Note: this item was provided for review, at no-cost.
A little while back, FourSevens released two new lights, which both look similar — large bodied, blue anodized, great looking lights. When you think of a flashlight, this is the shape and general size of a flashlight you think of. So when FourSevens offered to send them my way to test, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. Today, I want to talk about the Maelstrom MX3F “Flood” which is a really awesome light.
Specs and Power
This is a large light, at least in comparison to most of the lights I talk about on this site. This is not something you can easily toss in your pocket — but it’s also not like those old Maglites you are thinking of. It comes in at 5” long, with a 1.75” diameter.
The benefit to this sizing is that it is extremely comfortable in your hand and it packs quite a punch. Using a 26650 battery (comes with 5500mAh) the light drives 3x Nichia 144A LEDs at 2600 lumens and 90+ CRI. That’s impressive, and the color temp is 4000k making it very versatile too.
In practice, I love these LEDs — they are really lovely in their output and CRI. I am actually a bit surprised they are not higher CRI than this as they visually look amazing. The flashlight body itself is IPX8 rated, and has user swappable optics (it comes with a medium and wide) allowing you to make the light better for closer work, or for medium range work. Either is nearly perfect for around the house, or walking a path in the dark. I’ve found that I prefer the medium optic.
And to continue the impressive attributes, the light is a four mode light: 5 lumens, 50, 400, and 1600 (with 2600 burst). But, because these are being driven from a large battery the run times go from 250hrs down to 1.5hrs. Thus, no matter how you are using the light, it has impressive run times.
As with all FourSevens lights I have owned, this is a well finished and nicely designed light. It’s hard to ask for more from a light like this.
The hard part of testing this light for me is that I can’t just drop it in my pocket and use it normally. I needed to seek out this light (at first) until I found myself reaching for it more and more. This is a very good light and I found myself taking an extra few steps to grab and use this, over whatever I had in my pocket at the time.
The beam shape is very smooth, and easy to light up a large area without a lot of hotspots. This is ideal if you are trying to get more light so you can find something — like the night we needed to hunt down a rogue moth in the house. But it’s equally great when I used the light while rucking in the dark morning hours — the output was easy to control, and the path in front of me was nicely illuminated without causing any tunnel vision effects — an issue I have had with other lights.
Even the local skunk seemed impressed with the output and CRI of the light, though I didn’t stick around to get his full thoughts on the matter.
When you hold this light, it’s magic. It feels very natural in your hand, and is a comfortable size to hold on to for long stretches of time. And as I mentioned above the CRI is excellent — certainly far higher than needed for most people.
There’s a lot of tasks I do where I am using a light and need to run the light for some decent length of time, while also wanting to work in a larger area without moving around the light. The MX3F is perfectly suited to this type of work.
I found little need to run the light above the 400 lumen mark, with the 50 lumen mark being a really nice sweet spot if you are in a lower-light environment already. Which means I can expect 40 – 4.5hrs of runtime from the light. And because this is not a proprietary battery, I can drop in another when I need to get more power.
I love using this light — I can’t say that enough. But more than that, this is one of those lights which gives you a lot of confidence that it will always have power when you need it. Whether that’s to blind a skunk waddling your way, or to hunt down a moth with your useless cat.
The only thing I would add to this light is a lanyard hole of some sort, if for nothing else than toe protection. That’s it, that is my only complaint.
At the price of $165, it’s a strong value proposition. In the box you get an extra optic, battery, different switch colors, and a tool to change the switches out. It’s a lot for the price.
And, then you get the light, which is stellar in itself. If you don’t have a light for around your house, or something to work with, this should be at, or near, the top of your list. I was considering modifying an old Maglite 2 D-Cell model, but no more, this is all that and so much more.
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