on March 19, 2016
I have a lot of different types, brands, and styles of flashlights, and I think I like this one the best.
The body of it is made out of all aluminum. There are gaskets and seals at all openings, so you can even use this in the rain, and not have to worry about water getting in, and shorting it out, or ruining it. The handle is ribbed for texture, so you have extra grip and do not have to worry about it sliding out of your hand while using it. The black, or whatever color you get, coating on the outside of it is pretty durable too. It does not scrape, rub, or wear off easily.
The beam on this is a fixed beam though. Meaning it is stuck on a pinpoint type of beam. Unlike some other models, and types, you can not adjust the beam on this at all. It does have some radiant light though. I would say, in all the lights that I have used, I would say the radius of the radiant light, is about down the middle is how far the light spread is outside of the pinpoint beam.
This flashlight was not designed to be used as a lantern type, but if you take the lens assembly off, you can use it like one. Or, if for some reason you need a wide angle beam up close, you can take the lens assembly off and use it that way too. But if you do, you will loose the long range or pinpoint beam for distance.
The light turns on and off very easily by a simple click of the button on the bottom (opposite end of where the light comes out) of the flashlight. To switch between the settings, just click it multiple times, all at once, or in a row. 1 click, high beam, 2 click, low powered beam, etc. This is one place where I love this one. I have the XL100 or XL150 version too.. That one, I think to switch between the settings is a pain in the ...... That one, looks almost exactly the same as this, XL50 one, and really, the biggest difference between the 2 is the button and how it works to change settings. I highly recommend this on to the 100 series version.
The assembly that holds the 3 AAA batteries is very easy to remove, and reinstall. The batteries are very easy to replace in it too. The quality of the battery housing is pretty much all plastic, but is very well made.
As with all maglite flashlights, this one is made here, in the USA too.
While this does come with 3 batteries in the case, if you are not planning on using it for a while, I suggest leaving the batteries out of it until you need it. The reason, One of these, I put the batteries in that it came with, and it sat there for a few months not being used (I guess I should say that I had 5 of the XL series ones so you can not use them all at the same time), and then when I went to use it, I found that the batteries started to corrode and leak. While this is not the fault of mag, better to be safe. Another option would be to get some good rechargeable that hold their power over a time. For example, I buy the Enloop batteries for mine. They are rechargeable's, so I know I can use them over and over, but more then that, they do not have the tendency to leak like the disposables do, and this particular brand will keep most of their power for years, even when not being used. Standard NiMh batteries loose 1% of their power per day, 30 days, 30%, 3 months, dead batteries.. Not bad if you use it day after day, but if you put it up for an emergency, and use disposables and they leak, then it will do you no good, or if you put it up and use standard NiMh batteries months later, they will be dead. There are other ones like that out there, so just think about what you are using in it. Remember, this flashlights may have a warranty, but it does not cover battery leakage damage.
In durability, I have dropped mine, bumped them and knocked them down, etc dozens of times, on everything from carpeting, to hardwood floors, to concrete and blacktop, and I have never had any of mine fail from this. Scratch, gouge the surface, yes, but fail to perform, no.
As with any flashlight, they all have different designs, styles, and uses, and have different things that they are best for. So just take into consideration what you want to use it for, as to what is best for you. Personally, I love the button on the bottom for turning it on and off. Just know, this flashlight is about 1" in diameter.
In brightness, I feel that this is a good mid range light. Meaning, it is plenty bright for normal use, but also, is not over bright either. The beam will go hundreds of feet. But as with any flashlight, going brighter also usually means sacrificing battery life. This one has good battery life, but also, is plenty bright for most people. So in the end, I really have no complaints about this one.