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Cabela's XPG Xenon Flashlights at Cabela's

Cabela's XPG Xenon Flashlights

Author: Dan Carlson

There are flashlights, and then there are handheld illumination tools that emit darkness-obliterating beams with focused intensity that seem to rival that of some science-fiction laser sword.

The latter earn our coveted Extreme Performance Gear (XPG) label and deliver features and function that rival other high-performance flashlights for a much lower price. XPG Xenon Flashlights are the result of extensive research, development and testing conducted by Cabela's specialists. The objective of the project was to put high-output flashlights constructed to strict standards for quality and performance into the hands of outdoor enthusiasts at prices most anyone could afford. To see if they succeeded, I purchased two XPG flashlights – a 9-volt and a 12-volt model. Then I put them through several weeks of testing.

The first thought that struck me when I picked up a XPG Xenon Flashlight was its substantial construction. An anodized CNC-machined aluminum exterior with texturing gave it the solid feel of a tool meant to be used. I activated the push-button, positive on/off switch on the end cap, holding the light next to my ear in my right hand with my thumb on the button. The high-pressure xenon lamp assembly instantly cast a bright beam onto the wall in front of me. A series of rapid on-and-off cycles confirmed that the switch mechanism was crisp, well-made and instantly responsive.

Over the summer and fall my XPG lights were tested on camping, fishing and hunting trips in conditions that ranged from freezing to hot, wet to dry and clean to muddy. There was never any hint of malfunction. If a light got dirty, a rinse with water was all it needed. The O-ring seals kept water out and there was no hint of corrosion anywhere on either unit. For locating items in a gear bag or tackle box, finding my way to the camp bathroom at night, investigating noises outside the tent after dark, locating items dropped in dark areas and short-term illumination for performing minor tasks around camp, I could not have asked for better flashlights. At home we now keep two in key locations where anyone in the family can get to them during a power outage.

The 6-volt model has output rated at 65 lumens with a 70-minute run time and is 5.25" long. My 9-volt model is rated to put out 120 lumens for 90 minutes on a set of batteries and is 6.5" long. The 12-volt version I have is 7.75" long and puts out 180 lumens of white light for 90 minutes. All use 3-volt lithium batteries and come with a belt sheath.
The intense output of these lights does make them get hot during prolonged use. The area around the antiroll bezels has a cautionary label concerning this and recommends the lights not be used for more than 10 consecutive minutes at a time. And because these lights are so bright, they could also be used in self-defense situations.

Click to purchase: Cabela's XPG Xenon Flashlights.