Flashlight technology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last 15 years. Modern lights offer a host of features not dreamed of before. Even so, they continue to change to meet the ever evolving desires of the modern end-user. A good example of this is Factor Equipment’s Cossatot 1000 LED flashlight. Fairly small and handy, the Cossatot 1000 offers all the basic features one has come to expect from a modern tactical light. However it also offers something a bit unusual, micro USB recharging. It was this particular feature which caught my attention, as micro USB chargers have become part of my daily life.
Intrigued, I spoke with Factor Equipment’s marketing company, Deep Creek PR, and requested a review sample. They provided one free of charge for our evaluation. A short time later it arrived nicely packed in a small box with its accessories. Along with the light you receive:
- 18650 rechargeable 2600 mAh Li-ion battery
- Carry case
- Charging cord
- Two spare O-rings
- One replacement rubber tail cap
- Steel pocket clip
- Well written instructions
The Cossatot 1000 is part of a three light series. The Cossatot or “Skull Crusher” series consists of the Cossatot 600, 1000 and 1000 XL with the 600 being the smallest and the XL the largest. The Cossatot 1000 I reviewed is built on a one inch body CNC machined from aluminum with a Type III hard anodized finish. The light is 5.3 inches long and weighs 3.4 ounces without batteries. Head diameter of this model is 1.1 inches so the flashlight is small enough to carry comfortably in a pocket. Plus it is waterproof at a depth of 2 meters for 30 minutes.
Examining it you’ll note the light has a glass lens with double-sided anti-reflective coating. On the other end you’ll find a push button tail switch which can provide momentary activation or turn the light on/off. A micro USB port is located in the head of the light and 180 degrees from this is a side switch for changing modes.
The light features a CREE XP-L LED with a service life of approximately 50,000 hours. Modes and claimed intensity/runtimes consist of:
- Low-10 lumens for 100 hours
- Medium-107 lumens for 15 hours
- High- 417 lumens for 2 hours 45 minutes
- Blast- 1,000 lumens for 50 minutes
After turning the light on with the tail switch you can change modes using the side switch. You can also switch to Strobe, SOS or Beacon mode using the side switch. When you shut the light off it remembers the last mode you were in (excluding flashing modes). It returns to this setting the next time you turn the light on.
Power is provided by a Li-Ion 18650 battery. Personally I’m a big fan of this type of battery and prefer it over the common CR123A. 18650s are a reliable power source easily recharged, so you don’t have to keep buying CR123As to feed it. However, two CR123A’s will also run the Cossatot 1000 if needed.
A micro USB port allows easy recharging.
Recharging the Cossatot 1000 is straightforward. Simply plug one end of the provided power cord into a USB power supply and the other into the light’s micro USB port. This features a rubber seal to protect it from the elements. After plugging the cord in depress the tail switch to begin charging. The mode switch will emit a solid blue light indicating the light is charging. The blue charging light will turn off when the battery is fully charged. When the battery’s charge drops below 50% the blue indicator light will flash slowly. When the charge drops below 10% it will flash rapidly.
I carried the Cossatot 1000 daily for two weeks to learn its quirks. Size wise the light is big enough to easily manipulate and operate without being overly bulky. I found it to tuck neatly into the front pocket of a pair of pants using the supplied clip. This provided easy access when needed. You can also mount a lanyard if you so desire, although one is not provided. Build quality, both internally and externally, looks quite good. The machining was nicely executed and no issues or problems were found. The rear tail switch works great. Press it just a bit for momentary use, or depress it all the way to lock the light on or to turn it off. For me a tail mounted momentary switch is a must have feature on a light of this type. The mode switch on the side allows you to easily toggle to the light setting which best meets your particular needs. It makes switching between intensity levels very quick and trouble free.
The downside to the side placed mode switch is trying to find it in the dark by feel. You have to roll the light around as you grope for it and it’s easy to mistake the rubber charging port cover for it. This I don’t like. A couple raised ridges around it would have made it easier to locate. For general use it’s just an annoyance. However in a high stress situation where you wanted the strobe feature NOW you might find yourself pushing on the rubber USB port cover. Seeing as we are talking about it, I also wonder how long the rubber USB cover will remain intact.
I found the four intensity levels to be very useful. Low provides a very long runtime and is sufficiently bright for navigating, reading and most mundane tasks indoors. Medium also provides a long run time and sufficient light for most tasks outdoors. High provides added reach for looking “over there” while Blast mode extends that reach even further, out past 150 yards. From a practical stand point the beam quality of the Cossatot 1000 is quite acceptable. It’s fairly wide and has good reach. The center of the beam is nicely concentrated and even. However I’m not convinced it puts out an honest 1,000 lumens as advertised. Even if it’s a bit short of this it’s still a very useful light. Run time on Blast also exceeded the factory advertised 50 minutes.
Throughout testing the Cossatot 1000 performed well with no issues encountered. I really liked how easy it is to keep this light charged. In the car I simply plugged it into a USB power port using the supplied cable. No fancy proprietary adapters or cords required. Charging at home was equally as painless. Using a rechargeable 18650 eliminates the need to buy expensive disposable CR123A batteries. With CR123A powered lights I feel I like I am always hunting around the house for batteries. An 18650 powered light on the other hand simply gets recharged when it’s low or dead. You can also swap out a dead 18650 for a fresh one as well. The cost savings of recharging an 18650 versus buying and throwing away CR123As is a no-brainer.
All in all I like the Cossatot 1000. It’s not perfect, but it has some great features. I think Factor could further improve this model by adding a tactile index point for the mode switch. Despite my gripes this light is very well suited to general purpose use. If having the ability to recharge your flashlight by a common micro USB cord is appealing this model has a suggested retail of $79.95.
In this video Bryan Griggs the President of Factor explains the features of the Cossatot 1000
Here he explains their 30 day Buy & Try program