Overview: Cloud Defensive MCH Flashlights

Editor’s Word: With impeccable timing, a brand new model of the Cloud Defensive MCH was introduced this week. It seems to deal with my critiques later on this article, and I am at present engaged on getting a pattern of the up to date MCH to match. When that occurs, I will put up a follow-up. Till then, learn on for my evaluation of the unique MCH, which continues to be accessible for buy on Cloud’s web site at a diminished value of $165.

Modularity is a comfort we frequently take with no consideration. Lots of the necessary objects we buy use modular designs to permit customization and upgrades, both on the time of buy or later down the road. For instance, look again on the early days of the auto. In 1909, Henry Ford famously mentioned every Mannequin T purchaser may “have a automobile painted any coloration that he desires as long as it’s black.” Quick-forward to at this time — whenever you purchase a brand new truck, you’re offered with an almost-overwhelming record of submodels, trim ranges, manufacturing facility choices, and dealer-installed tools. Would you want two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive? Fuel or diesel? What number of doorways? Which mattress size? And we gained’t even get began discussing all of the paint colours, upholstery kinds, and different cosmetics you possibly can decide. Since our automobiles are costly objects we depend on day-after-day, it is sensible to contemplate the choices fastidiously earlier than shopping for.

Above: The Cloud Defensive MCH pictured alongside a few of my different EDC gear — modified Glock 45 in LAS Concealment Ronin L holster, Skeleton Optics glasses, Spyderco Para 3 knife, Bertucci A-4T watch, and Zippo lighter.

Flashlights are one other necessary instrument many people depend on day by day, and we’d argue that the configuration of your flashlight will be simply as necessary because the configuration of your car. Very similar to settling for a two-wheel drive truck may trigger you to get caught in the course of nowhere, settling for a flashlight with low output or brief battery life can depart you stumbling round in the dead of night. You must all the time do your homework earlier than shopping for any flashlight — particularly one you carry day-after-day.

WMLs vs. Handhelds

Above: This 11.5-inch SBR encompasses a Cloud Defensive REIN weapon-mounted mild, which shares some design options and parts with the MCH handheld flashlights.

Anybody who has arrange a weapon-mounted mild (WML) on a rifle is aware of that modularity is the secret. WMLs such because the SureFire Scout and Streamlight ProTac will be configured with varied physique lengths, heads, tailcaps, and distant strain switches. They can be put in in varied Picatinny, KeyMod, and M-LOK mounts from their respective producers or a large number of aftermarket corporations. Sadly, the identical can’t be mentioned for many handheld flashlights, which are sometimes offered in a “one dimension matches most” configuration. When you’re fortunate, you possibly can select from a number of sub-models or swap some elements, however the modularity is usually far more restricted.

The Cloud Defensive MCH Formulation

The Mission Configurable Handheld (MCH) from Cloud Defensive was created from day one as a totally modular flashlight platform. All 4 of its most important parts will be combined and matched:

  • Head
  • Physique
  • Tailcap
  • Pocket clip

Learn on as we look at the choices that the MCH presents in every of those classes.

Arguably a very powerful elements of any flashlight are its emitter and reflector, since these two parts decide the brightness, effectivity, coloration, and beam sample. Collectively, they’re known as the top, which is suitable since additionally they comprise the digital mind that manages the sunshine’s features (brightness modes, thermal regulation, voltage regulation, and so on.). 4 heads can be found for the MCH:

  • HC Single Output
  • HC Twin Output
  • EDC Single Output
  • EDC Twin Output

Above: To the bare eye, the HC and EDC heads look comparable, however the sudden flash of our studio lights revealed Cloud’s proprietary lens coating on the HC. It shifts mild output from a heat hue to a extra impartial white.

The Excessive Candela (HC) head is precisely what its title implies. For these unfamiliar with the time period, candela is mainly a measurement of the depth of a beam of sunshine. It’s necessary to tell apart this from lumens, which measure the full amount of emitted mild. Lumens let you know how a lot mild is produced; candela tells you the way that mild is concentrated. So, the HC presents a tightly targeted beam sample that’s best for throwing mild lengthy distances and pushing by means of limitations corresponding to tinted home windows. This head produces a most of 71,000 candela and 1,100 lumens. It additionally encompasses a proprietary glass coating that generates impartial white mild (5,200K).

The Each-Day Carry (EDC) head is much less specialised than the HC head, with a stability between sturdy candela and broad spill. It’s preferable for short- to medium-range basic use. Most output is 40,000 candela and 1,400 lumens; coloration temperature (4,500K) is hotter than the HC and much like an incandescent mild bulb.

