Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Hitchcraft – Fenix L1D

I’ve been rocking one of these Fenix L1D flashlights for about two years now and think it is one of the best pieces if kit I’ve ever bought.
Less than 10 cm long, and powered by 1 AA battery, it gives the user the choice of several output modes. It’s turned on via a clickable tail cap, and the tail end can be turned so that it locks out - ie it can’t be accidentally turned on. Turning the bezel as tight as it will go, and clicking the tail cap gives you turbo mode (which is 120 lumens {which runs for 1.5hrs}) and tapping the tail cap again gives you strobe mode. The strobe is as bright (very bright!) as the turbo mode, and makes a really effective self defence tool. Loosening the bezel slightly gives you general mode, and tapping the tail cap once gives you 12 lumens (which runs for 25hrs, and is fine for most general use), tapping the tail cap a second time gives you 53 lumens (which runs for 5hrs), tapping it a third time gives you 107 lumens (which runs for 2hrs), and tapping it again gives you SOS mode. It’s digitally regulated, meaning that the the power drawn from the battery remains at a constant the whole time. No slowly waning light over a very long time. Bright, even light for say an hour, and then it dies. You are given a warning ahead of that point when it flashes on and off several times. It’s waterproof and is constructed from aircraft grade aluminum and coated with a tough anodized finish.

All in all, a really fantastic flashlight in a very light, compact size. Easy to carry every day. I carry it in my hand at night, ready to turn on at a moment’s notice, either just for general illumination, but also as a self defence mechanism should that need ever arise. The light is blindingly bright.

The only real draw back to it is that it has a ring inside the tail cap that comes loose just from the vibrations of walking, and prevents the light from coming on. Now that I know this though, I just open the tail cap every few days and tighten the ring back up. The ring has two dimple in it and any small point will suffice – a ball point pen, a paper clip, the tooth pick from my Swiss Army Knife, etc. – can be put in to one of the dimples and turned to tighten. All in all, a small inconvenience for an other wise superb light.

In general I try to avoid products made in China like the plague. I’m always disappointed when I see the “made in China” on a product from a North American company. And I’m even more disappointed by cheap Chinese knockoffs of products that were developed in North America. But Fenix is a company that is totally upfront about being from China, and they’re coming out with really innovative products at a really decent price. Worth checking out. Compared to a company like MagLite who’ve been resting on their wilting laurels for a very long time, and SureFire who make great products but at breathtaking prices, Fenix is a worthy contender.

And of course, this great little light needed to be jazzed up with a fob. Makes pulling it out of its sheath very easy. I also left enough of a loop so that I can put it over my thumb or forefinger when carrying it. If I need to free my hand up for something, I can just let it go and it won’t clatter to the ground. And there’s like this totally profound concept behind it eh, like it’s white and black, like the light cutting through the dark. Woah, is that deep or what? :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment