What is the one thing that is always an issue with flashlights? Dead batteries. When you need your flashlight, only to find the batteries are dead, it can leave you fumbling around in the dark. I have a few flashlights that have rechargeable batteries (18650 batteries), but I can never seem to find the charger when I need it or I’m out on a hike and I can’t bring the charger (wall plug unit) with me.
The team over at ASP recently sent us a new flashlight to review called the ASP Triad USB which has a micro USB port right on the flashlight for charging. The Micro USB cable connector has been around since 2007 and has become the defacto standard for charging smartphones and other small electronic devices. Most of us have a charger in the car and home already with this connector. You could even charge the Triad USB with the JOOS Orange Portable Solar Charger we reviewed back in April or any other portable battery pack.
What if you are out in the field and it needs recharged and you don’t have time to plug it in? ASP thought of that. The Triad USB is a dual-fuel light. Not only is the custom 18650 battery, removable so you can buy a spare to carry fully charged, but they also made it so you can power the Triad USB with 2-CR123A batteries. You can always have backup juice for extended use. NOTE: The Triad USB does NOT use standard 18650 batteries. These custom 18650 batteries have a PCM protection circuit that prevents the battery from over-charging or short circuiting.
The standby time on this light is fantastic. I’ve charged it twice in two months and the first charge was when I received it, just to make sure it had a full charge before testing. The power output seems to barely take a hit even after a week or two of non-use. The thermally controlled LED is intense! The light output is FL1 rated at 300 Lumens with 3 hours of standard run time. The beam has a very crisp center and a wide halo which is nice if you don’t want to shine the full power beam at something directly. I compared it to the OLight S10 Baton I have which has a 320Lumen mode. They have a very different light pattern as you can see.
As you can see the ASP Triad USB has a very tight throw with a sharp halo. The OLight S10 Baton has more of a flood type profile with broad illumination.
One of my favorite features on the Triad is the switch. The button to activate the light is at the end of the flashlight, built into the cap. You can rotate the cap to three positions. Position one allows you to use the light in an intermittent mode. Press and release the button to turn the light on and off. The middle position is a lock mode. It allows you to lock the light on or off. This prevents accidental light activation. The third position is constant mode. Press the button completely and you can feel the button activate. Release and the light remains on. Press and release again to turn off. A quick press half-way in while on constant mode will allow you to use the intermittent mode as well.
As with most LED lights, the Triad USB can get hot. It has a foamed vinyl grip which keeps it comfortable if it has been on for a while, or in the middle of winter, you can have a comfortable grip. Do NOT place the Triad USB lens down on any surface while it is on. (Or any other LED light).
The Triad USB box was packed with extras including:
- Snap-Loc™ Pocket Clip
- Retractable charging cord
- Car Charger
- Wall Charger
- Zippered Travel Case
- Battery Case
ASP may not be a name some of you are familiar with unless you are in law enforcement, the military or emergency services. They have more than 30 years experience making high-quality products, focused on law enforcement and as they put it “Products you can literally stake your life on”. Simply put, this thing is the highest quality flashlight I’ve ever used.
I used the Triad USB in a variety of situations from power outages at home, hiking at night, fishing, and simply walking the dog and I’d highly recommend this flashlight to anyone. If you want a flashlight that you can count on when you need it, is easy to power, has fantastic light output and can take a beating, pick up an ASP Triad USB Rechargeable LED Light. The retail for the Triad USB as tested is $145 from the ASP webstore or ranging from $105-140~ on Amazon.
ASP Triad USB Video