I’m a lazy carrier. I have big guns, big knives and big lights, but when it comes time to gear up, I almost invariably choose the smallest gun, the lightest knife and the slimmest light. I just don’t like to be weighed down. I want to carry the least intrusive gear possible.
That’s why when it comes to a light, the most-used (read: carried) models I own are 1xAAA lights.
Lots of people think of 1xAAA flashlights as keychain lights, but I don’t like something that large hanging off my keychain. That’s probably just me. Anyway . . .
Besides their light weight and slim form factor, they also have the advantage of being powered by one of the most universally available batteries on the planet. Unlike lights that run on, say, 18650 batteries which require charging, or CR123 batteries which are relatively expensive, AAA batteries are cheap and available literally everywhere. I always have a spare in the pocket of the bag I carry just about everywhere I go.
The Olight iT3 EOS flashlight is small enough for any pocket, powerful enough for most everyday uses and affordable enough that you can buy a few to stash in strategic locations…and you won’t cry much if you lose one.
Unlike a lot of 1xAAA lights that twist on, the iT3 EOS is actuated by a rubber rear switch. It’s about as simple a user interface as it gets. Push the switch half way to select one of two brightness levels — 5 or 180 lumens — then lock it on by pushing the switch the rest of the way until it clicks. Another click turns it off. A simple hi/low switch is all most people need, especially in a small EDC light like this one.
The i3T EOS is solidly built with brass internal threading, rubber O-rings and a nicely milled aluminum body. That body has what Olight calls “double helix body knurling.” I call them spiral grooves that are enough to give you a nice grip on the flashlight. The 2-way clip is convenient, too, letting you carry it lens up or lens down in your pocket…or clip it to the brim of a baseball cap to use like a headlamp.
The i3T EOS uses a Philips LED and is rated at 16 hours at 5 lumens or 21 minutes at 180. That LED puts out a clear, smooth, neutral colored beam. The lower 5 lumen setting is brighter than it sounds…plenty for most indoor use. The 180 lumens is enough to nicely illuminate a good section of your yard at night.
The i3T EOS has an IPX8 waterproof rating. That means the light should work after being submerged at 10 meters for 30 minutes. Since I don’t have a 30-foot deep pool, I just turned it on and dunked it in a dish for an hour. After drying it off, it worked just fine and has ever since.
The i3T EOS is widely available for $19.95, depending on the color you want. Olight offers the flashlight in black, desert tan, OD green and titanium. The titanium anodizing will cost you almost twice as much.
You simply can’t go wrong with one (or more) of these and should probably have a few spread throughout your house and another in your daily carry bag.
Things That Don’t Suck: Olight i3T EOS 1xAAA Flashlight is written by Dan Zimmerman for www.thetruthaboutguns.com