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Thread: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

  1. #1

    Default Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Okay folks, to start this off, I tried to search the forum for an answer, but I know NOTHING about flashlights, so bear with me when I tell you that after the search, I was more confused than when I started.

    Here it is. I've been carrying a maglite on my person now for a while. I am a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, and I use my light multiple times a day/night for all kinds of needs aboard our motor lifeboat. Seriously, everything from setting up a tow for another vessel, trauma searches, finding dropped items, doing engine checks, you name it (except for SAR, we have much brighter lights for that!) A shipmate (who has like 3 flashlights that he carries at different times) told me that the maglite is possibly the least efficient light I could carry, but I've had one (several, actually) for the past couple of years and I guess it does the job. But, he has peaked my interest in flashlights and the possibility that I'm behind the times. If you could help me find a flashlight, I'd be forever great full.

    My buddy told me that you folks could probably help (he also is the one who told me to use the "search" function, but uhh, yeah). I'll give you some ideas of what I'm looking for, and if anyone wants to list a light that would fit, I'd really appreciate it. I'll try to use some of the terminology that I've been reading about here, forgive me if I get it wrong.

    Size: 1 AA battery, or 2. My buddy has a 1 AA light, a Phoenix, that sucker was the right size!

    Battery: AA would be best, as I go through a lot of them (a set every week or two on average) I like that those camera batteries (123's) are more powerful, but I can't afford $8 a pop on a military salary.

    Price: Yeah, military salary. I don't mind spending $75 dollars or so, but it would be better if it were around $50. If it's less than that, my wife may even forgive me.

    Runtime: Pretty important, I'd need at least a few hours. Also, I've read a lot of you carry extra batteries on your person, I couldn't do that.

    Brightness (lums?): I'm coming from a maglite, which I'm guessing isn't all that bright. Something brighter though, as I am trying to upgrade. My buddy told me his was around 40, but that you could get them brighter.

    Waterproof: Not an option, it has to be!

    Shockproof: Also important, we get slammed around fairly often crossing the bar (river-ocean crossing)

    A trusted vendor: I've been burned online before.

    Thanks to any who reply!

    mike.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Mike,

    welcome to CPF! I can feel your pain with the military pay thingy..lol

    your friend has a Fenix flashlight. which can be purchased at www.fenixstore.com

    since you are looking for AA size flashlights here is one of the best from Fenix with AA battery, water integrity, dual light level. And the new rebel LED that'll blow away your friends light. well priced at 46.50

    https://www.fenix-store.com/product_...1a1f83d70bb7f4


    But....

    Don't forget Lighthound they have the old Fenix AA on sale for 15.00
    http://www.lighthound.com/index.asp?...OD&ProdID=2481

    enjoy
    Doug
    *****************************************
    A light on a shelf collects dust, A light in your hand collects the darkness.
    *****************************************

  3. #3
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Mike,
    As a member of the Air Force (the neutral medical type, take it as you will) I can understand your basic needs. Strap in and lets take a ride!

    Basically, you need a light that turns on, creates a decently bright light, can get beat to hell and run on alkaline AA batteries. Guess what? You have choices! Alas, the alkaline AA part and specifically, the one AA spec tends to trim those choices excessively!

    Here are my top 3 lights for beating the hell out of and still being able to run alkalines

    1. Fenix L2P RB100 $60 or so
    Great light, runs on 2AA and has multiple outputs to serve your needs. Downside? Runtime is utter crap when using the brightest level (turbo) You can remove the head and put a plastic ring around the head to prevent it from going into turbo mode. Low - medium - high and SOS will be available with the modified light on alkalines. If you switch to NiMH rechargables, turbo can be used and it is bright as hell!

    2. Peak Pacific HP with optional 2AAA or/and 1xAA body and momentary switch. The two AAA body is brighter, it looks like a penlight on steroids and the momentary switch is nice. $50 for the light, $15 for the 2AAA body and $10 for the switch. Order it with the 1xAA body and 2AAA body and chose between the two. Runs $75 fully equipped but can be had in brass or HA-III aluminum. Works better with alkalines than the Fenix series although not as bright.

