Surefire E1B Backup

The E1B is a flashlight designed to be used as a backup light for law enforcement and related jobs. The light features a Cree LED with TIR optics and two levels of output using a single C123 battery.

The switch of the E1B is new for Surefire lights, it is a clickie switch that goes to high mode with the first click and to low mode with a second one. A light press of the switch without clicking from off gives you momentary maximum mode. This is probably intended to provide maximum light quickly in case of need but it is certainly a problem if you just need low light and want to preserve night vision.

The light runs for about 1.3 hours in maximum mode providing about 80 lumen of light in low mode it will last for about 35 hours at 5 lumen which is good enough for reading and general navigation.

The pocket clip is bidirectional meaning that you can clip the light bezel up or bezel down depending on your preferences the body in anodized aluminum type III is very strong but has been streamlined so it won't be agressive with pockets or clothing this is a good detail if the idea is to keep the light clipped for very long times and use it in case of need. The clip is also very strong and unless something terrible happens the light won't be lost.

This is not the brightest Cree light in the market and it is not the most functional light either but as a general purpose light or a backup light it is a very good option and its certainly brighter in high mode than many single cell lighs out there.

You can get it for $110 from BatteryJunction.

Leatherman Skeletool

The Skeletool is a streamlined fullsized multitool offering the most basic tools at a reduced price and weight. The tool includes pliers with needle noose ends and wire cutters, a blade, a driver that can use exchangeable bits, a carabiner and bottle opener a bit storage compartment and a removable pocket clip, nothing else. There are two versions of the skeletool, the regular one in aluminum with a plain blade and the CX version with tungsten cover and a partially serrate blade.

The pliers are strong and good as it is common in leatherman tools, the handles are ergonomic but if you need to do a lot of pressure the grip might be a little unconfortable. The blade is made of 420HC steel and is plain in the aluminum version and partially serrated in the CX version, it cuts really well and locks in place when deployed.

The driver is compatible with the charger bits, included are two philips and two flat screwdriver bits, you can store one bit in the driver and an extra one in the tool handle so you can carry your two most used bits in the tool, it works really well and has a good torque. The carabiner doubles as a bottle opener, it is probably not the best carabiner nor the best bottle opener found in a multitool, the tension of the spring is slightly annoying when opening bottles and when clipped the tool just moves a lot, the way the tool is clipped is a little strange so its not easy to find a way to carry it using the carabiner. The pocket clip that is removable works very well and being the tool small is quite good for pocket carry.

At only 5 ounces (142 grams) the Skeletool is a reduced version of the Charger with many of the tools left behind but if you need a light tool and the options this tool provides are good for you then you can find a serviceable light option in the Skeletool.

You can get it for $60 from Amazon.