I bought my father a Maglite 2D LED flashlight maybe 5-8 years ago or so. He has recently been using it everyday, for walking the dog at night, and the switch has failed.
More specifically, you can turn the flashlight on, but the switch gets stuck and you have to push in and wiggle it to turn the flashlight off.
I checked it out for a few minutes and immediately wanted to throw it into the trash. This is not a good user experience for someone with older hands, and it might not be long before the switch breaks further and the flashlight become completely inoperable.
I reached out to Maglite about possible repairs or replacement, but they have not gotten back to me yet.
I could not find any replacement switch options for this flashlight’s serial number (starting with DL).
Frankly, I’m not optimistic. I have had a couple of Maglites fail on me, most recently a Solitaire AAA light, and it’s often not worth the shipping fees to send them back for inspection and replacement.
According to online shipping fee calculators, it will cost approximately $20 for me to ship this back to Maglite via the cheapest ground shipping options.
Maglite has not yet responded to my warranty inquiry, and so it might be a moot point.
In any case, I’m thinking that instead of spending $20 to send this to Maglite for warranty replacement consideration or repairs, it might be better to put the same money into an upgraded flashlight.
I gave my father a new Pelican 3310 flashlight in the meantime ($33 at Amazon). I had purchased it recently for myself, and figured it’d be good in case the Maglite failed further and left my father without a good flashlight.
My father’s backup – an older DieHard flashlight I passed along for long-time review – has also failed. I couldn’t open the tailcap even with large pliers, and assume the batteries leaked and buggered things up.
So, maybe the Pelican can be my father’s backup – I’ll swap in non-rechargeable lithium cells at some point – but I’d like to get him a new primary-use flashlight for his daily walks.
Here’s the criteria:
- No rechargeable batteries (my father is set in his ways)
- Simple operation
- Easy-action switches
- Long runtime
- High reliability
- Optional: high-visibility color scheme
The Maglite, with its red finish, is easy to spot. I’m thinking that a bright and easily recognizable color will be better than an all-black flashlight, especially if the replacement flashlight will be smaller.
The Maglite served him well for a while, and things happen, but it’s not ideal. Knowing my father, I’m sure he doesn’t take advantage of the 2D’s focusable head. He just needs a simple medium-throw flashlight.
Maglite has not kept up with the times, and the fact of the matter is that there are better flashlights out there, and there have been for a while.
My father said “don’t spend a lot of money,” but we have differing views as to what “a lot of money” means when talking about flashlights.
One idea I’m thinking about is the Streamlight PolyTac (~$42 at Amazon).
There’s also the Streamlight PolyTac LED HP (~$56 at Amazon).
These Streamlight lights are powered with 2x CR123A lithium batteries, and I’d get my father a box of spares.
I have no shortage of my own recommendations, but I’m not sure what would be best. If my father were more amenable to rechargeable flashlights, that would open the door to a lot more options. But, there’s also convenience in alkaline and primary lithium-powered flashlights.
I think that 200-300 lumens would provide a strong balance between brightness and runtime. Knowing my father, he’s a “set and forget” type of person and isn’t going to want to play around with different modes or brightness settings.
So, any recommendations as to what to get him?