Sunday, October 1, 2017

Surefire E1B Backup with Max Vision (MV)

I recently picked up the new Surefire E1B Backup with Max Vision (MV) to replace my misplaced EDC light Sunwayman V10R Ti+. The Sunwayman was my go-to EDC light for the past 4.5 years and the light that has been in my pocket the longest. There were many reasons why I chose the light a few years ago, but I originally chose the Sunwayman based on a couple key features.

• The ability to run on rechargeable batteries (16340). The main issue that I previously had was not having “full” batteries when putting it in my pocket every morning. With the rechargeable 16340’s I could ensure that they were topped off every night. I used to have repeating dreams that my EDC light would die on me because the batteries were never fresh. Rather than keeping a spare battery or in some cases a spare light as a spare battery holder, I can easily rely on the rechargeable lithium ions in my main light.

• Single cell (compact) format. I used to EDC an E2DL, but decided to downsize my EDC a few years back. Now with current technology, the smaller lights now are brighter outputs and longer runtimes than the incandescent E2D (65 lumens) that I used to carry. While I can get away with a larger light in most the clothes I wear, having a smaller light makes it easier to carry regardless of what types of clothes I'm wearing.

• High quality and durable construction and finish. I don’t baby anything I own, and just like any other tool it’s meant to get used. While I don’t necessarily need the best and most reliable product to get me through my day, it gives me some piece of mind that it will work when I need it to.

• Multilevel output (high & low). I don’t need a wall of light at all times, so its nice to have the option of lower outputs. I do believe in having the brightest, but having a practical low setting makes it an all around useful light

The Sunwayman V10R Ti+ has been an outstanding light that has been in my pocket over the past 4.5 years. Had it not been thinking it was lost (and found in a pair of pants recently) it probably would have easily done EDC duty for many more years. Since the Sunwayman was doing such a great job for EDC duty, I never really looked at replacing it.

The reason I didn’t EDC any Surefire as long as I did my Sunwayman was the inability to run rechargeable batteries. If I didn’t temporarily misplace my Sunwayman it could be easily another few years before I found out that the newer Surefire lights support rechargeable lithium ion batteries. Apparently the EB1 was one of the first to accept recharagables, which came out shortly after I got my Sunwayman, so it’s not necessarily breaking news. The Sunwayman was one of my last major light purchases 4+ years ago, and I kind have left the online flashlight community around that time and never kept up.

When I was looking for a replacement, I was thrilled to find out that the new Surefires run fine with rechargeable batteries. I was quite the Surefire fanboy when I dived into flashlights many years ago. I probably had 30-40 Surefires over the years (incans, turboheads, all color variations of G2s, original “Laser Products” lights, and what I would like to consider the first XML - E1DL), and in the back of my mind, it was kind of heartbreaking not having a Surefire in my pocket. I rotated between many Surefires in the past E1E, E1B, E2E, E2D, E2DL, custom XML E1DL, L1, L2, etc, but nothing ever stayed in my pocket as long as the V10R Ti+.

I had no concerns about Surefire’s durability. They are the hands down the best in the industry of which all other lights are compared to. They also have the best customer service that I have ever dealt with on multiple occasions. While my Sunwayman never really had any issues, having the Surefire E1B MV backed by their legendary name is comforting when spending this much on a light

The 400 lumen high (1.25hrs), 5 lumen low (50hrs) is perfect. Though I still like the idea of a variable ring found one the V10R Ti+ (or Surefire U2), I mostly used it in the high or low mode and only used the middle outputs when transitioning from one to the other. It’s also a plus that it appears that the 400 lumen rating is the same for both lithium primaries and rechargables. The V10R Ti+ only had the 500 lumens while running the 16340’s and a significantly lower output with primaries.

The Max Vision (MV) beam is something relatively new to Surefire and provides a more uniform beam. While the TIR optics of the E2DL/E1B's provided a high intensity hot spot, I found that a more floodier type beam is more useful for general day to day tasks. The TIR optics are ideal for putting a spot on something outside (nice on my AR) but for my EDC uses, the beam shape is too harsh anywhere else. The MV is a more even flood than your typical reflector lights, almost similar to a orange peel reflector/diffused lens without loosing any lumen output. It has a faint hotspot and bright corona that creates a nice even useful beam pattern.

The one minor thing I changed on this light was the tailcap. I switched it out for the shrouded Scout tailcap as I like to be able to tailstand my EDC lights. I primarily use it to "umbrella" the room whenever I use it in this fashion. I tried the scalloped tailcap of the Defender series, but I liked the look of the Scout tailcap a little bit better and I didn't feel that I lost any usability with the non-scalloped shroud.

The new E1B MV, met all of the requirements that originally drew me to the Sunwayman V10R Ti+. Since there have been many Surefire’s in my past I knew it wouldn’t disappoint me. Even though I found my Sunwayman a couple days later, the E1B MV has already took over as my main EDC light and I won’t be switching back anytime soon.

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