Joby Switchback Review

Posted: Nov 2 2010, 1:55pm CDT | by , in Reviews | I4U Gadget Reviews


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Convertible flashlight turns into a lantern


The Joby Switchback is available right now for $59.99. It has a removable headlight that has an elastic band and can be put on the front of the lamp for a spotlight or used as a lantern. The device has dual white LEDs and two red LED floodlights as well. The spotlight is a CREE XLamp XP-G bulb. Brightness settings include 5 lumen, 20 lumen, 80 lumen, and 130 lumen.

In Use

Joby has been unveiled a lot of new flashlights recently and the latest is the Joby Switchback. The light gets its name from the interesting design that allows it to be sued as a spotlight and then converted to a lantern for use in group situations with lots of diffuse light is needed. This would make a really cool light for campers.

It's very bright with the brightest setting of 130 lumens. The lowest setting is 5 lumens and the battery is good for 72 hours at the lowest setting. Power comes from a pair of AA batteries and they are included with the light. Like all Joby offerings the light can be mounted on an articulating tripod that can be wrapped around things or just stand on the table. The Joby Switchback also has a hook on top for hanging the light inside a tent or under the hood of your car.

The lantern is bright if you turn it on high 130 lumen mode. You can hang the light above your head when working under the hood of a car and get a lot of bright light. The headlamp section is two pieces that are attached to an elastic cord. The battery compartment and controls are on one side of the cord and the light section is on the other.

To convert from fixed beam to lantern you just put the headlight section into the lantern container and then push the battery compartment into the bottom of the lantern to finish. The opaque plastic shield that diffuses the light can be extended from about a quarter of an inch up to about three inches.

The Joby Switchback has red LEDs in addition to the white. The red LEDs are supposed to help keep your night vision intact. The red LEDs would also be good for emergency use on the side of the road as well. The 130 lumen setting is very bright and unlike the Gorillatorch Blade I reviewed recently, the Switchback will stay in 130 lumen mode as long as you have battery power. The worst thing about the Joby Switchback is that I had to fiddle with the battery door for a long time to get it to open. It was very sticky and I ended up having to wedge a pen cap into the opening and pry the battery door open. Changing batteries in the field could be an issue.



  • Concerts to a spotlight or a lantern
  • Very bright


  • Battery door is hard to open


The Joby Switchback is a very nice light for the outdoors type who wants a spotlight and a lantern in one with long battery life.


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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Leading our review center, Shane McGlaun (Google) knows technology inside out. His extensive experience in testing computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at




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