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IR - Gerber Gear Intense Torch - Kerri Larkin

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  • Kerri Larkin
    Hi Mystery Monitor, Please find following my IR for the Bear Grylls Intense Torch. The html version can be found by clicking HERE, or at:
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 22, 2013
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      Hi Mystery Monitor,

      Please find following my IR for the Bear Grylls Intense Torch. The html version can be found by clicking HERE, or at: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/TESTS/IR%20-%20Gerber%20Gear%20Intense%20Torch%20-%20Kerri%20Larkin/

      Thanks in advance for your edits.

      Kind regards,

      Kerri

      TESTER INFORMATION
      NAME: Kerri Larkin
      EMAIL: kerrilarkin AT yahoo DOT com
      AGE: 52
      LOCATION: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
      GENDER: Female
      HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
      WEIGHT: 253 lb (113 kg)

      I've been a car-camper and bushwalker for over thirty years. Mostly I do day hikes as my passion is photography, which means I walk very slowly! I've returned to walking after some years away due to injuries and I'm learning to use Ultralight gear (and my hammock!). I've traveled most of eastern Australia, walking in landscapes as diverse as tropical rainforest, snow fields, beaches and deserts. My fortieth birthday was spent trekking in Nepal which was a truly life changing experience.

      INITIAL REPORT

      PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS


      Manufacturer: Gerber Gear
      Year of Manufacture: 2013
      Manufacturer's Website: Gerbergear.com
      MSRP: US$ 63
      Bulb Type: CREE XPG-R5 L.E.D
      Output / Run Time: High - 140 lumens / 90 minutes
      Medium - 35 lumens / 8.5 hours
      Low - 15 lumens / 17 hours
      SOS mode - 140 lumens / not stated
      Materials: Anodized aluminum body with molded rubber grip
      Batteries: 2 x AA
      Protection: IPX7 - waterproof for 30 minutes at one metre (3.3 ft)
      Warranty: Lifetime warranty


      Bear Grylls Intense Torch Specifications

      Website Specified Packaging Specified Actual Measured
      Weight:(including batteries) 3.89 oz / 110.3 g 142 g / 5 oz 142 g / 5 oz
      Length: 22.8 cm / 5.98 in (sic) Not specified 16 cm / 6.3 in
      Width: Not specified Not specified 2.5 cm / 1 in

      INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

      Bear Grylls has become something of a survivalist icon following his popular television series, which was widely shown in Australia and the United Kingdom. In collaboration with Gerber, Grylls has put his name to a range of survival equipment, of which the Intense Torch (hereafter called the torch) is just one piece. My torch arrived in a presentation blister pack, which had a very nice appearance. The packaging contained the torch, an attached lanyard, a "Priorities of Survival Pocket Guide", and two AA batteries. The packaging needs to be cut open and torn apart to remove all the items.

      The torch itself is a very sleek item: the anodized orange body is almost a copper colour and really looks great contrasting against the gray of the rubber grip. Aesthetically, this is a beautiful torch! It's designed around a triangular body, which Gerber says is to stop it rolling on flat surfaces, and that body shape really sets it apart from other torches. On one side of the torch, near the bulb end is the word "Gerber" in white lettering. The other end has a logo on one face and what looks like a serial number on another face although there is no mention of what this numbering means on the packaging or the website. The gray rubber grip occupies the middle half of the torch and is the same profile as the body. Each of the three faces of the grip has indented molding and the initials "BG" in the middle.

      The lens is recessed into the body of the torch, which should offer some protection from knocks and shocks. The actual bulb appears to be set quite deeply into the body and is surrounded by a highly polished reflector. At the other end, the body terminates in a buttress type projection from each face. A semicircular dip is cut in to these projections which allows access to the single domed rubber switch which is located in the centre of the body end cap. Two small dents in the end cap give the impression this cap could be unscrewed (perhaps for maintenance using some kind of special tool. One of the end buttresses has a small hole through it, to which the lanyard is attached. The lanyard appears to be the same as a standard camera wrist strap.

