REVIEW: 5.11 Tactical Light for Life Flashlight, Plus Shorts

A flashlight that plugs into your 12V outlet and recharges in 90 seconds? Sounds too good to be true, but it exists. 5.11 Tactical sent me a tester unit of its UC3.400 “Light For Life” flashlight a while back, and after a season of use I’d call it a solid addition to your onboard tool [...]

22nd February 2010.
By Pete McDonald

A flashlight that plugs into your 12V outlet and recharges in 90 seconds? Sounds too good to be true, but it exists. 5.11 Tactical sent me a tester unit of its UC3.400 “Light For Life” flashlight a while back, and after a season of use I’d call it a solid addition to your onboard tool collection.

The flashlight recharges through an ultracapacitor electrostatic storage system rather than chemical batteries, which allows for the fast recharge.The UC3.400 features three LED lights that last for 50,000 hours of use. Fully charged, the light operates for 60 minutes at 90 lumens, and 15 minutes at peak 270 lumen output. There’s also a 270-lumen strobe mode.

While I wouldn’t use it to locate channel markers on a midnight cruise, it’s good for looking around the engine compartment, going belowdecks, or fumbling around at the launch ramp on a pre-dawn mission. It features a rugged housing, to law enforcement specs, and because it lasts forever and you don’t need to worry about dead batteries, you can stow it onboard long term.

Price: $170, Contact: www.511tactical.com

As an afterthought, 5.11 threw in a pair of Taclite Pro Shorts:

Made of a lightweight cotton/poly blend, the Taclite shorts are treated with Teflon for stain and water resistance. They’re made for cops on the beat, but I’ve been wearing them as fishing shorts. They wash off easily, they don’t absorb fish blood, they’re breathable, and they’re super rugged. Plus, the “magazine” back pocket holds my fly box for quick access and the external knife pocket works for a fishing blade or a pair of pliers. I’d recommend them to any angler for inshore and offshore duty.

Price: $45


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About the author:

Pete McDonald

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Pete McDonald is a contributing editor to Power & Motoryacht. Previously, he spent 11 years on the editorial staff of Boating. He has won multiple writing awards and holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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