[REVIEW] Sofirn SF22 "Bear Hunter" (18xXM-L2 U3, 4x26650) (Pictures, Output, Beamshots, etc.)

The Sofirn SF22 is Sofirn's 18xLED masterpiece and the largest flashlight sold by Sofirn. The SF22 has 18xXM-L2s and is a monstrous flashlight which can be powered by up to 4x26650s for a claimed 6000 lumens. The SF22 can be configured for either 2 or 4 cells via the included extension tube. This light is ideal for bludgeoning metal stakes into the ground, urban assault operations, melee bear hunting and casual jogs around the neighborhood (excluding California and most of Europe).

I was provided a copy for review by Sofirn (Amazon US stock).

Official Product Specifications
This flashlight provides Sunlight indoors or Shine your backyard as daylight -- Plain and Simple
18× Cree XM-L2 U3 LED Bulbs, comes with all the 5 functioning modes of typical tactical flashlight. Lighting up a football field in dark as a spotlight due to 1000 meter throwing up. Or the super bright Strobe feature that can blink a would-be assailant in an instant while you can run away. Plus, the hard metal composition is useful in an emergency if one is called upon to break a window to help someone.

1, 18 CREE XM-L2 U3 LEDs a maximum light output up to 6000 lumen
2, Made of a high-quality 6061 aluminum alloy, robust construction.
3, Mil SPEC Ⅲ hard-anodized finish, abrasion-resistant, scratch-resistant and shock-resistant.
4, Ultra clear Tempered glass Lens, aluminum light cup and smooth reflector, providing a more concentrated light beam.
5, Amazing range of application, versatile, ideal for hiking, camping, hunting , self defense, Law enforcement and other outdoor activities.
6, *****Please tighten the tail cap, otherwise it might not work because of a loose battery contact
*******Please keep the tail cap and clean, If the control panel of tail cap is dirty, it may cause the battery to a bad contact, resulting in not lit.

What you get:
High power handheld flashlight
2 O-rings
90 days money back, 12 month warranty and Amazing Customer Service!

Packaging and Contents
The SF22 arrived in an exquisite cardboard box which contained the flashlight, extension tube and 2 spare O-rings.

1 x Flashlight + Extension Tube
2 x Spare O-rings, Small
4 x 18650 to 26650 Battery Adapter Sleeves

Exclusive collector's edition box.

There is no manual included because the use of this light as a bear-hunting mace is pretty self-explanatory anyway.

18650 to 26650 battery adapter sleeves

Fit and Finish
The SF22 has thick smooth black low-gloss anodizing (stated as Mil-spec HAIII by the manufacturer). The anodizing was applied well and my copy did not have any notable defects in the finish.
Balance: Due to the large amount of metal needed for bludgeoning with the head, the flashlight is noticeably front-heavy regardless of configuration.

The cooling fins are really cool looking. This light is much larger physically than it's closest cousin the S70 and the cooling fins are deeper.

The body has a cut-out section. The cut-out was noticeable but not too sharp.

The extension tube felt sharp in my hands. I assume this is because the weight is so front-heavy that you would hold it by the front tube anyway. This leaves the lower-half of the flashlight free so that you can upper-cut/slash bears.

Glass is not AR.

The host for this light is pretty rad and intimidating. The only thing missing is the built-in ability to mount this to a custom full-auto Saiga-12 with under-barrel grenade launcher, laser sight and dot scope.

Flashlight even tail-stands

When on it's head, it feels like those spikes are going to drive right into my wood table, just as it would an attacking bear's skull.

Tail has some sharp cuts. This light can be used for attack on both ends and gutting fish/gators, etc.

In 2 cell configuration, the flashlight is 837g (without batteries).

In 4 cell configuration, the flashlight is just over 1kg (without batteries). By far the heaviest light in my collection right meow.

User Interface and Modes
  • To turn the light ON, press the tail switch.
  • To advance modes, press the side switch (High > Med > Low > Strobe > SOS).
  • To turn the light OFF, press the tail switch.
Forced strobe & SOS mode. This is so that your flashlight is always ready to blind people/animals and you can't turn strobe off by accident (common noob mistake).
Comment: I recommend a non-assault-model that does not have any Strobe/SOS modes forced.

Output, Runtime and Power

Measurements were done using freshly charged protected Panasonic NCR18650GAs using a quasi-integrating sphere. Batteries were at 4.17V at start.

Using 4x GAs, I obtained a high of 4100 lumens after 30 seconds (4200 lumens at activation).

Using 2 cells, output would be roughly half. However, I did not measure output with only 2 cells.

The SF22 draws only 1.6A at maximum on my copy.

Comment: With a minimum setting of 1000 lumens, it would be impossible not to blind a home invader at night even if you accidentally had switched your flashlight to Low. You probably don't want to use this light to go to the bathroom at night if you want any semblance of night vision. Good for people who only want high power output. However, I would recommend adding additional modes.
My recommendation for spacing would be roughly: 4000 > 2000 > 1000 > 400 > 80.

