The powerful Coast Zithion-ZXAAA USB-C rechargeable AAA battery
This review focuses on the Coast USB rechargeable AAA batteries (4) with included case and charger.*
*Disclaimer: This is not a promotional ad for Coast or any of its affiliates. Coast provided me with the batteries, free of charge in order to test them, and no other compensation or endorsement was offered or expressed.
Normally, my content focuses on therapy-related topics, parenthood, and social issues. However, the “practical” side of Practically Social content has included proposals to save people time and money, and this review nestles nicely with those, as well as my practiced principle of putting effective tools in people’s hands to improve the quality of their lives.
Let’s review a bright idea to deliver on those principles.
Background: I have been a user of Coast products for several years. Coast offers real-world durability, innovation, and price points that anyone can afford, even at their superlative quality level.
Their products are used by law enforcement, tradesmen, hobbyists, and homeowners throughout the U.S.
You can find their flashlights, knives, headlamps, camping lighting, and more at Wal-Mart, Lowes, and other major retailers. A lifetime guarantee is offered, and they frequently provide continuous value when this guarantee is called upon for a repair or replacement. More on that later.
I’ve been relying on Coast flashlights for years. I first saw them in Lowe’s at a stop for hardware. I looked at the build quality, design, and price. It was worth a shot with some of their higher-lumen budget offerings being quite attractive for a casual purchase.
Coast started in Oregon, offering cutlery for local fishermen first. Despite all of the market dynamics throughout the last century, they’re a company that has prevailed. The package said “Made in China”, though with a lifetime guarantee, I was willing to spring less than $20 for a 300-lumen flashlight with LED, rubber O rings, momentary on, halo or spot lens levels (adjustable), and IPX8 waterproofing levels. The construction was aircraft-grade aluminum and appeared ready for rough and-tumble work if need be.
Since the purpose of the purchase was an all-around household flashlight, I figured it was up to the task. Many, many years later, this flashlight is still on my nightstand in case something goes bump in the night, if I lose something under my sofa, or if there’s a power outage and I need to get to my secondary light sources.
I’ve never had a failure with any of my Coast flashlights, and I own three. All are small, high-lumen versions, the most expensive of them costing less than $30.
Battery life in these LED lights has always been superb. The only issue I’ve ever had with one was the same nightstand light, which corroded in the battery department and stopped working.
Coast honored their lifetime guarantee on this light with zero questions or quibbles. They even sent me a newer version of it, with free shipping. Normally this type of service is something I only expect from top-name, expensive brands, seldom of which do I buy, with a few documented exceptions of the tactical variety.
Since I was introduced to this company, I’ve been giving away the secret of how amazing (and affordable) their products are. I’ve given them as gifts for people in my life, I’ve battled dark forces with them, and I’ve recommended them to every student I ever taught in self-defense classes, including home defense. I’m not just a therapist, I moonlight as a ninja.
So how do batteries fit into this picture?
As we all know, batteries can be one of those frustrating things to keep in storage, and over time, if unused, we’ve lost money at a minimum and gotten a corroded, broken flashlight at a time when we genuinely needed it.
Lost cash, old dead batteries, disposal, going to the store to get new ones, and all the while crossing our fingers that the light will come on when we say so.
Enter the USB rechargeable battery from Coast.
Adding this kind of value to such an important tool for many needs is darn near inestimable. The port for the included USB charger is on the side of each battery. A genius move that other companies are quickly following.
Ramp up quickly for duty
Plug your four Coast AAAs into a 2.1 Amp USB port with the included charger, and within 20 minutes, you have four fully charged batteries ready to go.
Ready for that nightstand light. Ready for your kid’s quarter he dropped behind the fridge. Ready for emergency signaling when your car breaks down on the side of the road. That’s the confidence that batteries can give us, or not.
Luckily for me, and I’m sure will be the case with you, I can stake that kind of responsibility with Coast’s brilliant new battery. You can charge these in a standard wall outlet with a USB plug, as I did, or with your laptop, or car charger.
These batteries are an excellent pairing with Coast lights used by travelers, longshoremen, or handymen. It’s a boon to not have the bulky assortment of trays and boxes used for old NiCd rechargeable batteries, as these are built with lithium. Ultra-fast charging times, high-intensity energy delivery (better than alkaline), and robust duration of power.
It’s like having batteries that wear a cape. Here to serve justice for all the battery woes we’ve experienced in the past.
Now, let’s get to technical details, and the product testing itself.
Upon receiving the batteries, I plugged them into the four prong USB-C connections on the supplied charger. Within twenty minutes, all the indicator lights turned from red to green, indicating a full charge. POW!
Three of the batteries were loaded into my first testing device: The tried and true workhorse of my collection, the Coast Polysteel 250.
At the time of this writing, there is still ample light coming from this flashlight after 24 hours!
This is important. Having worked many jobs with long hours, and up to 24 hour shifts (as with firefighting), the sheer duration of this continuous power is astonishing.
I’m one of those guys that has a flashlight in his back pocket at night, or in the side pocket of my car for low-light situations. In one case, a man approached my car, leering and under the influence, and I used a different Coast light to ward him off. Multiple other times I’ve used these lights to investigate car issues, assist other motorists, and even signal my location to emergency vehicles.
Having a battery that works every time is critical.
- The first photo shows the light output with the Coast USB AAA rechargeable batteries on its first charge.
2. The following photos indicate the light output after a full recharge, followed by longer durations of continuous on.* All photos were taken at distance of six feet with the Coast Poly Steel 250/360 lumen version.
3. Next, I subjected the light and batteries to continuous 32-degree Fahrenheit (freezing) temperatures for the duration of testing. Lights were only pulled out of freezing for photos, and put right back in.
4. Finally, I tested the batteries in my son’s “Grave Digger” RC truck made by Spinmaster.
These results should give you an idea of the power, capability, and re-usability of the Coast batteries.
Great brightness, long term capacity. With a 320 lumen spot, left on continuously for over 3 hours, over 8 hours, and even at 15 hours in 80-degree (F) temperatures, these batteries delivered. In a “worst case scenario”, you would still have light at over 24 hours, albeit small.
Cold beater: Similar performance was found at freezing temperatures for 4 and 8 hr. continuous on durations, making this a suitable “shift light” for those working in cold temperatures.
Durability: After 8 hours in the freezing cold, the batteries still presented a full, bright power source after letting warm to room temperature and then 85 minutes to charge. Alkalines would be toast.
Other devices compatibility: In the RC truck rapid acceleration, deceleration, cornering, and obstacle resistance were superb for over 30 continuous minutes. The truck was then left “on” for 48 hrs. and still had 75% of its power while continuously used again for over 30 minutes.
A great bang for the buck when used in small lights and toys!
Bright light (320 lumens)at long durations (greater than 8 hours) is a reality for these batteries in the 3 AAA battery capacity, Coast PolySteel 250 original light. As you can see from the photos this makes these batteries an exceptional choice for household, automotive, or general tasks. They can be left in the cold for extended periods of time while still giving exceptional output.
In comparison, alkaline batteries would be toast!
Great value in cost savings alone (4 batteries with included charger and case retail for $39.99). The Coast batteries far outpace alkaline which are expensive- given that they can’t be recharged and go into a landfill. These AAAs boast 1000-cycle recharging capability!
If you’re considering what to power small items such as lights, toys, small radios, or other electronic devices, you’ll have an excellent foundation for power delivery, cold resistance, and duration with the Coast X-ZXAAA batteries. Coast backs these batteries with a Lifetime Guarantee, and you can be confident that Coast will deliver on guarantees and customer service throughout their product line.