I’ve had this torch sitting around in the kitchen now for a couple of months. It sits next to the Duralit kettle and the statement enamel bread-bin as something which I often just stand back and admire whilst eating buttered toast and sipping too-hot tea. It’s a work of art. It’s epic.
Picking it up only increases the epicness as you realise that it weighs as more than a couple of cans of coke and feels like it’s as solid as a lump hammer. It’s hewn from aluminium and knurled around the middle for a grip that is both secure and reminiscent of something military and no nonsense. This is part torch and part special-forces kit. It’s like a 3 cell Maglite that’s been raised on a diet of chilli and garlic. Burly types in hi-viz would carry this as a weapon as much as a light source.
3 D-cell batteries contribute most of that weight and give the Intensity 210 an impressive 800 hours of light (on low setting). Using non-rechargable batteries you can get a whopping 210 Lumen of light from the Intensity 210, but the way that it spreads those Lumen is what makes this icon of an object a usable tool. The spread of light is bright at the edge of the very defined beam, and the throw of light across the beam is pretty even. It’s adjustable in width by twisting the end of the torch from 1x to 4x width in beam. At 1x you get a narrow, bright beam which is good for picking out detail far away, and at 4x you get a nice wide beam which is perfect for walking the dog in the dark.
The Intensity has the single nicest ‘on-off’ action of any piece of gear I’ve used recently. The three enormous heat-sink style ribs near the bulb twist from a central ‘off’ position with a massive, satisfying CLUNK action. Honestly, I could sit and idly turn this thing on and off for hours.
The lens of the Intensity is plastic, and recessed from the end of the torch to protect it somewhat when you use it as a cosh. It, like every other compartment of the torch, is sealed with an O-ring, making it rainproof.
Lifesystems sell this as a Mountain Survival torch, which suggests that it’s meant to work in any condition, through gloves, and cast a light which is good to walk by in crappy conditions. Well, that’s pretty much what it does. I’d like to see some way of tethering it to myself or my pack supplied in the pack or as an accessory, but I suppose that anyone who is au fait with going up mountains would be happy to customise the torch to their kit. Having said that, as it sits on my kitchen bench looking epic, it’s just fine without.
SUMMARY: Chunky, heavy, industrial beauty from Lifesystems in a bright, rainproof torch. Impressive battery life and a great, usable throw of light make it very usable, and the look and feel of it turn that usability into sheer joy. I love the CLUNK on-off switch and the sheer weight of it in the hand. It’s definitely not for fast-n-light hikes, but for everyday use it’s a cracker.