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Can Zebralight be topped?

Discussion in 'Flashlights & Other Illumination Devices' started by streak, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. streak

    streak Loaded Pockets

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    I have got so used to the instant access to both dim and bright.
    I have had a few over the years with the current one being the single 18650 SC63.
    A big battery life improvement over the SC52.
    The SC64 is not enough of an upgrade to warrant getting it.

    Any others out there worth looking at?

    Here are two of my Zebra's watching over 2 of my Honey Badgers!

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Aleister

    Aleister Loaded Pockets

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    I like Klarus XT2CR.

    1600 lumens, instant access to low and turbo, usb charging, very good quality, much quicker on/off (low and turbo) via two tail buttons instead of one on the side.
     
  3. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    Zebralight is, in my opinion, the best production flashlight if you don't need/want a tail switch, USB-charging etc. I've carried my Zebralights way more than any other light the last year, because it offers everything I want (low moonlight, good battery time, good high) and in a very durable and good looking package.

    So unless I specifically want or need USB-recharging, a specific form factor or have other needs or wishes I grab one of my Zebralights at least 8 out of 10 times. The other 2 being because I want to carry something different to mix it up.

    It's not the best at everything, but for me it's the best EDC flashlight I own. And I have a few. :help:
    Definitely a good light, but it's also twice as heavy. The Zebralight that the OP has weighs less with a battery than the Klarus and similar lights weighs empty. Might not be a consideration for everyone (it's rarely for me) but it's a fairly significant difference.
     
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  4. ghuns

    ghuns Loaded Pockets

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    My first Zebra was the SC52W. Still my main EDC. I bought a SC63 a couple years later. I keep it in my bag most times. But I do tend to carry it in my pocket during the winter months. I have an outdoor wood boiler that I have to feed so I'm outside in the dark frequently. I can sit it on top of a fence post, pointed towards my barn that's painted white, and light up the whole area from the reflected light.
     
  5. streak

    streak Loaded Pockets

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    Yes the SC63w seems to have the perfect balance between spill and throw. It always wows folks when they see how much light comes out of such a small package. I very frequently grip the light between my lips while working with both hands and its light weight makes this possible.
    I also have a huge supply of 18650 batteries so it's pretty much guilt free operation.
     
  6. ghuns

    ghuns Loaded Pockets

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    I have rechargeables for both of mine. 2 cheap Trustfire 14500s and 4 Panasonic 18650s. I go months in between charges.
     
  7. Swe_Nurse

    Swe_Nurse Loaded Pockets

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    To add to my previous post I run Eneloop Pro AA cells in my SC5w and high quality 18650 cells in the SC600.

    Another few other brands have available is the easy customization of the interface. I especially like this for the low (moonlight) mode, having a 0.09, 0.06, 0.03 or 0.01 lumen mode is something that has to be experienced. In pitch black darkness this is enough light for walking around indoors or just looking for things it is perfect (all provided you have adjusted eyes of course).

    They are not "tactical" flashlights, they are not made for the outdoors (although they do work great there), they don't have a strike bezel or three different strobe modes or a red LED. They don't even have a tailswitch and they don't come with a sheath. What they do come with is great quality, thought out functions for EDC, they don't really overheat and they have a small form factor where it matters. Primarily they're a joy to use once you get used to them. They are certainly not perfect, for example the pogo pin setup can be a little sketchy when dropped, causing damage to the cell (never had that problem). It can also be a little hard to carry in a (front) pocket due to the shape, I usually carry mine in the back pocket of "tactical" pants or slacks with slightly angled pockets and that works well.

    Don't get me wrong, there's brighter flashlights for the same size (and cheaper) but I much prefer my SC5W (550 lumen) to my Nitecore Ec11 (900 lumen). They're the same size and price (got my EC11 for much less than retail) but I'm not carrying the EC11 daily and I never will.
     
    Last edited by Swe_Nurse, Oct 19, 2018
    #7 Swe_Nurse, Oct 19, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  8. gurdygurds

    gurdygurds Loaded Pockets

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    Been wondering this myself. Can my Sc53w be topped? I’ve got a few other lights that I also like to use, but my zebra is by far the most usable of them all.
     
    streak likes this.
  9. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Same here been carrying the 52 since released and though I have given many others a shot the ZL is the one with me EDC without interruption!

    I also have other ZL and love them all

    I will say for bang/buck the Convoy is tough to beat and tough when beat on as well!

