The best EDC flashlight out there. [Archive] - Glock Talk

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WolfNotSheep
05-18-2012, 11:30
If you EDC a gun then two things should go with you; a spare magazine and a flashlight. For me, these three items are indispensible. In an effort to keep the items I carry on my person to a minimum of both size and weight, I CCW a sub-compact Glock 26. And, up until approximately four months ago, I was carrying a flashlight that was large, bulky, and that just felt out of place banging around inside my pockets.

While perusing CountyComm.com one day, salivating and debating how much money I could justifiably spend, I came across a little flashlight made by a company named Maratac. When I say little, I really mean little. As in less than three inches long, a half-inch in diameter, and weighing less than an ounce. Maratac makes a few different flavors of flashlight, but the differences basically boil down to either their AA models or their AAA models. As I only own their basic AAA model, I will imit this thread to that specific light. If you wish to know more about the AA models just visit their website, but I'm warning you; they have some pretty mantastic gadgets over there. Give yourself a good hour to browse their site, and having some privacy wouldn't hurt either. The ability to type one-handed oft times comes into play while looking through their wares.

The light I have is the Maratac AAA Flashlight Rev 2, in the natural hard anodized finish. I'd liken the actual color of the finish to a high quality galvanization. It's a nice, subdued, dull gray that blends in well without being a nightmare to find if dropped in some brush or grass.

The light takes a single AAA battery and has two output modes; 115 lumens for up to 65 minutes, or 1.5 lumens for up to 50 hours. Twisting the lens housing once (i.e. the front of the light where the blinding shinyness comes from) causes the light to come on at the high setting while twisting again or just twisting twice in quick succession turns on the low mode. Pretty nifty.

Included with the flashlight are a small pastic case, a diffuser, spare o-rings, a pocket clip, and a single AAA battery. The price is $24.95 as of today (05/18/12). I'll include a link at the bottom of the page for those of you out there similarly inflicted with my interwebs laziness or who's google-fu is weak and girly.

As previously mentioned, I've had this light since around February-ish. I EDC it religiously and use it constantly for important tasks such as shining it in my buddies faces while asking if it's still bright and also lighting my way through my house late at night so I don't trip over the dog and impale myself on a cat. And, after four months of carry and use, it shows no signs of wear and I'm still on the same battery.

I can't say enough about this little light and how awesome it is. Having a flashlight always handy, one small enough to be practical yet still bright enough to be tactical, is just a damned good idea. Whether you CCW or not you should check them out and give the idea of adding a flashlight to your EDC some serious thought.

Thanks for reading, and best of luck.

http://countycomm.com/aaa.html

quake
05-18-2012, 12:46
Looks good. I'm a big fan of that breed of small flashlight. I keyring-carry a fenix e-15 that's pretty similar. One cr-123 and 0.76" x 2.34" (slightly shorter & fatter). Ten hours @ 30 lumens, 75 lumens for 4 hours, and 140 for two hours; give or take.

It's not only the most-used flashlight I own, it's the most-used tool I own. Literally multiple times every day; I've used it four or five times today already on a jobsite, and use it most evenings at least once or twice in the yard or shop.

WolfNotSheep
05-18-2012, 13:59
I hear ya Quake. It seems like my old CRKT folder and this new flashlight of mine see more work than all my other tools combined.

I've looked into one of those Fenix lights but wante dto stay standardized with AAA batteries since all the headlamps and flashlights in my various bags take them. I also figured on being able to find AAA batteries pretty much anywhere. Even dollar tree carries them, albeit they are the crappy, generic ones. It's also a lot cheaper to store AAAs.

This is all in my humble opinion, of course.

racerford
05-18-2012, 16:38
I hear ya Quake. It seems like my old CRKT folder and this new flashlight of mine see more work than all my other tools combined.

I've looked into one of those Fenix lights but wante dto stay standardized with AAA batteries since all the headlamps and flashlights in my various bags take them. I also figured on being able to find AAA batteries pretty much anywhere. Even dollar tree carries them, albeit they are the crappy, generic ones. It's also a lot cheaper to store AAAs.

This is all in my humble opinion, of course.

I appreciate the convenience of a AAA light (and the concern for battery commonality). That's what I carry mostly. However, for anything longer term, a AA light is nearly as small. AA batteries cost the same as AAA and have 2.5 to 3 times the energy capacity and run time. So if you use your light just a little everday and have others nearby that have longer runtime or brighter then a AAA is fine.

It is kind of like a pocket pistol. Any pistol you have on you is better than the one you don't. And a pistol is what you use to fight your wat to your rifle.

Bolster
05-18-2012, 16:49
Don't own a Maratac, but like it. Especially like the copper version.

http://countycomm.com/aaacopper.html

Sounds like it has an excellent, uncomplicated UI with exactly what most of us need: a high, and a low.

