Hello, I just started researching a new flashlight and cannot believe the options (and prices!) out there. I am coming from a AA maglite, and always thought it was ok. But wow, after reading around here, I need an upgrade! I am looking for a smaller light to EDC, but MADE IN USA is a must!
Most of what I am looking at is either made in China, or I can't find where.
I really like the twist to adjust brightness functionality of the Sunwayman V11R. Other lights I liked include Jet Beam RRT 01 and Eagle Tac D25C.
Something similar to these, using one CR123, or even AA batteries would be great.
I will paste the questions below.
1) How would you prefer to purchase the light?
____I would like to purchase the light from a brick and mortar store. I am located in ______________. ____I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.
2) Budget: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :-)
____Less than $25. ____Less than $50. ____Less than $100.
____I want a flashlight.
4) Flashlight-specific format/size:prefer small, but I will look at mediums
____Every day carry small (2-4 inches). ____Every day carry medium (4-7 inches).
5) Emitter/Light source:
____LED (known for efficiency, longevity, and compactness) ____Incandescent (known for superior color rendition)
____I want to buy a light from a traditional mass producing manufacturer that is ready to go out of the box.
7) What battery type do you want to use?
____I intend to use alkaline batteries (AAA, AA, C, D) (disclaimer, while it does not preclude all choices, these are not recommended for many of today’s most powerful lights) ____I intend to use lithium primary batteries (CR123, CR2, Energizer Advanced/Ultimate Lithium AA/AAA)
8) How much genuine out the front (OTF) light do you want/need? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).
____I want to navigate a dark room or read a map (0-10 lumens). ____I want to walk around an unlit rural area (50-150 lumens). ____I want to illuminate my entire backyard or a campsite (150-300 lumens).
9) Throw vs. Flood: At what distance will you be most likely to use this light? Select all that apply.
____Less than 1 yard/meter (reading, other close work) ____Less than 5 yards/meters (looking for something inside a dark shed/garage/basement) ____5-20 yards/meters (check out a noise in the backyard) ____30-50 yards/meters (I have a big backyard)
10) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims, but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries (Measured on maximum output). obviously more is better, but 30-60 would be ok
____Up to 30 minutes (I want the brightest [and potentially smallest] light for brief periods) ____30-60 minutes (I have plenty of batteries just ready to be changed) ____90-120 minutes (Runtime is moderately important, but still not critical)
11) Durability/Usage: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.
____Not Important (A “night-stand” light). ____Slightly Important (Walks around the neighborhood). ____Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box).
12) Switch Type and location (choose all that apply): I don't know what most of these are. I want something easy to use. ____I don’t know.
13) User Interface (UI) and mode selection. Select all that apply.
____A simple on-off with only one output level is fine for me. ____I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.) ____I want multiple light levels. (Some lights have 5-16 light levels.)
____I don’t know.
15) Special Needs/extras: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Select any below. Made in USA
I'm anxiously awaiting responses to your post. I'm also somewhat interested in the V11R, and am looking for alternatives. I received a V20C last week (my first Sunwayman), and it works well and is quite nice. Unfortunately, it's made in the wrong location.
The lack of a pocket clip on the Rotary may make it a no-go for me, unless there's an aftermarket clip that's been proven to work.
I am certain that an LEO version of the EDC Clicky would be a great light, with immediate access to 80 lumens via momentary, and other well spaced levels clicks away. Being fully configurable, it should be able to be set up exactly how a person would want.
The Rotary is comfortably above your stated spending limit, but is inexpensive compared to the other listed options. To me, lights are tools, not jewelry.
Wow, the EDC offers 24 different options for the four presets. I'm still reading the manual.
Thanks for the tips. It seems there is quite a premium on USA made lights. Ideally I am hoping to be under the $75 range.
Few brands can manage that. The world has never seen the supply of labor currently (for now) available in China. To get anywhere close in the US, you must either be huge/automated (maglight) or so tiny that a 2nd business can share the costs (peak).
Originally Posted by mrpco
Are all Surfires made in USA?
When in doubt, yes. Exceptions (even for simple parts) are hard to find.
Out of interest, with no predjudice intended at all, why made in USA?
Here in England I don't have a lot of options for products of the flashlight variety, mass produced models are all made elsewhere in the world. Even the few torch makers of the garage variety source the materials from other countries too. Which would also be the case for USA made lights, a few of the minerals and some of the technology may be from other countries.
From a point of view of quality or from a moral or political point of view - not agreeing with the systems in the country of manufacture etc.
I'm sitting here typing with a SF E2D Led in a belt holster and a Peak Logan in my pocket, so I come from a viewpoint similar in nature perhaps.
Last edited by Nyctophiliac; 07-18-2012 at 01:47 AM.
mrpco, while it doesn't offer the twist-to-adjust-brightness feature that you mentioned, I'd strongly recommend the HDS EDC 120. It's a very versatile, extremely well made, American (Arizona) made light that fits everything else on your list. It's very hard to beat for $99!
Thank you for all the replies. I have some reading to do as I will look into all the suggestions here.
Nyctophiliac, good question. I do my best to buy local, and since I am in the US, I suppose made here is as local as I can get when dealing with flashlights. I prefer not to support foreign markets such as China due to questionable labor practices. It's suprising how much is made in China once you start looking. I suppose UK, or certain others would be acceptable as well, however, as you mention, that can be difficult. It seems there are a few good options for me here and I will surely look into them now that I have some suggestions.
Peak Eiger was recommend to me a few days ago. Its still in the mailing system, so I cannot comment on it yet.
I've had my Peak Logan for over a year now. I absolutely love it. The QTC pill works great to modulate the power output...you just have to make sure you don't really crank the bezel when you go to full power - you can squash the pill, but if you don't act like a gorilla it's great.