ZeroHour XD Tactical Flashlight and Battery Backup review

{ 6 comments }

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I’m starting to see the benefit in the multi-purposing of devices.  ZeroHour takes a flashlight  and uses the batteries to also serve as battery backup for devices powered by a USB cable.  As I usually carry two separate items in my car or pack to accomplish the same goal, I’m now able to cut back to just one.  This isn’t the first light/battery pack item I’ve reviewed, but so far it’s the best.When I first received the unit, I checked out their website and almost fell out of my chair when I saw the price, but after using the ZeroHour XD for several weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that  it’s worth every cent.  I used it in several real world situations and it worked as advertised.

Features:

  • BATTERY                              Up to 3 x 18650 3.6/3.7 Lithium-Ion
  • MATERIAL                           Anodized 6061 Aircraft Aluminum Alloy
  • FINISH                                  Type-III Hard-Anodized Anti-abrasive
  • BEZEL                                    304 Stainless Steel
  • mAh                                        10,000+ (3 x 3400mAh 18650) / 7,800 (3 x 2600mAh 18650)
  • LED                                        CREE XM-L2 U2
  • MAX LUMENS                    1,000 Lumens
  • MODES                                  Low-Med-High-Full + Strobe/SOS
  • LUMENS                               20-400-600-1,000 + 1,000/1,000
  • RUNTIME HOURS             3400mAh: Approx. 165-13.6-6.6-6.5 / 2600mAh: Approx. 95-7.9-3.8-3.7
  • BEAM THROW                    Approx. 420 meters (600-1000Lm)
  • INTERNALS                         Gold-Plated
  • PROTECTION                      Rev. Polarity / Overcharge / Auto-Off
  • REFLECTOR                         Orange Peel Reflector
  • SWITCH                                 Electronic Side Switch
  • LENS                                      Toughened Glass
  • O-RINGS                               Black / Red Silicone
  • TEMPERATURE RANGE  0-40 degrees Celsius
  • WATERPROOF                    IPX8 1 meter
  • DIMENSIONS                      2.28″ x 7.28″
  • USB OUTPUT                      1.5 Amp / 2.1 Amp
  • UL CERTIFIED                   Battery and Wall Charger

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The device I received was their top of the line package which included the light and backup capability.  ZeroHour offers other configurations that cost less and consequently don’t have the same features.  For example you may just want a battery backup unit.  The ZeroHour device is very modular and can be configured to your needs.  They even sent along blue bezels that can replace the standard stainless ones.

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After opening the small black boxes, I wound up with two solid end caps, spare red gaskets, a  carabiner end cap and a power cable and wall wart.

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Here I have the ZeroHour assembled as a flashlight and changed the bezels around the on/off switch and lamp head, to the blue ones provided.  There are seven different colors available for the bezels.  There is a special tool required to change the switch bezel.

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This is the connector end of the battery pack.

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There are 3  x 18650 batteries in the pack.  I have run the flashlight with only one installed.  The battery pack can be completely removed.  You could then use the empty tube with the solid end caps as a watertight container.

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With the solid end cap on the flashlight, it’s pretty much waterproof.

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If you want to sling the ZeroHour to a lanyard, there is an end cap for that.

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There is an end cap that allows access to the battery output ports without having to unscrew anything.  Now you can plug-in the device that needs charging.  The status of the ZeroHour battery is displayed by the 4 indicators.  In the center is the input for the charging cable and an on/off switch for the battery backup.

My first impression after handling the ZeroHour was, this thing is built like a brick …….well, you get the idea.  It’s quality all the way. Glass lens, anodized aluminum body, gold plated contacts, battery protection, all backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

The flashlight has four levels of illumination and they are selected by sequential taps on the button.  At the highest level it projects at 1,000 lumens which is about equivalent to a 75 watt incandescent lamp.  At this level, the battery pack can sustain about 6 hours of run-time.  I had the chance to check this out when my wife’s garden club was having a meeting at a location that lost power.  Having seen me use the flashlight, she called on her cell to borrow the unit and for the next two hours they held their meeting illuminated by the flashlight.

Beside being a simple flashlight there are two “emergency” modes, selected by hitting the button twice.  The first is a strobe mode that is very annoying and could be used to disorient a bad guy.  I used it to harass my neighbor, in a fun way.  The second mode is an S.O.S. signal that continues until the batteries die.  This would be great for people who like to trek through the back country giving them something to help, in case they get lost.

Just recently, I became a hero when two people’s cell phones died during a primary election.  They were trying to report the results back to campaign headquarters and neither had chargers with them.  I came to the rescue with the ZeroHour and they both plugged  in and got back online.  Luckily, I also had an assortment of cables to connect their phones.

