The Drop: LOOP GEAR SK03 AA Flashlight

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It’s a big EDC market out there, and tons of awesome gear is released all the time. We made The Drop to help you discover the latest and greatest essentials worth a spot in your EDC.

LOOP GEAR burst into the flashlight scene and onto my radar with a literal flash, putting together a combination of features that both interested and delighted me on a number of levels, from material to functional. The first SK01s LEP was a monster of a zoomable LEP that immediately put LOOP GEAR’s best foot forward, showing off their prowess and understanding of wildly differing disciplines for flashlights and EDC in general. It combined high-quality fidget toys, super-premium materials, and even a niche flashlight application in LEPs and somehow made it all work–for a price. This was quickly followed by a more versatile LED version that also dropped the size and price of the SK01s by a fair bit.

Now crowdfunding their third light, LOOP GEAR has figured it out. The SK03 is the culmination of some of the brand’s best ideas and design language but sized and priced down to more everyday sensibilities. For starters, it comes with the same futuristic design that the SK01s impressed with. Smooth brushed and polished surfaces, geometric cutouts, and grooves give a striking look far removed from the usual black, knurled tactical lights we’ve all seen.

The SK03 is an AA-sized light. It’s not as popular as it used to be for EDC lights (which have either transitioned to built-in lithium-ion batteries or moved up to much larger and more powerful cells), but it offers a fantastic sweet spot for an EDC light. Bonus points if it supports Li-ion 14500 batteries, which the SK03 does. The platform and LED–the campaign is starting initially with a Philips/Lumileds LUXEON HL2X but has a stretch goal for a white Cree XP-G4–are designed to hit 1,000 lumens at 120 meters (~393 feet), with its modes controlled by a rear clicky tail switch.

Like its big brothers, there’s more than meets the eye to this light, and it comes with more than a few interesting tricks up its double-barreled sleeve. While compatible with standard AA-sized batteries, rechargeable or otherwise, it comes with a USB-C charging 14500 for maximum runtime and output. Forgoing the more fidgety aspects of the SK01, the SK03’s optional alternative clip comes with a slide-out knife and bottle opener that acts as an adjustable magnetic stand for the light.

A few more flourishes round out the light, including auxiliary 4500K side LEDs and glow-in-the-dark panels within the head that get charged up when you use the light. Its regular clip is two-way, and last but not least, the SK03 comes with IP65-rated water and dust resistance.

What we like: The SK01 has been one of my favorite flashlights in recent history, and the SK03 is LOOP GEAR’s most usable EDC light yet. It also comes with all the fit, finish, and functionality I am now coming to expect from the brand at a surprisingly affordable price.

What to watch out for: Standard crowdfunding disclaimer here, so just be aware of how pledging on Kickstarter works. Also, be mindful of the LED/material options available when selecting which model to pledge for.

Final verdict: I am hoping Christmas comes early with this light.

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