Archive for the ‘Gear’ Category

5.11 ATAC L1 Review


I’m a strong believer in carrying a flashlight when I travel.  Flashlights are frequently helpful, and the right one can even improve your level of security.  In search of a smaller light that I would be inclined to carry more often, I purchased a 5.11 ATAC L1.   My beloved Surefire 6PX is just too big to drop in my pocket all the time, and doesn’t have a clip.  The ATAC flashlight line is new to 5.11.  There’s no doubt that 5.11 makes some high quality gear, so I decided to give this a shot.  Boy am I glad I did!  It’s a GREAT light.

  • Low level output is great for finding things in my bag, under a seat, etc.
  • High level is bright enough to temporarily blind/stun someone who poses a threat to you, buying time.
  • Strobe output would be very disorienting to someone, or would make a great signal if you were trying to summon help.
  • An integral clip keeps the light securely clipped to my brief case, or my pocket.
  • A rubber grommet keeps it from rolling off the nightstand.
  • The rotating lock-out tail cap make it easy to ensure the light doesn’t get turned-on in by bag.  Yet it’s quick to disengage when I need to use it.  I don’t engage this all the time, but it’s handy at times.
  • CR-123 batteries run for a long time, and maintain their charge better than alkalines.
  • Single cell design is compact and light (no pun intended)

After a few weeks of carrying the light frequently, I’m very pleased.  The only thing I’d like to change about the light is the switch opertion order.  Instead of coming on high then going down to low, I’d rather it come on low first.  I use the light frequently for general illumination, and it’s annoying to have to double-tap the switch every time.   I understand that as a self defense tool, coming on bright first is a great choice, but for me

Do you carry a light?  What works well for you?

5.11 ATAC L1 Flashlight


PS  This light seems to be in direct competition with the Surefire E1B, which costs over twice as much.  It’s well worth a look.  Surefire makes some great lights, but they’ve been getting away with huge premiums because of their name.  Glad to see some competition in the market!