It seems that we have been conditioned to want more features on everything we buy. More apps, more buttons, more functions, more everything. Even flashlights have gone this way. I have flashlights that strobe, pulse, change color, and glow in the dark. Flashlights that have a carabiner, a USB port, and even a bottle-opener built-in. (OK, that last one is actually kinda cool…). Recently I started using a product that bucks this trend. The LED Lenser P5 flashlight.
What does it do? It lights your way, and that’s pretty much it. But it does it well, in a robust and attractive package that is a pleasure to use. Just under four and a half inches long, and weighing only three ounces, it’s easy to keep in your pocket for when you need it. It runs on only one AA battery, that will last for over two hours. The 95 lumen beam is not the most powerful out there, but it is more than adequate for finding your way back to your tent at night, or figuring out why your truck just stopped running. And who really needs to light-up a distant mountaintop anyway?
One feature it has that I have come to love, is the one-handed operation of their Advanced Focus System. Housing both a reflector and a lens, the bezel slides smoothly in and out with just two fingers, so you can instantly change from a softer, wider beam, to a pencil-like spot pattern, all with just one hand, and the beam pattern is smooth and crisp throughout the transition.
By keeping it simple, and focusing (pun intended) on what you actually need, LED Lenser has been able to keep the cost low and the quality high. Machined from steel, and sold with a five year warranty, I have no hesitation using it in the roughest conditions.
$55 including a MOLLE-compatible sheath.