Monday, May 13, 2013

EDC Update and Quick Budget Flashlight Review

I submitted my EDC to a while back and had totally forgotten about it until I noticed traffic coming from them. It turns out they accepted my picture. I felt a little concerned that I may have lowered the bar over there and decided to get some new pictures put together. This is really a combo post including images from a recent hiking trip where the photo opportunities are always more unique than my back yard, budget flashlights that have been working well, and my growing rotation of EDC tools. Let's change up the format a little and you can just sit back and enjoy the pictures with less reading.
bdget edc lights
This is the Crelant V11A 1xAA producing a claimed 450 Lumens. It's large for a single AA light with 3 modes, recessed forward clicky, and it remembers the last mode you used. Time will tell how it stands up to abuse but if you want a little more hand filling light with a more tactical interface then I really think this is an almost perfect light. If it is durable then it is also a great value @ $35.00 from (great place).

Melvern lake wild flowers
The scenery is provided by the state of Kansas and Melvern lake which offers lots of water and plenty of easy going trails.

The stripe in the grain of this fallen tree was too good to pass up.
budget EDC lights and folding knives
I feel confident recommending both the Inova X1 (far right) and the Streamlight Microstream (center) and this gives you a feel of their respective size. The Microstream is 1xAAA and very small. The button is excellent in that it is stiff. It is very simple to use it in a momentary on mode without fear of accidentally clicking into constant on because it takes a concerted effort to get there. Simple, no modes, everyday tasks amount of light, virtually zero footprint.   

everyday carry pictures
Details of the V11A from Crelant.

edc tools
Another size comparison. The V11A is about as big as I would want to carry every day, though it doesn't weigh much.

A little EDC pocket dump with the Aluminum CRKT Ripple.

melvern lake kansas
The Kershaw Cryo out to the lake. For anyone concerned, this plant was in this condition when I got there. The Cryo is an all steel knife the way I understand and it has some heft to it as medium sized folders go, but I like it, a lot.

I really like the black on grey details of the Cryo. It's also compact and thin.

EDC mates, though knives ride on the right side, lights on the left, so they don't get this close very often.

They do make a good looking pair though. Check the very cool clip on the Microstream. It goes right onto a hat brim. For about $20, if you like the idea of having lots of capabilities in a tiny package, this is the one for you. It's like carrying nothing.

The Microstream in the center is a touch yellow in tint, but nothing that annoys me. I don't know what mode the Crelant V11A was in but it's clearly producing more light than the other two. The Inova X1 has 2 modes and I personally feel it makes exactly the kind of light an EDC torch should make. If it had a pocket clip (and a track machined for one) it would be very close to the perfect light. It's thin, not very long, simple and very well made.

These 3 lights represent a sort of budget light spectrum, mainly because of their size. The Inova X1 has a single flaw that prevents it from being an EDC powerhouse and that is the lack of pocket clip. When I look for lights now, the lack of a pocket clip is a deal breaker, but doubly so on the X1. The reason is that it is a twist light, but has a sort of momentary on feature where you can press the tail cap so long as you have it screwed on far enough. I think this is considered a bomb-proof interface and it's proven to be. However, if you stick it in your pocket, you have to back the tail cap out (lock out), so you don't discover the light has been on and now has no juice. A pocket clip would solve this problem by preventing the light from rattling around in your pocket and ending up held on. So essentially the momentary on feature is defeated by the fact that if you kept it in such a position to use it, you run the risk of keeping the inside of your pocket well lit throughout the day. That means the light basically works like a Maglite - twist on, twist off. If that doesn't bother you (and it really isn't a big issue) then this is a tough, simple light that just plain works and has no nonsense. The two modes are useful and you can get around the pocket clip with a lanyard as I've done with mine. The lanyard hangs out of the pocket, holding the light at the ready. 

The Microstream is the ultralight option if you never want to notice the light is there. It also gives its user a lot of features and nothing you don't need. The battery lasts for approximately ever and it's the least expensive of the bunch. 

I got the Crelant V11A because I liked the idea of having a little more light in my hand. I think it's right at max for pocket carry for me personally, but exactly what I was looking for. It gives you more power without getting into something exotic, but has a nice low mode to conserve fuel while making plenty of light for everyday tasks. It's got the pocket clip, no pointless modes, a dead simple interface and seems to have the quality. I only recently got it, so durability is still unknown. If it proves to be tough, then even though it is the most expensive of the bunch, it is also the most light for the money and still comes in at a price that falls into the budget category.

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