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Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight???
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Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/12/2008 14:34:19 MDT Print View

I like my two year old Arc-P AAA. Plenty bright for night hiking.

I have not used the Fenix E0. Sounds like it may be better in battery life. Reported to be a bit dimmer than the Arc-P but not by much. Lasts a few hours longer???

I like the Photon Freedom to the Max White- but not quite bright enough for night hiking.

Wondering what the flashlight guru's here think is the "IT" light for all around LW backpacking.

If you could only carry ONE sub 1 to 2oz light, which one?

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 05/12/2008 14:54:16 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 11/20/2014 19:58:32 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/12/2008 15:15:31 MDT Print View

Hi Ron

You haven't defined just what you want from the flashlight. Do you want enough light to cook dinner and check the stakes before you go to sleep, or do you want to go night walking off track?

For camp use, have a look at the Photon Rex.


Michael B
(mbenvenuto) - F

Locale: Vermont
fenix E01 on 05/12/2008 15:17:25 MDT Print View

The new version of the fenix E0 is out the E01, which is twice as bright (more or less) with the same run time, 10+ hours then moon mode. I have the older E0, and that is a decent amount of light for around camp use, but too dim for hiking. Not sure if the E01 would be bright enough for hiking either.

I have the L1D and the L2D body too, and they put out a ton of light on high and last a very long time on low, but 2 AAs is not going to be UL at all. But I appreciate having the options of different settings at times over the simple EO.

So if I had to choose just one, the LOD with multiple settings is probably a better choice. However, the Liteflux LF2 may be even better, since it is programable, which would allow an ultra low power setting, for super long run time.

Edited by mbenvenuto on 05/12/2008 15:18:27 MDT.

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/12/2008 15:28:29 MDT Print View

For any and all UL backpacking applications the new Zebralight H-30 is my fav. YMMV. I also have the Fenix L0D AAA, find a headlamp more useful.

Super low-low (camp chores yes!)
Nice medium (general night hiking)
Super high-high (blow out the trail night hiking yes!)
Headlamp, side mounted beam
sub-2oz with batt and strap
rechargeable rcr123a batts
overall form factor shorter than AA, a bit wider.
New Q5 cree led.
Push button cap
extremely long batt life on low, good at m/h

Manf. site:

Flashlight Nerds Review:

BPL discuss:

Edited by jhaura on 05/12/2008 15:32:10 MDT.

jon goldsmith
(jegsmith) - F
best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/12/2008 17:11:05 MDT Print View

Jhaura, do you find that the h30 is bright enough in general? I was looking into it but was sort of turned off by the cr123 form factor. What is the battery life? Is it bright enough for night hiking?


Jon Goldsmith

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/12/2008 18:44:21 MDT Print View

I'm fairly simple- I just one one light do do it all.

Must be super easy to use and dependable/water proof.

I found my ARC-P 9 lumens fine for fairly short night hiking. I carry it in my hand at waist level.

Features are OK only if it is simple. I hate going clickity click clik clik trying to get it to a setting. Bat change must be fast and simple in the dark.

I don't use one much in camp - maybe 10-20 min per night but I want one that I can hike a fairly good trail with no problem.

Daniel Goldenberg
(DanG) - M
Arc-XXX for me on 05/12/2008 20:06:37 MDT Print View

Hi Ron,

If I could have just one do it all flashlight I'd pick the Arc XXX P, especially since you indicate it's bright enough for you for night hiking. There's more advanced flashlights out there with multiple settings, a brighter LED, etc but the Arc XXX P just has a certain Zen like simplicity and robust functionality. On and off, that's all you need. Sure, some other flashlights have multiple power settings, but the Arc seems to have a brightness that hits the sweet spot for me. Not too bright, not to dim. But what I really like about this light is the beam pattern, it's kind of like in between a flood and a spot light. It's really great for around camp and good for hiking too. I find that most of the other lights I have tried have more of a spot beam which is good for hiking but I don't like that pattern for camp chores or reading.

