My new EDC flashlight : Coast HP7 review

Anyone who knows me knows the abuse I put my everyday carry gear through. I work on cars, trucks, houses, fish, and am outdoors a lot. With all the stuff I do my flashlights tend to get dropped, thrown, and used as hammers. I usually can't afford the absolute best of the best but I do try to get good quality tools that will last me at least a year. A year is the time window I allow my tools so I don't piss the wife off.
I know I can go online and buy other lights that are better than what is available at the big box stores but I do not have the patience to wait for a light to get shipped to me. Usually if I am buying a replacement for my EDC gear I broke the one I have and need a replacement now not in two weeks. I'm not rich so $30-40 is the maximum I can spend on a flashlight.
 I've had good experiences in the past with Coast lights so this year I picked up a Coast HP7 for my EDC. The HP7 is the replacement for my Maglite XL50. The XL50 held up pretty well and was extremely bright but it had a thin wall case and I finally dented it in so badly that I can't get the battery holder out. Hopefully my new HP7 won't suffer the same fate.

Pros
  • Heavy duty, thick wall aluminum body and bezel
  • Feels very durable
  • There is no flat lens to get scratched
  • Good price
  • Uses normal AAA batteries
  • Lifetime warrantee
Cons
  • Uses 4 AAA batteries instead of 3
  • Eats batteries on High mode
  • The slide focus doesn't actually "lock"
  • Brightness cycling takes some getting used to and can be annoying
My review

The HP7 has a heavy, black anodized body with a knurled grip that is comfortable and good looking. This light is bulky but in a good way and it fits nicely in my hand. I don't like the "lock" on the slide focus. It doesn't actually lock but does make it a little harder to slide the light. If the bezel is slid all the way forward the light has a super bright piercing beam of white light. If the bezel is slid all the way back the light switches to flood mode. The flood is bright but for me useless. I prefer beam over flood on all my lights. Any setting in between beam and flood is pointless but you still have the option.
To cycle between High mode of 360 lumens, Medium mode, and Low mode of 50 lumens you just press the switch in without clicking it. This would be just fine to cycle the brightness but the light has an annoying habit of cycling with a full click too. If you click on and off too quickly the HP7 will cycle to the next brightness. It is very frustrating until you get used to the light. Now that I've been using my HP7 for a while I've gotten used to the way the light cycles so it doesn't bother me as much.
If you use the light on bright mode it will eat through batteries in a hurry. The high mode will only last 1 hour and 45 minutes but low is much better. Low mode will last 19 hours and 30 minutes. The battery consumption is not the greatest but low mode is bright enough for most stuff.
I really like the lens on the HP7. It is deeply recessed and eyeball shaped unlike the flat lens you find on most flashlights in this price range.
The cleaning instructions say not to submerge the light so I'm assuming it is only water resistant. I think my last Coast said that too, but I dropped it in the lake a few times and it was fine. I have not been able to find any definitive research saying whether it is actually water resistant or water proof. The battery compartment is sealed with an o ring so I'm thinking as long as you don't go diving with the light a swim probably won't hurt it. I'll update the article in the future when my HP7 rolls off a dock or drops in the water while I'm fishing for bullhead.
Overall I like this light and think it was a good purchase. I've been using my HP7 for about 4 months now and haven't had any problems.

Factory Specs

Specifications

The Coast HP7 LED Flashlight is a great size that is easy to carry, and packs the light output and runtime that is needed by those that rely on their light every day. A quick cycle switch allows you to select between a high output setting of 360 lumens or a low output of 50 lumens allowing you to choose the right level for your application. Coast's Pure Beam Focusing Optic System with Slide Focus provides superior beam consistency from spot to flood, with no dark rings typically associated with focusing flashlights, and you can lock the beam focus in any position you want with our Beam Lock System. The Bulls Eye spot beam pattern gives you a great focused spot with a maximum beam distance of 226 meters (741 feet), while producing an outer ring of flood light which allows you to see a broader area to the sides. Built tough, an impact-resistant, lightweight aluminum casing resists rust and corrosion. Tested and rated to ANSI/FL1 standards, the HP7 also features an unbreakable LED and rubberized O-ring for reliable water resistance and durability. Backed by Coast's lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
Ordering numbers: Gift box - 19279; Clam pack – HP8407CP
  • Pure Beam Focusing Optic
  • Slide Focus
  • 360 lumen light output
  • 1 hour 45 minute runtime
  • 226 meter (741 ft) beam distance
  • 4 X AAA batteries (included)
  • Aluminum casing; Rubber rear switch
  • Impact and water resistant
  • Length: 5.58 in. / 12.7 cm
  • Weight: 7.2 oz. / 204 g
  • Diameter: Body - 1.24 inches; Bezel - 1.49 inches


 

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