The COAST HP7R Focusing Rechargeable LED Flashlight is a serious flashlight for serious situations that demand high performance, reliability, and durability.
Dual Power and Flexible Charging
The COAST HP7R is a dual power light. It can run, out of the box with included alkaline batteries, or with rechargeable lithium batteries. The HP7R I received included two lithium ion rechargeable batter packs and a flexible charging system. The COAST can be repowered with USB, AC, or DC power. For a busy EMS or Fire professional this variety of options means you will always have light when you need it.
My COAST HP7R also came packaged with a sheath, belt clip, and wall mount.
Use and Operation
The COAST HP7R is small handheld flashlight that is easy to hold. Some small flashlights are too skinny. The diameter of this light feels right in my hand. For those of you that like to hold a light in your teeth this will probably be too heavy and wide for that type of use (on a side note if you frequently hold a light in your teeth, a) you are not an action movie star, b) get a headlamp).
The distal end (or back end) of the light is the push button on/off switch. The switch requires a firm push, which minimizes the chance it will accidentally turn on, but if the switch is lightly or partially tapped before a firmer push it turns on a strobe feature. Personally, I would prefer a more difficult way to achieve strobe mode.
The LED beam assures a full well-lit beam of light with no shadows. This is my 2nd LED flashlight (read about the other) and I will not be switching back to an incandescent bulb light. The proximal (or light end of the light) slides backwards/forwards to adjust the light from high beam to low beam. As a long time mag light user my instinct is to twist the beam. With the COAST HP7R twisting the bulb housing locks the slide in position. The red sticker on the bulb housing that explains the slide function eluding me on my initial uses of the light and probably speaks a bit to the counter-instinctual usage of the light.
Bright Light When I Needed it Most
I have been shining the COAST light about my office for much of the summer while waiting for the shorter days and longer nights of fall to arrive for more field testing. Last month I tossed the COAST HP7R into my suitcase for our Alaska cruise. I always like to travel with a flashlight (A “what if…” scenario I play in my head is “What if I am in a hotel that is evacuated because of a fire or earthquake?” To which I always answer…wear shoes going out the door of the room and bring a flashlight.) Fortunately on the trip it didn’t have any emergency evacuations and we had too much daylight in Alaska (duh) to make a flashlight at all useful. Until….
We landed at the Green Bay, Wisconsin airport a few minutes before midnight. Made our way to the parking lot, drove one block out of the parking lot (just far enough to be surrounded by total darkness), and realized we had a flat rear driver side tire. We needed to unpack three things:
- Spare tire
- COAST HP7R
Sure I could have used the light from my phone screen, but in the dark of night with my wife and two kids I don’t want to be goofing around in the dark for any longer than needed. The COAST HP7R lit up our work area and made the tire change faster and easier.
Fire and EMS Application
For the fire or EMS professional looking for a durable, flexible charging LED flashlight I think the COAST HP7R is well worth your consideration. From my usage it seems durable, the light is great, and the power and charging options will assure you have light when you need it. For workplace usage my first modification would be to add bright yellow or green reflective tape to make it easy to find when it is inevitably set on the floor or ground and to figure out how to wear it with a headband or on a helmet. My only concern about the COST HP7R is the cost ($90 on Amazon at the time this review was written). If you are prone to leaving your belongings on scene, in the door of a shared ambulance, or lying about the station you might either consider a different light or use the COAST as a method to train yourself to be more careful with your stuff.
Looking forward to Years of Service
I am looking forward to and expecting years of service from the COAST flashlight. I am confident in its construction. Impressed with its functionality. And appreciate the methods to ensure I always have power.
Have you used the COAST HP7R? What are your favorite features?
Update Sept. 9, 2014. The Happy Medic posted a review of the HP7R today.