Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Modular, waterproof 1,000-lumen ZeroHour flashlight doubles as portable battery

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August 14, 2014

The ZeroHour XD offers four different lighting modes

The ZeroHour XD offers four different lighting modes

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According to its creators, not only can the ZeroHour XD tactical flashlight blast 1,000 lumens of light into the evening darkness for up to six hours, it can charge an iPhone seven times (though it won't do both on the same charge). The flashlight includes a removable, 10,200-mAh battery pack that doubles as a dual-USB charger and features a modular design that allows the size of the device to be altered depending on the need at hand.

The ZeroHour XD is one of the most versatile flashlights we saw at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market last week, being a portable power back-up and bright torch in one. While a flashlight-charger in itself isn't a novelty, as devices like the Power Bank and Switch 8 show, the XD is a powerful, thoughtful design useful for all kinds of work and recreational purposes.

The battery bank inside the XD's handle packs a 10,200-mAh reserve from three rechargeable 3,400-mAh Panasonic lithium-ion batteries. Zero-Hour chose to use three rechargeables instead of a single battery so they're easier to replace once they've been put through their usable life cycles. That design also makes it easy to pack extras if you'll be off the grid for a while.

The battery powers the flashlight's 1,000-lumen CREE bulb by way of four different modes that offer between six (1,000-lumen full-strength) and 90 (20-lumen low) hours of run time. In-between modes are 400 and 600 lumens, and the light also has strobe and SOS modes. ZeroHour says the device has a 1,378-ft (420-m) throw.

Unscrew the cap at the base of the flashlight's handle and you expose the dual USB charging ports. The XD includes a 1.5 A port for standard charging and a 2.1 A for quicker charging and large devices like the iPad. It can charge and work as a flashlight at the same time and charge two devices at once. A four-LED battery indicator lets you know how much power is left.

When full, the ZeroHour battery pack can charge an iPhone about seven times

Because you may need a charger in situations where you don't need a flashlight, ZeroHour has made the battery bank removable – unscrew it from the light head, cap the top and you have a portable power cylinder. It's a bit bulkier than some portable chargers, but ZeroHour designed it with power capacity and durability in mind.

Making a flashlight with a removable charger got ZeroHour started with multifunction and modularity, and it ran with it from there. You can remove the batteries and innards of the battery bank, creating a watertight cylinder to store things like matches and other small survival gear. The company offers additional body tubes, allowing you to build a long-handled flashlight. ZeroHour also says it's working on other components, such as a lantern-style head.

The XD is submersible up to 1 m (3.3 ft)

Beyond its charging and modular features, the XD looks and feels like a solid, well-built flashlight. It has an anodized 6061 aircraft aluminum body and stainless steel bezel and is IPX8-certified, submersible up to 1 m (3.3 ft).

After a successful $100,000 Kickstarter campaign last year, ZeroHour launched its flashlights this past June, giving the outdoor sports industry a look at Outdoor Retailer. The XD is available for $225 with the three batteries, several different end caps, spare O-rings, a USB charging cable, a power adapter and a carry case. ZeroHour also offers the 7,800 mAh XS for $199.

Source: ZeroHour

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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3 Comments

I think that is a really great design. I can see it being used in emergencies and for hikers / campers. I can see how the price could come down in the future when others make similar products (like when Sony came out with the Walkman and others made similar less expensive versions).

BigGoofyGuy
15th August, 2014 @ 05:52 am PDT

A 420 meter throw would need to be a fairly narrow beam at that distance to be effective. A narrow beam is less useful, annoying, when illuminating things close up. No mention about an adjustable beam focus like MagLite features. I imagine that selecting the four brightness levels and the two (useless) blinky modes is achieved by clicking the ON button repeatedly, dialing through all the brightness levels and blinky modes to reach the one you want. This can become really, really tedious if you have to do it every time you use the light. It would be better to have some way to select the mode, leave it there and have an independent ON/OFF button not associated with selection. If you're in the dark, doing close work and hit that 1000 lumins, it's going to be really dazzling. Plus, that's a really expensive device there. You'd have to have pretty special needs to justify it.

Satweavers
15th August, 2014 @ 10:43 am PDT

@zerohour TAKE MY MONEY! @saltweavers, it says it has memory mode feature and remembers the last mode you're in. Perhaps that is why you don't have to dial up through the modes to get to the higher settings. It also writes on website to double tap the button switch to jump straight into strobbie mode. I'll get one of these and leave a follow up review ASAP.

Flashaholic
15th August, 2014 @ 12:02 pm PDT
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