Everyday Carry

Fenix UC30

Making use of the more powerful and higher-capacity 18650 cell and reducing the need of a charger to a single USB port on the light, Fenix have made their 2015 UC line attractive and useful as everyday lights. The UC30 is their entry-level model into the series, but don't get it wrong — it's just as powerful and fully-featured as its brethren. At 5.1" x 1" and weighing only 4.4 ounces, the UC30 has 960 blinding lumens throwing for 669 feet and running for 120 hours at its 10-lumen low setting. It has four additional modes including instant strobe, and its micro USB port ensures its included 18650 battery goes the distance. Fenix's UC30 is the light for your EDC if you're looking to save on space but not on power and features.

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This post is sponsored by Fenix Outfitters.

Review
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Prometheus Brass Beta QRv2 Review

The original Prometheus Beta-QR was a massive Kickstarter success. Nearly 2,000 backers pledged to see a new take on the keychain light, and Jason Hui of Prometheus Lights launched the Beta to an eager market. While I wasn't able to jump on the original v1 release, I couldn’t resist his collaboration with Scout Leather Co. on a brass Beta, now sporting an upgraded, sleeker version of the quick-release mechanism. Before receiving the light, I was convinced that the Beta was the perfect AAA flashlight. After a few months of carrying the Beta-QRv2, here are my thoughts.

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EagTac D25AAA Mini Flashlight

Not to be left behind in the AAA race, EagleTac have refreshed their compact line with their new D25AAA models. The lights are powered by CREE's XP-G2 S2 emitter, with a powerful max output of 145 lumens and six hours of runtime on its 12-lumen low setting. They also have great carrying versatility, with options to hang from a keychain, clip to your pocket, or mount via their rear magnets. The D25AAA line also comes with a Nichia 219B Hi-CRI emitter which outputs 115 color-friendly lumens reminiscent of the afternoon sun. With long runtimes, strong output, a choice of tint and color, and options to carry your way, the D25AAA is a natural fit for any EDC.

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DQG Fairy Brass Mini Flashlight

DQG Designs' mission is to pack the most powerful light into the smallest form factor using the best materials on the market. The Fairy is a tiny 30mm light that clocks in at a feather-light 0.36 oz despite its brass hardware, but don't let its size fool you. It puts its XP-G2 emitter to work, and with its 10180 li-ion battery the Fairy pushes out an impressive 120 lumens on high and 3-4 hours runtime on its 10 lumen low. There's also no need to worry about finding the Fairy in the dark, as it has two slots on its tail that can house 1.5x6mm tritium vials in your favorite color. Get a giant of a light in a Lilliputian package and see what the fuss is about with all the brass by adding the Fairy to your keychain.

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Buying Guide
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15 EDC Essentials Under $15 Part 2

Rounding out your EDC doesn't always have to cost and arm and a leg. In the first installment of 15 Under $15, we showed that a complete and effective carry requires very little investment. If you've been feeling the pinch lately but still feeling the itch for new gear, here are some more of our affordable picks to keep both your carry and your wallet happy.

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Fenix UC35 Flashlight

Fenix flashlights are an EDC favorite due to their reliability and solid set of features, and owners (like those on our forum) would be the first to tell you that the brand's reputation is entirely well-deserved. The UC line is Fenix's foray into the rechargeable light market, and the UC35 bears the standard for the series. Based on the highly popular PD35, the UC35 adds micro USB charging to its impressive set of features, including five brightness modes at a max of 960 lumens with 656 feet of throw from its XM-L2 U2 emitter, a strobe mode, and digitally-regulated output that maintains constant brightness. The UC35 takes 18650 or 2 x CR123 cells, with a low-power warning function that indicates remaining battery levels. Roll up all these features in IPX-8 waterproof, type III hard anodized aluminum with Fenix's high build standards, and you've got yourself one of the best lights to come out this year.

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ZebraLight SC52NW Flashlight

You can't talk about quality AA lights and not have the Zebralight SC52 series on the list, simply because of their incredible amount of features and output from a simple interface and a single cell. For starters, it's not only one of the most powerful AA lights with a max output of 280 lumens, but it's also one of the most discreet ones at its barely-there 0.01 lumen minimum. It's highly programmable, with each of its three main levels (high, medium, and low) able to be set at custom sub-levels. Its single, soft-touch electronic button provides an intelligent interface to all its modes, and its potted, heat sink-bonded circuitry ensures bombproof operation. Finally, there's an SC52 for everybody: the series comes in five choices of tint and beam type, so you can choose and personalize a light perfect for your needs.

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Buying Guide
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Hit the Trail with These 6 Hiking Essentials

Editor’s Note: Chris Szaroleta is one of our community’s most active members. He’s a corporate trainer by profession, but a gear enthusiast and lover of the outdoors at heart. After seeing his well-built hiking carry and his contributions to our forum topic on hiking, we asked Chris to school us on hiking safely and efficiently. Here's part 1 of his Carry Smarter primer on hiking and enjoying the outdoors.
You're undoubtedly aware that consistent physical activity will result in positive health benefits abound. Stress relief, mental acuity, calorie burning and stamina building are only a few examples...