By Joe Arterburn
While most hunting is done in daylight, there often can be plenty of pre- and post-hunting time spent in the dark, or more accurately, under the beam of a flashlight.
And that’s why a good flashlight is so important. Getting to and from your hunting location in the dark, letting people know where you are in the dark (seeing and being seen, for safety’s sake, is another way to put it), field-dressing an animal as the sun goes down and possibly even searching for downed game well after sundown.
The list of reasons to carry a good flashlight (many recommend carrying more than one source of light), goes on and on.
Lately, hunters have been tapping into what law enforcement and military personnel have known for years: SureFire makes rugged and reliable flashlights, headlamps and now, wristlights (and other tactical gear, such as earplugs, that crosses over for hunting and shooting uses) for those who demand the ultimate in performance, technology, quality and innovation.
Here’s a look at some of SureFire’s lineup that has caught the eye of hunters.
This SureFire classic, originally developed for pilots, has been redesigned and now features a dual-output primary white LED and secondary blue LED in one sealed head, both focused by a Total Internal Reflection lens into a user-friendly beam with plenty of reach and surrounding light. (The Aviator is also available with secondary amber, red or yellow-green LED, but hunters are choosing blue because it more clearly defines shapes in the outdoors and helps identify blood trails.)
It’s lightweight but rugged in a military-spec hard-anodized aluminum body, sealed with gaskets and O-ring to keep out moisture, dirt and debris. The handy push-button tailcap delivers either momentary or constant-on light. And the white LED generates a powerful 250 lumens of smooth, intense light on the high setting or a user-friendly five lumens on the low setting. With a fresh battery, the white LED will run 1.5 hours on the high setting; more than 20 hours on low. The blue LED will run 12 hours on high, which produces four lumens, and 49 hours on low, which produces .4 lumens. All that from a single, replaceable 123A battery.
It’s easy to switch from white to blue light, or vice versa. Just twist the knurled self-locking selector ring. To keep the light from accidentally turning on, there is also a system-disabling setting. Handy and compact, the Aviator also features a steel pocket clip to secure it in your pocket or pack.
Minimus and Maximus Headlamps
Headlamps provide hands-free illumination, ideal for tasks such as loading and unloading gear, setting decoys, field dressing and hiking to and from your hunting location.
Minimus, a powerful, no-nonsense headlamp, launched SureFire to the top of the headlamp category, providing an easily adjustable amount of light thanks to 13 preset outputs from five lumens to a maximum of 300 lumens. The high-performance LED with faceted MaxVision reflector produces a wide, smooth beam that optimizes your field of vision.
The custom-made headband features fine mesh material for comfort, durability and secure fit to keep the light shining right where you need it. A removable and washable Breathe-O-Prene forehead pad provides a snug, comfortable fit.
A push-button switch makes it easy to operate, easy to turn on and off and to choose an output level. And, all this high-tech performance is protected in a lightweight hard-anodized aerospace aluminum housing. With a fresh battery (it runs on one 123A battery), the Minimus will run 75 hours on low and 1.5 hours on high, which is a bright, intense beam with a 66 meter reach that is reassuring when you need it.
SureFire’s Maximus shifts headlamp performance into high gear with rechargeable technology and a high-performance LED and precision reflector that produces an unprecedented 1,000 lumens of light, enough to reach an impressive 128 meters.
Like the Minimus, the Maximus produces a wide, smooth beam of light ideally cast to optimize your field of vision as you work or move around in the dark. The easy-to-operate (even with cold or gloved fingers) dial allows you to adjust with one hand the light level from one to 1,000 lumens. There is also an emergency SOS mode for signaling for help.
The Maximus also features a custom headband, with Breathe-O-Prene forehead pad, built to keep the Maximus comfortably in place and the beam of light exactly where you want it.
And, it’s all securely packaged in a lightweight and durable magnesium housing that is built to withstand years of hard use.
The lithium-ion battery, which can be recharged with a wall or auto charger, will run for 70 hours on the lowest setting and 1.5 hours on the intense high setting. A built-in fuel gauge tracks your battery power level.
When hunters see SureFire’s 2211 Wristlight, their first thought is “Why didn’t I think of that?”
The Wristlight positions hands-free illumination in three brightness levels—high, 300 lumens; medium, 60 lumens; low, 15 lumens—for a variety of low- or no-light tasks. The broad MaxVision Beam, created by a precision-faceted reflector that shapes the LED’s output into a seamless wall of white light, provides a bright illumination pattern with a 66 meter reach. There’s an easy-to-operate push-button switch handily located on the rugged polymer body that houses the rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
You can expect the Wristlight, when fully charged, to run one hour on high, four hours on medium and 13 hours on low. The handy fuel gauge tracks remaining battery power, and the nylon wristband adjusts for a comfortable fit.
The 2211 Wristlight is a versatile and functional tool, a great way to assure you always have a light at hand.
Videoing in low- or no-light situations such as trophy shots well after the sun has gone down has always been challenging. And since some of life’s—and hunting’s—coolest moments happen when the light is not at its best, SureFire designed the FirePak to turn your smartphone into a camera capable of capturing high-quality video without draining your phone’s battery.
Two high-performance LEDs produce up to 1,500 lumens of light, so you can get better, brighter and clearer videos. A slide switch provides easy access to four light levels, with an effective range of up to 50 feet. Plus, it can also be app-controlled (with free app) via Bluetooth. FirePak can also recharge your smartphone or electronic device and can be used separately as a handheld illumination device.
A battery-charge indicator light provides continuous power status readings.
SureFire Sonic Defenders
Like many of SureFire’s products, these earplugs were developed to protect military and law-enforcement personnel from harmful sounds. The same technology can protect your hearing while shooting and hunting.
SureFire’s filtered earplugs allow normal conversation to pass through, while blocking dangerous sounds, both constant loud sounds and loud impulse noises such as gunfire. The curved, adjustable stems conform to the natural shape of your ear canal for exceptional fit and comfort, sealing in your ear to form an effective barrier against dangerous sounds.
SureFire’s patented EarLock retention rings lock the earplugs comfortably in place, ensuring a secure fit and all-day comfort.