Looking for a powerful light that fits in your key pocket?
I've been on a mission to find just the right mini tactical flashlight for my every day carry. One that fits into my jean key pocket, and yet offers enough power and controls so that it's not a toy.
I don't want to carry a holster or have some bulky light in my pocket. No offense, but my needs are not that intense. I occasionally want a light but until I need it, I want it hidden. comfortable, and convenient.
So here are my criteria. When I do need it, I want it to be lightweight, preferably work with one hand, have enough power to really see in the night, have some easily accessible low-light level, and finally have a strobe.
If you want a straight keychain light, check out my post here.
Is that too much to ask?
So let's look at it.
First of all, Klarus has been hitting it out of the park. The key players in the tactical flashlight arena have been Streamlight and Surefire. Then companies like Fenix and NiteCore came into the market. Now, Klarus has become a key player with innovations and technical specifications that really works. I think you'll see more and more of Klarus innovations.
Since the Mi7 is capable of using either an AA battery or a rechargeable 14500, the light offers high, low and moonlight levels at 700, 90 and 5 lumens, using the 14500, and 330, 90 and 5 lumens using an AA. Additionally, the run times range from 53 minutes, at the high level, to over 67 hours at the lowest level.
Constructed of aerospace grade Aluminum alloy, (and titanium for the Mi7 T,) with a coated mineral lens hardened for scratch resistance, the overall length is only 3.43 inches and weights .93 oz without a battery. You should note that the Titanium version actually is heavier – weighing in at 1.41 oz. Of course, the light is waterproof under IPX8 (2 meters.)
The Mi7 doesn't have a tail switch and operates with a side button which can be aligned with the clip to facilitate locating. From an off position, pressing the button for a few seconds turns on the moonlight mode. Again, from an off position, one press turns the light on high, a second press turns the light on low. Yet a third press turns the light off. From any position, on or off, a double press turns on the strobe and double-click again press turns on the SOS. Very convenient.
This tactical light also has a battery capacity indicator. With the light off, 3 clicks will result in 3 flashes for over 70% remaining capacity, 2 flashes for 30 – 70% and 1 flash for less than 30% remaining capacity.
The light also has a lockout mode to prevent accidental discharge, which is enabled by pressing the button for 5 seconds in the off mode and disabled by pressing 3 times. The lockout mode will display a low-level light, followed by two bright flashes, while disabling the lockout will display the battery capacity as discussed above.
So how do I feel about the Mi7?
So far, I've not found a better light for the needs I outlined above. A mini key pocket light.
I like the battery options, and I think the brightness is really exceptional at 700 lumens, especially for such a small light. I don't mind not having a tail button since the side button works well, and I would prefer to be able to operate a torch with only one hand – the Mi7 facilitates this.
The controls are not difficult to understand and remember, and you don't have to run around all the available modes to get to where you want since they've been effectively segregated into three areas. So, one long press for moonlight. A press and press again for high and low, and two double presses for strobe and SOS. Not bad.
Additionally, the power indicator and lockout are really convenient for such a small light. There's some serious technology here.
Finally, the price is reasonable, especially for what you get and if you want more heft, go for the titanium. Both, however, are very well made.
So far it meets my needs. That's not to say that I'm not still looking. We'll see..
Always be prepared – be well.