I've got an Arc XXX P premium from a couple of years ago (probably the same as the one you have) plus I just bought another one. Arc recently updated the LED on the Arc XXX P and it's a little brighter.

I've bought a few other AAA and AA state of the art flashlights like the Fenix LOD-CE, (AAA battery), Fenix POD-CE (CR123) battery, plus I have a Jetbeam that runs off a AA battery. These latter flashlights are very impressive, they have the latest CREE LED (the Arc XXX does not), multiple power settings, etc but I don't like the spot beam that most of these flashlights seem to have. I find them less useful for camp chores than a flood beam, but that's my personal preference. Also, the clips on the fenix lights I've bought are rather flimsy and don't hold well if you want to attach them to a hat brim. The clip on the arc is excellent and holds well. personally, I find the multiple light settings, flash modes, etc neat but find that I don't really use them much. So I prefer the simple on off of the arc xxx.

I think the AAA size lights are nice, they have a good balance of weight and battery life. For winter, or if I was going to do some serious long night hiking, the AA size would probably be better as they have much longer battery life.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/12/2008 21:49:01 MDT Print View

I have a slight flashlight fetish... so it hard for me to narrow things down to a single flashlight. First on my list from specs and other's reviews , but I haven't used is the Photon Proton Pro because it has a good long throw for navigation, good regulation, a good UI, and a very low light mode for extremely long battery life. Another flashlight worth mention is the ritter eQ because it's very small and light, durable, and has a lens reflector which I have found to be broad enough for use around the camp, but has a center focus which gives it more through than just about any other mini light.

Edited by verber on 05/13/2008 08:44:11 MDT.

twig .
(bretthartwig) - MLife

Locale: Australia
arc p light on 05/12/2008 22:23:29 MDT Print View

I'm with Daniel,
I take the Arc most times because it is simple, has a great general purpose beam and it has a great finish to it. I have used a couple of Fenix's on my keyring for every day use and the paint soon scratches off, I had a AAA one that had a loose twist mechanism, it would often switch itself on in my pocket, it also kept on untwisting, eventually I lost the end of it. I am currently using a Fenix 100D CR123 on my keyring, it is amazingly bright on full power, but I don't often need that much power for walking, and it is no good clipping it to a hat brim.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Re "Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight???" on 05/13/2008 02:02:10 MDT Print View

At 1 about ounce, the Fenix L0D. At about 2 ounces, the Petzl Zipka.
The Zipka's retractable cord allows it to be mounted just about anywhere. Tent interior, tree, hiking stick, belt, shoulder strap, wrist, bike handlebar, and even as a headlamp. One do it all light; with the L0D as backup/handlight.
Fenix L0D
Pezl Zipka

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/13/2008 06:12:44 MDT Print View

I agree with Jhaura, I have both the Zebralight H30 and the Fenix LOD CE and together they work very well. The H30 comes with a clip that you can attach to your sternum strap to get a flood light effect. Wearing the Fenix on my hat brim gives me distance lighting. That said if my route did not require serious night time navigation I would go with just the H30. The only downer in the batteries are expensive even though the runtime has been super long so far on my night time run's

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/13/2008 09:05:12 MDT Print View

I like my ARC AAA. It has a very smooth beam pattern which is a relief around camp. If I’m not doing night hiking, this is what I take. I clip it to my hat. Battery change is easy.

If I am doing night hiking, I like my Fenix L1D. It’s weird, the ‘dim’ setting is too bright for me around camp. Oh well. I love the flash mode, but not for backpacking. I use the flash mode on my bike for about 2000 miles/yr. Battery change is easy.

Another 1.5 oz headlamp I use every once in a while is the Gerber Triode. It’s single AAA with 3 LEDs. It gives beautiful beam flood in camp. The battery change is easy but there’s a trick to putting the battery in. The chamber must be held vertical, or the springy thing will tip over and get smashed when the battery is inserted.

About 10 years ago, I loved my single-coin cell lights. But that got to be a drag for changing the battery and for the short 15 minute life before it’s 50% dim.