    3. MagLED 2 or 3 AA version. $25 and the light works OK for the price. Not much to say but it is a lot brighter than the regular minimag!
    Peak Pacific AAA UP brass (EDC) E01 (keys), Peaks, Arcs, Fenix, Q5 Aspheric HA-III Mag etc.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Yes your best bet maybe a fenix light. There are some cheaper Surefire lights that are made of a certian type of (I think polymer) called nitrolon.You can get a LED version for around 60-80 dollars they do run on 123a batteries though and as you stated you cannot carry any extras on you. However if you do wind up with any 123a light you can buy the batteries for 21.00 per dozen at www.surefire.com. Good luck and thanks for your service.
    Last edited by INFI; 10-01-2007 at 07:15 PM.
    SF L1 CREE
    SF L5
    SF M6 and a lot of other junk lights...

  5. #5
    Flashaholic speederino's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Here is an awesome 1AA light shootout:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=172434

    The Fenix L1D with a Cree or Rebel LED is hard to beat for the price. Vendors Fenix-store and Lighthound are hard to beat on service. There are other options out there at varying price points, but based on your requirements, this is your best bet!

  6. #6
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    What's your MOS?

    How often do you use your light?
    How long do you need your light to last
    Do you want different modes of brightness?
    Do you want a light that floods or a "spotlight"

    I recommend something like a Surefire G2L, you can feed it rechargeable 17670s Lion batteries (when you're using the LED head) when you're not in a hurry, then when SHTF, bust out the primary CR123s.

    The runtime is a about 5 hours on main, and another 5 hours on lowered output.

    The G2L is 65$ for civilians, probably a lot cheaper for Mil/LEO purchase.

    Surefire sells a pack of 12 CR123 lithiums for 21$, which is about 1.75$ a cell.

    Buy a spare battery+lamp carrier for it like the Surefire SC1 carrier, or a Pelican 1010 case for it.

    If you need IR illumination, you can pop in a P60 incandescent lamp and pair it up with a IR filter.

    If you have a lot of maritime duty, a lanyard+lanyard ring would be helpful too.

    You might wanna check out this traffic wand/beacon made by Barbolight.
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=173209



    The best part is all the spare parts of this lights can be carried with you, so if anything burns, you can quickly repair it and get back in the game.

    The spare P60L LED module is gonna be around 37$
    The spare P60 incandescent Lamp assembly is 17$
    Last edited by boosterboy; 10-01-2007 at 07:52 PM.
    Currently own: Inova X5+X1, LP M1 XR-E, Fenix L0D CE, LP LM301, Novatac 120T+17670tube, SF 6PL+E2L XRE+M4+M962, NiteC Def+D10+EzAA
    Used to own: SF L4+ L5+G2+XRE L1, LP M1 XR-E, LP MRV,

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Daekar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    I'd say you should definitely check out the Fenix lights if your buddy is finding his up to snuff! I would also recommend you check out some rechargeable AA NiMH batteries like Sanyo Eneloops or Rayovac Hybrids - you'll save money in the long run AND they'll perform MUCH better than alkalines.

    One other thing you might want to check out is this light by Lumapower. Lumapower has a reputation around here for building lights like tanks - they tend to be a big larger and a big heavier as a result, but they're solid as rocks. This particular light doesn't have a bunch of different modes, just high, low, and off. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase any of the lights recommended so far, you won't go wrong with any of them.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* BIGIRON's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    maikutis, check your PMs.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* lctorana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Since you use it at sea, it strikes me that what you might really find useful is a floating lantern, that is retrievable if dropped overboard.

    Australia's No.1 torch, by a huge margin, is still the Everady Dolphin.

    Or the Eveready "Sea Beam" as it seems to be called in America.

    US $8

    Runs for 14 hours on the cheapest 4F lantern batteries.

    Not the latest technology, but appropriate, I would have thought.

  10. #10
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Maikutis:

    I have to echo the previous comments regarding the Nitrolon SureFire G2 LED for your particular application. The G2L's are available in both black and yellow.

    BTW, and in all sincerity, thank you for your service.


    Joe
    Pelican M6 2390 -SF E2L - SF G2 (x2) - StreamLight TaskLight 2-L - Cyclops CYC-XCF2 - Fenix L1P - SF 6PL - SF A2-HA-RD - Fenix L1T v2.

