By: Jim and Mary Clary
This flashlight is one of the newest entries from COAST in the full-size, high-intensity field. With a solid aluminum case and unbreakable LED, this unit is ideal for use around camp or in an RV. As with the COAST Polysteel 600 that we previously reviewed, the "Pure Beam" lumen output is virtually unmatched by others in the field.
The flood beam is clearly superior to anything we have tested, and when coupled with the forward slide focus, you can quickly switch to a spot beam. Even when used with the spot beam, there is a clear outer flood ring allowing you to still see the broader area to the sides.
The push-button on/off switch at the back permits you to quickly change from the high lumen output to low lumen for conservation of battery power. The HP550 meets IPX4 Water Resistance and ANSI FL1 (drop) flashlight standards. Only one other flashlight that we have tested has ever met those standards, and it did not put as much light on target as the HP550. ANSI FL1 standard requires that the light withstand repeated 1 meter drops on hard surfaces and still function.
The specifications of the HP550 are:
Beam Distance: 1,151 ft (351 m)
Runtime: 6 hours 15 min
Beam Distance: 252 ft (77 m)
Runtime: 108 hours
As we stated at the beginning, this flashlight is excellent for use around camps or in recreational vehicles. But, due to its size, weight and the number of batteries required, we can't recommend the HP550 for backpackers or hunters venturing into the mountains. For those individuals, we recommend the Coast Polysteel 600.