Specializing in lighting for nautical and other outdoor activities, Norway-based Navisafe’s products include the U.S. Coast Guard-certified Navi light 360, Practical Sailor’s Recommended small-boat rail light (PS, May 2011), and now, the Navi light Mini.
The 1-ounce, palm-sized Mini is a cross between a dive light and a keychain flashlight. It is portable, waterproof, and packs a 1-watt glow in a small package.
The LED flashlight features five modes: a red light, three varying strengths for a steady white light (10 percent, 25 percent, and 100 percent), and a flashing white light. Users can select the preferred mode with a touch of the orange power button.
Testers liked the Mini’s size and ease of use. It measures 1 5/16 inches long by 1½ inches wide and is a half-inch thick. Its petite stature means that sailors can easily keep the Mini on their person—in a pocket or wearing the supplied lanyard around their neck.
Designed as a personal light—not a safety light—the Mini has limited visible range at night. It appeared as only a small pinpoint of light from 100 yards away and not at all in daylight. The red light cannot be discerned from more than 50 yards away. That being said, it would be better to have a small pinpoint of light attached to one’s body in a man-overboard scenario, than to have nothing because the heavy and cumbersome bright flashlight was still stowed onboard.
The Mini is rated as waterproof to 300 feet. PS tested it to 10 feet and used it underwater multiple times, without seeing any signs of water intrusion. However, the Mini does not float, so we recommend using it with the supplied lanyard.
Powered by two AAA batteries, the Mini will burn in its 100-percent white mode for two hours and its red light mode for 16 hours with fresh batteries. The sealed LED bulb is rated for a usable life of approximately 8,000 hours.
The Mini is available from watersports outfitter NRS (Northwest River Supplies, www.nrsweb.com). Retailing for $40 with a one-year warranty, the Mini comes in black, white, pink, and yellow.
Bottom line: The Mini’s ergonomic design makes it easy to use, but its convenient-to-carry size and other features make it a worthwhile purchase. However, we would not recommend it as a primary onboard flashlight.
For a primary one, check out our December 2007 review of LED flashlights. The Best Choice, the Pelican Recoil 2410 (www.pelican.com), can be found online for about $47.