The Gold Standard Flashlight Just Got Better!
Bright, great battery life, outstanding construction, water resistant (not proof!) compact size.
Doesn't dim when batteries run down, no loop to attach things.
The Bottom Line:
For a small flashlight, this is a must-have. There are some short-comings, but not enough not to recommend this to everyone I know.
Having been involved in Boyscouts, as well as camping in general, and I've used all sorts of flashlights from a plastic dollar-store piece of garbage, up to a 10,000,000 candela lamp. To me, the best way to go was to get a Maglite, because of their far superior construction and durability. If you haven't seen or handeled this unit already, it's made of lightweight, but still very strong aluminum body. Few improvements have been made over the years, until a few small companies (like Nite Ize) made some small crummy LED mod kits for the AA flashlight. These were neat little kits, because even though they didn't have the same distance or power as the normal krypton bulb, they improved battery life drastically, and were still good within a few feet. It seems though, that Maglite caught wind of these kits (which seemed to have been selling well both online, and at hardware stores local to me), and created a new line of flashlights, as well as replacement LED bulbs.
The 2xAA size Maglite isn't really meant to be a long-distance or heavy-use flashlight. I have a few sitting on my desk for small use, because I work on electronics and find them handy to peek inside of a contraption to see things. With that having been said, when I compare the illumination provided by one of these AA LED Maglite units to a standard 2xC Maglite with the standard krypton bulb, it simply dummies the larger unit. It has better illumination, better range, and much better battery life. This, coupled with the standard water resistance (keeps a lot of water out, but I wouldn't try to swim with one), shock resistance (I've smacked them on cement pretty hard, with no ill effects) and metal construction make this the flashlight to buy.
One thing you'll notice about this LED flashlight compared to the normal krypton bulb is that instead of the usual dimming as your batteries run down, it will begin to flicker very briefly, and then will go out. Because an LED is generally either on or off (they aren't generally dimmable) it can't really run down much, so it just goes off. Additionally, there is no loop on the end to attach to a keychain or lanyard or something.