For my AAA I carry a Quark Preon because it's High CRI.

If I could carry only 1 light it would be a Zebralight headlamp, just for the sheer utility of it. But awkward to carry, and for minimalist pocket use, hard to beat AAA.

Warp
05-18-2012, 17:49
For me the best EDC flashlight can be seen in the below picture. I have had something of that exact type for many years. That being a 2xCR123 with a current gen LED in a small form factor with a same size head/body in the ballpark of 0.85" diameter

The Fenix P1D on my keychain, as a backup, (been there for YEARS) would satisfy the EDC role for many people.

I know the 1xAAA lights are SO small and easy to carry, but their output is sub-anemic compared to what a 123 powered light can put out. 80 lumens? As my main light? No thanks.

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g105/austin3161324/2e9e3e92.jpg

Syclone538
05-18-2012, 19:08
I usually have a stream light micro stream on me. 1 AAA.
http://www.streamlight.com/product/product.aspx?pid=144

bdcochran
05-18-2012, 19:20
If you listen to Bolster's advice, you probably won't go wrong. He has a lot of experience with flashlights.

I own probably 30 flashlights.

One size does not fit all. There is no one flashlight that serves everyone's purposes.

I recommend the following (my girlfriend took one away from me when I received the first one:
C3-907 8 Mode 170 Lumen AA Flashlight

This is the brightest single AA battery light I have ever seen! CREE R2-WC White LED

High power mode with maximum output of 170 lumen
Normal output of 60 lumen
Energy saving mode with output of 30 lumen
Strobe
Slower Strobe
SOS (international code to call for help)
Signal mode 1: 3 flashes in one second
Signal mode 2: 1 flash in every three seconds
Pointed head, suitable as self defense device
One high power CREE LED
Switch modes simply by pressing the switch twice in succession within 2 seconds
Glow in the dark switch
Constant on/off with switch on the flashlight's end
Made with high quality aircraft grade aluminium
Made with extremely durable polycarbonate lens
3 mile visibility
LEDs can last for 50 000+ hours
2.5 hours burn time
Water resistant
Uses 1 AA battery
Length: 9.8cm (3.85")
Width: 2.26cm (0.9")
Weight: 45g (excluding batteries)

Individually tested by Greg McGee Engineering prior to shipping.

Greg McGee Engineering sells them.:wavey:

M1A Shooter
05-18-2012, 19:54
i will have to agree with bdcohcran. i have 3 of the c3-907 lights that i carry daily. one in my pocket, one in my truck and one in my bag. i absolutey love these lights and use at least oneof them daily.

LongGun1
05-19-2012, 07:10
If you listen to Bolster's advice, you probably won't go wrong. He has a lot of experience with flashlights.

I own probably 30 flashlights.

One size does not fit all. There is no one flashlight that serves everyone's purposes.

I recommend the following (my girlfriend took one away from me when I received the first one:
C3-907 8 Mode 170 Lumen AA Flashlight

This is the brightest single AA battery light I have ever seen! CREE R2-WC White LED

High power mode with maximum output of 170 lumen
Normal output of 60 lumen
Energy saving mode with output of 30 lumen
Strobe
Slower Strobe
SOS (international code to call for help)
Signal mode 1: 3 flashes in one second
Signal mode 2: 1 flash in every three seconds
Pointed head, suitable as self defense device
One high power CREE LED
Switch modes simply by pressing the switch twice in succession within 2 seconds
Glow in the dark switch
Constant on/off with switch on the flashlight's end
Made with high quality aircraft grade aluminium
Made with extremely durable polycarbonate lens
3 mile visibility
LEDs can last for 50 000+ hours
2.5 hours burn time
Water resistant
Uses 1 AA battery
Length: 9.8cm (3.85")
Width: 2.26cm (0.9")
Weight: 45g (excluding batteries)

Individually tested by Greg McGee Engineering prior to shipping.

Greg McGee Engineering sells them.:wavey:


Another +1 :thumbsup:

My primary EDC is a Greg McGee Engineering MTE M2 (optical zoom rechargeable 18650 powered 5-mode with Q5 emitter) in a horizontal mounted (belt loop attached) holster..

..and my secondary EDC is a MTE C3-907 (8-mode Eneloop powered)..that "lives" in my left rear pants pocket




I have over 100 LED Flashlights in various configurations..

..but both MTE can throw to a degree that puts each squarely in a class by themselves.


Both lights rock..

.. & the 18650 powered MTE M2 is used many times a day in an industrial setting!! :supergrin:

Even though we are provided "free" flashlights & batteries at work..

..these little lights so outclass the "free" 2 D-cell flashlights..

