Surefire U2 Ultra
In terms of frequency of use, we find that a good flashlight is among the most useful tools to have at hand. As with all such tools, we are always seeking to find the most appropriate choice of tool. And, as always happens we need to make tradeoffs are among size, power, and duration.
The balance of these three factors depends on many factors, which vary depending on the ultimate use. In this particular case, we were looking for a flashlight to carry in our pocket. We have sometimes carried the Surefire E2E, which at 4.5 inches with a bezel width of one inch is a good size, and puts out 60 lumens for 75 minutes. At other times we have carried the Surefire 9P, which at 6.5 inches with a bezel width of 1.25 inches still fits in a pocket, and, depending on bulb choice, puts out either 105 lumens for 60 minutes (with a high-output bulb it puts out 200 lumens for 20 minutes, which makes it something of a specialty choice). Both of these flashlights use incandescent lamps, and require the prudent user to carry a spare bulb.
We have currently opted for an excellent compromise unit, choosing the Surefire U2 Ultra. This device uses a 5 watt LED, and, at 6.13 inches and a bezel width of 1.47 inches is about halfway between the other two in length, albeit wider. It is adjustable to six output levels, ranging from 2 lumens for 40 hours to 100 lumens which we estimate will last for over an hour.
We had originally feared that the 2 lumen setting – two of anything doesn’t sound like enough – would be too low for practical use. We were wrong: It is a fine setting for most work done indoors in a normal size room in the dark, or for looking in cabinets. 100 lumens, as we already knew from the 9P, is a lot of light, and enough for most uses outside, including dazzling an attacker.
Because it uses an LED, it is sturdier than an incandescent bulb, and no extra bulb is either necessary or available.
We feel confident that we have made a good choice, and do not hesitate to recommend this for your consideration.