I love lights that use 1 or 2 cheap generic AA or AAA batteries. I don’t like the 3-cell versions because of:
1. They start dimming immediately after first turning it on. But the pro is they will go on for a long time (howbeit at 50%).
2. I can’t buy ‘3-packs’ of batteries.
3. probably not regulated. Regulated lights usually can squeeze every last battery drop out for the most useful radiance.


Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re: Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/14/2008 13:38:11 MDT Print View

The Zebra H-30 looks very nice. Any one who owns both havea direct comparison to the ARC P in trail hiking ability on the Med setting?

Have you use the H30 clipped to a waist belt or sternum strap?

Thanks for all the responses.

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Re: Re: Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/14/2008 13:55:16 MDT Print View

Hey Ron, I have the Arc P and the H30. While the H30 on the Med setting is def slightly brighter, the real difference is the beam coverage you get. While most lights give you a strong spotlight with high intensity in the center of the beam, the H30 lights up everything in your field of vision with the even intensity. I have run at night with the H30 on med and I find that I am no longer tripping on sticks or rocks b/c I can see what is going on around my feet and not just what is up the trail. If you really need to see what is going on flicking it onto the high setting is super impressive. I have not used it clipped to my sternum strap yet, but I have clipped it to the waist band of my shorts when running and it was great. In the past I have used a Petzl tikka with a clip to do this but it bounced everywhere and drove me nuts. The H30 is small enough and the clip is sturdy enough to hold it firmly in place.

Another bene of this light is that sections of the head strap and a replacement on/off switch are glow in the dark which is super helpful when waking in the middle of the night and looking for your lost light.

The only downsides I have found are the CR321 batteries, but I justified it by purchasing rechargeables.

By the by, love my Super Zip

(jhaura) - F

Locale: Trail
Re: Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/14/2008 14:04:33 MDT Print View

Rechargeable batteries and chargers for the H-30 are avail on CP forums through a guy named AW. The protected RCR123As are $6 each, and a nano charger (cool UL name!) is around $13. If you have other sizes of batts to charge check out the wf-149 charger. A lot of the guys there use his stuff:

(site currently down, temporary)

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Re: Best UL/SUL BPing Flashlight??? on 05/20/2008 17:16:08 MDT Print View

I just bought a NON-ultralight Fenix torch... the P3D. So I cannot answer your question directly, but I can say that, based on this purchase, Fenix makes a simply astounding products. I bought the light primarily for search and rescue work and it's insane. I tested it on the weekend... 20KM from civilization... on an overcast night. On the brightest setting in general mode (120 lumens) it brightly lit up a tree 100 meters away across an open area... it even threw some light on trees far across a small cove... and it penetrated very deeply into thick woods. Point it into the sky and you can actually see the beam... like a Hollywood search light. And then there's "turbo" mode. It turns night into day.

Of course... you don't need that much power for backpacking... but the performance and quality of this light has me considering their smaller / lighter torches for that purpose. The price is right too. Their main competitor is probably SureFire and their prices are generally about twice as much as Fenix.

Edited by davidlewis on 05/20/2008 17:22:44 MDT.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Flashlights-Headlamp on 05/20/2008 18:17:44 MDT Print View

Black Diamond ION- Simple, lightweight=0.8oz after you trim the headband. Batteries {6V}0.3oz are so tiny, easy to bring a spare as a back-up. Not a flashlight but can be used as one.

John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Fenix L0D Pulsing on 06/02/2008 00:44:17 MDT Print View

Has anyone run into trouble with the Pulse Width Modulation on the low setting on their L0D? Specifically, eye fatigue after reading with it for a while, or weird strobe effects while walking?

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
'pulse strobe on L0D a problem' / no on 06/02/2008 03:43:14 MDT Print View

John, I use the L0D as a daily light. No fatigue problems with the strobe. It is much to fast to be noticed by the human eye, unless the target is moving quickly in darkness, such as a fan blade, swinging walking stick, etc..