I prefer a compact light when preparing for a hunt. Bulky and heavy lights take up too much room in a fanny pack. I like to keep things as simple as possible as stealth is of major importance. The less I have to carry the easier it is to slip in and out of my hunting locations. One thing I hate is messing with a light that is not readily available or a pain to turn on and off. Fumbling around in the dark can cause a number of problems when "silence is golden" setting up in an area known to hold a trophy animal. This is one reason I usually try to keep a light off as much as possible, only utilizing it in short term bursts.
Many years of searching I found it hard to locate a compact light that could be handy as well as illuminate the darkness. Most compact lights do not offer enough light and are difficult to turn on with one hand. It seems as though I am always buying or experimenting with a new light each season. Finally I believe I have found a solution. The new eGear XT series will rival any light in its class. I tested the 3 Watt 2L model and immediately fell in love.
The 2L comes complete with two 123A batteries which will give it a burn time of three hours. Now for a flashlight you may think that is not much time. However this light is meant for the demanding environment of the safety and security industries. This light is tough enough to be the exclusive provider of tactical illumination fro Tactical Services Group and its advanced training programs.
The 2L is very bright as it emits 80 lumens of light. And now you may ask, what the heck does that mean? In layman's terms a LUMEN is a unit of measurement of light which measures how much light gets to what you want to illuminate! A Lumen is equal to one foot-candle falling on one square foot of area. All I can say is the 3 watts is more than enough to find a needle in a haystack at night!
The eGear XT is made to handle harsh conditions. The black anodized finish is machined from high-strength aircraft aluminum. The aluminum is the key to the lightweight as it comes in at just over five and a half ounces. The barrel is knurled to provide a sure grip even in the wettest conditions. As mentioned earlier the impressive 3 watt illumination is great. It should enable you to find the smallest amount of blood on those tricky blood trails.
THE TL IN ACTION
The first morning hunt with the XT showed me its abilities as I put it through its paces. Utilizing the tail cap switch enabled me to turn in on for very short periods. It allowed me to position the XT 2L so I could illuminate the area I wanted all while following a trail through the heavy brush leading to my stand. It also insured that my safety harness was securely fastened as I stepped out on to my 18 foot perch. The compact size permitted me to quickly access it within my fanny pack, illuminate the area with the effective push button tail cap and return it to my pack.
I did encounter one problem early on which almost caused me to lose my Essential Gear 2L. My wife saw me testing it and was curious as to what was making the intense light. I cautiously let her have a look but was able to escape the situation as I offered her my "retired" mini light. A sense of victory came over me as I returned the light to my fanny pack.
Brightness 5 of 5 Any light can illuminate a path but the XT 2L Luxen bulb emitted a bright white light, not the yellow shade associated with standard flashlights. It showed objects in real color and will enable you to distinguish between those shades of red leaves and true red blood.
Design 5 of 5 The compact design is well thought out with features such as precision machined parts, Luxen bulb for a lifetime of brightness and tail cap switch for easy on/off. Batteries are easily changed with a couple twist of the knurled end cap.
Price 4.5 of 5 The price is very reasonable considering this is the last compact flashlight that I will every have to carry. The only real expense is the batteries which I found at my local Kroger store for close to 10 bucks each.
Essential Gear is well known for the variety of lights it manufactures, especially as high-tech tools for the tactical, survival and emergency lighting arenas. I would highly urge Essential Gear for all your lighting needs as this is my third product I have come to evaluate and recommend.