Single or Twin Output
Every of the heads is offered in both a Single Output or Twin Output model. Single output is self-explanatory — full energy on a regular basis. Twin output toggles between 100-percent energy and a 10-percent-power low setting (e.g. 4,000 candela/140 lumens with EDC head) every time the button is pressed. That is helpful for close-up duties, corresponding to studying a map.

Above: This Cloud-Defensive-branded Nitecore charger is included with each MCH. It presents an additional slot for a spare battery, so you possibly can all the time have one topped off.

Two physique sizes can be found for the MCH: Full Dimension and Micro.

The Full Dimension physique makes use of a bigger 18650 rechargeable battery and measures 5.2 inches lengthy together with head and tail cap. Most run time at full output is 120 minutes with the EDC head or 150 minutes with the HC head.

The Micro physique makes use of an 18350 rechargeable battery and measures 4 inches lengthy with head and tail cap. As you’d anticipate, most run time shall be shorter with a smaller battery, particularly 35 minutes with the EDC head or 50 with the HC.

Above: An orange flat-top 18650 battery comes with the MCH. It could actually additionally settle for most button-top cells, such because the blue one pictured right here. Nonetheless, it shouldn’t be used with CR123 batteries — doing so will void the lifetime guarantee. (Word: This isn’t the case for the brand new “twin gasoline” MCH.)

There’s just one tailcap included with every MCH, but it surely’s nonetheless modular due to Cloud’s patented Adjustable Negligent Discharge Safety system. This includes a set of three included, interchangeable polymer rings that thread into the tail cap across the rubber activation button. With the thinnest ND Protector ring put in, the MCH’s button is extraordinarily simple to activate, but it surely’s additionally simple to press inadvertently whereas it’s in a pocket or pouch. The polymer rings get progressively thicker, with the thickest requiring a really deliberate press to the middle of the button to activate the sunshine.

Above: Three ND Protector rings are included with the MCH: massive, medium, and small.

Above: The ND Protectors thread into the tailcap across the rubber activation button.

Pocket Clip
Lastly, we’ve got the clip that retains the sunshine in a pocket. Every MCH ships with a Thyrm Lo-Professional pocket clip, which (opposite to its title) is created from a comparatively thick however very sturdy polymer materials. There’s additionally an non-compulsory Thyrm Switchback clip, which features a pocket clip plus an built-in finger ring. The ring offers elevated retention of the sunshine for high-intensity actions like taking pictures or grappling, and it can be used alongside a pistol in a two-handed grip (the Switchback Method).

Cloud Defensive additionally states {that a} metal, deep-carry pocket clip shall be provided for the MCH. Nonetheless, the product web page mentions that this steel clip is “at present seeing manufacturing delays” and doesn’t present an ETA for its availability. At time of writing, the MCH has been accessible for nearly 10 months, however the clip hasn’t grow to be accessible but.

In case all these choices weren’t sufficient for you, Cloud Defensive additionally presents 4 colours to select from. There’s black, flat darkish earth, olive drab, and clear anodized; the latter merely reveals the pure grey coloration of the 6061-T6 aluminum the MCH is created from. The corporate has even provided restricted runs of “Moonshine” MCHs, which use random combos of mismatched colours (e.g. FDE head with black physique and OD inexperienced tailcap).

My Impressions

I obtained a pair of MCHs to check and have carried at the very least one among them day-after-day for practically a yr. I’ve used them in all kinds of environments, from the taking pictures vary to the storage to distant climbing trails and have developed some opinions on elements of the MCH I really like and elements I’m not so keen on.

MCH Configurations
Because of the modular design, I used to be capable of order and arrange these MCHs precisely how I need them. Run time is a a lot larger precedence for me than saving a small quantity of pocket house, and I favor a lightweight that’s lengthy sufficient for a full-fist grip, so the Full Dimension was an apparent selection for each lights. I additionally went with the sleeker Lo-Professional pocket clip with out the Switchback ring for each lights.

Above: This photograph reveals the distinction between the massive and small ND Protectors. Every provides the sunshine a barely completely different activation really feel.

One MCH is about up with a HC Single Output head and the thinnest ND Protector ring. That is what some folks would name a “tactical” flashlight as a consequence of its specialised nature, and it’s the sunshine I attain for if I would like long-distance or extremely targeted visibility. It spends most of its time within the heart console of my truck and will get used for duties corresponding to scanning darkish parking tons.

The opposite MCH is about up with an EDC Twin Output head with the medium ND Protector. This mild will be present in my pocket more often than not; I believe the flexibility of two brightness modes and a balanced beam sample is good for every-day carry. I additionally like a bit further safety on the activation button to forestall the sunshine from turning on and burning a gap in my denims (or simply draining the battery).

