Some of you may be familiar with my in depth reporting on the world’s greatest Socks, and how they’re working for me on my stint in Afghanistan. Since my Sock posting I’ve received a flood of fan mail asking me one question- “What other cool shit do you use over there that I need to know about?” Well adoring fans, do I have an answer for you. This product is an awesome innovation on a completely simple piece of technology- I present to you, the greatest flashlight known to man.
Any good soldier will tell you about the importance of a good flashlight. We work a lot at night, have intermittent power generation issues (if any power at all), and often live in tents or barracks where people are working day/night shifts so we don’t run lights during the day to let people sleep. All of this makes having a handy and powerful flashlight extremely useful. The JOBY Gorilla Torch flashlight is precisely that. I picked one of these bad boys up at REI a week prior to deploying to Afghanistan for the second time and it has been under continuous use for the past 6 months with great results. Here are some of the highlights.
1) It’s a Super Powerful Flashlight: First and foremost this thing is a flashlight, and even if you took off the legs (chill, we’ll get to that) this thing would be worth its weight in lumens. Let’s just say I’ve been poking around in my tent at night with this thing and it’s gained notoriety for being the Eye of Sauron.
2) It hooks up to basically anything: The majority of the time I just need a stationary light that won’t move and provides powerful light in a concentrated area. GorillaTorch flashlights do just this. Due to the cool legs on this thing you can hook it up to almost anything. Not to mention the magnets on the end of the legs which turns it into the perfect reading light.
3) It looks freaking cool: Alright, this might not seem like the most important thing in a flashlight. But seriously, look at this thing. It looks like one of those three legged death machines from War of the Worlds, but instead of shooting death rays it’s shooting light so you can find your damn tooth brush at the bottom of your bag. I know it’s in here somewhere.
4) It Lasts Forever*: Yah, I said it. I’ve had it for 6 months, it’s been getting daily use, and it hasn’t stopped working. This leads me to believe it either has some type of perpetual energy machine inside it’s tiny little core, or it’s programmed to sneak out of my room at night and replace it’s own batteries. Either are totally feasible in my mind.
*Battery length calculations are based off a very small sample size; 1.
5) The Uses I Can’t Even Think About Yet: Yes, I’m giving this thing credit for stuff that it hasn’t even done yet. With any normal headlamp/ flashlight you can pretty much establish exactly what you are going to use it for. However, with the GorlliaTorch I think there are tons of cool uses & situations in which this thing will be super helpful in ways that flashlights just won’t cut it. I especially think in a military setting these things would be crucial due to how light, powerful, and mobile they are. Plus American soldiers are notoriously innovative and I bet would find 101 ways to rig these things to all kinds of stuff to get good use out of them.
I know what you skeptical consumers are saying out there… There are certainly arguments against it. For instance, yes, there are certain situations in which a headlight is absolutely critical: If you’re hiking at night, spelunking, or doing some sort of physical activity at night for which you need to have your hands free. If you’re the type of person who needs a headlamp because you’re off gallivanting around the globe climbing through caves and attempting night climbs of the Seven Summits, then I think you can afford the whopping $29.95 for the small version of this thing to go along with your $50+ headlamp. However, there are also times when a headlamp just won’t do the same things as your handy GorillaTorch. Therefore if I had to choose between the two I know which I’d pick.
Other cool features:
– Almost forgot the dimmer, it’s really useful
– I don’t know why they’re advertising “Quick battery replacement” because as I stated I don’t think it runs out
– It almost never rains in Kandahar so I haven’t dealt with its water resistance, I also haven’t seen it fall from anything because it sticks to stuff like a leech
– 185grams is super light- it also folds up very small and stows away easily
My only regret is that I didn’t buy the GorillaTorch 125 because it looks like this version has a red light. Very useful in tactical situations where white light is not allowed… For instance when you’re at a blackout (no white light allowed) Combat Outpost, you’re in a rush, and there just happens to be a giant metal flat rack in the way of your face…
*Side note: This is not within the scope of this review but the more I look online at JOBY stuff, the more it seems like their camera tripods are really their biggest sellers. Luckily I just bought a nice DSLR camera and plan on traveling when I get back to the States so I can eventually write a follow on review to include the GorillaPod SLR-Zoom.