Should you buy a 300LM Cree EDC flashlight?
When I was writing my article a few weeks ago about what you should have in your everyday carry (EDC) carry gear, I started looking at small flashlights. I got a Fenix LD10 100 Lumens Waterproof LED Flashlight for my pocket and a Fenix mini LD01 CREE Q5 80 Lumens LED Flashlight for my keyring. I really like both of these flashlights. I should really write reviews on them sometime.
While I was poking around, I came across this other little flashlight that was only $3.55 and I didn’t even have to pay for shipping. I thought, “what the hell” and got two of them as something to shove in the car and kitchen drawer. A month later, they came in. And here we are, now writing a review of this dandy little torch. If you ever need to find a gift for someone – or a lot of someones – this is it.
I wasn’t really expecting anything for under $5 but damn, these things are great. This is easily by far the best selling thing that I mention on this site. People have been buying them for their bug out bags, for gifts for their family, and businesses have been buying them to put one in each of their vehicles. I’ve now bought 5 of them and I’ll probably buy more for gits throughout the year.
First, they feel every bit as sturdy as my Surefire or Fenix lights do (I guess I kinda have a thing for flashlights, having been caught one time without a backup in a place that I reeaaallly needed one). They are a tad on the heavy side for such a small light though.
It (i’m switching to singular instead of plural because it’s easier to write) has a push-button switch in the tail, which I prefer over other ways to light them. That’s my biggest complaint for the LD-01, which has a twist -on system. It’s also just a simple on/off button. I’m not a fan of lights that have SOS codes and disorientation flashes. Those are just more things to fail.
So how does this light perform compared to a Fenix LD-10?
The light does have a focus on it, which spreads out pretty wide. Here’s a pic of it, adjusted wide. For comparison, the light on the left is my Fenix LD-10 on full brightness mode vs the CREE light on the right:
Here’s another with both lights but I’ve focused the beam on the new one:
As you can see, it’s so focused that you can see the shape of the LED board in the light. Talk about disorienting an opponent – you’d outright blind them with this thing. I had to be careful not to accidentally shine it in my neighbor’s window so I didn’t wake them up taking this shot even though they don’t sleep in that room.
In order to adjust the focus, you pull out on the front part of the light and slide it to the focus you want. The slide works really well but I’m concerned that over time it may get too loose and not want to stay where you want it. I would have rather seen a twist adjustment (yes, the same twist adjustment I don’t like that turns on the LD-01 but that’s fine for adjusting, just not turning it on. Get off my back).
For those of you who think you’ll be using your pocket flashlight as a weapon, it even has that pokey-weapon end on the front.
The clip is held on by two brass-looking hex nuts. I like that because I have a tendency to bend those things and bending them back if they’re permanently attached just makes me want to throw it across the room. The clip looks pretty sturdy too.
Another thing I like is that it takes a single AA battery. I use a rechargeable that I charge with my Goalzero USB AA battery charging pack, which is powered either by my iPhone’s USB wall charger or my scharger-5 portable solar panel. If the thing is really putting out 7W, you’re prolly not gonna get a lot of time out of a battery, depending on the milliamp-hours of what you put in it so you should have something else in your bug out bag that runs for a long time with a dimmer light. That’s the only real negative I see to it. Other than that, it’s a fantastic pocket-sized floodlight.
So, do I think it’s worth the money? I’ve actually replaced my Fenix LD-10 with one of these new ones. I’m also ordering more of these and will probably get extra for stocking stuffers this Christmas. They take a freaking month to come in though so if you’re thinking of doing the same thing, don’t wait too long. Definitely worth the money. I actually think it’s one of the best bug out bag or EDC flashlights out there. Update – I just got 3 more of these so I can have one in each car.
So what’s everyone else think? That’s what led me to this light in the first place. Look at these reviews and then you’ll see why you might want to pick up a few of these: