I recently acquired one of the coolest flashlights I have ever seen, the Coast A25R Rechargeable, which packs a blindingly bright 466-lumen LED light. The housing is milled from thick stainless steel and has a solid tool-like feel. There are high and low settings, and the beam can be zoomed to a wide or narrow angle by sliding the lens holder forward or back. According to the manufacturer, it will project a tightly focused beam up to 560 feet. I didn’t measure, but it certainly goes very far.
The flashlight includes an amazing number of accessories: a nylon holster, two rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs, an adapter pack, a USB cable, belt and wall clips, and adapters for AC and DC power. The only thing missing was a solar panel.
At the rear of the housing is a cleverly concealed USB input that can be exposed by pulling back the end cap. When connected by a cord to a charging device (120-volt AC adapter, 12-volt auto adapter, or USB power source), the input can be used to charge the lithium-ion pack without removing it from the flashlight. A rubberized O-ring prevents dust and moisture from entering the input when the cap is closed. It’s also possible to remove the pack and connect it directly to the charging device. If all else fails, you can power the unit by putting four AAA batteries into the adapter pack and installing it in the flashlight.
The flashlight can be stored in the holster or clipped into one of two swivel mounts—one slips over your belt and the other screws to the wall.
The A25R is too pricey to buy and leave in the glove compartment; it’s best suited to power users, such as technicians, mechanics, and inspectors—people who need a good flashlight to make a living.
Contributing editor Michael Davis owns Framing Square in Conifer, Colo.