The ZeroHour isn’t an impulse purchase.  At $225, it’s a daunting amount for a “flashlight” and you’ll have to give it some thought.  For me, it’s probably the last flashlight I’ll ever need, assuming I don’t lose it or it’s not snatched by one of my envious neighbors.  When you consider all the features, it’s not a bad investment.

Source. The sample for this review was provided by ZeroHour. Please visit their site for more info.

 

Product Information

Price:$224.99 as tested. Less expensive variants available
Manufacturer:ZeroHour
Pros:
  • Well built
  • Multi-function (light/charger)
  • Safety device
Cons:
  • Price
Posted in: Cables, Batteries and Chargers, Outdoor Gear, Reviews
{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Zack Smith September 28, 2014, 12:43 pm

    Yep. I got 1 shortly after they became available. I LOVE it. I was sold on it’s modular build and use of 18650’s. I deliver packages and during those months when the days are short and we’re so busy that there’s NO hope of getting home before dark, its an essential tool [‘s].

  • jon September 28, 2014, 9:14 pm

    If you guys want to get the same thing for about 1/5 the price, google the jin heng 12 or the jkk13 flashlight. It’s the same design, same board and component manufacturer. I have both and they are fantastic. (I used 3X panasonic NCR18650B batteries with them, almost 12 watt hours each for 36 total watt hours). The only differences between them: the jkk13 has waterproofing, a better reflector and a side clicky, The JH12A is smaller and has a tail clicky. Not sure why zero hour charges so much more.

  • A.J. September 29, 2014, 6:25 am

    love my zerohour! was one of the early backers on kickstarter and i use my flashlight everyday.

    @Jon, it is quite apparent you are a distributor of the knock-off jin heng flashlights. i’ve seen similar posts from someone on the flashlight forums which look strangely familar to the comment you just posted. are you are the same person? i think you are. you also fail to point out facts regarding why the knock-offs are priced cheaper. let me help you list a few based on my google search; the knock-offs use 6063 aluminum instead of 6061 which is half the strength. the knock offs need to be modified in order to use any safe, protected cell batteries that are equipped with built in pcb for protection; i guess its totally safe for customers to save money purchasing knock-offs that come with unprotected chinese batteries known to leak or explode.

    there is no substitute for quality.

  • jon September 29, 2014, 2:10 pm

    @A.J. I’m not a distributor, nor do I have any financial or business interest with any of these companies. I’m just a flashlight addict with a range of surefires, fenixes and crappy/shot-in-the-dark chinese stuff. The JH lights I own are high quality for what you pay (certainly 100% functional for anyone not LE, mil or survivalist). Honestly, I don’t know what the difference will be in aluminum strength, but they feel about as strong as my fenixes which are highly rated by the community and the anodization seems first rate. I also already noted in my own post that i am using highly rated panasonic batteries (with protection). Total cost was $36 for each light, and ~$8.50 per cell. Finally, as i understand it Zerohour was the knockoff – these torches were on the market before the kickstarter became active. Like I said, ZH uses the same components and boards, likely sourced from the chinese guys. They seem to be adding nice customizations and a western face/marketing/packaging to a pre-designed product, and then charging an exorbitant premium. Honestly though, if you find $150-$250 of utility in your zerohour, than so be it, i’m certainly not going to take it away from you.

    I did some googling of my own, and here is a timeline of design claims and actual history: http://budgetlightforum.com/node/27568#comment-518788

    No, you’ve never seen me post on a flashlight forum because I’m pretty sure that I’ve never posted outside of once or twice maybe 5 years ago.

  • jon September 29, 2014, 2:18 pm

    After further reading, this is a quote direct from Zerohour’s co founder

    “we have been in development and working with several manufacturers to get the zerohour done to specifications. unfortunately, previous manufacturers we no longer dealt with and dropped are responsible for the clones and substitute products you will continue to see hit the market. i am the co-founder of zerohour and wished i could of spoke more about the project months before we planned to crowdfund”

    So, not sure who to believe, but i stand by the quality of what i have in my hands and use quite frequently.

  • Charles L. Khan January 21, 2016, 5:24 am

    When I got the ZeroHourXD Flashlight and opened the box, I was like, “What is all this STUFF?” Well, after a little investigation and tinkering, I found out how it all fits together and I just had to say wow. A sturdy light with a variety of settings, a water-proof light to 3 feet, extra space to store other gear, the ability to charge my phone, and bottom-line…just a lot of thought went into this thing. With 4 setting that run up to 1,000 lumens, this thing is beastly. Well-done, ZeroHour. Looking forward to more of your products.

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