|Inova XS Flashlight|
Several months ago, I strode into the local REI with my dividend certificate clutched in my hand and on a mission to find a small pocket flashlight. My impetus was a general dissatisfaction with using a flashlight app on my smart phone, and wanting something more than the tiny led flashlights that are designed to work as key-fobs.
Perusing the selection of flashlights, my eye was drawn to the Inova XS flashlight due to its relatively small size as a result of using a AAA battery. The Inova XS is produced by Nite Ize. The specifications for the XS indicates that it has two power settings: high (80 lumens) and low (15 lumens). The switch is a 3-position end-cap. Twisted all its way down, it turns on the flashlight in constant mode (i.e., without the need to push on the end of the cap). Turning the cap a half turn allows use of momentary mode, where the end cap acts as a pressure switch (there is a bit of rubber coating on the back that keeps one's finger from slipping off). Turning the cap a full turn puts the flashlight in a lock mode where the light cannot be turned on accidentally--a nice feature for a flashlight carried in one's pocket, purse, or bag.
When first turned on, the flashlight will default to "high" mode. To switch to "low" mode (and much greater battery life), one need only momentarily turn the light to off and then back on within 2 seconds.
The flashlight is also water resistant and, since the body is made of aluminum, appears to be sturdily built. As you can see from the photograph above, the flashlight measures 2.9 inches in length, and, according to Nite Ize, weighs in at 1.1 ounces.
In the high setting, the flashlight is comparable to many larger flashlights, with a good spread of light. It is certainly powerful enough for searching around outside (such as your yard or a parking lot). In fact, it actually appears to outperform my Surefire G2 in casting a beam. Although not ideally shaped for use as a tactical flashlight, it can easily be pressed into that role. Its small size, however, makes it easy to always have on your person.
After carrying it most every day for several months, I have found it to be very useful. Even though I don't normally carry it in the locked mode, I have not had any problems with the battery running down. In short, I am very satisfied with it. It was retailing for $24 at the time I purchased it, and while a bit more than I originally intended on spending on a mini-flashlight, it is well worth the money. I give it two thumbs up.