Yep, Surefires are expensive - the EB1 set me back just under $160. But, they are made in the USA (yay!), they are really high quality and my original little light had gotten tons of use. I know they are many reading who would not spend more than $20 on a flashlight, and that's fine, too. I'm not opposed to investing some added money to get something that is going to work exceptionally well for a very long time, especially when it comes to my daily carry tools or for home defense.
There are a few things that drew me to the new EB1 over the original E1B:
- Brighter - 200 lumens max
- Same great low-ride pocket clip
- Similar run times despite the higher output
Here's the measurements of the new EB1:
Length: 4.4 inches
Bezel Diameter: 1.1 inches
And the original E1B:
Length: 4 inches
Bezel Diameter: 1 inches
While on paper, those differences don't seem major, they work to make the new EB1 feel light a much larger light. And, in fact, it is quite big for a single cell light, defeating the purpose of having a small, handy, pocket sized single cell flashlight to begin with. It's almost a two cell sized-light, and in fact there are a few two cell sized lights from other companies that come in at sizes smaller or similar to the EB1. For example, a 4Sevens Quark Tactical QT2L-X is 4.5 inches in length and kicks out up to 432 lumens.
Aside from the bump in size, the Surefire build quality and ruggedness were there, the great pocket clip was there, and the light certainly was brighter. There's a lot to like.
I carried the EB1 for a few weeks but eventually went back to the original. The increase in lumens was certainly noticeable, but the bump up in size meant that the EB1 just did not carry as comfortably, where the original simply disappeared. The new EB1 is really an odd, in-between size category--if I wanted a bigger than the old E1B, I might as well step up to a two cell. Your mileage may vary on this - the bump in size may be no big deal, and the EB1 is still one of the smallest available lights from Surefire. But, for me, the EB1 was too big for what I was looking for in an EDC light.
Another nice thing about quality gear: it has good resale value. My EB1 has been moved along to a new home--it sold in a few hours and I lost out on maybe $10.