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small backup flashlight...Fenix E01

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small backup flashlight...Fenix E01

Postby SSSdave » Thu Oct 13, 2016 4:45 pm

The below links to one of the best backup flashlights for backpackers, the Fenix E01 that currently goes for just $11 at Amazon:

For backpacking almost all of us carry a headlamp for reasons that need not be explained in this knowledgeable user community. However it is one of a few key items where some kind of backup provides important safety like a second Bic lighter or pair of eyeglasses. The notion of bringing two headlamps would add unnecessary weight while a really small spare flashlight weighs little. The waterproof bombproof aluminum body E01 is minimally larger than a single AAA battery that powers it and weighs just 14 grams sans AAA.

There are smaller LED flashlights than the E01 that use coin button batteries but light outputs are sure to be weak as battery cell capacities are much less than an AAA. Additionally coin button batteries are not rechargeable and if lithium, expensive to toss. The E01 uses a voltage regulating IC that provides a constant 13 lumen brightness regardless of how much an AAA has run down as long as it is above a minimum threshold. That regulation also means there is not the usual cheap flashlight brightness level advantage to using an alkaline battery (new 1.65volts) versus a charged NiMH (charged 1.2 volts) given similar capacities. Nor does the light dim as the battery gradually discharges.

I own 4 of the E01's in different colors and use high capacity NiMH batteries of which I have dozens of both AA and AAA. Out in the backcountry one is always in my daypack and back at home or hi tech workplace, one is always in my pocket. There is a hole at the end of the aluminum body one can push a cord through in order to make a wrist loop that can be especially functional in the dark. Slipped around one's wrist inside a tent where bears may visit, it provides a certain readily available light source when one suddenly wakes up by spooky sounds of twigs breaking nearby.

David ... les-0.html

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Re: small backup flashlight...Fenix E01

Postby longri » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:41 pm

That's a nice light. With a AAA alkaline battery it would weigh about 26g, just shy of an ounce. Too bad you can't strap it to your head.

With a regulator one might suppose you could use a disposible lithium AAA but Fenix doesn't say that it's acceptable. Maybe their regulator can't deal with voltages greater than 1.5V. Too bad if that's the case since a lithium AAA is lighter and lasts longer, especially in the cold.

Either way, I think as a backup for camp use it's overkill.

SSSdave wrote:There are smaller LED flashlights than the E01 that use coin button batteries but light outputs are sure to be weak as battery cell capacities are much less than an AAA.

My keychain LED weighs less than 12g with the batteries. It puts out more light (16 lumens) in high power mode than the Fenix E01. But that much light is rarely necessary around camp. And, unlike the Fenix, it also has a lower power mode. In the lower light setting it lasts up to three times longer than the E01. I almost never think about changing the batteries. I can't remember the last time I did.
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