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Thread: My checklist for an EDC

  1. #1

    Default My checklist for an EDC

    0) What Region/Country/State will the light be purchased in?

    _X__I will be mail-ordering or buying online, so this doesn't matter.
    _X__I am in North America. More precisely I am in ___USA_________.

    1) Price Range: An easy question, but you may change your mind after answering the rest! :-)

    _X__I could spend $40-60.

    2) Format:

    _X__I want a flashlight.

    3) Length:

    _X__2-4 inches. (Pocket carry)
    _X__4-9 inches. (Holster carry)

    4) Width:

    _X__I prefer a long narrow light.

    5) What batteries do you want to use? Alkaline batteries are easier to find and less expensive but don't pack as much stored energy and are don't work well in cold temperatures. Lithium batteries have long shelf life (10+ years, great for stored emergency lights) and are not as affected by cold but must be kept dry and are more expensive. Rechargeable start expensive, but if used frequently pay off quickly.

    _X__I want common Alkaline batteries. (AA)
    _X__I want lithium batteries. (CR123, AA)

    6) How much light do you want? Sometimes you can have too much light (trying to read up close up with a 100 lumen light is impossible).

    _X__I want to walk unpaved trails. (40 lumens)
    _X__I want to do Caving or Search & Rescue operations. (60+ lumens)
    _X__I want to light an entire campground or dazzle an intruder. (100+ lumens)

    7) Throw vs Flood: Which do you prefer, lights that flood an area with a wide beam, or lights that "throw" with a tightly focused beam? Place an “X” on the line below.

    Throw (distance)-----XXXXXX-----------|----------------------Flood/close-up

    8) Runtime: Not over-inflated manufacturer runtime claims (like some LED lights). but usable brightness measured from first activation to 50% with new batteries.

    _X__60-240 min. (1-2 hours)
    _X__240-360 min. (4-6 hours)

    9) Durability: Generally the old phrase “you get what you pay for” is very accurate for flashlights.

    _X__Very Important (Camping, Backpacking, Car Glove-box.)
    _X__Critical (Police, Fire, Search & Rescue, Self-defense, Survival.)

    8) Switch Type:

    _X__I want a "clickie” switch. (Stays on until pressed again.)
    _X__I want a momentary switch. (Only stays on while held down.)

    9) Switch Location:

    _X__I want a push switch on the back end of the body.
    _X__I want a rotating end-cap switch.

    10) Operational Modes: Check all that apply.

    _X__A simple on-off is fine for me.
    _X__I want 2 light levels. (Brighter/short runtime and Dimmer/long runtime.)

    11) Is it important whether the body is metal or plastic/composite?

    _X__I don't care.

    12) Special Needs: Is there anything else you want or need that hasn't been mentioned? Circle any below or write in your own comment(s).

    _X__Waterproof – how deep: _Dunkable___
    _X__Pocket clip
    _X__Wrist/Neck Lanyard

    Looking for a light with a balance of runtime and moderately good throw with a decent spillbeam (not a pure spot). This light will serve as a general EDC and will be carried along with a "tactical" light (currently a G2, hopefully an A2 once I can afford it).

    I am not concerned about the 2-stage feature, I could live with or without it... same goes for the twisty tailcap, but again, it would be strongly preferred. I do require a pocket clip for bezel-up back pocket carry.

    I was looking at the Nuwai TM-301X-3, but I strongly prefer the "tactical twisty" style tailcap (momentary w/ twist) and I've read some reports of durability issues. The Fenix L2T also looked like a contender, but AFAIK there's no pocket clip for these.

    I'd like to hear any suggestions. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* LEDninja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Hamilton Canada

    Default Re: My checklist for an EDC

    Good job.
    Much simpler than ThomasH's ** Flashlight Recommendation Checklist **

    Switch type/location needs work. A lot of flashaholics like fromt twisties. Others prefer clickies on top of the body.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My checklist for an EDC

    Actually that post was intended to elicit light model suggestions, not to propose a new, blank checklist! (In fact, I filled out that checklist you linked to and trimmed out the parts I didn't "check.")

    Did I post it in the wrong forum? If so, sorry.. still somewhat of a n00b here, but I didn't see any more appropriate place for it.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Planterz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Re: My checklist for an EDC

    If I were you, I'd just go with a Surefire.

    The problem, logistically, with your preferences, is that there's a very narrow list of lights that fits. The real problem is the pocket clip. Or rather, the problem is that there just aren't enough lights that are available with them. For me, unless it's attatched to a keychain, a pocket-sized light should have a pocket clip, or it's really no use to me. There's plenty of good lights that fit your preferences and price range, but unfortunately don't have a clip.

    That doesn't leave much left, and even less within your price preference. There's some Nuwai lights that fit, but I'm not enamoured of them. OK for a toy, but I wouldn't want to rely on one "in the field". I want something that if I drop it, I know it'll still work. More to the point, I'd want something that if something went wrong with it, I wouldn't have to buy a new one altogether. Plus, reportedly, Nuwai's clips kinda suck.

    That leaves Surefire, and not much else. Unfortunately, they're not cheap. But IMO the quality is worth the cost, especially with their "no questions asked" warranty regarding damaged lights. You can be very assured that it'll work despite ordinary use (abuse), and if it doesn't you just send it in and it'll be fixed.

    An E1L or E2L would be a good choice, and not too terribly expensive (cheaper than an L2 or L4). Good throw, can use rechargables (R123A for E1L or 17670 for E2L), put an F04 beamshaper on there if you need it for upclose/flood use. At OpticsHQ you can get the E1L for $81 or the E2L for $103 (see the Dealers Specials page). The E1L will be dimmer than the E2L using regular CR123As, but if you use 3.7V li-ion rechargables, it'll be just as bright (runtime being the difference). Both use a tactical clicky, meaning when you push it lightly and it'll turn on momentarily, push further and it clicks on until you click it off. Much more useful IMO than a reverse-clicky like on the Fenixs.

    The E1L might not be the best for back-pocket carry, simply because it's rather short and bezel heavy. It could easily fall out. Another option would be to simply get the KL1 head and use a Vital Gear FB1 body, which has a bezel-down clip and carries much deeper. Or, go with the E2L, which is longer and more secure within the pocket.

    There's a real, easily tangible difference of quality between Surefires and lower quality lights like Nuwai or Fenix. It's hard to describe, but just holding one in your hand leaves you with a feeling of quality, solidity, and reliability. It's always nice to be frugal, but in this case, spending more isn't wasting money. Being frugal doesn't count if you have to buy something twice because it broke. And also in this case you definitely are buying a better light. Something you can rely on.

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