This Cyba-Lite torch has a pleasing chunkiness about it. No pretentious streamlined nonsense – it’s a good weight without being too weighty and it fits nicely into the palm of your hand.
The on/off switch is sensibly located in one end (the other is the bulb) and it is a suitable size and texture that it can be located both in the cold, wearing gloves, and whilst in a tent refusing to believe that you are awake at stupid o’clock needing a wee!
One press of the aforementioned button and you get a nice beam of bright light which is around 120 Lumens – plenty to light your way to the loo on the darkest of campsites.
Hold the button down and the beam gets dimmer. A great function – especially if you want to have a bit of a read and not blind your tent, dorm or cabin companions – but for those late night comfort breaks, or map reading in the dark it feels a bit the wrong way round. I personally would prefer it if the beam started dim and the press & hold made the beam brighter, that way you don’t blind yourself and lose your night vision… quite important for the map reading, and if you don’t want to wee down your own leg!
A second press of the button puts the torch into an automatic SOS dot-dash flash sequence. A seemingly useful function, although I suspect it’ll mostly get used around a camp fire with dubious accompanying drum n’ bass/rave sound effects, much to the annoyance of your camping buddies. Also, I quite often think once I’ve clicked the button that I’ve turned the torch off and then wonder what the flashing is emitting from my pocket – you do have to go through the cycle to get to the off position.
The cyba-lite also has an adjustable beam, at its narrowest it is a pin sharp solid beam of light, but slowly twist the end and you can adjust the width to quite a wide throw. However, it does get a bit of a dark spot/void in the centre when it’s on wider beams – not quite dark enough to hide the dog during walks, but he’s given it his best shot.
Bell & whistle features include a wrist strap which, although a simple addition, is surprisingly useful as you can also use it to attach the torch to your bag or jacket. It also has a battery canister – it takes 3 AAA batteries – which does make changing batteries on a torch this compact that bit less fiddly. We’ve had this torch on test for a couple of months and it has had almost nightly use and the first set of batteries are still going strong.
The torch is black and not always that easy to locate when in a tent as there are no glow in the dark bits, but that said the weightiness of it means you don’t accidentally flick it away whilst looking for it & you can add your own stickers if it bothers you.
One thing I have found useful – and I suspect that this is an accident of the design, rather than intended – is that the top edge surrounding the bulb is crenelated, meaning that when rested downwards on a hard surface a bit of light still leaks through, this is a nice amount of ambient light in the dead of night to find your sleeping bag zipper, shoes etc without having to phaff with the whole dimmer switch element.
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