When you go camping it gets dark. Sometimes, really dark. So you really need a flashlight that will illuminate the night and keep you from tripping over that poorly placed root. That's why a great flashlight is number three on my packing list, after my tent and sleeping bag of course. I feel it goes without saying that we love LRI’s line of flashlights. Heck our company is named after them.
That being said, I am obsessed with the new Gorrillatorch Switchback from Joby.
So the run down on the Gorillatorch Switchback is that it transforms from a powerful, compact lantern to a high-performance 130 lumen headlamp, all using a single 5-LED light array. The Switchback’s smart ergonomic design features a rugged yet sleek exterior, which makes it the perfect companion for your camping, climbing, or backpacking exploits. The Gorillatorch Switchback features the same flexible, wrappable legs found in Joby's incredibly popular Gorillapod flexible camera tripod, plus includes a bonus camera adapter clip to use the flexible tripod legs with your point & shoot camera as well.
To put it simply this thing is the transformer of flashlights. It goes from a headlamp to a lantern and it can hang from just about anything or wrap around what it can’t hang off of.
Did I mention it was ridiculously light-weight? No, well I should have.
Aside from the Switchback, I can’t go camping without my Photon Freedom Micro. Mostly because one is always attached to my keys, backpack, sleeping bag, tent, etc. etc. etc.
The product page for the Freedom Micro describes it as, “The easiest to use, most powerful, full-featured LED micro-light available! Single-button operation provides full range brightness control plus safety strobe beacons. Fully water resistant and includes the popular Photon hands-free clip & necklace clip, at no additional charge. Ready for any daily need or emergency, the Photon Freedom Micro personal flashlight features simple, intuitive single-button operation to provide quick, easy access to the features you use most, with additional mode settings available only when you need them.”
What it should read is, “This is the light you will use everyday, for everything, and you will forget what life was like before you had one.”
It is so bright that it's like having a full size flashlight attached to you at all times. Great for grilling, finding bathrooms, hiking, biking, attaching to a dog’s collar so you can see them in the dark, etc. etc. etc. If you have this light, you are thinking of 18 ways to use it that I haven’t mentioned. If you don’t have this light, you may think I am overselling the little thing, but trust me I'm not. It's everything I’ve mentioned and more.
At first glance, Photon's Proton Pro may seem a little pricey for something that is only slightly larger than the single AA battery that powers it. But this frugal camper couldn’t camp without it. It is all the brightness of a Mag-Lite with the girth of a tube of chap stick, and really how many times have you forgotten that you had a tube of chap stick in your shorts?
The Proton PRO boasts a single high-power 2W Cree LED producing an incredible 115 max lumens, powered by a single AA battery. A smaller red LED provides an optional low power secondary beam with full range dimming ability and a safety strobe.
With its impressive 115 lumen output, the Proton PRO is one of brightest single-AA flashlights on the market.
Last but not least, is the Photon Rex. As far as function & versatility goes, this is in my opinion, one of the coolest lights we sell.
The Rex features a unique charging system that allows it to be charged up to 500 times from just about any standard household battery. The included charging adapter features magnetic battery contacts that will quickly attach to any AA or D cell battery. The ReX features four extremely bright LEDs in a single-line array, and offers full-range adjustable brightness, multiple signal modes and an automatic SOS mode.
What really makes the Rex cool though, is that you can now charge it via USB or solar power with the optional Solar/USB Charging Kit.
Continue reading: Part 2: The Right Tool for the Job