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* Sgt. LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    I had a great time in the Army myself, let's see...
    You'll really need a quick simple interface, .......... I'd say a 2 Lv clicky.
    Hummmmmm Fenix L1T V2.0 or L2T V2.0 should do it, what's your address? PM me

  12. #12

    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    My buddy told me this was a great site, and I would like to thank you for all of your suggestions. In all honesty, all of you guys/gals are great. I posted this, walked away to the kitchen to have dinner with my wife, and came back to 10 messages. Wow.
    Thank you to all,

    mike.
    Last edited by maikutis; 10-10-2007 at 01:10 PM.

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* Gunner12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    I think every one has got it well, the Fenix lights are great lights around your price range that would probably fit you needs. I'm thinking the L2D-Rebel 100 or the L2T V2.0. Don't forget the 8% off code on Fenix store, "CPF8". The Lumapower LM31 and Olight T15 should also be good, though I'm not sure how waterproof they are. The Dexlight X.I. is also supposed to be water proof but I think it is too complex and isn't as bright as the above mentioned lights. The Jetbeam MKII-R is also supposed to be water proof (a 3.7v 14500 rechargeable battery will make this light really bright).

    CR123 batteries can be had at $1 a pop at amondotech.

    The Jetbeam Jet II also seems good if you are willing to buy rechargeable 18650 3.7v batteries and a charger.

    Last edited by Gunner12; 10-01-2007 at 08:42 PM.

  14. #14
    Flashaholic* Nitroz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    I would say go with the L2D from Fenix-store because 2 x AA cells will give you some more runtime and low, medium, high, and turbo for brightness. Even at high it is at 80 lumens.

    Oh and you can beat the after the sale peace of mind that David(Fenix-store) will give you with your purchase.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    If you're already using a maglite (I assume 2xAA minimag?), then why not get a LED dropin module such as the TerraLUX MiniStar2 ( http://www.batteryjunction.com/mikitwi1walu.html )? Currently $15 from Battery Junction, the module is a direct replacement for the original incandescent bulb and puts out 40-50 lumens for about 6 times longer runtime than the stock bulb.

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* f22shift's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    maybe a jetbeam cle v2. 1aa, 5 modes, mode memory.
    32 bucks about

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    I just wanted to give my 0.02 on flashlight items. I can only affirm what has been said. However, before you toss out the idea of the CR123a batteries, they can be found for $1.50 or less; which is cheaper than AA lithiums at Target/Walmart. From what little I know about the G2L, it's got great runtime so you'll be changing out batteries less. Also, I think somebody mentioned a discount for Military/LE from Surefire, so you may want to check that out - certainly worth an exploratory call.

    I too would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to you and the service you are providing the good old USA. Good luck and keep up the good work!!!

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* Marduke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    If you have anything left over in your budget, I would recommend the Arc AAA+P, or even the new DS. The +P camo is on closeout for $25 right now. Also, you may want to take a pocket full of these, and attached them to several zippers.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    I would consider getting two lights - get one of the new Fenix lights (with Rebel 100 or Cree Q5 LEDs), and get one with an older LED on sale (like Luxeon III) if you can find one. I would just be sure they both use the same battery type.

    That should keep you in your budget, and give you a spare light in case you have problems with your primary, or if someone wants to borrow one.

    I'm not sure how familiar you are with batteries, but that is probably your first decision - AA or CR123. Both have their advantages, mostly being that AA is readily available and CR123 are shorter (better form factor in my opinion) and pack more power.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    I've done a fair amount of boardings and patrols with Coast Guard and they with me. Here's what I've found: Waterproof is indeed important. I don't know if Fenixes are truly waterproof or not. Shockproof is also nice. My Fenix P2D Ce (my second one. The first was even more defective.) doesn't like rapid movement, let alone shock or even funny looks. I wouldn't recommend it and I no longer carry mine, but that's just my experience.

    I lost my Stinger overboard into San Diego Bay when I reached over the gunwales to try to keep a guy's boat from sinking. We may have caused him to sink, but that's another story. . .
    Anyway, I recommend something that has a lanyard, or is so small it can't slip out of a float coat pocket.

    Also, one handed operation is almost mandatory. Often on a boat, one hand is occupied, holding line, holding an engine cover, holding the wheel or throttle, holding on to a railing, etc. I wouldn't recommend Arcs for that particular reason. Also, think about whether a flashlight is easily used with gloves. I sometimes wore gloves at sea.

