Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Review: Coast G10 Inspection Pocket Light

The Coast G10 was pretty cheap and I had some spare rechargeable AAA batteries lying around, so why not?

x1 - Coast G10 Inspection Pocket Light

Paid: CA$ ~15.00
Coast G10 Inspection Pocket Light - Package

Clear plastic package with heat-sealed seams. I believe they call this "blister packaging." I hate it -- see my other reviews for rants on this. If there was extensive documentation in the Coast G10 flashlight's package, I must have missed it. All the documentation I could find was on the front and back covers of the cardboard insert.

A battery was included with the Coast G10 and it was, unfortunately, pre-installed inside the light. The plastic shell had an opening for potential customers to try the flashlight, so that's probably why they did it. This bothers me because leaving batteries in devices that don't get any use over long periods of time -- like sitting in a warehouse for months or years -- could result in a leak. However, it was working and no leak was noticed.
Coast G10 - Light beam from ~5' away
Design / Construction
The Coast G10 appeared to have a fairly simple design: circular tube with a tail-cap click button and no lens in front of the LED and reflector. Wait, what? No lens? I missed this when looking at the product page for the flashlight online. With the battery removed, a closer inspection was done and it looked like there was no lens in front of the reflector. However, the LED appeared to be the type with the elongated bulb, kind of like a Christmas light -- built-in lens?

One other thing that stood out was the hole for attaching a lanyard or key chain ring. The hole appeared to be much smaller than the one on my Maglite Solitaire LED. It was not easy to get a piece of string in there. I usually use lanyards to keep the flashlights from rolling rather than to help with carrying. No other major issues were noticed in the time I had it before writing the review -- we'll see how it works out over time.

How was it?
I bought this alongside the Coast G19 that was fairly close in price and also used a AAA battery. A Maglite LED Solitaire was also available for comparison purposes. You can see these side by side in the videos linked above.

Anyway, the light out of the Coast G10 appeared to be most concentrated in the center with a fairly steep drop-off in brightness as you moved away. Its color temperature seemed slightly bluer than the Solitaire LED but less so than the Coast G19. I thought the brightness of the Coast G10 was fairly similar to the Solitaire LED -- visual comparison only. However, battery charge levels and battery chemistry types were different, as were the wear levels on the individual flashlights, so it wasn't scientific. I could not find the lumen rating for either of the Coast flashlights, unfortunately. My Maglite Solitaire LED was supposedly rated at 37 lumens.

Between the three flashlights, my favorite was the Solitaire's. It seemed more even and attractive than the G10's light. The G19 was okay but a bit restrictive with how it abruptly cut off at the edges.

Battery life was noted on the package as 2.5 hours for the G10. In comparison, my Solitaire LED review noted that its battery rating was 1.75 hours. LED lamps with a single AAA battery each? Good enough for me either way. I didn't check if either of those values were accurate though.
Coast G10, Coast G19, and Maglite Solitaire LED - Light beams from ~5' away
Something that bugged me was that there was quite a bit of dirt inside the battery tube. I could feel something on the smooth label of the battery the first time I took it out. Sending a tissue inside the tube revealed a lot of black particles. The same thing was done with the Coast G19 and it appeared to be clean. Not sure if this was a cost cutting measure or a mistake.

This Coast G10 light was slightly bigger than the Maglite Solitaire I had but a pretty good size overall. My scale suggested that the Coast G10 was heavier as well. Having a rear click-button was preferred over the Solitaire's head-mounted rotating switch that required two hands to operate. The price of the G10 was pretty good at about CA$ 15 and cheaper than the Maglite Solitaire LED at about CA$ 20 on when I wrote this review.

I was satisfied with the Coast G10 Inspection Pocket Light. To be able to get a single-AAA operated LED flashlight for less than CA$ 20 was nice -- even cheaper in the United States. The rated battery life was good enough for me, and the light quality wasn't bad either. However, I still preferred the Maglite Solitaire LED due to familiarity and satisfaction with its overall design.

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