Good Sam Camping Blog

REVIEW: Holy… Moley. What a Flashlight!

We’ve reviewed some premium flashlights over the years, but the Dorcy Metal Gear XLM (http://amzn.to/1wNngo4) may be the best yet. When testing the Metal Gear XLM, our first reaction was, “Holy…moley. What a flashlight!” This is not an ordinary flashlight; it is an incredible 618 lumen light canon. It’s really more of a spotlight than a flashlight.

It looks like an ordinary flashlight, but the Dorcy Metal Gear XLM produces an incredible 618 lumens of concentrated light - more than many LED spotlights.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT

In the case of this light, XLM stands for “extreme lumens.” According to Dorcy, when set to the HIGH setting this flashlight kicks a beam of intense light measuring 618 lumens. The Cree XM-L bulb produces a beam that travels an impressive distance of 363 meters or 1190 feet. The Metal Gear XLM is simply a remarkable piece of equipment that will be useful in any dark setting. We can’t wait to take ours camping.

How bright is 618 lumens? Look at it this way: it’s brighter than many bestselling LED spotlights.

This flashlight is so bright that looking directly into the light source can potentially cause eyesight damage (so please use some common sense and don’t do that). It generates a genuinely amazing amount of concentrated light.

Note that there is also a LOW setting for the light which delivers a more modest (but still tremendously bright) 173 lumens of light. The LOW setting also delivers extended battery life.

The Metal Gear XML feels great in the hand. This thing is incredibly bright.

DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY

The Metal Gear XLM is constructed of “aerospace grade anodized aluminum” and contains a polycarbonate lens which promises exceptional durability. The flashlight is 9 inches long and 2.5 inches in width.

It’s reasonably lightweight – on our scale, without batteries it weighed 9.9 ounces. When loaded with batteries it weighed 15.4 ounces. It’s not heavy, yet it feels solid and substantial in the hand thanks to the metal construction. Frankly, it could probably be used as a defensive weapon in a pinch.

We like the simple design, especially the fact that the flashlight accepts six ordinary AA batteries. Instead of being burdened with an internal rechargeable battery that’s destined to fail, the Dorcy Metal Gear XLM accepts normal AA batteries that can be easily found everywhere. This will contribute to the product’s longevity. We’ll probably use Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries in ours. (Note that lithium batteries should not be used in this flashlight.)

Battery life is good, with a set of six AA batteries delivering 5.75 hours of operation on the HIGH setting. On the LOW setting, you can expect a whopping 25 hours of battery life.

Examining the flashlight body, there appears to be a minimum of plastic used in this design. The battery compartment, for example, is well designed in that there are no plastic weak points. We’ve had lesser flashlights fail because one small piece of plastic gave way. No such problems here. The bulk of the light is reassuring metal.

There are other thoughtful design features. For example, the side-mounted push button is made of a soft texture rubberized substance that’s bright yellow in color – making it easy to locate at a glance.

Around the base of the flashlight is a matching yellow lanyard ring to which is attached a nice wriststrap.

This LED flashlight has an o-ring seal that offers weather protection against dust and moisture. While you should refrain from taking it underwater with you on your next scuba dive, you can probably use it in the rain without concern.

Despite the fact that the Metal Gear XLM is blindingly bright, it always operates at a cool temperature. Thanks to the latest LED technology, gone are the days when a spotlight would burn a hole in your carpet.

CONCLUSION

The Metal Gear XLM is truly one of the best flashlights we’ve ever tested. If you are in the market for a premium flashlight, look no further.

The Dorcy company sent us this product for review. For more information about Dorcy and this specific light (including a downloadable data sheet, sample photos, reviews, and more), visit the company’s website at http://www.dorcy.com/p-438-41-0435-metal-gear-xl-m-extreme-618-lumen-led-flashlight.aspx