Gear Test: Gerber Option 60 Flashlight

July 2, 2009
Filed under Camping Gear, Lights & Lamps

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“Not too large, not too small, just the right size to fit comfortably in my hand.” Those were my first thoughts as I rolled the Gerber Option 60 flashlight around in my palm. It gripped well, too. Even though it didn’t have a heavily crosshatched exterior, the micro-texture on its body made the flashlight feel secure and immobile in my fist. Swinging back my thumb to punch the tailcap and turn on the powerful 70-lumen-rated cool white Rebel LED was easy to do without relinquishing a solid hold on the flashlight. The brilliant focused beam cut through the dark night like Luke’s lightsaber, blazing a trail back to my tent. It was a tool that just plain felt good in the hand.

The new Gerber Option 60 Flashlight is one of a pair of Option series flashlights from Gerber Legendary Blades, a company known for its high-quality knives, tools, lights, and gear for outdoor enthusiasts. Both Option flashlights are the same width (center tube is 1.25 inches in diameter), but the Option 50 is smaller (5.6 inches long as compared to the 60’s 7-inch length) and lighter (4.6 ounces as opposed to 5.1 ounces). Regardless of size, both feature Gerber’s Omnivore Technology that allows the flashlights to accept AA, AAA or CR123 batteries, so you can find batteries for these flashlights in almost any store or steal them out of your camera or GPS if you have to.

What’s hot: Its satin-black anodized garb, the water-resistant machined-aluminum body, a sturdy lens to protect the LED from impact, its piercing beam of light, multiple-type battery options and its longevity.

What’s not: The tailcap switch is easy to use. Too easy, and there’s no “off” position locking mechanism. Even when nestled in its included sheath and stashed in a backpack or travel bag, a good bump during transit could switch the light on and suck the life out of the batteries. No tragedy (we always observe the timeless rule of loading batteries backwards in a device to avoid such in-transit turn-ons), but an inconvenience. Regardless, we also always carry spare fresh batteries for all battery-driven devices in our camping kit.

Gerber gives the Option 60 a 2.5-hour rating on two AA batteries; our test using the two AA batteries included yielded about 2 hours before the intensity of its output began to wane. Other vital spec’s (with two AA batteries) on the Gerber Option 60 flashlight include a 65-lumen (345 LUX) output and a 120-foot beam reach. MSRP: $67.50 (60); $52.50 (50). Gerber Legendary Blades: 800/950-6161;gerbergear.com

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