SOG Dark Energy 214 Review: A Fistful of DaylightS

Your toes are not sonar. Rather than pick your way through a darkened room by smashing them into every obstacle in your way, bring a flashlight. The Dark Energy 214 from SOG is bright enough to light any path and small enough to take everywhere.

What Is It?

A blindingly bright palm-size flashlight.

Who's it For?

Vampire hunters, spelunkers, and anyone who lacks cat-like night vision.

Design

It's under four inches long and weighs less than four ounces. The high-output LED bulb is protected by a waterproof, shockproof, machined aluminum case.

Using It

A half-press on the on/off switch cycles it from full output, to 40-percent output, to full power strobe. (You know what a full press does.)

The Best Part

The confounded look on raccoons' faces when a midnight garbage raid suddenly turns into high noon sunshine.

Tragic Flaw

This thing blows through power on full brightness. Bring plenty of spare batteries.

This Is Weird...

Every edge is sharp enough to scrape your knuckles off—it's designed to stay inside a pants pocket, but you'll quickly learn not to reach past it to fish out change.

Test Notes

  • The integrated clip fits snugly on a belt or the inside of a pocket lip
  • There's no way to adjusting the beam spread

Should You Buy It?

The SOG is definitely a premium flashlight. (But don't be turned off by the MSRP—it can be found for far less than $105.) Either way, there are definitely less expensive models with equivalent light outputs. But you'll be hard-pressed to find one with as rugged and durable a build as the Dark Energy 214. Do you need a really bright, really tough flashlight? This one does the job well.

View gallery »

SOG Dark Energy 214 Specs

• Length: 3.8"
• Weight: 3.0 oz
• Body: 6061-T6 Aluminum
• Run Time: 80 minutes (high), 180 minutes (low)
• Max Output: 214 Lumens
• Battery: CR123A
• Bulb:R5 LED
• Price: $105 (MSRP)
• Gizrank: 3