Beam Profile
Wide Balanced Thrower. The best way to describe the beam profile is a large wall of directed light due to the sheer number of reflectors which each have OP reflectors. This is the shotgun of flashlights. In close-quarters, this light is a blinding wall of light. At farther distances, the throw is more apparent.

I doubt it's even legal to carry this thing in public in California.

Beamshots, Color Temperature and Tint
The color temperature is 6000K (cold neutral) using Lightroom's Auto WB. When white-balanced in Adobe Lightroom against "Daylight 5500K", the beamshots appear cool.
Tint/Green shift: When compared against Daylight WB in Lightroom, this light had +18 green shift. I have observed a range between -10 (rosy) to +20 (greenish) among LED lights.

Battery Support and Fitment
The SF22 is powered by 4x26650/18650 or 2x26650/18650 batteries (Li-ion INR, ICR, IMR, etc.).
Protected Batteries Fit. The Protected Panasonic NCR18650GAs fit at about 70mm. However, the fit was a little snug length-wise and the spring sounded over-compressed. I recommend using a spring in the tail instead of the plunger design.
As with any multi-cell light, use caution to ensure that batteries are inserted the correct direction. Since this light uses cells in series, you also must be extremely cautious to only used matched/mated cells and monitor them to ensure that they have similar capacities over time as well as similar voltages prior to use. I always check my cells with a voltmeter prior to use in a series device.

Threads were perfectly square. Only the final tail thread in the extension is fully anodized. So, if you use it in 2 cell configuration, the tail cannot be locked out (except with the tail switch).

You can lock out the light both with the tail switch and additionally by a partial turn of the tail cap (if using the extension tube).

If there is a possibility of accidental activation, you should lock-out the light.
Size Comparison
Sofirn SF22 pictured next to Maglites for comparison. The Maglites are 2D, 3D and 4D. The SF22 dwarfs even the 4D.

The SF22 is ideal for people who have finally realized that their C8 cannot be used for CQC.

There is no manual included because the use of this light as a bear-hunting mace is pretty self-explanatory anyway. If you need a manual, learn martial arts instead.

Summary and Conclusion
The SF22 is a pretty rad host that no doubt deserves it's place in a trophy shelf or mounted on the wall in place of a hunting rifle. The size and heft of this light is clearly purpose-built for people looking to out-class a 4D Maglite. The design is large, heavy and intimidating. If you carry this around during night time walks for self-defense, people taking one good look at this thing will either leave you alone or call the cops. Even in 2 cell configuration, this light is plenty bright for most usage.

The modes are just okay if you only want a very bright light. However, my recommended spacing would be 4000 > 2000 > 1000 > 400 > 80. I would also recommend hiding the strobe/SOS functions. The firmware in this light was a lost opportunity.

The light uses either 4/2x26650 or 4/2x18650 lithium-ion batteries in series and protected batteries fit but are tight. I prefer using protected batteries for multi-cell lights. Always make sure you are using matched cells in any multi-cell device, especially devices which uses cells in series.

The beam profile is what I describe as a wide balanced thrower which works great outdoors. Due to the lack of low modes, I probably would not use this indoors or if you want to maintain your night vision. The color temp is 6000K (cold neutral).

Bear proof helmet, and glasses for bathroom blindness

I want the light, yeah, but I definitely want that helmet!

Ditto^ Where can one find this helmet?

I was thinking the Death Star, but…

That helmet is pretty rad too. Maybe I should rename this the Dark Storm Trooper flashlight. Definitely the appropriate flashlight accessory.

Wow, what a whipsaw review. I laughed, I cried, I fell asleep.

After seeing the collector-edition box I was all in, but the fact that I can't put it on my Saiga.... out.

Re: the review- I really appreciate how you pointed out all the additional features/use cases. I started re-re-thinking my 'out' decision when I got to the part about gutting gators, but I live in Michigan and pretty much the local gators have all been gutted already.

Serious question- given that this light quite likely was designed with mag-type weapon use in mind, do you think the threaded connection between the extension/main tubes weakens the overall unit in a concerning way?

Good for zombie apocalypse! :smiley:

In all seriousness, I don’t think the connection between the tubes causes weakness in any appreciable way. The metal is pretty thick - even thicker than my S70S and the threaded section is relatively deep. You’d have to be seriously wailing on something pretty hard to even bend it. I’d probably break my hand hitting this light into concrete before I broke the threaded connection. My 4D Maglite has nothing on this.

Nice, concise. TY.

You have to be very imaginative to cram those last few emitters in there, way to go sofirn :student:

I feel for any bears you come across.

Fortunately, there are no bears where I live.

The last few critically endangered mountain lions in the area however …