Fenix E11 and Streamlight Nano flashlights

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

For Chrismahanakwanzakah I received, among other things, a nice down jacket. I’d been wanting something that I could compress down to about the size of a Foster’s can and tuck away in my bag. I was up at REI looking to buy some sort of stuff sack for it and stumbled into a closeout sale. I really wasnt looking for anything but this flashlight caught my eye. (I’m a sucker on a deal for a good flashlight.) It’s the Fenix E11LED flashlight. (Fenix 105 Lumens Flashlight) What jumped out at me was that it was a good output (100 lumens), had the usual tailcap switch, had two brightness levels and..this was the clincher….ran on a single AA batt.

Now, I love my SureFire lights. While I understand that performance does not come cheap, there are times I don’t need a $100 flashlight that uses $4 batteries…..like when I’m picking up Nuke waste on our midnight walks. The Fenix E11 was on sale for $19.95 so I grabbed one. I figured it would be a good ‘disposable’ flashlight and if I liked it I would get a few more to salt away in my various packs and bags.

Loaded it up with a new Duracell AA and was mightily impressed. I like this little flashlight. It throws a somewhat unfocussed beam thats good for about 50′, is very compact, has a lanyard attachment, and uses cheap readily available AA batts. I’m liking this light a lot.

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Biggest drawback is that it is, dammit, Made In China. Of course, thats also why it was $20 and not $120. I’m gonna have to go get a few more, a package of lithium AA batts, and these will be the flashlights I leave in the truck and shop kits. It’s not something that will replace my primary lights, which are SureFire and MagLite, but for those times when I want a light that I dont care if it gets lost or damaged this would be an excellent choice.

On Amazon they go for about 1/3 more than what I paid but you’d save that after a few battery changes where you weren’t paying for expensive CR123 batts. So far, Im very, very pleased with this light.

To my surprise and delight, one of these (Streamlight 73001 Nano Light Miniature Keychain LED Flashlight, Black) showed up in my mailbox a week ago…a gift from a thoughtful reader. (….who now gets a shout-out and sincere thank you from yours truly.) Normally, I like the little Photon microlights for keychain/zipperpull lights. But…I’m mightily impressed with this little Streamlight. The major negative review about it is that the twist-to-turn-on/off head can twist a little too easily and come on in your pocket. This wasnt a big deal for me since I planned on using it as a zipperpull, but buried in the reviews on Amazon was a comment from a fella telling how he removed the head, wrapped a little teflon tape around the threads, put the head back on and the problem of the too-easy-to-twist was solved.

This is an excellent light for finding your keys/keyhole in the dark, looking for stuff in your truck at night, etc, etc. Best part is that the darn thing is always with you if you have it hooked to your zipper. The wife an I were unloading the truck in the dark and I let her use it…she was so impressed with it she got on her computer and ordered up five more for her other coats and jackets. She doesn’t get excited easily about preparedness toys so this must be a really good piece of gear. Use itty bitty coin batteries but at about $7 per light, I’m rating these as ‘disposable’ although if you wanna buy a buncha those little batteries you can certainly replace then. Battery life is said to be about eight hours…that’s a long time whe you think about the intermittent use of a product like this.

Anyway, two really cool, really handy lights that I thought I’d bring to your attention.

(Did I mention the E11 takes a single AA batt? Thats my favorite thing about it!)

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