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Overview: Cloud Defensive MCH Flashlights

Editor’s Observe: 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 am going to submit a follow-up. Till then, learn on for my evaluate of the unique MCH, which continues to be accessible for buy on Cloud’s web site at a decreased value of $165.

Modularity is a comfort we regularly take as a right. Most 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 car. In 1909, Henry Ford famously mentioned every Mannequin T purchaser may “have a automotive painted any coloration that he desires as long as it’s black.” Quick-forward to at the moment — 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 gear. Would you want two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive? Gasoline or diesel? What number of doorways? Which mattress size? And we received’t even get began discussing all of the paint colours, upholstery kinds, and different cosmetics you may choose. Since our autos are costly objects we depend on every single day, it is smart to think about 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 software many people depend on every day, and we’d argue that the configuration of your flashlight might be simply as necessary because the configuration of your car. Very similar to settling for a two-wheel drive truck would possibly trigger you to get caught in the midst of nowhere, settling for a flashlight with low output or brief battery life can depart you stumbling round at nighttime. You must all the time do your homework earlier than shopping for any flashlight — particularly one you carry every single day.

WMLs vs. Handhelds

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

Anybody who has arrange a weapon-mounted gentle (WML) on a rifle is aware of that modularity is the secret. WMLs such because the SureFire Scout and Streamlight ProTac might be configured with varied physique lengths, heads, tailcaps, and distant stress switches. They can be put in in varied Picatinny, KeyMod, and M-LOK mounts from their respective producers or a mess of aftermarket firms. Sadly, the identical can’t be mentioned for many handheld flashlights, which are sometimes bought in a “one measurement matches most” configuration. Should you’re fortunate, you may select from a couple of sub-models or swap some elements, however the modularity is mostly far more restricted.

The Cloud Defensive MCH Method

The Mission Configurable Handheld (MCH) from Cloud Defensive was created from day one as a completely modular flashlight platform. All 4 of its essential elements might be blended and matched:

  • Head
  • Physique
  • Tailcap
  • Pocket clip

Learn on as we study the choices that the MCH provides in every of those classes.

Arguably crucial elements of any flashlight are its emitter and reflector, since these two elements decide the brightness, effectivity, coloration, and beam sample. Collectively, they’re referred to as the pinnacle, which is acceptable since in addition they include 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 related, however the sudden flash of our studio lights revealed Cloud’s proprietary lens coating on the HC. It shifts gentle output from a heat hue to a extra impartial white.

The Excessive Candela (HC) head is strictly what its identify 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 differentiate this from lumens, which measure the entire amount of emitted gentle. Lumens let you know how a lot gentle is produced; candela tells you ways that gentle is targeted. So, the HC provides a tightly targeted beam sample that’s very best for throwing gentle lengthy distances and pushing via limitations akin 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 gentle (5,200K).

The Each-Day Carry (EDC) head is much less specialised than the HC head, with a steadiness between robust candela and huge spill. It’s preferable for short- to medium-range common 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 gentle bulb.

Single or Twin Output
Every of the heads is on the market 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, akin to studying a map.

Above: This Cloud-Defensive-branded Nitecore charger is included with each MCH. It provides an additional slot for a spare battery, so you may 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 might 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 may well additionally settle for most button-top cells, such because the blue one pictured right here. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be used with CR123 batteries — doing so will void the lifetime guarantee. (Observe: This isn’t the case for the brand new “twin gas” MCH.)

There’s just one tailcap included with every MCH, nevertheless it’s nonetheless modular due to Cloud’s patented Adjustable Negligent Discharge Safety system. This entails 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, nevertheless it’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: giant, medium, and small.

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

Pocket Clip
Lastly, we have now the clip that retains the sunshine in a pocket. Every MCH ships with a Thyrm Lo-Professional pocket clip, which (opposite to its identify) is constructed from a comparatively thick however very sturdy polymer materials. There’s additionally an optionally available Thyrm Switchback clip, which features a pocket clip plus an built-in finger ring. The ring supplies elevated retention of the sunshine for high-intensity actions like capturing or grappling, and it can be used alongside a pistol in a two-handed grip (the Switchback Approach).

Cloud Defensive additionally states {that a} metal, deep-carry pocket clip might be provided for the MCH. Nevertheless, the product web page mentions that this metallic 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 provides 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 constructed from. The corporate has even provided restricted runs of “Moonshine” MCHs, which use random mixtures of mismatched colours (e.g. FDE head with black physique and OD inexperienced tailcap).

My Impressions

I acquired a pair of MCHs to check and have carried at the least one in all them every single day for practically a 12 months. I’ve used them in all kinds of environments, from the capturing vary to the storage to distant mountaineering trails and have developed some opinions on features of the MCH I really like and features I’m not so keen on.

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

Above: This picture reveals the distinction between the big and small ND Protectors. Every provides the sunshine a barely totally different activation really feel.

One MCH is ready up with a HC Single Output head and the thinnest ND Protector ring. That is what some folks would name a “tactical” flashlight because 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 middle console of my truck and will get used for duties akin to scanning darkish parking tons.

The opposite MCH is ready up with an EDC Twin Output head with the medium ND Protector. This gentle might be present in my pocket more often than not; I feel the flexibility of two brightness modes and a balanced beam sample is good for every-day carry. I additionally like somewhat additional 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 Professionals

There’s lots to love in regards to the Cloud Defensive MCH. Though it’s not excellent (extra on that shortly) the MCH EDC Twin has grow to be my favourite every day carry gentle in the meanwhile. The MCH HC Single can also be an impressive software, however one I discover myself needing much less continuously.

Energy: Each variations of the MCH are surprisingly efficient at slicing via the darkness, and that’s one thing you may’t know from numbers alone. The particular 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, nevertheless it’s no slouch.

Rechargeability: Frankly, I’m uninterested in continually changing the disposable CR123 batteries in my different flashlights. It’s tedious, costly, and doubtless 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 number of the different flashlights I’ve owned. The ND protector additionally counts towards this level, because it helps stop 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 recognize that the elements are interchangeable with Cloud Defensive’s REIN collection of weapon lights; the MCH HC is actually a REIN 2.0 you may 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 once 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 via a high-low-high sequence with every button press.

SureFire handled this problem 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 swap). Both manner, 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.

Should you can bear 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 drawback. In actuality, you’ll most likely find yourself tapping the button a couple of instances to finish up on the proper mode every time you utilize a dual-mode MCH. That will not sound like a giant deal, but when your eyes have acclimated to darkness, chances are you’ll briefly blind your self by unintentionally activating all 1,400 lumens.

Imperfect Pocket Clip: It is a comparatively minor gripe, however I’m not bought 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, nevertheless it’s a lot bulkier than a typical metallic pocket clip. Cloud initially promised a metallic clip for the MCH, nevertheless it’s nonetheless nowhere to be seen. I perceive that manufacturing delays occur, however I’m somewhat disillusioned that the clip continues to be unavailable after 10 months.

Closing Ideas

Total, I’m proud of the MCH, particularly contemplating that is Cloud Defensive’s first handheld flashlight design. With the latest launch of the REIN 3.0 weapon gentle — which provides 100,000 candela and dual-fuel 18650/2xCR123 compatibility — it appears seemingly that there might be an up to date model of the MCH that makes use of the brand new REIN head. If this additionally consists of dual-mode reminiscence and a metallic pocket clip, it’ll be robust to beat. (Editor’s Observe: It seems these up to date MCH predictions have been right, however as a substitute of the twin mode reminiscence I hoped for, Cloud Defensive created a programmable 5-mode system! I am wanting ahead to testing it quickly.)

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