    I also carry a warm tint S2+ all the time and it might be my favorite most practical 18650 light out of all of them.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. ZMZ67

    ZMZ67 Loaded Pockets

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    I am not a big fan of Zebra's UI but they are they are very good lights based on my two examples. I still use my SC5w mainly due to the brightness offered on a single AA eneloop. If you like the UI on your Zebralight I think you will be hard pressed to find another light as good. I haven't read much on them recently but past testing usually showed them to be very efficient and my SC5w has held up fine after quite a few drops on concrete. Zebra seems to have a good line on performance in general. I don't think there is another single AA light out there that can match the performance of the SC5 without using li-ion. Still amazed that my SC5w can put out nearly 500 lumens on a single NiMH eneloop.
     
  11. streak

    streak Loaded Pockets

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    I just today took delivery of a Convoy S2+ nicely built light and great performance for the money. I paid $13 and see you can even get them for $11.
    As mentioned in my OP though, I have really come to depend on instant dim or instant bright from the off position and the need to be light enough to hold in the mouth. The S2+ falls short on these points.
     
  12. Aleister

    Aleister Loaded Pockets

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    I think you might like something with NarsilM (from off -> click = on (memory), long click = on (lowest), double click = on (turbo), click and hold to ramp up / down) + programmable but I can't recall a small size 18650 tube light with it. Astrolux S43 (2100 lumens, quad-emitter, also comes with Nichias) is the smallest 18650 tube light I can recall using NarsilM but it's fat, heavy and ugly.
     
  13. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Clearly my mouth is bigger than yours......or something?
     
  14. gurdygurds

    gurdygurds Loaded Pockets

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    The newer Zebralights have a totally customizable UI now. You can set them up however you like and even store 3 dif. “Banks” of settings. The old UI is always what kept me from trying one. Being able to set it up like I please is one of the biggest draws. Easy to program too.
     
  15. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    As with everything, it depends on your use case.

    For my use case I've found nothing to beat my Zebralight SC600w Mk III Hi
     
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  16. JLeePhoto

    JLeePhoto Loaded Pockets

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    Agree they are hard to beat. Specifically, I think they are the absolute best in headlight form.
    That said, my taste are running more to simple, rugged, and highly efficient. I have a new love affair with Malkoff that’s regulating my ZLs to the drawer more often. I’m often handing one of my lights to the wife or kids and my wife has all but stolen my Malkoff MD2 with Hi/Lo Head.
    I doubt I’ll buy any more ZL handhelds now that I’ve found Malkoff, but I’ll likely add a few more headlamps because I like to always have one within easy reach.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  17. JLeePhoto

    JLeePhoto Loaded Pockets

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    This has been my favorite light for the past 2 years until I recently dropped it a few feet and the light went out. Checked and the battery was dented. A new battery got it running fine again and I can’t imagine a situation where I wouldn’t have some type of backup light but now I reach more often for the Malkoff MD2 with its Hi/Lo head because I love the Malkoff durability and simplicity.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  18. earthman

    earthman EDC Junkie!!!

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    I have an SC52 and a couple of other models, they are nice lights but I've never really got on with all the button pressing to be honest, compared to my Olights etc, finding the right output first time can be hit and miss for me.
    Also features like reversible pocket clips are missing from the ones I have.
     
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  19. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    You literally need to just press the button once and release it when you get the level you want if the sequence to get there directly is too confusing for you.

    The Olight almost always requires more than one press unless you want Moonlight or are OK with the last level that you used and if not then guess how you change the Olight level?
    The EXACT same way as the single Press and Hold I describe on the ZL.

    That turns out to be more pressing not less on a Olight.

    I also prefer the clip to be screwed on as the Olight clips always come off when clipped to my pocket.Add to that the Olight always somehow turn on in pocket for me even while in Lockout?
    The ZL with no actual Lockout setting almost never turn on unless I press the button?

    I like them both a lot but EDC the one that works better and more simply to me.
     
  20. ZMZ67

    ZMZ67 Loaded Pockets

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    They Olight UI has worked better for me as well although I still think both lights are trying to do too much. With the Olight I can at least reliably access moomlight and max.I could get the short burst on max but the SC5 just never worked as well for me. I just like the performance the SC5 offers with AA eneloops. Zebralight definitely has a good line on the performance end but I prefer a more basic UI or a single level. I switched out the SC5w for a Streamlight 1L-1AA as my work light since I have a surplus of CR123s to use up and even though it lacks some of the output and nice tint of the SC5w the 10 tap programming has allowed me to make it a single level light that has so far been reliable.