ICON Solo and Link Flashlights Review

I have a weakness for small flashlights. When a company offers one for review, I’ll almost always say yes. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to agree to review two new LED flashlights from ICON when they asked if I would be interested. We have reviewed their products before and have appreciated both their unique style and usefulness. The ICON Link and Solo are affordable flashlights that definitely look interesting. Let’s see if they are a worthy purchase.

The eye catching Orange flashlight in the image above is the Link, while the one at the bottom is the modern looking Solo. Both lights are powered by easy to find alkaline batteries. The Solo runs on 2 AAA’s and the Link runs on 1 AA. Batteries are provided with each light. Let’s start with the Solo..

ICON Solo

Specs

lens: Micro-textured reflector
light output: 16/2 lumens
runtime: 3/75 hours
length: 5.5 inches
weight: 2.2 ounces
battery: two AAA alkalines

The Solo has a pen shaped aluminum body that has a very nice heavy solid feel to it. The sturdy pocket clip and faceted lower barrel keep this flashlight from rolling off flat surfaces.

It has a glass lens with a textured reflector. The LED is power-regulated and has two output levels – 16 and 2 Lumens.

The tail cap is a click switch that is easy to toggle with your thumb. Pressing the tail cap will toggle between the low (2 Lumens) and high (16 Lumens) output levels. The way it works is that you press it once to turn it on. It will be at either low or high beam depending on the last time you turned it on. Pressing it again, will turn it off. Pressing once more will turn it on to the the next output level and so on.

This flashlight is comfortable to hold. It has very fine ridges around the barrel that make it easy to grip. It has no sharp edges or other problems with the build quality.

I guess the only ‘problem’ with the Solo in my opinion is that the beam isn’t very powerful. I wouldn’t use this flashlight to guide my path in the woods at night. It’s better suited for closer tasks such as helping you see behind a computer, or TV. Or to find something under a desk or bed. For that reason, it’s not a perfect all around flashlight.

ICON Link

Specs

lens: TIR (Solid Total Internal Reflection)
light output: 50/6 lumens
runtime: 3/70 hours
length: 4 inches
weight: 3.1 ounces
waterproof: up to 1 meter
battery: one AA alkaline

The Link, so called because of its integrated carabiner clip, is constructed of high-strength aluminum anodized in bright Orange.

It has a glass lens and an LED with 50 and 6 lumens output levels.

The opposite end has rubber clicky tail cap on/off switch.

The Link is a little more awkward to hold than the Solo given the location of the built in clip. I also found that the decorative grooves that are cut into the tail and head area have sharp edges. I’ve not cut myself on them, but they feel sharp enough that they might be able to do it.

The Link has a significantly brighter beam than the Solo. I would have no issues using it to find my way outside in the dark or up and down the stairs of my house during a power outage. Unlike the Solo, I find that the Link does make a great little all purpose flashlight. I find myself grabbing it more often than the Solo.

Both the ICON Solo and Link are well made inexpensive flashlights that will shed some light on your task, while looking pretty spiffy at the same time.

 

Product Information

Price:Link $27.99, Solo $24.99
Manufacturer:ICON
Pros:
  • Runs on alkaline batteries
  • Two brightness modes
  • Won't roll off flat surfaces
  • Stylish
Cons:
  • Solo isn't very bright at high beam
  • Link has some sharp edges
Posted in: Gear, Reviews

17 comments… add one

  • The Slapster September 26, 2010, 10:25 pm

    Would either of these make good glove box flashlights? I don’t think either mine or my Wife’s car has a decent light for emergencies and these look small & powerful enough to handle the job.

    • Julie September 27, 2010, 7:39 am

      @The Slapster Yes, the Link for sure would work fine as a glove box flashlight.

  • Gary Johnson September 27, 2010, 6:50 am

    Both of these lights have anemic output. If you want really powerful compact flashlights at good prices. Check out http://www.fenixgear.com. They are a little more expensive, but the light output is amazing compared to everything else I have used.

  • Bob Deloyd September 27, 2010, 2:31 pm

    Is the carabiner clip spring action, or??? Also are they waterproof? I really liking the Link; you can clip it to your backpack or whatever and always have a light ready :)

    • Julie September 27, 2010, 8:39 pm

      @Bob the clip does have a sort of springy action. It doesn’t have an actual spring, but when you press and hold it open and then you let go, it goes back to closed. The Link is sealed with O-rings. It is waterproof to one meter for 30 minutes.

  • Bob Deloyd September 28, 2010, 4:09 am

    @Julie
    I lived on a sailboat for over 20 years and had to row every day to get to it and shore. So I went through a lot of flashlights; a lot of them were junk. I now live in the desert but still demand a good functional portable light. I’ve been using a AA Maglite with an LED insert; I’ve been using Maglites since my “rowing days” and have found that they last until you lose them :)
    That’s why I was interested in the carabiner clip and it being waterproof.
    Thanks for your reply!

    • Julie September 28, 2010, 6:16 am

      @Bob Wow, I can’t imagine living on a boat for 20yrs. Sounds very romantic… except when the hurricanes come!

  • Donald Wright September 28, 2010, 3:38 pm

    Solo is more like a task light. It’s great for an office light to find lost items or get behind a server to take a peek. I’ve been a flashaholic for quite some time and believe me, there is a time when too much light is not helping you see.

    • Julie September 28, 2010, 4:26 pm

      @Donald Wright “Flashaholic” I like it!

  • Bob Deloyd September 28, 2010, 3:47 pm

    @Julie
    No hurricanes in Southern California :)

  • Brian June 27, 2011, 5:07 am

    Hopefully Icon (Hello, PK!) will upgrade their Icon Solo penlight this year..

    It is simply too cool of a light to put out such pitiful numbers. A bump to 40+ lumens using either a Cree XR-E, XP-E, or XR-G would be most welcome..

  • Brian June 27, 2011, 8:25 pm

    I was just over at Radio Shack, and they had the updated ICON Solo on the shelf. It now makes 30 Lumens on High, and 5 lumens on low.

    I just had to purchase one.. :-)

  • Brandon July 15, 2011, 1:13 pm

    Does anyone know how to open up the working end of the ICON Solo? I want to try to replace the LED unit with a much brighter unit out of a broken light.

  • Brian July 15, 2011, 2:20 pm

    They probably used an adhesive (like Loctite) on the head of the light.

    Use a couple of strap wrenches to help you remove it. Once you have it removed, you should be able to access the back of the head..

  • Dido September 1, 2012, 11:15 am

    How do i open my icon link flashlight to replave the bat. It seems to be stock
    Thank you

    • Julie September 1, 2012, 1:37 pm

      @Dido the bulb end unscrews. I just tried mine and didn’t have any problems removing it. Maybe try one of those rubber gripper thingies that you might have in your kitchen to help you remove lids from glass jars.

  • Bob DeLoyd September 1, 2012, 2:09 pm

    Dang a lot of old post are popping up around your 15th Birthday- this one is from two years ago!
    I guess Gadgeteers are going back through the archives to reminisce :)

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