There’s something I just love about simple things. I’ll take a good knife over a multi-tool any day, and if I’m going to wear a watch, you can bet that all it has to do is keep time, not track my heart rate or answer my phone.
The Coast G19 Flashlight is a very simple thing, and I like it. This flashlight does one job, and it does it well: it casts a crisp, clear inspection beam with consistent edge-to-edge brightness. That’s pretty much it!
Actually, the G19 does a couple of other things well: it fits in my pocket very comfortably, and it only took about $10 out of my pocket, and that’s something I really like.
A simple design and quality construction make the Coast G19 stand out in the crowded field of everyday carry flashlights.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes this a solid choice for EDC, and what—if anything—could be done to make it better.
First Impressions of the Coast G19 Flashlight
A lot of pocket flashlights come in ultra-slick boxes, as if the manufacturer wants you to think you’re getting a new iPhone. But the packaging of the Coast G19 is appropriately basic. It’s encased in plastic with a cardboard insert that includes some simple instructions and specs.
The tail switch is left intentionally exposed in the packaging (“Try Me,” it says) which initially had me worried. Batteries have been known to go bad or even leak and corrode after a long time being packaged inside a flashlight, but there was no such trouble with the G19. The tail switch has a satisfying bounce to it, and the light works as advertised.
Right off the bat, the Coast G19 is just a bit longer and slightly bigger around than my typical EDC flashlight. It’s 4.02 inches long and has a diameter of 0.6 inches, making it a little longer than the Streamlight Microstream, but not quite as girthy as the Lumintop EDC AA. In-hand it’s just slightly longer than the width of my palm. It has some very grippy diamond knurling along the barrel, which makes it feel snug and secure. The high-strength red anodized aluminum feels durable and high-quality. The Coast G19 also comes in black.
The flashlight doesn’t come with any extras like lanyards or extra O-rings. The only thing in the package other than the flashlight itself is the AAA battery, which—despite my initial worries—appears to be fresh and not the least bit worn down. I do like it when flashlights come with a battery included.
The beam takes a little getting used too. Here it’s on my garage door and you can see how defined it is.
Let There Be Light
The Coast G19 has a single light setting, which produces a crisp, circular beam.
Again, at a risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s simple and I love it. The perfectly-bouncy tail switch clicks the light on and off with an audible and tactile ‘click.’ There’s no momentary-on setting, which I’ll admit is a feature I might have liked, but not one that I really miss all that much.
The big selling point of the Coast G19 is that it’s an inspection beam flashlight. What that means is that it throws a very crisp, circular, evenly-illuminated light with well-defined edges, as opposed to the more diffused beam cast by a typical pocket flashlight. Think of a spotlight on a darkened stage. In real-life use, the beam is very focused and uniform, just as advertised.
This type of light is great for up-close tasks like working in a dark basement or crawlspace, inspecting a drain, or tinkering with your car engine. Personally, this isn’t my first choice for outdoor recreation like camping or hiking trips. It’s more of an around-the-house flashlight for me, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use it outdoors. I can definitely see keeping a Coast G19 in the glove box of my car just in case I ever need it.
The light itself is an “unbreakable” LED—we’ll get into durability in just a bit—and it produces a slightly cool, white light with just a hint of blue around the edges. The brightness is 54 lumens, and while there are certainly more dazzling EDC flashlights out there, it’s plenty bright enough for me.
The Coast G19 gets 2 hours and 30 minutes of runtime out of a single AAA alkaline battery like the one that comes with it. That’s about par for the course for an LED pocket light that runs on AAAs. And while it’s certainly true that a AA flashlight would get more out of each battery, the smaller AAA battery allows a flashlight like the G19 to maintain a slim profile. For me, that’s a must for an EDC flashlight. I don’t want a big, bulky flashlight taking up space in my pocket.
That being said, one of the cool things about the Coast G19 is that it’s also compatible with rechargeable 10440 lithium-ion batteries. If you’re into that, you might be interested to know that Coast makes its own ZX100 Rechargeable Battery, which can be charged via a microUSB cable and is intended for use in this flashlight and others like it.
From what I gather, the Coast G19 Flashlight doesn’t really have any discernible difference in performance or runtime between alkaline AAAs and 10440 lithium-ion batteries. But it’s nice to have the option, especially if you’re not the type who carries spare batteries around all the time (like I do).
Build and Durability
The Coast G19 is a tough little pocket light. I always try to subject any flashlight I review to its fair share of wear-and-tear, and this one holds up nicely. It’s impact resistant, and the LED appears to be nigh unbreakable, as advertised. The only thing I notice is that the black anodized coating seems to chip and scratch somewhat easily, but at the end of the day it’s only cosmetic and not that important. That’ll happen to any flashlight if you use it (and abuse it) long enough.
I find the pocket clip on the Coast G19 to be just the right amount of rigid and springy. It hugs my belt and pocket edge snugly, and I have zero concerns about it becoming bent out of shape. It’s not a dual-direction clip, so you can’t really clip it to your hat brim and use it as a head lamp like you can with some pocket lights, but I’m okay with that.
The waterproofness of the Coast G19 is in the good-not-great range. It has an IP54 rating, which essentially means that it can withstand “low pressure spray from any angle for 10 minutes.” In other words, you probably don’t have to worry about the G19’s performance in normal rainy conditions, but I probably wouldn’t let it be completely submerged for extended periods.
Coast G19: Final Thoughts
I like the Coast G19 Flashlight. It’s a sturdy, well-made EDC light that holds up well to wear-and-tear, and offers some versatility in battery choice. Operation is as simple as can be, and it casts a focused inspection beam that’s great for illuminating tight spaces, but also carries for a good distance.
It’s basic, but it’s the good kind of basic, and considering it only costs around $10, you can’t really go wrong.
Get the Coast G19 Flashlight if:
- You’re looking for a simple, easy-to-use pocket light.
- You like the flexibility of using either alkaline AAA or rechargeable 10440 lithium-ion batteries.
- You prefer a flashlight with a uniform inspection beam.
- You plan to use your flashlight for up-close tasks.
- 54 lumens is bright enough for your needs.
- You need a durable, long-lasting EDC flashlight on a budget.
Don’t Get the Coast G1 Flashlight if:
- You want an ultra-bright flashlight.
- Your ideal EDC flashlight has multiple modes or settings.
- You expect your flashlight to be exposed to water for extended periods.
- You want a light that can be clipped to your hat brim as a head lamp.
Alan Dale is an experienced backpacker and adventure sports athlete who pays the bills by writing. Married with a small brood, Alan often has his kids in tow on many of his adventures.