Saturday, May 18, 2013

Inova X1 1xAA Flashlight Pocket Clip Solution

Inova X1 pocket clip paracord lanyard flashlight
Or at least, one solution. Today the mailman brought me a handful of pocket clips from SBFlashlights which are intended for the L3 Illumination L10 1xAA flashlight. I only recently discovered this website but it turns out the state they operate out of is pretty close to the state I operate out of which makes the shipping quick for me. Additionally, while there are lots of perfectly good light options that they don't carry, they seem to only carry products that are pretty well worth purchasing and none of the junk. I'm generalizing but I like to support anyone who runs a nice business and one which I have positive experiences with each time I use them.

EDC flashlight pocket clip
Let's get back to the point here. In my last post I talked about the only shortcoming of the Inova X1 - the lack of a pocket clip. In a fair amount of digging I only found a couple solutions to this problem and I didn't really like any of them. I am sure that many owners of this light have experimented and found solutions, given the number of AA sized lights out there that do come with pocket clips, but I'm not sure how many of them can be purchased a la carte. What's more, even clips like these probably aren't worth the cost to buy a single clip with shipping charges tacked on. My logic here is simple; buy the light they go with! And, there are 3 Inova X1s in my crew right now, so I wanted more than just one anyway. Problem solved! The clips come in at a whopping $2.50 a pop and to be perfectly honest, aren't really worth a whole lot more. They are however, sufficient I believe. The website conveniently lists the L10's diameter at 17.1mm and that puts it about 1mm smaller than the X1 - sign me up.

Cree XP-G Cool White
So, the clip specifics. It's thin metal and doesn't have much tension. That's just the truth of the matter. But you have to consider that the L10 is one tiny light. The X1 is pretty slim and not especially long, but the L10 is about as small as a AA light is gonna get. It doesn't take a lot of clip to keep this thing under control and the X1 isn't a whole lot bigger. The bodies of both lights are more or less straight up and down so the issue of the clip sliding was also known to me before purchase - I'd read about it somewhere during my surfing. In regard to the L10, it would appear that the light is so small and weightless that there is no call for ramming it into your pocket, pushing the light through the clip in the process, so I don't really see a problem. The X1 is smoother still but the solution was obvious. I'd already been using a lanyard to keep the light at the top of my pocket, so I just made a smaller lanyard which the clip binds against when pushed into the pocket. I will be doing a full on review of some of the lights my crew has been carrying for some time now, after we've run the new clip for awhile to get a feel for it. You will find that the X1 is an impressive enough light in its own right to warrant overcoming these minor faults and with any luck, the clip will be as well. The light retention (tension - obviously adjustable) is not necessarily a bad thing either. I've been packing it around all day around town and luckily didn't find that one stupid thing that happens the first day you own something. It keeps the light where I want it and doesn't fall out, yet drops into the pocket effortlessly. Some pocket clips, I think it's fair to say, have way too much tension and only time will tell if this is too little.
1xAA budget EDC flashlights
What's more, I'm not really a lanyard person. Everything has a lanyard hole. Every light, every knife, every handle, yet I rarely find a use for them. HOWEVER, this little lanyard is brilliant. By pure luck it is the perfect length and the perfect size. When I reach for the light, somehow that little knot hooks right into my pinky and ring fingers and the light comes out. It's so natural that it is somehow already present in my muscle memory, I just didn't know it. Anyway, the clip fits tightly on the X1 simply because it is slightly bigger than the light it was designed for. Still, the flashlight body is so smooth that with some effort it can be pushed through the clip. The little lanyard completely solves this issue and is actually useful in the process.
LED pocket flashlights pocket clip