The Gerber Hornet is one of the new "next
generation" lights from Gerber which include the
FlashFlood and the Inferno. Now I can see why they bought
out an established light company like CMG who used to
make the (very well designed) Infinity and Infinity
Ultra. It's because Gerber seems to have a great deal
of trouble making good flashlights unless they build
them based upon someone else's design.
The body of the Hornet is made of polymer and has two
primary parts - the inner one with the LEDs and the
power source, and the outer telescoping part that has
the legs and transforms the body from lantern to flashlight.
What happens when you slide it, is the
translucent beehive top pulls through a rubber bladder
and hides inside the body. That's about it. No real
increase in light projection occurs. This is simply
because the inside of the body is essentially black
and absorbs the light that goes out to the sides of
the translucent top instead of sending it forward out
the bezel. So the telescoping feature really serves
little purpose except to get a few "ooh"s
Size vs. common aluminum 2AA light
The legs have plastic caps and can serve as lanyard
attachment points. The tailcap, which is the switch,
also has a hole in it for lanyard attachment. The legs
ratchet into place, or at least are supposed to. One
of mine doesn't and just swings around freely. Broken
before taken out of the package.
Bezel view from top down
Inside the bezel are 3 LEDs. One white
narrow beam, one white wide beam, one red wide beam.
Turning the switch on the bottom changes the mode from
narrow white, to wide white, to wide red, to wide red
blinking, to both wide and narrow white on. Pausing
between mode changes for more than 2-3 seconds turns
the light off with the next twist of the switch. The
translucent beehive area that contains the LEDs does
do a pretty good job of spreading out the light from
the wide beam LEDs to produce a smooth glow. Output
in general is very low in intensity.
The following beamshots are at a target
at 1 meter in flashlight mode.
Narrow white LED, Wide white LED
Wide red LED, Wide and Narrow white LEDs
1 white narrow
1 white wide
1 red wide
throw readings are in Lux
at one meter. The numbers in parenthesis are for comparison
in the Comparison
The switch is horrible. It's cone shaped
which is inherently tough to grip. They added dimples
to try to make it easier, but it was a failed attempt
in my opinion.
It does have an O-ring seal where the battery compartment
opens, so it should be somewhat water resistant.
For batteries it takes 3 AAA cells in a special carrier.
To get to the battery compartment you have to twist
the translucent part until it pops off in your hand
and there inside is the carrier. Turn the unit upside
down and drop out the carrier to change the batteries.
The translucent cap will only go on one way and there
is no indicator as to what its position should be for
correct reattachment. Trial and error is the method
here. Once you get the translucent beehive cap back
on you should be ready to go.
What I Liked: Very little.
What I Didn't Like: Battery compartment
top requires trial and error to reattach, Dim, Leg broken
out of box, Switch poorly designed.
Conclusions: Poorly designed. Not
for the serious user. Note to Gerber: Stick with proven
designs like the Infinity Ultra, LX 1.0 and LX 3.0 (based
on the Infinity series) and get back to basics. The
fancy multipurpose designs with lots of moving parts
just means there's more to break when you really need