Archive for December, 2010

Surefire Flashlight Awesomeness!!!


Last month some goon at the Newark airport stole my flashlight…but I’m okay with that now, because Delta reimbursed me for the cost and the replacement arrived today, and it ROCKS!!!!  My old light isn’t made anymore, so I decided on the Surefire 6PX Pro.  It’s a dual-output LED flashlight, with a 15 lumen low output and 200 lumen high output setting.  Trust me when I say that 200 lumens is blinding.  In a normally lit room, looking at it shining on the palm of my hand hurts my eyes.  If someone were to have it shine directly in their eyes, they’d be seeing spots for a while.

I think the Surefire marketing team has missed the mark, because the most amazing feature of this light isn’t even mentioned in their literature or videos.  Get this…when you first press on the tail cap, you get the low beam every time.  This is great, because the vast majority of times that you’ll use the light, you only want the low output.  And if you don’t want the high output, you don’t have to cycle the switch past the high setting every time.  To get the high output, you release the button and press it again within two seconds.   You can even do this without fully “clicking” on the light.  So you can almost instantly get the high beam by tap-tapping the button.  Then if you want the high beam to stay on,  just push till it clicks.  Or click it on to the low, then if you need to you can click it off and press again quickly to get to high beam.

The 15 lumen low beam will run for 45 hours on a pair of batteries, or you can run it at 200 lumens for 2.5 hours.  Given the very long life at low setting, I’m sure I’ll use this light a whole lot more than I used my old light.  The 123A batteries aren’t cheap, but 45 hour of run time will last me a LONG time.

So what does this have to do with travel?  It’s a safety thing.  There are lots of times that you may need additional light:  searching your bag in a poorly lit area, checking-out a rental car at night,visibility during a power outage, etc.  A good/bright flashlight can also be a very effective defensive weapon.  When traveling by air these days, you can’t carry any kind of weapons at all.  But a flashlight is still legal.  If an attacker can’t see you, they can’t effectively continue to attack you.  A super bright light will temporarily blind someone, giving you precious time to strike back, or relocate.  I carried my other light with me wherever I traveled, and it usually lived in my brief case.  The only down side of the new light is that there’s no clip on it, so I’ll have to be careful not to lose it.

The 6PX Pro is made of anodized aluminum and retails for $79.  The G2X Pro is a polymer bodied version of the same light, and costs only $65.

Surefire 6PX Pro

Delta Did Me Right


On a recent trip to NJ, I had a Garmin GPS and a flashlight stolen from my checked bag.  I almost NEVER check a bag, even/especially on long trips to Asia.  But on this particular trip I was going to play tennis with some guys from the office, so I needed to bring some extra stuff and it just seemed easier.  What I should have done was put the GPS and light in my carry-on.  But I was lazy, and dropped it in the checked bag as I got out of my car.  And as fate would have it, some jerk in Newark’s baggage claim stole them.  I know it was there because despite the Priority tag on the bag, mine was one of the last on the belt.

I didn’t notice this till I got the keys to my rental car and tried to pull-out the GPS.   It wasn’t right on top, so I reached for the flashlight (clipped just inside) to help me find the GPS in the dark.  But the flashlight was gone, too.  I took the train back to the terminal and went to the Delta baggage office.  They were closed for the night (it was nearly 1:00 am) but there was a phone number on the door.  I called and was told to download a claim form from the website.

I dutifully filled-out the form when I returned from my trip and had access to my old receipts.  I faxed (what’s that?) it off to Delta fully expecting them to say “You travel how often?  And you put something of value in your luggage?  Sorry, your incompetence is not our problem.”   Instead I got an e-mail saying that they were reviewing my claim and would respond in 6-8 weeks.  Within only about 3 weeks I got a letter in the mail saying that my claim was approved and I’d be getting a check in a couple weeks.  Lo and behold, the check arrived just a couple days later!

I don’t know if they’re this nice to everybody, or if the $20,000+ I’ve spent with you this year affected the outcome.  Regardless…thank you, Delta!