Pros: Lots of interesting attachments.
Cons: I'll probably end up not using any of them but the filters.
This is a Maglite accessory kit. It comes with a pen style clip to hang on a pocket, a strap that connects into the hole on the end of a normal maglite, a slide on lens holder cap, and 3 lenses. The lens colors are red, blue, and clear.
I bought this because I wanted a red lens. A red lens is essential if you are looking at stars, driving at night, or looking for nighttime animals. Absolutely essential for the outdoor enthusiast in my opinion. The red lens does significantly decrease the brightness so you maybe disappointed with it if you have a dim flashlight. I am estimating it is 60% reduction in brightness.
The blue lens also significantly reduces the brightness. It is a dark blue, a very beautiful blue. Looking online, blue light is used to see blood more easily. So crime scene investigators can use it as well as hunters trying to track down wounded prey.
The metal clip, that mimics a pen clip, is a bit of a disappointment. It does not hold on as securely as I would like. It will be fine if it is clipped on the inside of a pocket, or if you are not very active. But if you are jogging, I feel it will eventually slide out (with me shaking it violently it did slide off within 15 seconds.) Plus the flashlight is too heavy for the clip, at least for my tastes.
The strap connects to the back cap of the AA Maglite flashlight. This allows you to strap it onto your wrist or connect to a clip. The strap is permanently attached as a loop and cannot be un-looped. There is also a metal connector that secures the loop but it does not slide. This tightening slide is essential for any loop attachment. So you cannot tighten the loop nor cinch it up, a big disappointment. The material appears to be nylon but it is fairly thin. I don’t think this thin design will be a problem because it is weaved well. And if it is Nylon then it is very strong for this size of a flashlight. I just don’t see it breaking from normal use (or even abuse).
Finally the lens. You have a clear replacement lens you can insert inside the flashlight. It has no other purpose. A perfect replacement if you have a scratched up clear filter. The red and blue lens reduce the brightness of the light by around 40% of the original brightness (my visual estimate). Pretty much the same as the D cell Maglite colored lenses.
The cap is easy to use and is a good alternative if you want to have easy access to your internally installed clear lens as well as having a colored option. You just put in the colored lens inside this slide on cap and slide the cap on. When you have the cap on, it does not interfere with the quality of the beam. It is very secure and can be a pain to take out. A real pain if you have a hand condition like arthritis. Most people in that condition will probably just permanently install the lens and have two flashlights (one clear and one red.)
The cap is there so you can easily place/remove the colors lens without unscrewing the cap. This is a convenience device and very useful for backpackers. But if you want you can permanently install the lens by replacing it with the clear one it came with. The additional clear lens that came with this package appears to be exactly the same as the one installed on the flashlight.
I bought this because of the lens. If I had to do it over I would just buy a package with just the red lens. That is all I really need. And since I have too many Maglites, I have no problem permanently installing a red lens in one. But the cap that secures the lens externally is a great tool.
So what am I doing next? I found a website that sells a number of individual parts for Maglites. I will go ahead and buy around 7 of the red-light filters. I hate bright lights in my campsite so I will ask my family to use these filters at night. Red filters do not mess up your night vision like white light does. It also does not scare away wildlife like white light, if you like to see night animals that is.
Overall I just cannot recommend this kit. I just don't find the products that useful. If all you want is a colored lens then just buy one. If you only plan on using a red lens once every few years then just get a piece of transparent red paper from a party supply store and a rubber band.
© Alan Lake's Kitchen 2011
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