      One of the things that struck me was that the batteries included were a reputable 'name' brand rather than cheap generic batteries. That immediately made me feel like this was going to be a quality product, especially with the included survival guide.

      Another thing that struck me was that there are absolutely no instructions for this torch on the packaging or on the website. I figured, "How hard can it be? It's just a torch!" so set about trying to open it to insert the batteries. After pulling on both ends with no luck, I decided to be brave and try twisting the ends to see if they unscrew. Eureka! The end with the bulb unscrews to reveal the battery compartment. I was pleased to see an 'O'-ring at the base of the thread, which I'm guessing is how the torch becomes waterproof when reassembled. The screw thread is quite fine and gives the impression it would be easy to cross-thread the bulb section when putting it all back together. There's also no indication of how tight the torch parts should be screwed together: it's possible to screw it very tight but I was concerned that might damage the 'O'-ring so I backed it off a turn so that the anodized end was just snug against the rubber grip.

      There's no graphic to suggest which way to insert the batteries so I tried the 'common sense' approach and used previous experience and the shape of the terminals as a guide. As luck would have it, I got it right!

      READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

      As I said above, there are no instructions for the torch, however it is worth mentioning the pocket survival guide here. While very basic, the guide gives a great reminder of priorities should one be in a survival situation: protection, rescue, water then food. There is a paragraph of general information and a few drawings to illustrate each concept, although it's doubtful I could manage some of the techniques (like building a snow cave) based on this guide alone. There are some useful reminders for people who have had previous survival training and it would start someone without such training in the right direction. Perhaps the best part about the guide would be the time taken to sit and read it when it became apparent it was needed: the very first caution is to relax and take a deep breath to clear the head.

      TRYING IT OUT

      Like most kids with a new toy, I couldn't wait to try out the torch, so I did just that. The power button on the end has a very solid and positive feel to it and pushing it turns the torch immediately to high power mode. First surprise: 140 lumens is very bright! I'm glad I wasn't looking at the bulb as this could cause some serious dazzling. I also noticed that the light comes on before the power button clicks. This is the 'momentary on' position which allows the torch to be used for signaling. Once the button is fully pressed and clicks, the torch remains on until the button is pressed again to turn it off. So far all pretty normal stuff, but this torch has a lot more to offer. There are four power modes: high, medium, low and SOS. Partially pushing the button accesses the momentary on function and repeatedly pushing the button cycles through the four modes. Once the preferred mode is reached, simply fully press the button until it clicks and the torch stays on in that power mode. Once the torch is turned of it automatically goes back to high power mode for the next button push.

      If using the momentary on feature to select a light mode, the torch returns to high power mode if the button is not pushed reasonably rapidly to cycle through the modes. It seems to reset after a couple of seconds. I think the momentary on feature will be very useful when just needing a short burst of light, like for finding something in my pack at night.

      The final of the four modes is SOS. When activated, the torch flashes the Morse code for S-O-S. I'm not sure how useful this would be as the torch seems to have a fairly focused beam which means the light would have to be pointed at rescuers for them to see it. This will need more testing in the field.

      Having blinded myself a few times, I decided to wait until dark before playing any more. Once outside in the dark, the power of this torch becomes apparent: It really is outrageously bright! The high power mode lit my garden very well. Medium power mode was very noticeably duller (35 lumens vs 140 lumens) and looks like it would be fine for most camp chores. The low power mode (15 lumens) is duller again and looks to be good for hunting around in a pack or inside a tent. I'm looking forward to getting out in the field to see just how effective the various modes are. I'm also going to be interested to see how well the batteries last when using a combination of modes in a typical camping scenario rather than just a single mode: based on the literature, it should be somewhere between 90 minutes and 17 hours.

