For over thirty years, Mag Instrument, Inc. has been making flashlights for both law enforcement and the general public. I’ve owned a few MagLites myself, and generally the only reason they fail is due to some catastrophic event—being run over by a large truck, for instance.
MagLite’s Mag-Tec LED: the brightness of the sun in a pocket-sized package
While I love MagLites, they were really only for being carried on a belt since they tend to be a bit heavy. That’s not a bad thing, depending on your job, but many people have wished for something just a bit smaller and brighter. The Mini-MagLite was a nice stopgap measure, but in 2006 the company began using LED technology in its flashlights. Now, you can pick from a number of models when selecting an LED MagLite, with the light being much brighter than the older models.
The MagLite Mag-Tac Crowned Bezel LED Flashlight is one of the newer kids on the block, and is the first MagLite to use extreme-performance lithium CR123 batteries. While they are indeed extreme-performance, this may be the one drawback for some in an otherwise excellent package.
This LED MagLite is just short of 5-1/2 inches long, and at its widest point measures about an inch. It comes in four different colors: the ever-popular black, coyote tan, foliage green and urban gray. It also has what the company calls an “aggressive knurl pattern” on the barrel, which means it has a knobby pattern making it easier to hold on to. It also comes with a pocket clip and two CR123 batteries.
It has three light modes: momentary (in which the light stays on only while the switch button is being pressed); strobe for a high-energy 12 Hz flash that can quickly blind and confuse an opponent; and full power for a 320-lumen beam that can light up a target more than 200 yards away. This LED MagLite also has a “crowned bezel” head, which works nicely if you need just a bit of light in a room, since you just flip it over and stand it on its head. It lets some light out—but not much.
Although I didn’t take it out and bounce it off the pavement, MagLites have a reputation for being durable and given the construction of this one, I seriously doubt it will be any different.
You don’t want to see a product with loads of 5-star reviews on Amazon, since that usually means someone’s artificially boosting the rating. But the MagLite Mag-Tac Crowned Bezel LED Flashlight gets as close as possible without a reader getting suspicious. Like many owners, I loved the brightness of the LED bulb, how durable it is, and that it was small enough to carry around on a regular basis. For the price this light really delivers. SUPER bright at long distances and the strobe is blinding. MagLite really did a nice job on this one.
The one very minor complaint is battery cost. This flashlight needs lithium batteries, not alkaline and it’s worth buying good quality batteries. A set of rechargeable batteries plus charger will set you back anywhere from $20-$35.
Still, there’s very little to dislike about the MAGLITE Mag-Tac Crowned Bezel LED Flashlight. The batteries are a bit expensive, but LED bulbs also last much longer than traditional bulbs. Given the performance of it and a price below $65 on various websites, this is an excellent choice whether replacing an older MagLite or buying a new one that will last you for years to come.