The Gear Junkie: Gerber Omnivore flashlight
By STEPHEN REGENOLD
This workaday flashlight can boost out a solid white L.E.D. beam at up to 18 lumens, which is enough energy to illuminate a big bubble of real estate when something goes bump in the campground at night. But what makes the light newsworthy is its multi-battery functionality, meaning it’ll accept AA, AAA or CR123 batteries to power its 0.7-watt L.E.D light source.
There is nothing too extraordinary about the Omnivore except for the fact that no one, as far as I know, has done the multi-battery thing before. Three areas within the chamber can host the aforementioned battery types. Just jiggle a single AA or three AAA or a CR123 battery and you’ll get light.
Brightness levels and battery capacity varies depending on what’s powering the Omnivore. At its highest output — 18 lumens — you need CR123 batteries, and the beam is tested to last for five hours. With just a single AA, the omnivore puts out 12 lumens for 5.5 hours. Mix and match at will to specify brightness and beam life along with the available batteries you can find in the junk drawer.
Diagram of the Omnivore’s battery chamber
Gerber (www.gerbergear.com) makes the omnivore with an aircraft-grade aluminum housing. It measures 4.5 inches long and weighs about 3 ounces when empty then slightly more depending on the employed battery type. Available now for $57.
(Stephen Regenold writes The Gear Junkie column for eleven U.S. newspapers; see www.THEGEARJUNKIE.com for video gear reviews, a daily blog, and an archive of Regenold’s work.)