With a simple but elegant design, Nitecore's EC21 is good for being the size of flashlight it is. It shoots 460 lumens normally, and has a red LED for night time expeditions where keeping night vision for later is a must.
The pattern you see on the grip makes for a good hold, and the buttons are well made too. They require light but firm touches, so that it clicks. The EC21's modes go from very low, low, middle, mid-high, high, along with 'secret' strobe, turbo and red light modes (hold the mode button when the light is on or off, and tap click when off, respectively). The cool white CREE XP-G2 LED used makes for a good light in the darkness, breaking through shadows and illuminating the area being pointed at like a moon beam in your hand.
The red light mode, that which sets the EC21 apart from others in its class, is better used for lighting up your path and a medium sized room than counting how many branches are on a deer's antlers at a distance. The strobe will not do much to disturb you the holder, but those on the other end of it will be suitably cowed on getting it in their face.
Nitecore's EC21 measures out at 4.25 inches long, fitting well inside your hand with little to spare hanging out in either direction. Weighing just over 2.1 ounces, without the battery compartment filled, it can't be said this is a heavy light. Featherweight is closer to accurate, but one would be remiss to call the EC21 that as well. The head and tailcap measure out to be one inch in diameter, with the body not much smaller.
Throw and flood
In any main mode, the EC21's cool white beam goes out to 636 and a half feet. From the center hotspot on out, illumination of a small cone widens into barely touching the sides of a dirt road.
The EC21 takes either two CR123As or a single 18650 battery, both of which are snugly held in by the light's small design. While you might think the tailcap wouldn't fit back on with a negative side sticking out, you'd be wrong. Like a good pair of gloves or shoes, the EC21 will be a good addition to your inventory, fitting either on your pocket with a sturdy clip or on your belt in an unobtrusive pouch.
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