Backpack flashlight Review – 2019
This review for Nicron N7 “Backpack flashlight review”
Several days of online research, comparing specs, reading reviews, lead me to the Nicron N7. This is to replace a 5 year old Nebo Redline 5620 which has served me well. I had originally wanted a light that used the 18650 battery but after seeing this and considering how often I carried the Nebo in my pocket I decided the smaller size would be better.
I required a light with a magnetic base, at least 300 lumens, rechargeable li-ion battery capable, side light or rotatable head, and zoomable lens. This light fit all criteria except for the zoom, which I decided I could live without after seeing pictures of the beam pattern. The wide overall beam with a center hot spot would be suitable for my use. I tested it first with a standard AA battery then with a 800mah 14500 battery.
The output on high with the AA battery looks equivalent to the output on low with the 14500. The magnetic base is strong and holds the light well. It is not easily bumped off. The head rotation feels smooth and can be left in any position between 0 and 90 degrees. Overall the light feels well made.
The switch has a nice solid click that requires medium pressure to activate. Hopefully enough pressure to where accidental activation does not happen often in my pocket or backpack.
The included o-ring in the box is actually a spare as there is already one installed on the light. I have included my 300 lumen Nebo in the pictures for comparison.
This light cost about 1/3 of the Nebo so I think the value is great. Compared to other lights I researched, one of the nice, possibly overlooked features of this light is the way the switch operates. Many other lights make you cycle through ALL of the light modes, requiring many clicks to get back to the one you want.
I like the way the N7 put the lesser used strobe and sos modes on a separate level accessed by holding the button for a couple seconds. So in normal daily operation, you only have 3 clicks total. High, low, off. I may come back and update this review after some time to report on battery life and durability.
The Nicron flashlight makes an ideal companion. It’s about an inch in diameter and 4.5 inches long – only slightly bigger than my Leatherman. With a 14500 rechargeable battery, the light is painfully bright. If you shine it in your eyes, you will be seeing spots for quite a while. I left it on high and it ran for more than half an hour – by then it was pretty warm. It will also run with a single AA battery. Less bright, but still a good flashlight.
The rotating head and magnet in the base mean that you can stick it on a metal surface and point it in any direction. Or you can twist it to 90 deg and clip it to your pocket for hands-free work. For a poor man’s headlamp, you can clip it to the brim of a baseball cap. The button switch is also well thought-out: a click gives you bright, second click dims it, third is off. Hold the button down, and you’ll get strobe in about 2-3 seconds. Then a second click goes from strobe to SOS.
It appears to be very well made and more solid (and smaller) than the mini maglight it replaced, but I’ve only had it a few weeks. I’ll probably lose it before I break it. I already have a good light for my bike, but this would be really easy to attach to the handlebars and more than bright enough to light the way. If they don’t already, Nicron should offer a bike clip.
a single 14500 rechargeable battery or a single AA battery (Not Including Batteries)
4.4 x 0.8 x 0.8 inches
1. Right angle flashlight when combined with the clip works similar to a headlamp because it will point in whatever direction you are facing if you attach it to a belt, shirt pocket, or even shirt collar maybe. The clip can also rotate so you can change the angel of the light as well after you got it clipped to you.
2. Magnetic base is strong and works great for things like automobile or other metal things.
3. Ability to change it to a standard shaped flashlight is great.
1. I prefer more of a flood light. This light has a bit of a spot to it, though this might have some advantages. This may just be a preference thing though.
2. How long this will last for the price, especially given the extra moving part that makes it go from standard shape to right angle. If that is something that will give out over time might be better, for my preference, to have a solid right angle only flashlight.