    I don't know if you are doing law enforcement boardings, but one Coastie I worked with got in a shipboard gunfight (he won). Would be a good idea to have your flashlight tactically correct if you are armed.

    So far, the best recommendation I've seen here is the Surefire G2 LED in yellow. I know it's CR123 based, but see if you can raid a supply closet somewhere or buy them online for $1.75 from Surefire. Best online source in my opinion is Brightguy.com.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* Oddjob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Welcome to CPF. Good suggestions here. I just wanted to say don't forget a back up light. Maybe an ARC AAA like Marduke suggested or if you want a little less expensive AAA, a Fenix E0. A small longer runtime back up light is a necessity IMHO.
    I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    I am in the salt water environment alot and need a waterproof light as well. So I went with an arc-p. Very long run time on 1 AAA. Its small,very well built, and Made in the USA.

    The camo version is on sale for $24, but for your use I would spend the extra $15 and get the HA111 version.

    Also email Arc, They do discounts for Military
    Last edited by dd61999; 10-02-2007 at 07:37 AM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    My advice would be to go with the Fenix L2T v2.0 RB80.

    https://www.fenix-store.com/product_...roducts_id=335

    It has 2 modes - low (15 lumens for 30+ hours... which is somewhat brighter than a minimag with FRESHEST batteries), and high (140 lumens for 2.4 hours... which is... well MUCH brighter).

    It runs on 2 AA batteries (and if you use it frequently, I'd recommend getting a set of Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables), and because it's digitally regulated, it does not dim for the entire cycle of battery discharge (except the last 5% maybe).

  24. #24
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Guys, If I am reading "between the lines" correctly, I believe he already has a light on the way although the suggestions are on point. Some very kind folks around here!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    clg0159, well, and everyone else;

    Yes, you are right. I've been googling all of these lights you folks have suggested, and I have to say, I had no idea there was a flashlight subculture out there. The problem is, my interest has been peaked.

    Oh, my wife doesn't like any of you.

    mike
    Last edited by maikutis; 10-10-2007 at 01:10 PM.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* Outdoors Fanatic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Avoid aluminum lights for this type of job, it will get banged pretty bad.

    Check the SureFire G2L or anything from UK ( Underwater Kinetics ) with an LED. These are the most waterproof lights (dive certified) hands down.

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* KeyGrip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Quote Originally Posted by maikutis View Post
    Yes, you are right. BIGIRON has offered to send me a light, and I have taken him up on it. It seems to fit all the criteria and I am very appreciative, to him and to all the rest. I've been googling all of these lights you folks have suggested, and I have to say, I had no idea there was a flashlight subculture out there. The problem is, my interest has been peaked.

    Oh, my wife doesn't like any of you.
    Three cheers to BIGIRON for spreading the CPF love, and three cheers to Maikutis' wife for putting up with all of us!
    "Et lux in tenebris lucet"

  28. #28

    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    Nice one,BIGIRON.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    i'm sure this will be after the fact, but i'd say that you won't want more than 2 modes. you're out there and it's cold and wet and you may only have one hand and limited time. you're either looking for high or low. keep that in mind when you finalize your everyday carry light.... oh and certainly look into a rechargable setup. you'll save so much money in the long run!

    i think you're price point is right, maybe even a little high, because if you drop it in the ocean you're going to be barking mad.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: Military EDC, No experience AT ALL!

    I can't imagine not having a headlamp as part of my lighting needs. Hard to beat a hands free light that is aimed anywhere you look.

    You can pickup a 1AA Rayovac Sportsmans Extreme headlamp at Wal-Mart for $19. It has 2 red LED's, 1 Blue, and 1 very nice 1watt Luxeon with a nice white tint, and a flip over diffuser to turn it into a floodlamp.
    Fenix L1P, L2D CE, L0P SE, Zebralight Q5 CREE headlamp, Huntlight ft02x, Tikka XP, PT Aurora & Eclipse 2, SL ProPoly 4aa Lux and Twintask 1L, Inova X1, Dorcy 1aaa, MagLED 2AA, Nuwai HLX-712L, Akoray K-106 AA, Rayovac 1AA headlamp.

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