Reviews

Hollis LED 3 Torch

Whilst I tend to 'large capacity' torches for most of my diving I always carry a little, low capacity torch, not for general looking but specifically for lobstering where bright lights do upset the quarry!

In my on-going quest for a good torch I moved away from the small aluminium tusa model with the magnetic switch to the 'chunkier' Hollis, but at £75 a pop was it a worthwhile move?

There is a perception among my diving buddies that Halcyon is 'the best' technical diving brand with Hollis being a rather distant 'second best'option, now not being an out n out bubbling tekky I have always left them to this argument, christ knows there are enough divers arguing the toss over re-breathers to keep me amused!

But for my lobstering needs in theory this offering from Hollis is ideal, quite a high power output, at 230 lumens but not too much to scare my quarry into it's hole, with a nice broad beam and the big positive over the TUSA in that it uses standard AA batteries which are cheap and cheerful rather than some little 'half AA' type thing that retails at £5 for two at some good supermarkets, the weekly Sainsbury trip always involves checking out the battery carousel for offers, what a rock n roll lifestyle I lead!

Now I said dumpy, I found this torch a little short in the hand for my liking, it could have been about an inch longer to allow guys, and indeed gals with biiiiiiiig hands to hold it and feel that you wont obscure the lens, a little point and I can understand that in keeping the torch short it is a 'better fit' in most BC pockets so better meets the needs of the average customer.

hollis

A bit small if you wear gloves and have big hands.

One of the issues that I had with the tusa was that over the space of a thousand or so dives the magnetic switch is sticking and causing the light to flicker which is a pain in the backside whilst lobstering but would be a big issue if you used one of these torches for night dives in warmer climes. The Hollis torch has the twist on/off set-up with the battery access cap being the switch, now whilst this does have advantages in cost for the manufacturer and reduced the component count making failures less likely I am not keen in this arrangement as there is the very real risk of flooding the battery compartment which is a sure-fire way to kill a torch.

Unfortunately despite purchasing two of these Hollis torches I found that after very little use both flooded, both whilst on and both whilst in water, I looked to see if there was an obvious reason for the failure but with the o rings in good condition and no sign of dirt or dust I would have to say that the combination of the on/off arrangement, the rather thin material and small diameter o rings is a recipe for disaster for most rufty-tufty uk divers.
 
One thing to consider, or should I say remember is that with a relatively high light and therefore heat output you must ensure that the time from switching on to entering the water is minimised, the LED will overheat and will fail if you use for any length of time in the air. You have been warned!!

In summary the Hollis LED 3 is not the torch for my lobstering needs and I've gone back to the tusa and simply bought another! There is the fringe benefit that with the lower light/heat output I can and do use these torches around the house with no fear of burn out!

However it could be the torch for you and with TLC and crossed fingers you could get the performance that you desire, unfortunately I don't dive with crossed fingers so two failures means 'no mas'. 

Richies rating : 6/10, a bit short and I've had flooding....seriously look at the TUSA alternatives!

ps - if you really want to try and repair a flooded hollis torch I am sure that the torch I threw in close to SS Rondo is still present.....although not correct!

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