The Execs

There’s rather a lot to love concerning the Cloud Defensive MCH. Though it’s not good (extra on that shortly) the MCH EDC Twin has grow to be my favourite day by day carry mild in the meanwhile. The MCH HC Single can be an excellent instrument, however one I discover myself needing much less regularly.

Energy: Each variations of the MCH are surprisingly efficient at slicing by means of the darkness, and that’s one thing you possibly can’t know from numbers alone. The precise mixture of lumens, candela, and coloration temperature trigger these lights to really feel potent, even when used side-by-side with comparable lights from SureFire and Streamlight. I used to be additionally pleasantly shocked to see how a lot long-range throw the EDC head has — it’s not as efficient because the HC, but it surely’s no slouch.

Rechargeability: Frankly, I’m uninterested in continuously changing the disposable CR123 batteries in my different flashlights. It’s tedious, costly, and possibly polluting the habitat of some endangered frog species. Recharging the 18650 battery is handy, and the included dual-slot charger permits me to maintain a spare able to swap in at any time.

Reliability: I don’t use my flashlights as hammers, however they do get dropped sometimes and uncovered to moisture, mud, and dust. I haven’t encountered any malfunctions with both of my MCHs, which is greater than I can say for a few of the different flashlights I’ve owned. The ND protector additionally counts towards this level, because it helps forestall the sunshine from shining into my pocket till the battery dies.

Modularity: It’s nice that the MCH ecosystem has so many choices to select from. I additionally admire that the parts are interchangeable with Cloud Defensive’s REIN sequence of weapon lights; the MCH HC is basically a REIN 2.0 you possibly can carry in your pocket.

The Cons

No Mode Reminiscence (Twin Fashions Solely): If there’s one factor that has made me think about switching to a special flashlight, it’s this. I really like the comfort of getting two output modes, and extra importantly, two helpful output modes (not 1,200 lumens or 5 lumens — I’m you, SureFire EDCL2-T). However I hate that I’m all the time questioning which output mode I’m going to get after I activate the sunshine. That’s as a result of, in contrast to most different dual-mode lights in the marketplace, Cloud’s dual-mode head has no mode reminiscence. It merely alternates by means of a high-low-high sequence with every button press.

SureFire handled this concern by all the time defaulting to excessive mode, whereas a fast double-tap provides you low mode. Streamlight has a extra complicated programmable Ten-Faucet system that lets customers select between high-strobe-low, excessive solely, or low-high sequences (every toggled by double- or triple-taps of the change). Both means, with these producers I all the time know which mode I’m getting the primary time I activate the sunshine — not so for the MCH.

When you can keep in mind to stage the sunshine in your most popular mode by biking to the earlier mode each time you flip it off, there’s no downside. In actuality, you’ll most likely find yourself tapping the button a number of instances to finish up on the proper mode every time you employ a dual-mode MCH. That won’t sound like a giant deal, but when your eyes have acclimated to darkness, you might quickly blind your self by unintentionally activating all 1,400 lumens.

Imperfect Pocket Clip: This can be a comparatively minor gripe, however I’m not offered on the Thyrm Lo-Professional clip that’s at present included with the MCH. It really works, and I’ve no doubts about its sturdiness, but it surely’s a lot bulkier than a typical steel pocket clip. Cloud initially promised a steel clip for the MCH, but it surely’s nonetheless nowhere to be seen. I perceive that manufacturing delays occur, however I’m a bit disenchanted that the clip continues to be unavailable after 10 months.

Closing Ideas

Total, I’m pleased with the MCH, particularly contemplating that is Cloud Defensive’s first handheld flashlight design. With the latest launch of the REIN 3.0 weapon mild — which presents 100,000 candela and dual-fuel 18650/2xCR123 compatibility — it appears possible that there shall be an up to date model of the MCH that makes use of the brand new REIN head. If this additionally contains dual-mode reminiscence and a steel pocket clip, it’ll be powerful to beat. (Editor’s Word: It seems these up to date MCH predictions have been appropriate, however as an alternative of the twin mode reminiscence I hoped for, Cloud Defensive created a programmable 5-mode system! I am wanting ahead to testing it quickly.)

Cloud Defensive > clouddefensive.com

Put together Now:

Disclosure: These hyperlinks are affiliate hyperlinks. Caribou Media Group earns a fee from qualifying purchases. Thanks!

STAY SAFE: Obtain a Free copy of the OFFGRID Outbreak Challenge

In concern 12, Offgrid Journal took a tough have a look at what you need to be conscious of within the occasion of a viral outbreak. We’re now providing a free digital copy of the OffGrid Outbreak concern whenever you subscribe to the OffGrid electronic mail e-newsletter. Enroll and get your free digital copy

Supply hyperlink