Thursday, February 14, 2013

Two birds with one stone

A while back I picked up a Gerber Omnivore. This is a flashlight that has the interesting ability to run off either a single AAA, a single AA, or a single CR123 battery. It's a little expensive compared to the "supermarket brand", but nowhere near the price of some of the upper-end flashlights. And while the smaller model I bought doesn't have the lumens to compete with the heavy-duty models, for most of us it's easily bright enough for casual use (especially if you're using a CR123 cell), plus there's a slightly larger version that's supposed to be a lot brighter.

The convenience of being able to run it off any batteries you have lying around (AAs and AAAs are probably the only two "non-specialist" batteries most of us actually use these days) makes it a great flashlight for use around the house or garden, or leaving somewhere accessible in case of a power failure.

The Omnivore turned out to be a little larger than I expected, but this is dictated by the nature of the multi-battery mechanism. After using it for a while I decided it was just about the perfect size for using the "reverse" grip (that is, holding it with your thumb over the tailcap switch), which is the way this kind of flashlight is meant to be used. If it were any thinner it would be awkward to use the switch, and if it was any shorter there wouldn't be much room for your (or at least my) pinky finger.

So overall I really like the Omnivore. I do, however, have a couple of issues with it. First of all, it doesn't come with a lanyard, and I can't quite seem to pass a strand of paracord through the lanyard hole. Second, the surface is untextured and just doesn't feel very secure in my hand - I wish it had some stippling or something to give you a better grip.

However, I found a way to solve both problems with some paracord. Is there anything it can't do?

Now it feels a lot better in my hand and I can either wrap the lanyard around my wrist or just let it hang between my thumb and finger - that way if the flashlight slips out of my hand I can easily catch the lanyard by simply pinching my thumb in.

The wrap is almost the same as a koppo lanyard, but with both strands passing under the wrap instead of just one. I might undo it and try a regular koppo instead, depending on how much I like it in practice. Or I might get some "skateboard" tape and a regular lanyard instead, we'll see.

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