Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Coleman CT-70F LED Flashlight Review

I discussed the Coleman CT-70F LED flashlight in my other blog (virtualsalt.blogspot.com), in the context of an experience that finally broke down my resistance to spending $40 (!) on a flashlight. The bottom line is that, yes, good LED flashlights cost more--sometimes a lot more--than the old style, but you get more too, such as very long run times, lifetime bulbs, and sturdy construction (because of the need for head sinking the LED, which generates a lot of heat).

See my previous posting for a recommended everyday around the house flashlight (120 lumens for $15). The puppy under discussion  here is for campers or people with big property (cattle ranchers, farmers, dirt bikers). Oh, and for urban dwellers like me who like to feely manly and tote a big, powerful flashlight.

There are brighter LED flashlights up to and beyond 1000 lumens, but for price versus performance, I like and recommend the Coleman CT-70F.

What I like:

  • Unlike some multifunction flashlights that make you cycle through all the settings to get to the one you want (bright-dim-strobe-off), the CT-70F switch is brilliant. Click on, Bright. Click off, Off. Click and hold, Bright to dim. Let up at any point to hold that level of intensity. Quick double click, Strobe. It's beautiful. You never have to go through a feature you don't want.
  • The bezel rotates to change the focus from spot to flood, giving you flexibility of lighting. 
  • The light is made of aircraft grade aluminum and sports a good heft. It feels like quality.
  • It uses 6 AA batteries, easy to get, not some weird battery that costs $20 by itself.
What I don't like:
  • If you shake the flashlight, the batteries rattle inside. That detracts from the high-quality message the rest of the light conveys.
  • It was a challenge to find out how to install the batteries. There are two warnings, on the package and on the instructions, not to put the batteries in backwards. But nothing about how to put them in. I finally had to use my 120 lumen Rayovac, shining down the battery tubes, to see a little tiny diagram. So if you get one of these, here are the instructions: Be sure to install the batteries with the positive + end toward the front (bulb) end of the flashlight.
Since a lot of men might be hesitant to drop $40 plus tax on a flashlight, but since most men would be thrilled to own one of these, it would make a great father's day, birthday, Christmas, or anytime gift. Make your man feel manly and get him one of these.


  1. Hey there. I am one of those out in the country, cattle ranching types and when something howls in the night, I want to see if there are coyotes in the water melon patch. (Believe it or not, coyotes looove water melons!) Anyway, I just got ome of these flash lights and I back your recommendation 100%. One 'con' you report- batteries rattling, simply does not exist in mine. There is no noticeable movement w/in the light at all. And I think that 'smart switch' is, as the old saying goes, the neatest thing since sliced bread.

  2. I too have one of these and second every positive thing said about it. As for the batteries rattling and making noise, I couldn't MAKE mine do it. I don't know, maybe they fixed the 'problem'? The batteries are loaded in a manor unique to this among all other flashlights I have used. Rather than loading batteries in little plastic carriers or larger batteries just down the tube, these this light has two tunnels on each side to insert the batteries down into. The lid then goes on stiffly and tightly. It took a firm hand to turn it until it stopped but then there was no rattle.
    The light switch is a button on the side of the barrel near the head. Very efficient and handy for this size flashlight. I have a similar but slightly larger (1,000+ lumens) light that has the button on the end. With a flash of this size, that make it virtually necessary to use both hands to turn it off and on. Not good at all.
    If I have one complaint about the flashlight, the CT-70F that is, it's the switch. It is a black button in a black barrel. It is pretty much flush with the barrel too. It can be quite difficult to find in the dark. I heard of a flashlight that has a dimly illuminated switch. That would be greatly appreciated by me on this light. I have painted the button with bright finger nail polish that has held up well and helps in dim light. But, not in deep dark. Perhaps some florescent (phosphorescent?) paint would help? As for the switch's functionality, I call it a "smart switch" and it is great!
    For those so concerned, the head is machined with scallops for self defense use. The heft and length of the flashlight is not that of the 5 cell flashlight of old but is enough to deliver a nasty whack in a pinch.
    I have owned quite a dew flash lights and where a pocket light is not essential, this is my favorite.
    Jim writing this on my wife's account page.

  3. I just picked one of these up for $19 n some change! �� love it! But as Jim, Jillian's husband, mentioned about the switch is 100% correct. The dimly lit power switch sounds like an awesome idea! I think a slightly raised power switch would be another good option. As for the battery rattle, couldn't get it to do it, quite as a mouse. The problem I did have was that there was no o ring when I put the battery's in but not complaining since it was only $19 n some change

  4. I can't seem to get the battery compartment to open. Any suggestions

    1. The O-ring that seals the back can make removal a challenge. Try holding the back of the flashlight with a rag while you twist to loosen it.