      Something I wasn't expecting was just how good this torch feels in the hand. I thought it might be strange or uncomfortable due to it's triangular shape, but it isn't: It sits nicely and my hand just naturally curls around it. It's also very comfortable to carry in a raised 'tactical' position with the rubber grip making it feel very secure in the hand. I've also noticed from my brief trials so far that the rubber grip helps keep the cold of the aluminum away from my hands. Temperatures are getting pretty low here so the metal parts feel very cold while the rubber feels cool rather than cold.

      One of the things I love doing when camping is spotlighting for wildlife after dark. Normally that requires a low powered light to pick up the eye shine, and a high powered light to actually see the critter. I'm hoping the Intense Torch will provide both those options in a very small package.

      That concludes my Initial Report on the Bear Grylls Intense Torch. I'd like to thank both Gerber Gear and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this item. Please check back in around two months for my Field Report.

      Photo captions:
      Attractive packaging and a promising survival guide...
      No cheapies here - name brand batteries included
      Both ends of the torch
      Battery compartment with the bulb section unscrewed: note the fine thread and small O-ring



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ray
      Hi Kerri, Good job on this IR. I just have a couple edits for you. Have fun blasting the wildlife over the next four months. ;-) Ray Manufacturer: Gerber Gear
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 2, 2013
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        Hi Kerri,

        Good job on this IR. I just have a couple edits for you. Have fun blasting the wildlife over the next four months. ;-)

        Ray


        Manufacturer: Gerber Gear

        EDIT: it is Gerber Legendary Blades, a division of Fiskars Outdoor



        ***Once the torch is turned of it automatically goes back to high power mode for the next button push.

        EDIT turned "off"
      • Jamie D.
        Hey Ray could you give me an update on this test? The great and powerful Bridget just assigned it to me and it looks like it s already going in some capacity.
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 3, 2013
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          Hey Ray could you give me an update on this test? The great and powerful Bridget just assigned it to me and it looks like it's already going in some capacity.

          Thanks,
          Jamie D
        • Ray
          Good morning Jamie, It was in limbo and Richard was going OOP so I offered to do it. You may take over from here if you would like my lady. Or if you d rather
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 4, 2013
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            Good morning Jamie,

            It was in limbo and Richard was going OOP so I offered to do it. You may take over from here if you would like my lady.

            Or if you'd rather not I can continue.

            Ray
          • Kathy Waters
            OK, I m confused (again). Did BridGeT mess this up? Who is the monitor? Kathy From: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
            Message 5 of 9 , Jul 4, 2013
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              OK, I'm confused (again). Did BridGeT mess this up? Who is the monitor?



              Kathy



              From: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
              [mailto:backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ray
              Sent: Thursday, July 4, 2013 3:12 AM
              To: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [backpackgeartesters] Attn: Ray E - Re: Gerber Gear Intense Torch
              test





              Good morning Jamie,

              It was in limbo and Richard was going OOP so I offered to do it. You may
              take over from here if you would like my lady.

              Or if you'd rather not I can continue.

              Ray





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Ray
              Back when Richard was getting ready to go you said you had not heard back from the monitor so I offered to take it to get Richard on his way. I am fine either
              Message 6 of 9 , Jul 4, 2013
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                Back when Richard was getting ready to go you said you had not heard back from the monitor so I offered to take it to get Richard on his way. I am fine either way.

                Plus I covered some for Mike while he was OOP.

                Jamie may take over I and will crawl back in my corner... ;-)

                Ray

                --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy Waters" <kathy@...> wrote:
                >
                > OK, I'm confused (again). Did BridGeT mess this up? Who is the monitor?
                >
                >
                >
                > Kathy
                >
                >
                >
                > From: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
                > [mailto:backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ray
                > Sent: Thursday, July 4, 2013 3:12 AM
                > To: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: [backpackgeartesters] Attn: Ray E - Re: Gerber Gear Intense Torch
                > test
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Good morning Jamie,
                >
                > It was in limbo and Richard was going OOP so I offered to do it. You may
                > take over from here if you would like my lady.
                >
                > Or if you'd rather not I can continue.
                >
                > Ray
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • Jamie D.
                Well in the interest of less confusion for Kathy, I ll go ahead and take it from here since she sent me a notices saying I was supposed to report for duty on
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 8, 2013
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                  Well in the interest of less confusion for Kathy, I'll go ahead and take it from here since she sent me a notices saying I was supposed to report for duty on it. :)

