I was SOOO happy when Sofirn launched their SC31T Sarge pocket torch. It was more powerful than a car's headlight, as tough as nails, and fit into a jeans pocket without raising eyebrows (yours or anyone else's).
Above all, it had a tail-switch, which made it easy to find the switch in the dark and allowed for an "overhand" grip which many professionals prefer.
Well... Sofirn have just launched the all-new SC32 Sarge, which has the same power, durability and features but is AN INCH SHORTER at just 10cm long! It doesn't only slip into a jeans pocket – it's now the right size for your coin pocket!
How on earth...? Well, the first thing they did was use a Fresnel lens instead of a deep reflector to focus the light into a perfect beam. If you're old enough, you may remember Fresnel lenses on overhead projectors... clever glass!
Their second step was to abandon the side-switch which the previous Sarge had for adjusting the brightness of the beam – the new Sarge is now fully controlled from the tail-switch, and it works brilliantly! You no longer have to change your grip to change the brightness level or unleash the strobe!
What Sofirn haven't done is use a smaller battery – it still takes the most common lithium ion (Li-Ion) cell, the 18650, which gives plenty of runtime, is easy to find and relatively inexpensive, especially in "unprotected" form (which the Sarge can use safely, thanks to its low-voltage cutout feature).
Somehow Sofirn have managed to fit a 65mm battery into a 100mm torch with a full-house of features! I mean, wrap your eyes around these beauties:
- premium Luminus SST40 LED delivering 1,900 lumens on "turbo"
- 284 ANSI metre beam, equal in the real-world to the width of a rugby field
- 5,000K neutral white light, showing up colours better with less glare
- USB-C port to charge the battery in the torch with a cell-charger or in a car
- battery-status indicator warns you when your battery is running low
- low-voltage protection, so it's safe to use with unprotected batteries - advanced temperature regulation to protect the torch from overheating - reverse polarity protection, in case the battery is installed incorrectly
- IPX8 submersible and impact resistant HAIII-anodised 6061 alloy body
- crenellated bezel to see if the torch is on when it's standing on its head
- flat tail, stands solidly while bouncing the beam off a ceiling to light a room
- removable two-way pocket clip holds the torch securely in either direction.
When it comes to operation, the word "elegant" comes to mind. For example, like pretty much every high-powered torch today, the Sarge needs to turn itself down after a short while from its brightest level to avoid overheating. But, like all new Sofirn torches, it handles this challenge... elegantly.
Firstly, it steps down only when the internal temperature reaches 55C so it will run longer on "turbo" if you're holding your torch outside a car window during your shift with the neighbourhood watch (and yes, it comes with a lanyard, in case the unthinkable happens!)
Secondly, when it does step down, there's a good chance you won't even notice – it's not a big drop in brightness, and it ramps down gently rather than dropping suddenly. And if you do notice, you can turn it right back up again.
But the best feature is that the "high" setting – one notch down from "turbo" – blasts a sustainable 900 lumen beam over 50 real-world metres (150 ANSI metres, using the formula used by torch makers) which can last for more than two hours without dimming!
For the record, there's also an extremely practical 450 lumen "mid" setting that runs for over four hours, a 90-lumen "low" (17 hours) and a surprisingly useful one-lumen "moon" that will see you right if you're stuck in a cave for a couple of weeks.
And of course there's that shockingly bright dual-frequency defensive strobe, instantly accessible even when the torch is turned off, so you have a very useful self-defence tool right there in your coin pocket!
Jissie, you can now carry a real grown-up, full-size torch... hidden in your hand! Isn't technology wonderful? Maybe the best thing about the new Sarge is the price – if you pay by EFT into our account I can give you a 10% discount on the numbers you see above, which brings the price down to R1,560 complete with battery!
Just drop me a line (email@example.com) and I'll send you an invoice with this discount, and get it off to you as soon as your EFT clears to our account – delivery to major centres is 3-4 weekdays, and a couple more to outlying areas, but I can arrange overnight delivery for a bit more (if you can't wait!!)