Coast makes some fine LED lighting products. I reviewed their A25 focusing LED flashlight 4 years ago now, which left me with a positive opinion. Since then I have bought a couple of other Coast LED flashlights as gifts, and I have a Coast penlight around here somewhere.
A Coast FL60 LED headlamp arrived, out of the blue, and took me a little by surprise. It’s a wide angle headlamp, and I immediately put it to the test.
I should tell you that I am VERY BIASED when it comes to LED flashlights, worklights, and headlamps. Maybe I’m even a little snobby. In regard to headlamps, I’m a Petzl kind of guy, with the Pixa having taken over as my top choice, and a Zebralight kind of guy.
I should also point out that the FL60 that I received is a little different from the one shown in the above product image. My sample has a black headband with red Coast lettering. There are no light-colored diamonds on the outside, or red band on the inside.
So far, I have tested the headlamp for a couple of 10’s of minutes. More testing and use is to come, but I wanted to share my initial thoughts while still fresh.
- 300 lumens max brightness
- 3 brightness modes: high, medium, low
- 22 hours max runtime
- IPX4 weatherproof
- Powered by 3x AAA alkaline batteries
- Wide beam pattern
At first, I thought that the Coast FL60 wide beam LED headlamp had an adjustable lens focus, but it does not, the lens and beam spread is fixed. That’s okay, I like wide beam LEDs.
Not only is the beam pattern wide, it’s also bright and uniform. It is brightest at the center, with slight drop off near the outermost “ring” of illumination.
This isn’t the most perfect floodlight I have seen, but it comes close. The FL60 delivers great quality light. Could it be better? Yes, but perhaps only in theory. Remember, there’s a limit as to what can be done with a headlamp that is still small and light enough to be worn on your head.
The FL60 looks large, but wears comfortably. Keep in mind that I’ve only worn and tested it for a little less than an hour. I’ll let you know if my impression changes after a couple of hours of wearing it.
Gone are the days where I have to hunt and peck for a power button. This one is easy to find, as it’s right in the top center of the headlamp, and it’s large enough that I don’t have to hunt around for it.
I also like that the headlamp is hinged and can be angled downwards. There are a total of 4 pivot positions, ranging from 0° to about 50° or so.
Battery changes are easy, the strap is adjustable, and the whole shebang is weather resistant to IPX4 standards. In other words, you can probably use the FL60 alright in wet or maybe even rainy weather, but don’t try to go underwater with it.
Right now, I’ve got no complaints – this is a nice headlamp.
If I had to pick on Coast or the FL60 just a little, I would say that it looks a little boring, and maybe even cheap. It feels solid, and it works well, but except for the lens elements and the soft power button, the entire headlamp is a little bland. I thought that the knob-shaped front was a control knob of some kind, but it’s just a fixed structural component.
I don’t know, I guess I’m used to headlamps with a little more flair. This one is more on the utilitarian side of things, which can be a good thing.
It’s a good thing that the only negatives about the Coast FL60 LED headlamp are that it looks a little cheap and boring. The light quality and user comfort is what matters, and both seem to be outstanding. I plan to use the headlamp more in coming days, but don’t anticipate any surprises.
If I had to nitpick further, I would express interest in reversing the order of brightness modes. Since the wide beam angle is better for close-up work, I think I would prefer it to start off at the lowest brightness setting, rather than the highest. But then again, if I were using it for close-up outdoorsy lighting needs, I would definitely want it as-is, with the highest brightness setting as the first selection.
The design is completely different from that of Coast’s other LED headlamps, which have strap-mounted battery packs that are worn separately and opposite from the actual headlamp part. I prefer one-piece designs, but accept that there are reasons why 2-piece headlamps might sometimes be better.
Time will tell whether the Coast FL60 lives up to the high expectations I plan to hold it to. In the meantime, it looks to be a highly recommendable wide beam LED headlamp.
Compare(Other Coast headlamps via Amazon)
Thank you to Coast for providing the review sample unconditionally.