The last post showed you the EDC Tactical lights from HDS Systems and this one is going to talk about the EDC Executive line. Unlike the Tactical series, the Executive models have a flush button that allows you to tail stand the lights. They also have a shiny pocket clip, a silver stainless steel bezel, and a slightly different interface where momentary operation and strobe are not activated by default.
The Executive lights still feature the same burly construction and ultra durable components as the Tactical lights, so the differences are mostly aesthetic. Peep the video below if you need some help deciding between the two.
The HDS Systems (formerly Ra Lights) EDC Tactical flashlights are some incredibly tough little illumination tools featuring burly bodies, thick stainless steel bezels, hardened lenses, customizable interfaces, and a whole lot of other premium features. HDS is still a small US company, so you can call and talk to the owner who is also the designer, customer support, and pretty much everything else for the company. The lights have four different modes, all of which can be programmed to a dizzying array of options. The Tactical versions have black bezels and clips and have a protruding switch that keeps them from tail standing but makes then easier to activate in return. They also have momentary activation programmed in by default, which is something that I like to have over the default Executive programming.
The Surefire M3LT Combatlight is the company’s first high output LED light and it is an impressive start. The light has two outputs, 400 and 70 lumens, giving you the flexibility between lighting up objects hundreds of yards away or dropping the output for closer objects and better battery life. Keep in mind that Surefire’s lumen ratings are way understated, so 400 lumens from them is the same as double that from the other companies you have seen us mention.
The M3LT uses the same two stage type switch as the LX2, A2L, and similar lights. Press a little for the lower output and all the way for the higher output. The M3LT has probably the best looking beam I have seen on a high output light thanks to its TIR lens that collects and projects the light in a super smooth and even beam.
Watch the ultra exciting (OK, that depends on how exciting you find flashlights to be) video below:
Surefire makes some great lights, but their rigorous testing means that sometimes their LEDs are not the brightest on the market. Several companies make drop ins meant to replace the P60 size bulbs or LEDs that are in the 6P, G2, and many other lights, but ThruNite makes some of the best we have found for a really reasonable price. They have three versions, one that has three modes for 2 cell (battery) lights, one that has three modes for 1 cell lights, and one that has one mode for 2 cell lights. The three mode versions work in lights that came with only one mode from the manufacturer thanks to some advanced circuitry that switches modes when you turn the light off and on quickly.
The drop ins are great for upgrading your LED lights to the latest and greatest LED, but really shine (brilliant wording, I know) when they replace incandescent bulbs that like to eat batteries, burn out after a short use, and generally be a pain in the rear.
Watch the video below if you want to see how you can upgrade your sorry old light:
I realized the importance of wearing a hat when during the last month of college, a buddy shaved his curly locks. I chock it up to misplaced anxiety. It wasnâ€™t being bald that shocked me. I couldn’t believe that the top of his head was sunburned. Apparently our hair doesnâ€™t provide much sun protection. If you were to get slightly burned or darkened, you wouldnâ€™t know to look under your hair at your scalp.
For a sunny day in the summer or fall, what do you wear on your noggin? Baseball cap, flex fit cap, beanie, buff, bandana, fedora, balaclava, visor, wide brim hat, or nothing? (There was that one buff that you soaked in water and it would evaporate and refresh you throughout the day.)
I really like my white Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap.
White or Khaki
Iâ€™m far from anything remotely called a runner but I still proudly wear my hat. It is a baseball style cap that is made of lightweight fabric with a SPF 30 rating. Plus, the hat features mesh panels running down the side, internal sweat band and expandable back. The real beauty is the detachable neck cape that you can snap on or off. The cape provides adjustable protection for your neck and cheeks. So when you donâ€™t want to look like a desert nomad fighting insurgents, just snap the cape off and youâ€™re a normal person with a baseball cap on. It is light enough that you can fold it and stuff in your pocket.
Maybe Iâ€™ll revisit the topic with winter hats, probably the Outdoor Research wide brim hats (Seattle Sombero and Nimus). I still remembering asking the college buddy why he did it. He said, â€œIts just one of those things.â€ Hopefully, with the proper sunscreen (previous article) and a good hat, I wonâ€™t end up with red scalp.
If you’re interested, REI is offering the hat at 30% for summer clearance. Unfortunately, goinggear.com doesn’t have it stock.
A brief introduction: Like most people, I know storl from another forum. I admit that I probably donâ€™t have much outdoor experience as you (the readers). But Iâ€™m fairly good at relaying info that might have skipped you. While storl might give you the latest and greatest technical review with videos, Iâ€™ll stick to the basics. Hopefully, hereâ€™s the first of many articles?
Are some parts of your body darker than others? I hate tan lines. When I head out for an outing, Iâ€™m always out of sun screen. Skin cancer is far from my mind. I donâ€™t want to get burned.