..hundreds of the MTE have been bought at work..

..either directly by co-workers..

..or for their family, friends, hunting buddies, etc...


Look at the screenshot of the C3-907 compared to other high performance LED flashlights in Vic303's C3-907 review..

http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?p=16941828


Interesting thread on how so many became sold on MTE...

http://pullig.dyndns.org/practicalpreps/forums3/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=2720&hilit=

tim12232
05-19-2012, 07:59
Fenix lights are great! I own multiple!

M1A Shooter
05-19-2012, 11:51
LG1 talked me into the c3-907 initially and now its my go to multiple times over.

Cole125
05-19-2012, 13:30
Surefire Backup is one of the best small EDC flashlights. Well worth the money, mine has been reliable.

http://www.shootingillustrated.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/2.jpg

Bolster
05-19-2012, 13:37
Surefire Backup is one of the best small EDC flashlights. Well worth the money, mine has been reliable.


Best, based on what qualities? Give us evidence not assertion. I'm open to your argument but I want to know what makes it "best," other than that you own it.

LongGun1
05-19-2012, 13:38
Fenix lights are great! I own multiple!

So do I...up to & including a TK40...all rarely used! :supergrin:

For example...while out camping (with several current/former military relatives) during Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day last December)..

..the much smaller & "less powerful" 18650 powered MTE M2 that I EDC..

..out threw his (Large Truck Flashlight) Fenix TK40 on TURBO! :shocked:

Even I was amazed....as the TK40 is 630 lumens!


Needless to say....though he already owns a C3-907..

(as does most of my family now)

.. he became yet another (18650 powered) M2 EDC'er! :whistling:

bdcochran
05-19-2012, 14:11
After buying 4 of Greg's $25 units, I just bit the bullet and bough tthe M2 with a new type of battery that I just don't have.

LongGun1
05-19-2012, 14:47
After buying 4 of Greg's $25 units, I just bit the bullet and bough tthe M2 with a new type of battery that I just don't have.


He sells the 18650 powered M2 with a Tenergy Charger, a holster & Tenergy protected 18650 batteries..... if requested!


It only uses one...the other(s) is a ready spare!


Let me know if you like it as much as I do! :supergrin:

Bolster
05-19-2012, 18:47
Required reading for anybody upgrading to 18650s is the thread and pictures of the German guy who blew off his fingers with a runaway 18650, over at CPF forums.

Not so that people are afraid of 18650s, but so people treat them with the proper respect. They ain't your daddy's D cells. And don't leave home while they're charging.

glockguerilla
05-19-2012, 19:14
Over a year EDC Streamlight ProTac 1L and has taken abuse & works great. I (by accident) dropped it in boiling water months ago and pulled it out and worked fine.

LongGun1
05-19-2012, 20:41
Required reading for anybody upgrading to 18650s is the thread and pictures of the German guy who blew off his fingers with a runaway 18650, over at CPF forums.

Not so that people are afraid of 18650s, but so people treat them with the proper respect. They ain't your daddy's D cells. And don't leave home while they're charging.


Those are valid concerns..

(as the 18560 Li-Ion is a very powerful battery for the size)

..and good reasons to strongly consider running "protected 18650"..

http://www.lygte-info.dk/info/battery%20protection%20UK.html

..one which limits current with your particular device in mind..

..combined a good quality charger (i.e. Tenergy)

..like I mentioned in a previous post!


One nice thing about the 18650 powered M2 is it runs really cool for the available throw....even on High Power Mode (220 lumens)..

..and high internal temperature & current generated by very high output LED flashlights is a (or the) major contributing factor for thermal runaway, explosion, etc in unprotected 18650...IMO


Li-Ion is commonly used in cell phones also..

..and if used improperly..(i.e. using wrong charger, crappy batteries, etc)

..injures up to & including death have been reported! :shocked:

But I do not see everyone rushing to give up their smart phones over that concern!

Bolster
05-19-2012, 20:58
Yes, protected 18650s...an ongoing argument regards their actual safety. Some top mfg's specify UNprotected for safety. Some people think they give more potential for something to go wrong, to short, or for the user to get too comfortable; others swear by them for safety. One thing to remember is that the protected cells tend to be longer and can cause fitment issues.

The "phones have Li-Ion too" argument is an old chestnut at CPF, and folks are generally quick to remind that (1) 18650s are considerably more powerful and (2) Phones don't have two cells (and two cells is where you can get into serious trouble with 18650s, if one is exhausted and the other full) and (3) 18650 charging is not as controlled by the factory as is phone or computer charging. Users sometimes mix and match cells, buy their own chargers, etc, opening up a larger window for user error. So 18650 is still a bit of the "wild west" for battery use at this time, with low incidence of trouble, but the trouble is serious when it happens. I'd bet that the future will see more and more 18650s as they're tamed; they're a wonderful cell for the energy potential.

As long as folks are warned and take the time to self-educate, I'm happy. Now obviously someone HAS to call me a coward for calling attention to 18650's notorious "vent with flame" issue...and I'd be hurt, actually, if someone DIDN'T call me a coward, I'm so accustomed to it by now. But my point is that I want people to use 18650s with both eyes open and an idea they can get you into trouble if you're not paying attention.

Stick to (1) single cell applications, (2) known quality brands of cells (AW is probably the most trusted brand) (3) a reputable charger (check out the 4sevens charger) and (4) don't leave the house while you're charging, and you'll be OK.

LongGun1
05-19-2012, 21:18
Personally...any Li-Ion device (flashlight, phone, bluetooth headset, laptop, etc) that suddenly gets hot..

..is going to get the "phaser on overload treatment".. :shocked:

..which is toss away very quickly without gripping it during the process!


More on phone mishaps..

http://www.androidauthority.com/busting-the-myth-yes-cell-phones-can-explode-42582/

bdcochran
05-19-2012, 21:29
I am an old customer. Greg McGee upgraded me to the 1000 lumen light.:wavey:

LongGun1
05-19-2012, 22:24
I am an old customer. Greg McGee upgraded me to the 1000 lumen light.:wavey:


Yep....I have the 1000 lumen..

..and the 740 lumen...

..neither throw like the 18650 powered, variable zoom lensed M2...IMO


Like the C3-907..

..the throw is all in the unusual lens of both.


Now throw may not be your primary concern..

..but it (& battery longevity + versatility) is for me!


That being said..

..his 1,000 lumen flashlights are wickedly bright! :shocked:


YMMV

Warp
05-19-2012, 23:03
I still strongly prefer single sell only devices for the rechargeable lithium ions.

And protected cells.

Bolster
05-19-2012, 23:10
I still strongly prefer single sell only devices for the rechargeable lithium ions....And protected cells.

Coward!

J/K, I absolutely agree.

FerFAL
05-20-2012, 05:27
For EDC I have a 4Sevens Mini 123 Tactical flashlight. 200 lumen and pretty compact. I also have a Fenix LDO1 in the keychain for general use and saving juice from the tactical.

Yep....I have the 1000 lumen..

..and the 740 lumen...

..neither throw like the 18650 powered, variable zoom lensed M2...IMO


Like the C3-907..

..the throw is all in the unusual lens of both.


Now throw may not be your primary concern..

..but it (& battery longevity + versatility) is for me!


That being said..

..his 1,000 lumen flashlights are wickedly bright! :shocked:


YMMV

Love Greg's flaslight. The 25$ AAx1 has to be one of the best deals out there. I keep one of his 1000 lumen lights in the night table and grab it whenever I need a serious light, going shooting, camping or hiking. Its also very solid and that lens made in Finland is rock hard.
Here's a review I did of the MTE C3-907 (sorry for the crappy English, its getting better and making videos is a learning curve :) )
MTE Flashlight Model C3-907: Incomparable value - YouTube
FerFAL

syntaxerrorsix
05-20-2012, 09:54
I own the Martac AA stainless and have owned the copper AAA. Both are / were solid lights that carried extremely well in the pocket. The AAA must have fallen out of my pocket, it was almost too small. The copper took a nice patina relatively quickly.

Both put out enough light for EDC in my opinion.

http://i370.photobucket.com/albums/oo144/syntaxerrorsix/2012-02-19_10-07-10_187.jpg

bdcochran
05-23-2012, 20:26
LongGun1:

The 1000 lumenm3-21 xml from gregmcgeeengineering.com came in.

Outstanding!:wow:

It will go at the front door on the counter.

I can hardly wait until the sun goes down and my girlfriend tries it. And NO, I will not let her take this unit and put it in her purse like she did with the 903 model..:exercise:

LongGun1
05-23-2012, 21:55
LongGun1:

The 1000 lumenm3-21 xml from gregmcgeeengineering.com came in.

Outstanding!:wow:

It will go at the front door on the counter.

I can hardly wait until the sun goes down and my girlfriend tries it. And NO, I will not let her take this unit and put it in her purse like she did with the 903 model..:exercise:


Oh yea...that unit absolutely rocks! :supergrin:


But if you get a chance...

..try the (18650 powered) MTE M2 also! ;)

FireForged
05-24-2012, 09:39
The energizer "hardcase" romeo

47lums
8hr run time
cree led
molle clip
magnet
red/blue filter
1 lith AA
cool earthen color

$22

DrSticky
05-24-2012, 13:54
I really want a Quark AA RGB, but they don't make them any more. :(


I like having red light at my disposal, especially in the field.