The key to this performance is the single 3.7v 320mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery which is supplied with a USB-powered charging cradle, giving various options for recharging it on the go.
A Lightweight Giant
Hunters’ portable lighting has been revolutionised since light emitting diode (LED) technology came into hunters’ kitbags about a decade ago.
At the forefront of this technology in the New Zealand market has been the LED Lenser brand, with a continuous pipeline of innovative hand-held and wearable lights, and a market-leading 5 year product warranty. In my own household we have 5 Lenser lights to serve different applications, and with my habit of hunting late into the day at the most likely spots I can find, I’ve come to rely on them to get me home after dark – and, when on private land, to even allow me to continue hunting on the way.
Rod & Rifle has been sent the tiny M3R (Microcontroller Series – Rechargeable) hand-held flashlight for Testfire. Its diminutive size and weight bely its simply dazzling lighting power and bells-and-whistles feature list.
The key to this performance is the single 3.7v 320mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery which is supplied with a USB-powered charging cradle, giving various options for recharging it on the go. This higher voltage projects a brilliant 220 lumen beam, similar to the 250 lumen beam of the popular Lenser H7 headlamp which is familiar to many hunters. The battery at first glance seems identical to AAA size, but in fact it’s slightly longer and wider, preventing it being fitted into an AAA device. However the M3R torch is able to accept the smaller 1.5v AAA battery, allowing hunters to carry a spare, and still giving a good way-finding light.
Copyright 2016 NZRod&Rifle
Packaged along with the charging cradle is a tough Cordura belt holster with Velcro closure, a wrist strap, pocket clip and operating instructions for the Lenser Smart Light Technology (SLT) lighting modes.
The three SLT lighting modes are controlled by the single rear switch and microprocessor. High beam comes on first, while a second push within 1 second reduces it to a power-saving but altogether useful 20 lumen low mode, with a third push activates an intense ‘defence strobe’. Lenser claim 6 hours of low mode light on a full charge down to 1 lumen. The other Lenser feature is their Advanced Focus System (AFS) which has an easy-to-use sliding lens giving an even and progressive beam focus from flood to spot. Protection is rated at IPX4 – splashing water from any direction – so it’s usable in rain.
The battery took 2 hours to fully charge on my 1.0A Samsung phone charger, with a charging lamp to indicate status.
I found it hard to credit that so much light was generated from something so tiny. Out in the forest I discovered the light, giving a bright 130+ metre spot beam, was all I needed for possum hunting with a .22. The knurled aluminium casing provided a secure grip, and helped dissipate high beam heat. I felt it essential to use the wrist strap for security as the flashlight was so small and slim, being 100mm long and very lightweight. at 47g (including battery and strap).
I would consider this an ideal reserve or camp light for a hunter, though it would do fine service as a primary light for overnight pack-in trips, in which case a spare AAA battery should always be carried as there is no built-in switch lock. On longer trips a USB power bank could be used to keep it topped up for optimum performance, although the charging cradle is needed for this.
The M3R has a RRP of $129, and is distributed in NZ by Tight Lines Ltd. www.tightlines.co.nz