REVIEW – What was that?!… Did something fall in the backyard? Is that deer feasting on the garden like its own personal salad bar? Was that an acorn falling on the shed roof, or was it that pesky raccoon trying to get into the garbage can again? Need a definitive answer to these questions? Keep a ThruNite Catapult Pro flashlight handy and punch a hole through the darkness!
What is it?
The ThruNite Catapult Pro is a high-brightness, USB-C rechargeable, portable, variable output flashlight.
- SFT70 single LED
- 1 x THRUNITE 26650 battery
- Smooth peel reflector
- Working Voltage: 2.8 – 4.2 volts
- Output mode/Runtimes:
- Turbo (2713~961 lumens; 9 mins + 90 mins)
- Infinity High (1482~909 lumens; 24 mins + 120 mins)
- Infinity Low (42 lumens; 53 hours)
- Firefly (0.7 lumens; 42 days)
- Strobe (776 lumens; 3 hours)
- Peak Beam Intensity: 252500 Candella
- Max beam distance: 1005 meters
- Impact resistant: 1.5 meters
- Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard (2 meters)
- Weight: 206g excluding battery (7.27oz)
- Dimensions: 150.5mm (Length) x 65mm (Bezel Diameter) x 33.5mm (Tube Diameter) / 5.93 x 2.56 x 1.38 inches
What’s in the box?
- ThruNite Catapult Pro flashlight
- Spare USB rubber covers (two included)
- Side switch cap
- ThruNite 26650 battery
- USB-C charging cable
Design and features
The ThruNite Catapult Pro flashlight arrived in a solid, swanky box.
The packaging was solid and there were no expected bumps or bruises.
ThruNite included a heavy-weight nylon carrying holster.
Should you prefer dangling the flashlight from your wrist, a lanyard is included.
I very much appreciate the inclusion of spare parts. Spare USB covers, O-rings, and even a button insert – all things that with sustained usage will wear out.
Charging the ThruNite Catapult Pro flashlight is done through an integrated USB-C port that’s protected by a rubber cover.
A short cord is included, but a power supply is not.
On the opposite side of the ThruNite Catapult Pro flashlight to the USB port is a metal button to access its functions. From off, pressing the button for four seconds activates the dimmest mode which is still plenty bright for many activities. A single brief tap resumes whatever level was set the last time the light was used and a rapid double click activates the brightest “turbo” mode. Triple clicking toggles the strobe mode, flashing the light about five times a second. I can attest that this mode is quite disorienting, even with eyes closed, and conceivably could be used to dazzle an assailant, summon help, as effect lighting at your next rave, or make it appear like you are the only one moving on Halloween night.
When the light is on, a steady press of the button ramps the intensity up or down. When reaching the highest or lowest limit, the light flashes three times to let you know you’re there. Releasing the light at any point will continue the brightness at that level. Subsequent holing of the button toggles the direction of the increase or decrease.
Beneath the button is an LED to indicate the current battery level and charging status, flashing red, red, and blue for 0-10%, 11-20%, and 21-100%.
The ThruNite Catapult Pro is comfortable in the hand with pleasant feeling undulations on the battery tube. The structure helps to keep a secure grip, even with gloved hands.
The battery tube separates from the head for battery removal. The O-ring ensures water and crud won’t sneak inside. There are no threads at the base of the battery tube.
Thanks to a flat end, the ThruNite Catapult Pro flashlight can tail-stand.
Unscrewing the battery tube a tiny bit disconnects the battery from the circuit board. This is a great feature that prevents the light from turning on when being stored in a coat pocket, backpack, or glove compartment.
Inside the tube is a spring that ensures the battery makes solid contact with the positive and negative battery contacts. The spring also keeps the battery from rattling.
Included is a 3.7 volt 26650 battery with a capacity of 18.5watt-hours. This is a hefty battery a bit less in diameter than a D-cell, but a bit longer. The flashlight requires this particular battery size for use. I’ve included a AA cell for comparison as well.
