Sunday, July 10, 2016

Review: Coast G20 LED Inspection Beam Penlight

A relatively cheap flashlight that uses AA or AAA batteries? I'm in.
Coast G19 and Coast G20: One beside the other
x1 - Coast G20 Inspection Beam Penlight

Paid: ~CA$ 20.00

This was my third Coast LED flashlight, so I assumed it would have batteries included. And I even picked it up at a retail store instead of online which made the packaging with the "Try Me" label easily visible. The Coast G20 came in a plastic blister package that I've gotten pretty used to opening by now. There was no major documentation inside the box that I could find -- nothing between the front and back flaps of the cardboard label.

Due to the whole trying before buying thing, the batteries were pre-installed inside the flashlight right out of the package. Taking the AAA batteries was simple and there were no problems taking the tail-cap off. I had no trouble with the switch on the tail-cap -- it wasn't too stiff like with another light.

Design / Construction
The Coast G20 looked pretty consistent with the designs of the Coast G10 and Coast G19 LED flashlights For example, a rubberized exterior, tail-cap switch, and red stripe near the tail. This was also one of the "inspection beam" lamps that meant a very even light pattern but relatively limited bleeding away from the center.

How was it?
Turning on the Coast G20 penlight for the first time, something looked very familiar: the very even and circular Inspection Beam. My first encounter with it was with the G19 and I just had to try these two lights out side by side.
Coast G19 versus Coast G20 Beams
Again, like with the Coast G19, I wasn't able to find any official details about the G20's lumen rating. Looking at the two beams side by side in person, telling the difference between the two flashlights was difficult. Some minor differences appeared to show up when using a camera though. On video, the G19 appeared to be slightly brighter and more uniform.

The main benefit of the G20 over the G19 looked to be the battery life. For a relatively small increase in length and weight, the G20 could, on paper, produce light for 10 hours compared to the G19's 2.5 hours -- ratings taken from the product packages, not verified personally.

I preferred the G19 mainly due to the size. There didn't seem to be that big of a difference in brightness and they were both about where I liked it for short range illumination. The battery life jump was huge with the G20 but I don't use my lights often enough for me to care about the extra run-time. Also, if the G20's second battery were used as a spare for the G19, the G19 could theoretically go for 5 hours.

Regardless, the Coast G20 felt like a pretty good flashlight. Its rear thumb switch was easy to push down and overall construction seemed solid. However, I wrote this review only a week after purchasing the light so how it holds up over time is a different story.

Similar to the Coast G19 but with a huge jump in battery life is how I'd summarize the Coast G20. The price was a tad under CA$ 20, similar to the cost of the G19. I liked it but would prefer the G19 for its more compact size.

No comments:

Post a Comment