Monday, September 27, 2010

Review - FOURSEVENS Maelstrom is a Blast!

I just got done testing the FOURSEVENS Maelstrom MMS - Gen2, formerly the 4Sevens Maelstrom G5, and I can say that I am most impressed with this flashlight. In this review, I will share my thoughts about this excellent long-range tactical light.

The "king" of the FOURSEVENS product line, the Maelstrom MMS is the brightest, furthest shining, largest and most expensive flashlight that FOURSEVENS offers. Despite being the largest, however, the Maelstrom MMS is still small enough to be comfortably carried and used. Measuring in at 6.1 inches in length, with a head diameter of 1.5 inches and a body diameter of 0.99 inches (practically an inch), this flashlight is even small enough to use as a weapon-mounted light.

The bezel, as is common with tactical flashlights, is crenulated, meaning that is has small teeth which can be used for striking in self-defense. The grip also features a tactical/anti-roll grip ring. For those who do not want such a feature, the bezel and grip ring are easily swappable for smooth versions (included). The grip has ample knurling which is very functional in making sure that the light does not slip out of your hand easily.

For ease of carry, the Maelstrom MMS comes with a pocket clip and a carry pouch. The carry pouch is especially functional in that it is molded to fit the shape of the light. This makes it so that even if the carry pouch flap is open, the flashlight is still retained. The carry pouch has a Velcro loop that secures the pouch to whatever you're attaching it to. Since the loop is Velcro,
you do not have to remove your belt to attach the pouch. This pouch should
work with a variety of carry options.

The Maelstrom MMS has a crenulated bezel and a smooth reflector.
Now that we've talked all about the externals of the Maelstrom MMS, let's get to the "meat and potatoes" of this review: the brightness.  After all, we buy a flashlight to shine brightly, not just to look pretty (don't worry, this flashlight does not disappoint in either regard).

Powered by two CR123 batteries or one 18650 battery, this flashlight is very bright with a maximum output of 420 lumens. The throw on this light is also very impressive due to its smooth reflector. The light is turned on and off with a tailcap switch that also has a "momentary on" feature that is accessed by lightly depressing the switch. The Maelstrom MMS has seven functional output modes.

The output modes, along with the brightness and runtimes are:
Moonlight(0.2 lumens, 7.5 days)
Medium(28 lumens, 22 hours)
High(200 lumens, 3.1 hours)
Max(420 lumens, 1.3 hours)
Strobe(2.7 hours)
Beacon(30 days)
S.O.S.(8.5 hours)

The Maelstrom MMS has generous knurling and a tactical grip ring.
The output modes are broken down into two sets: regular and special. The regular set includes Moonlight, Medium, High and Max. The special set includes Beacon, S.O.S., Strobe and Max modes. The flashlight locks into either the regular or special set, and rotating the head changes the modes that the set contains. You can switch from the regular to the special set by first fully tightening the head. Then, switch between the primary and secondary modes four times by loosening and tightening the head quickly. The modes set then switches from regular to special or vice versa, depending on which set you were in initially.

Lastly, to aid in its ruggedness, the Maelstrom MMS is waterproof to IPX-8 Standards, which means that the flashlight can go to a depth of 10 meters for 30 minutes and still function. While not designed as a diving flashlight, these lights can still work underwater in a pinch, a feature that I think is just plain cool.

So, overall, the Maelstrom MMS - Gen2 by FOURSEVENS has left me impressed. It is a powerful and versatile flashlight that is still easily carried. Take a look at this light if you are in the market for more power and throw than your average flashlight can offer, for a fraction of the price that other brands would sell for.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Review - FOURSEVENS Preon Flashlights are Awesome!

Well, I had just tested out some FOURSEVENS Flashlights. The lights that I'd like to review first are the Preon - Gen2 series of flashlights. It is impressive at how they pack so much light in such a small package.

A look at the Preon Series by FOURSEVENS.
I, like many of you, am constantly searching for a small, yet very bright flashlight, one that I can literally forget that I have with me, but that will light up the night like a car headlight. That's asking for a lot, I know, and I have yet to find such a light, but the Preon series of lights are the best that I have yet seen.

Well, what's the difference between the Preon P1 and the Preon P2?

The Preon P1 and Preon P2 lights both use AAA batteries. The Preon P1 holds 1 battery, while the Preon P2 holds 2. Because of this, the Preon P2 is over twice as bright, maxing out at 192 lumens, while the Preon P1 outputs 84 lumens. That's incredibly bright for flashlights of this size and I was even more amazed at how small these lights were.

The on/off switch on the Preon P1 consists of a twist bezel which you tighten to turn on and loosen to turn off. The modes are also changed by quickly loosening and tightening the bezel. The Preon P2 has a tailcap switch that you click to turn on.  There is no push to turn on like on some tactical flashlights, so the tailcap has to be fully depressed for the light to turn on. However, once the flashlight is on, the modes can be changed by lightly depressing the tailcap.

Both flashlights have the same output modes, but with different output intensities.

The Preon P1's modes are:
Low(1.8 lumens, 23 hours)
Medium(8.5 lumens, 6 hours)
High(84 lumens, 0.8 hours)
Strobe(1.6 hours)
Beacon (High)(8 hours)
Beacon (Low)(40 hours)
S.O.S.(2.4 hours)

The Preon P2's modes are:
Low(2.2 lumens, 23 hours)
Medium(22 lumens, 6 hours)
High(192 lumens, 0.8 hours)
Strobe(1.6 hours)
Beacon (High)(8 hours)
Beacon (Low)(40 hours)
S.O.S.(2.4 hours)

The pocket clips on these flashlights are removable and are very functional. With the light clipped to your pocket, you literally forget that it's there, for both the Preon P1 and Preon P2.

The Preon series of lights have aluminum bodies, which come in many colors (black, blue, red and yellow), all hardcoat anodized. There is also a run of Preon's called "Titanium", which have titanium bodies. I have not tested these out, but I'm sure that they are just as awesome as the aluminum-bodies ones.

Now, let's talk about a very important topic, weight. Weight determines whether you'll have your flashlight with you or whether it'll be sitting at home on your desk. The Preon lights have this area conquered, as in they are incredibly lightweight. The Preon P1 weighs in at only 0.9 oz with 1 AAA Alkaline battery. The Preon P2 weighs in at only 1.5 oz with 2 AAA Alkaline batteries. That's very light, and I'm sure that they would even weigh less with Lithium battery cells. Come on... 1.5 oz for a 192 lumen flashlight!? It doesn't get much better than that.

Did I mention that both of these flashlights are waterproof to 10 meters! This is just amazing, not that I swim with my flashlights, but if I ever did, I would be prepared.

So, what's not to like about these lights? They're high quality, reasonably priced, bright, small and waterproof. As of today, with current flashlight technologies, which are always changing, the Preons are some of the best compact flashlights available. Get yours today!