The battery tube diameter is less than an inch and a half, but the reflector is more than two and a half – think “pudgy C-cell” flashlight, and the image you have in your head is probably pretty close – so it’s too big for comfortable pocket carry but… that’s not why you want this flashlight, is it? Naaa, you want this flashlight because it’s stinkin’ bright!
There are several ways to calculate and quantize light output. To make things more interesting, there are multitudes of factors between perceived and measured brightness. More lumens do not necessarily translate into a flashlight that will cast its beam deeply into the abyss. Likewise, a double in lumens doesn’t necessarily mean the light is 200% brighter.
Terms like lumens, hot-spot, throw, and spill are thrown around like New Year’s eve confetti and there are often ridiculously misleading claims about how far a flashlight will project usable light. For every flashlight that is capable of producing oodles of photons, dozens make outlandish claims that they are brighter than the sun, can melt steel, and be seen from astronauts on the international space station. Caveat emptor.
That being said, I am joyfully impressed that ThruNite appears to have made good on its specifications and declarations. I don’t have an integrating sphere to make bonafide measurements, but I can make comparisons to multiple flashlights I have in my small collection.
In “firefly” mode, the flashlight outputs about 0.7 lumens. This is the only mode I would dare to look directly into the barrel. Still, this level is great for navigating a dark house at night without blasting my night vision into oblivion. Very nice.
Before this flashlight, the brightest flashlight I owned was just shy of 1000 lumens. For perspective, that’s about half the output of a weak car headlight. The Catapult Pro pukes a staggering 2713 lumens for about the first nine minutes and annihilates my previous “king of lumens.” In most of the cases where I’ve needed such copious radiance, nine minutes are more than enough. The following photo is my 1000 lumen light on the left and the ThruNite Catapult Pro on the right. Trees are about 50 yards away.
For short-range comparison, here are the same beams at five yards.
Unlike a car’s headlamp, light from the ThruNite Catapult Pro flashlight is focused into a narrow beam and projects a long… long… long distance, akin to the searchlights that comb the sky when a new car dealership opens. ThruNite isn’t kidding when they claim this light can obliterate darkness more than half a mile away. It is amazing. The photo below is the turbo beam on my ceiling on a sunny day. That’s a lot of light!
Let me clarify – if your house sits in the middle of a one square mile parcel of land, pointing this flashlight at full brightness in any direction will illuminate even the furthest corners of your estate and some of your neighbors. The beam throw distance is staggering.
Thanks to the ample, smooth reflector, the beam angle of the flashlight is very concentrated with an ever-so-slight “doughnut” in the middle, but don’t fret – you won’t notice it when using it as intended to see stuff far, far away.
For most uses, I found using the light at lower levels was perfectly suitable. When I say “lower levels,” I mean that in relative terms – I found the Catapult Pro’s “lower levels” were still brighter than the highest settings for other flashlights I own. Be careful – the ThruNite Catapult Pro flashlight is one bright hombre! I didn’t look into it when taking this photo – I let the camera do the dirty work.
For comparison, here are low and high beam shots at about five yards.
And here, the lowest and highest (not turbo) settings are projected onto the same tree.
The icing on the cake – turbo mode blasting holes into the night
What I like
- Crazy bright!
- Easy to master button controls
What I would change
- Maybe tweak the reflector design just a touch to reduce the minor “doughnut hole” in the beam.
Ok, I get it. You can buy a flashlight at Walmart for under a dollar and even less on Amazon, as low as one penny (plus shipping), But if you are looking for a gutsy, reliable, light, the ThruNite Catapult Pro flashlight is a great choice. With an excellent combination of features, the inclusion of a battery, USB-C charging, and robust construction, the Catapult Pro flashlight is a powerhouse I will be keeping it on my bedstand as my new “bump in the night” illumination choice.
Where to buy: Amazon
Source: The sample for this review was supplied by ThruNite.