Customer Reviews: Coghlan's Sight-Grid Signal Mirror
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
Price:$12.25+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on November 3, 2010
This signal mirror matches the dimensions listed (which just seems smaller in my hand) and it's not glass and doesn't reflect as well (NOT at all a big difference, but noticeable). One thing that is very nice is that the sight grid is large and doesn't have a hole in the middle. It is also very light - it's not a glass mirror sandwiched between acrylic - it's some thing else that is very thing and light with lots of padding/space around it.

The sight grid is the part that allows you to aim the reflection in the sky and beyond where you would normally be able to see/track the reflected patch of light. This is very important for signally planes and ship at sea. Some mirrors (like Coghlan's excellent all glass mirror that I test this model against) have an unnecessary hole in the middle without the grid pattern - that just reduced the effectiveness of the aiming patch of light (not the part that someone else would see). Other mirrors have a star pattern in the sight grid. The star pattern is the worst thing ever - it makes the mirror unable to be aim except in a few odd placements of your eye and only if you aim close to straight back at the sun. So this mirror gets that right it has a nice big circle completely covered with the grid.

The distance quoted is 25 miles. I haven't tested it at that range, but I have done direct comparisons with two other types of signal mirrors that reflected more light (they were brighter) that only claim 20 miles.
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on June 26, 2012
I chose this signal mirror for the sight-grid capability. A bright spot appears in the grid to help align your signal reflection. This is not from aiming it at the Sun itself. When the bright spot shows up in the center of the grid, and you line up your target with the center of the grid, the signal reflection lines up with your intended target. It's a fun and interesting invention to use in non-emergency situations. However, just by cleaning it with a cotton shirt, the plastic lanyard surface scratched. Would many scratches interfere with the distance the reflection is supposed to be able to be seen at?
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on July 5, 2013
It is wise to test your gear before you find yourself relying on an unknown performance and tempting Mr. Murphy to show what happens when you assume. I tested this mirror and two others: Ultimate Survival Technologies StarFlash Signal Mirror and Ultimate Survival 2x3 Star Flash Signal Mirror. I was looking for inexpensive sight-grid aimable mirrors in the approx. 2-inch by 3-inch size for various kits and each vehicle. I am posting companion reviews of all three mirrors in each of their Review sections.

+++ Excellent reflected light performance (tested in first place, although pretty close)
+++ Very good aiming performance (easily took first place)
+ Small lanyard hole in corner
+ Protective plastic case (can also be a con)
+ Floats
+ When aiming, the grid appears to accurately show the spot where it is really placing it
+ Slip case comes with product for additional protection of reflective side

- Plastic outer layer can be scratched (came in distant second place)
- If sonic welds on plastic case break, protective case can fill with water and reduce reflection performance

Granted my sample size is one, the performance of this mirror was excellent compared among the tested mirrors, taking first place. I tested all three brands of signal mirrors at 15 yards and 25 yards. At 15 yards the reflected light spot of this mirror was very tight, bright, and consistent. At 25 yards, this mirror's reflection shows a circular spot ~8 inches in diameter. Wanting an indicator of longer distance performance, I tested in a field aiming from a 3-foot berm to an assistant on the horizon 200 yards away (verified by laser range finder). This test was conducted with the sun high (no clouds) and slightly behind the user (at approx. 1330 in summer). This is a difficult test for a signal mirror (and a great way to stress the tool's performance limits) as the sun is at a very wide angle (>90 degrees) to the signalling target. Starting with the technique with the hand held outstretched, the spot in the star grid was pretty easy to find when aiming to the horizon. The time and effort to get the spot on the target and keep it there was better than the other mirrors (which can be critical in a time-sensitive opportunity), taking an easy first place. My assistant reported this mirror reflected slightly more light compared to the UST, again taking first place.

I also performed a dunk test, first verifying the mirror floated. The mirror spent 30 minutes in 9 inches of water, and when released, it slowly but surely floated to the top. The sonic welds of this brand new mirror did not allow any water to creep in (but the welds have not been stressed tested from regular carrying). Protective cases (esp. when scratched) and water fogging inside only add barriers to efficiently putting reflected light energy on a target. I did lightly scratch in one corner with the tip of a sharp knife and this mirror took second place, scratching with a little more effort than the third place mirror, and with the UST resisting significantly better. It is a good idea to use the provided slip case or a small piece wrapping to protect a signalling mirror from scratches on the reflective side.

Packaging states "Glass reflection surface for superior flash distance", which probably explains its first place performance. Packaging also states "Waterproof & Break-Resistant acrylic case", "Floats", "(C)2008 Coghlan's Ltd, Winnipeg, Canada R3T 4C7", "Sight-Grid Targeting Mesh Made in USA", and "Signal Mirror Made in Japan". From my amateur astronomy experience, I know Japanese optics and glass are very highly desired. The mirror has usage instructions on the rear and I weighed it at 1.01 ounces on my calibrated scale.

Conclusion: While this is not quite 5 stars, I wish I could give it a fraction more than four. This Coghlan's mirror came in a close first on reflection performance across 200 yards, easily came in first on reflected light spot characteristics, and easily first in ease of aiming. As long as the sonic welds on the protective case hold up, this Coghlan's mirror will not fog inside. The Ultimate Survival Technologies StarFlash Signal Mirror has a slight advantage in size (biggest difference when packing is in thickness), weight, and much better scratch resistance. The Ultimate Survival 2x3 Star Flash Signal Mirror performed in a very distant third. On a final note, I have noticed this signalling mirror is available in almost every store that has a camping section as Coghlan's is very widely distributed.
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on October 8, 2012
Using real glass in a signal mirror is far superior to using polished metal and other semi-flexible materials, as glass is more reflective, and more reflective means it can be seen from a greater distance. This item uses real glass... and then it covers that glass with plastic. The plastic scratches easily and even without the scratches, with the plastic on top, it is not as reflective as just plain glass.
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on December 3, 2012
For maximum performance (i.e. range) the mirror should be GLASS...not some cheap acrylic whatever...
This particular one IS GLASS. The only negative is the lack of a suitable cover for the mirror. This can be solved in a number of ways...I just made a simple sewn leather cover for mine... ( about 15 min. time.) This thing will last a lifetime,
and could end up saving your life!!!
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on May 13, 2013
I like this mirror. Yes, eventually the plastic will scratch, but I like that there's a glass mirror inside which is much better at reflecting than silver coated plastic.
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on March 4, 2014
Works well. A little smaller than I thought. But works. Sealed in plastic. Maybe a good thing to keep it from getting scratched up.
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