                  It looks like all the IR's have been edited and uploaded. Is that right?

                  jamie d

                  --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Ray" <rayestrella@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Good morning Jamie,
                  >
                  > It was in limbo and Richard was going OOP so I offered to do it. You may take over from here if you would like my lady.
                  >
                  > Or if you'd rather not I can continue.
                  >
                  > Ray
                  >
                • Kathy Waters
                  Correct, Jamie, all the IRs are done and thanks to both of you. The confusion was a result of BridGeT not sending out mail while I was staying at my son s, so
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jul 9, 2013
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                    Correct, Jamie, all the IRs are done and thanks to both of you. The
                    confusion was a result of BridGeT not sending out mail while I was staying
                    at my son's, so the e-mail notices got doubled up. Comcast now "blocks"
                    mail using port 25 and I can't change the port in BridGeT. I have to figure
                    out a way around that now <sigh>.



                    So we will go with Jamie taking over the Gerber BG Torch test monitoring
                    duties from here on out. Ray, I'll see if I can find something for you to
                    do <g>.



                    Kathy



                    From: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
                    [mailto:backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jamie D.
                    Sent: Monday, July 8, 2013 6:59 PM
                    To: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [backpackgeartesters] Attn: Ray E - Re: Gerber Gear Intense Torch
                    test





                    Well in the interest of less confusion for Kathy, I'll go ahead and take it
                    from here since she sent me a notices saying I was supposed to report for
                    duty on it. :)

                    It looks like all the IR's have been edited and uploaded. Is that right?

                    jamie d

                    --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
                    <mailto:backpackgeartesters%40yahoogroups.com> , "Ray" <rayestrella@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Good morning Jamie,
                    >
                    > It was in limbo and Richard was going OOP so I offered to do it. You may
                    take over from here if you would like my lady.
                    >
                    > Or if you'd rather not I can continue.
                    >
                    > Ray
                    >





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Jamie D.
                    Got it boss lady! Jamie D
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 10, 2013
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                      Got it boss lady!

                      Jamie D

                      --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com, "Kathy Waters" <kathy@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Correct, Jamie, all the IRs are done and thanks to both of you. The
                      > confusion was a result of BridGeT not sending out mail while I was staying
                      > at my son's, so the e-mail notices got doubled up. Comcast now "blocks"
                      > mail using port 25 and I can't change the port in BridGeT. I have to figure
                      > out a way around that now <sigh>.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > So we will go with Jamie taking over the Gerber BG Torch test monitoring
                      > duties from here on out. Ray, I'll see if I can find something for you to
                      > do <g>.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Kathy
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > From: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
                      > [mailto:backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jamie D.
                      > Sent: Monday, July 8, 2013 6:59 PM
                      > To: backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: [backpackgeartesters] Attn: Ray E - Re: Gerber Gear Intense Torch
                      > test
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Well in the interest of less confusion for Kathy, I'll go ahead and take it
                      > from here since she sent me a notices saying I was supposed to report for
                      > duty on it. :)
                      >
                      > It looks like all the IR's have been edited and uploaded. Is that right?
                      >
                      > jamie d
                      >
                      > --- In backpackgeartesters@yahoogroups.com
                      > <mailto:backpackgeartesters%40yahoogroups.com> , "Ray" <rayestrella@>
                      > wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Good morning Jamie,
                      > >
                      > > It was in limbo and Richard was going OOP so I offered to do it. You may
                      > take over from here if you would like my lady.
                      > >
                      > > Or if you'd rather not I can continue.
                      > >
                      > > Ray
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
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