It’s 6am, as dark as the inside of a glove and silent except for the occasional rustle of something furry or feathered in nearby hedgerows. A creeping paranoia that someone is going to jump out from a bush smothers you like a wet duvet and you’re not sure that your dog would offer any more protection than to lick a would-be assailant to death.
But imagine your disappointment when you switch it on, expecting something so weighty and beautifully finished to be like the rising of a full moon and yet all it does is cast a glow in such a massive arc as to be of no use whatsoever.
And that’s how it was with the Maglite 2D Cell (so named because it takes 2 D-Cell batteries) Flashlight we bought last month.
I’ve wanted a Maglite for years. They’re just so sexy to look at; to feel; to cosh people over the head with. They’re a juxtaposition of menacing solidity and stylish lifestyle choice. They’re simple; they do what they’re meant to; they’re trusty American manufacturing.
However, I’m afraid that the old Maglite bulbed range (they do an LED range, which isn’t being reviewed here) is an anachronism. A bit of a dinosaur amongst the newer breeds of massively powerful LED lights with better battery life, better brightness and a better light pattern. The 2D kicks out a stated 19 Lumen for 10 Hours. Maglite’s own Mini LED flashlight is rated at 93 Lumens. I struggle to justify why they even bother to still sell the 2D.
The 2D has a twist-grip end which allows you to change the throw of light from a very targetted spotlight (beam approximately 5 inches across at 6ft away from your target), to a very wide flood (6ft wide at 6ft away from target). But it has a major flaw. Unless you have it adjusted to maximum spot, there’s a totally unlit area in the middle of the beam. So, if you for example have it on a middle-range beam, and you shine it at a person up ahead, you can see all around them, but they’re left in the dark. It’s very odd.
Saving graces which don’t quite make up for the rubbish light are that the Maglite is waterproof – with O-ring seals on all the joints – and it comes with a spare bulb tucked into the handle, which is neat.
Otherwise, I’m rather disappointed with the Maglite 2D and I’m ending the review here in a sulk. Never meet your childhood heroes.
SUMMARY: The Maglite 2D Cell Flashlight is nowhere near as good as an LED flashlight, and nowhere near as bright as it could/should be. Avoid it. If you want a Maglite, get either the LED versions, or one of the larger Bulb versions, which take more batteries and are brighter. Beware that although it’s waterproof and has a spare bulb, there’s no wriststrap, it’s too heavy to put in a pocket easily and when it’s cold the Maglite is metal and thus really cold in your hand.