Gadling gear review: Bushnell HD Torch flashlight

Lets face it, a flashlight is one of the most useful pieces of gear that we can own. Who amongst us hasn’t found themselves caught in the dark and wishing we had a bright light to help find our way. Flashlights come in handy around the house, in the car, and even when we travel, and the HD Torch from Bushnell is one of the most versatile and useful of all, even if it does come with a hefty price tag.

Built from lightweight, yet very rugged, aircraft grade aluminum, the first thing you’ll notice about the HD Torch is that it feels very solid and tough in your hand. The high quality construction inspires a sense of confidence that this light can take a beating and still be ready for action when you need it, whether that’s around the house during a power outage or at your campsite at the end of a long day on the trail.

Cranking out 165 lumens, the HD Torch offers plenty of light when and where you need it, but that level of illumination isn’t the only thing that sets it apart from the competition. While the output from most flashlights is round in shape, Bushnell’s offering is actually square. The result is a very focused beam of light, that provides more intensity across the length of the beam than most other offerings, which tend to see their light diffuse more on the edges. When I first read about this feature, I thought that it was simply a marketing ploy, but seeing it in action, the square design does indeed make for a more efficient light. It was actually quite astounding to see it in action.
Bushnell incorporated some other nice features into the HD Torch that users will appreciate as well. For instance, the light has a very useful “find me” feature which illuminates the “B” on the rear of the cylinder, making it easy to locate in the dark. That same “B” changes color from green to red to indicate the remaining battery life on the light too. When it turns red, its time to change the power cells. The HD Torch is waterproof and has both high-beam and a safety strobe modes, the latter of which can be used to signal for help in an emergency. While burning at full strength, the Torch has a run time of about 90 minutes, although while I tested the flashlight, I found that it managed to eek out a bit more time than that.

While the HD Torch is indeed a well built, rugged, and bright flashlight, there are a couple of things that may give travelers pause. First, it is a bit large, measuring over nine inches in length and weighing in at about 10 ounces. For a high performance light those specs are actually fantastic, but when compared with other travel options, the HD Torch may not be the best choice to take along on your trip. A small headlamp remains a better option for those who want to pack light.

The other thing that sticks out about this flashlight is the price tag. With an MSRP of $109.95, it is more expensive than other options for travelers, even if it does perform at a higher level. Depending on your needs however, the Bushnell HD Torch is a fantastic alternative. Hunters and campers will definitely appreciate its rugged build and very bright light, which truly show their strength while out in the field. This is a piece of gear that will prove itself useful around the house or in the car, and I more than recommend it in those situations. That said, there are clearly less expensive options available for travelers.