I stopped by Target to pick up sun screen. I left with more questions than answers. Maybe Iâ€™m old but I remember when you just had to pick the bottle with the highest SPF (sun protection factor) rating. SPF extends the time it takes damage your skin in the sun. A SPF of 30 would extend the normal amount of time that your skin damages by 30 times. At Target, I was looking at SPF ratings from 30 to 100+. The insane ratings reminded me of the old computer processing arms race or the marketed â€œhorsepowerâ€ in cars. Each company touted its own technologies (Neutrogenaâ€™s Helioplex and Spectrum +, Banana Boat Sportâ€™s Avotriplex, and Aveenoâ€™s line).
To achieve the high SPF levels, most companies listed these chemicals as their active ingredients: octisalate, octinoxate, avobenzone, homosalate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone. I remember reading that Neutrogenaâ€™s Helioplex (and other similar chemicals) are intercalculating agents but I couldn’t find the source and article for confirmation of this article. Bad memory? Crazy talk?Â Well, They work by getting in-between your skinâ€™s DNA and block the absorption of sunlight. Iâ€™m concerned about the possible mutagenic risks from any DNA intercalculating agents. According to wikipedia, helioplex is neutrogena’s formulation of Avobenzone and Oxybenzone. Regardless of how it works, I’m hesistant to have rub and absorb more chemicals than I have to. As with any information on the web, please conduct your own research into the chemicals before you use.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Coopertone Sensitive Skin that had the main active ingredient of zinc oxide. It is the stuff you see lifeguards wear on their noses on movies. Amazon sells fancy (and quite pricey) micronized zinc oxide sun screen. These companies ground up zinc oxide into a fine powder. These lotions dry as a protective barrier on your skin. They never get absorbed into the skin. The chemicals never get inside you. The drawbacks are that they are easier to wash off and might leave a white residue on your skin/face. This Coopertone Sensitive Skin option might provide the benefits of the zinc oxide at the price of normal sun screen. (In technical terms, you have the choice of sunscreen of a chemical blocker (the former) and a physical blocker (the latter).)
So what do you for look for besides SPF? First and foremost, you need to check if the product protects both UVA and UVB. UVB (surface tissue) protection prevents you from getting tan but the underlying UVA (deep tissue) damage could be more severe. Other sun screen features include sweatproof, non-greasy, water resistant, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and PABA free. I also recommend getting something not oily. I read many positive reviews on Neutrogenaâ€™s Ultra Sheer Formula for being almost unnoticeable. A good option would be to pick the childrenâ€™s version or the hypoallergenic versions because theyâ€™re the strictest (and hopefully safest) products.
No sun screen conservation is complete without discussing Vitamin D (or its lack thereof). Interestingly enough, when your body is exposed to sunlight, your body produces vitamin D. In David Servan-Schreiberâ€™s Anticancer, he recommends exposing yourself to 20 minutes of sunlight every day for a healthy (and cancer fighting) body. Unfortunately, Vitamin D deficiency has been on the rise with our enclosed lifestyles. My friend commented that no sun gets through his wifeâ€™s face because of impregnable SPF in her makeup. Maybe I just need to soak it all in.
I look forward to suggestions on what you use – forums
Surefire doesn’t just make lights intended for tactical or hardcore military. They also make lights that are perfect for a pocket, briefcase, or sissy man purse. The Surefire E1B Backup is Surefire’s answer to a pocket light. The E1B is compact enough to carry in the pocket but still bright enough to light up objects 100 yards away with easy. The light has two levels of output, 5 and 110 lumens (increased from 80 on the original), that are selected by either turning the light off and on or lightly pressing the button without clicking it all the way. These two outputs will cover most of your needs, allowing you to view up close items without burning your eyeballs on low and also lighting up creatures that go bump in the night on high.
One of these days I’ll post something that isn’t a flashlight video review, I promise.
The Surefire Saint and Saint Minimus headlamps feature the same rotary switch interface as the Titan T1A, making them some very easy to use and versatile headlamps. They both have the same output and general specs, but the Saint has a battery pack on the rear of the unit that gives it a significantly longer battery life than the Minimus version. The headlamps have an optic that produces a great beam with a perfect balance of wide area illumination and throw.
The Surefire U2 Ultra is a slight departure from Surefire’s normal philosophy of less is more. Instead of the one or two output levels of most Surefire lights, the U2 has six levels of output, giving you between 2 and 100 lumens for almost any lighting task. The modes are selected by twisting a ring below the head, similar to the JETBeam Raptor or Fenix TA lights. The action is silent though, unlike the JETBeam or Fenix models, so you can switch modes without alerting others in a tactical situation. Or, in my case, I can switch modes without having my dog hear, since he is a ninja stealth master.
The Surefire Titan T1A is the light that pushed me over the edge to become a Surefire dealer, so it was the first thing I put on my opening order from them. The light has probably the coolest interface I have seen, a rotary switch that makes the light brighter as you turn it further. This sounds simple and the concept has been around in home lighting and other applications for decades, but Surefire is one of the first flashlight companies to incorporate it into a handheld flashlight. Since the light does not have a traditional switch to take up extra room, the T1A is also a compact little bugger.
Check out the video below to see what the Titan can do: