Common-sense emergency preparedness from a combat veteran

Best EDC flashlight value: CREE 7w review

Cree tactical flashlight review. Perfect for Bug out bags, EDC or just awesome gifts.  http://bit.ly/1zFdYIDShould you buy a 300LM 7W 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. What I wanted to do today is come up with which flashlight out there I thought was the best EDC flashlight on the market today as far as value goes. I definitely came up with a winner.

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. You know I don’t just say things are great when I do a review, so I really found something here with this little guy.

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:

Crazy, 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.

(Another update – sorry) – I’ve now put all this together in a nifty bug out bag electronics power kit that lets me never have to worry about having power for my flashlights or small electronics. Check out how I put mine together here. Also, I just got 3 5 11 more of these so I can have one in each car car, kitchen drawer, harley, each car, and ready for gifts.

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.

Sure, there are better flashlights out there but they’re hella more expensive. As far as bang for the buck goes though, this little thing is definitely the best EDC flashlight I’ve found so far. Never stop looking though!

UPDATE!

They’ve now come out with a 3 Mode light in several colors. No reason to go into all the details here, you can just click the link or image below to go check them out.

In addition to that, you can get a one now with a 14500 rechargeable battery and battery charger.

 

 

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:

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Summary
Reviewer
Graywolf
Review Date
Reviewed Item
CREE 7W flashlight
Author Rating
5

Last updated by on .

About graywolf

I am a military veteran who has deployed to combat theaters in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan and have almost three decades of military and military contracting experience.

My goal is to help preppers and others understand how to intelligently protect their family and their way of life.

Comments

  1. I found the same flashlight about a year ago. With a Duracell battery they last over over 16 hours. I use one at work almost every day betweent 10 -30 min at a time and have the same battery for 5 weeks now although is is getting a little week but flashlight is still bright. To compare I paid 5.22 each for mine. My older flashlight cost almost 30 bucks.

  2. Ben Wilkie says:

    I’m sorry but I wouldn’t give this light to anyone as a gift. It’s just too cheaply made! I don’t believe it’ll stand the test of time, and I don’t think it’s all that bright either. I’ve given flashlights as gifts before, but they’re always in the $30-$60 range. I believe a gift, is something of quality.

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  1. […] small enough to fit in your pocket and takes AA batteries. This baby’s super bright too. I even wrote a review about it after I picked up a couple as throwaway lights. Definitely a must-have for a budget EDC […]

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