My Every Day Carry routine is fairly straightforward so as to keep my life moving as efficiently as possible. Next to my garage entrance, I store a backpack with various emergency supplies, my keys, wallet, and a Fenix PD25 flashlight. As I’m heading for work, I pocket my keys and flashlight, shoulder the pack, and head out the door. At the end of the day, the order is reversed. This is a great system, but as time has worn on, I’ve found my flashlight to be the hitch in the process. Emergency repairs creep up after dark, or a bump in the night makes me sprint across the house to retrieve my PD25 to investigate. This sometimes results in a misplaced flashlight come morning, thus upsetting my perfectly ordered existence and plan to get to work on time.
The realization that I needed a “house light” gradually took root.
My first inclination was to purchase a second PD25—why fix what isn’t broken?—but then I figured it might be worthwhile to try a light that’s a bit more… angry…
1000 lumens, you say?
Enter: the Fenix PD35 V2.0. In a lot respects, the PD35 V2.0 is a big ol’ PD25, which is exactly why I chose it. Tail caps are a bit personal, and I went with the V2.0 because it has a bones-simple button just like my PD25—half press is temporary on, and full press is locked on. I seriously don’t need to deal with double clicks, or waiting a certain fraction of a second to re-click, or whatever. If I want to adjust the brightness setting or switch to strobe, I’ll do it with the side button, thank you. This way, if I’m grabbing the light in a life-threatening situation, I can concentrate on the task at hand, not a task IN my hand.
Upon receiving the PD35, I was a bit taken aback at its size. It’s not a large flashlight, per se, but after spending so much time with the diminutive PD25, it immediately occurred to me that this bad boy wasn’t going to be my first choice for EDC. Without doing a submersion test, I’d guess that it’s well over twice the bulk of a PD25. Heck, the PD25 isn’t much bigger than the PD35’s battery. Having said that, this is more a testament to the small size of the PD25 than a knock on the larger size of the PD35.
Indeed, the PD35 is not so bulky as to rule it out for extended carry. To this end, I put it to an EDC test over several weeks just to be sure if it would carry well or not. The PD35 accompanied me on multiple family walks around the block, trips to the store, and on one occasion it rode in the pocket of my slacks through a 14-hour workday. What I can say is that I see the PD35 as being perfectly fine in a jeans or jacket pocket for camping, hikes, and the like… but as a rule the PD25 will securely maintain its place clipped in my front pants pocket.
Brightness and Modes
In terms of lighting, comparing the PD35 to the PD25 is a bit of an apples and oranges fallacy. Here we come to an area where folks love to toss around numbers—550 lumens vs. 1000 lumens, but honestly when it comes to real-life application, what does that even mean? Let’s make it simple: one is bright, and the other is ridiculously bright. For the most part, I like my PD25 on turbo mode, but that means a more limited battery life, so I tend to be more conservative with the battery. In terms of turbo, this issue of battery life is true of the PD35 as well, but in my humble opinion, the PD35 on turbo is just too much. Yes, a PD35 all turboed out is great for lighting an empty field 100+ yards out, which I’ve done, but in most practical instances the light will be used in an enclosed space that results in a blinding splash back at 1000 lumens. Now, on the next step down from the PD35’s turbo, that’s where I like to live, and where the PD35 excels with battery life.
For folks who have experience with the PD25, the best way I can compare the two from an effective lighting standpoint is to say the PD35 on high may not push the same lumens as the PD25 on turbo, but in an enclosed space it feels roughly equivalent to the PD25’s turbo. That said, I can leave the PD35 on high for a very extended period of time without worrying about battery life… and there’s definitely something to be said for that. The high school where I work had a ticket booth lose power right before the last football game of the season. While suspended from the rafters by its lanyard, my PD35 lit the booth for over an hour on its high setting, bright enough for ticket takers to count and handle money until the electricity was restored. One of the ticket takers even complained that the PD35 was too bright. Could my PD25 have saved the day in this instance? Hhmmm… maybe, but not nearly as well.
My Final Conclusion
So, now that I’ve used these two lights side-by-side, what’s my take on them? Are they like a pair of siblings, one big and one little? Eh… Not really. I love my PD25: it is intelligently designed, diminutive, and always there when I need it. It is sort of like Fenix’s version of Bruce Banner. But when I need something that’s all around beefier—maybe even meaner—than a Bruce Banner? Yeah, the PD35.
I’ve made it angry. I’ve see what it can do, and I like it.
Note from Fenix
The custom engraved version of the PD35 V2.0 is currently available.