourage him/them to never travel unprepared in conditions that may turn dangerous…one of the basics of general hiking but in mountains and/or winter especially. A little extra clothing and/or a compact emergency sleeping bag (like the 10°C type, small but additional warmth) and perhaps one of the ultralight compact wind bivvies. This time it was just darkness and wayfinding but if someone twists a knee or something then someone/everyone needs to be prepared to wait out the cold safely until they can be moved or rescued.

For a light, I think the Convoy S21 mentioned above would be a good choice, maybe with the SST40 emitter. 21700 battery with a bit more run time, but also a slightly larger reflector which will put a little more light ahead while still giving decent throw – that might be very helpful when sweeping around in the trees and such looking for something. Might need a new charger to accommodate the longer cell if the charger he has now won’t stretch that far. The nice thing about a tube light like this is that they are so compact and can tuck into any crevice inside the pack. Also, there’s a bit more room on the tailcap/switch with this model, which would be convenient while wearing mitts/gloves, and the “ears” should give good tactile location in the dark even though mitts. Some side switches will feel invisible and smaller diameter tailcaps might be hard to depress the switch without removing the mitts.

The next step up would be one of the C8 body styles in either battery size. You can tailor those for a powerful medium-wide beam or make it a real thrower depending on emitter. And something like the Sofirn C8F with three emitters can really light up an area very nicely and throw a good useable 150m-200m, ramping light levels, too, for walking or indoor use (also has a dual side-and-tailcap switch system so the mitts/gloves thing is mitigated depending on how you use it). Those are still pretty compact although the wider head can be a hassle sometimes shoving it in the pack or pulling it out.

For a distance thrower you’d need to accept either a narrower beam or a bulkier light with larger head/reflector. Thrower may be less useful unless they ever need to navigate in the dark in larger open spaces like above treeline (not where you want to be at night in the snow, though…).

Warmer color temps in the 3000-4000 range will look less harsh in falling snow/rain although they usually put out a bit less light. Bright light in snow or rain can be really blinding…distance can be cut a little bit but it has a bigger effect on your vision. Holding the light down low can help a lot (as it does in fog).

But seriously….always be prepared to sit down still and handle the temperatures/conditions that are there. If you can’t do that safely and confidently with what’s in the pack then that will always a not-insignificant risk of an emergency that can be avoided. An awful lot of people get in predicaments that require rescue just because they didn’t plan ahead or consider possibilities. Goes double in alpine environments and places where SAR may not reach you for quite awhile if you can reach them first.

Studie
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zoulas wrote:
Complicated question. You seem to think you just need a light. You actually need a survival kit. You need multiple lights in case of failure. You need extra batteries. You need several methods to start a fire.You need a lot of things if you are going to tempt mother nature. You can have the best and brightest light. Won’t do you any good if you run out of food before your battery dies.

Bottom line, don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.

No for sure I could agree with your point 100%. I told them this before. They fully understand they were underprepared to see what horrors that mother nature can show humankind.
But having a proper flashlight is on the list hence why I wanted to reach out to the guys here on BLF to get something that would be reliable.

Oli
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Correllux wrote:

Warmer color temps in the 3000-4000 range will look less harsh in falling snow/rain although they usually put out a bit less light. Bright light in snow or rain can be really blinding…distance can be cut a little bit but it has a bigger effect on your vision. Holding the light down low can help a lot (as it does in fog).

Yes warm color is best in snow, rain, fog, mist, etc. Something with a really good tight hotspot and just a little bit of spill. Whether you hold the light down with a stretched out arm or off to the side you want that light as far away from your eyeballs as possible. And while a warm headlight is good to have also, in heavy moisture a headlight can be miserable because of the back scatter. There is no one best light for all situations but avoid cool white. EDIT. I want to point out that not all snow, fog, mist and rain is a major problem. But sometimes there can be enough “moisture” in the air to make navigating by foot on trails or even in your own backyard very difficult. And this can be made worse by the type of handheld or headlight choice you have at the time. If you’ve never been outside in total darkness in whiteout conditions then you may not be able to relate.
draver
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Studie wrote:
they had a GPS Unit but because the weather was so severe the snow covered up most of the paths that were seen to the cabin. the GPS indicated only 600m away but they were unable to see the path because of the heavy snow.

An excellent map app is called Pocket Earth (Pro) and it features downloadable regions that all include paths, alleys, private roads, etc. It does not require a cellular signal and is invaluable in town and unimproved areas. I’ve used it around the world and it’s great for navigating around parks and attractions in foreign countries. That, a charged phone, and a couple of spare batteries in a case would be a minimum for me going out the door.

Lumeniac
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i`d recommend Mateminco MT70