- Buyer's Guide
CARRY COLLAB XXXVI
Exclusive Release | Foursevens x Carryology Preon P1 Onibi
Tested along tens of thousands of miles of adventures across 6 continents. This P1 is the perfect companion to live in your pocket, the admin panel of your favorite pack, or your tech or emergency kit.
The ultimate EDC and travel flashlight, giving you all the lumens you need whenever darkness falls. Because dark sucks.
Introducing the FourSevens X Carryology Preon P1 Onibi.
In one limited edition run.
Slice, Write… And now, Light.
Slice, Write, Light.
This is a well-known phrase that resonates deeply for everyday carry specialists, as it covers the three most commonly used tools in our day-to-day tasks – the three things you need to stay prepared. The Trinity of EDC, if you will.
And we’ve slowly been working on collaboration pieces to nail all three elements, one by one.
First, it was our Tactile Knife Bexar Kōyō (Slice).
A sharp tool or pocket knife for cutting and slicing.
Second, our Big Idea Design Raijin bolt pens (Write).
A pen or pencil, to jot down notes before they quickly flee from memory.
And now, Light.
The final piece to the trio. Because dark sucks. And there’s a 100% chance that it will get dark today. Then the next and the next. Like clockwork. Guaranteed. And carrying world-class illumination can make life easier, and more awesome.
Then factor in SOS mode, Beacon mode, and Strobe mode such as this collaboration is kitted out with, and you have one amazing survival tool, too.
Flashlights for EDC and Travel
A makeshift light source for a night photo? Done. Dog sledding in the Alaskan wilderness in the dead of winter and need to rush 1 mile through the snowy pitch black woods back to the car to prevent frostbite? Done. True story. Climbing the side of a cliff in Hong Kong at night and avoiding police and guard dogs? Done. Also a true story. Drop a stick of Fruit Stripe Gum and it somehow defies physics and ends up under the couch? Done.
From the most mundane to the most extreme, you need light to see. And just like cameras, the best light is the light you have with you. And a proper ‘best in class’ flashlight sure beats that poor excuse for a light on your cell phone. Trust me.
But Why Foursevens?
Foursevens was always at the top of our list. Comb through any EDC flashlight forum and you’ll discover the love and respect for Jason Hui’s SF-based brand – a brand with a long history of making category-leading flashlights since 2009. And our Carryology team has had dozens of Foursevens torches in their pockets and tech kits for many years. We’ve been writing about them for nearly a decade now. I speak confidently in stating that collectively we have a favorite flashlight brand… Foursevens is the one.
So we reached out to Mr. Jason Hui, the owner/founder of Prometheus Lights and owner of Foursevens. Both brands operate under the same website, whose web address is the motto of Prometheus Lights and just too good to hide in a hyperlink. It’s darksucks.com. Love it.
About the Man Himself
Born in Hong Kong and raised on a ranch in Montana, Jason is a paradox. He can drive on the wrong side of the road in the world’s most densely populated city, but can also rope from horseback. Jason says, “I’ve lived on both coasts, I like to understand both sides of an argument, and I’m a machinist with an MBA.”
Prior to launching Prometheus Lights, Jason spent 10 years in product development: designing everything from watches to fly-fishing equipment, retail experiences, and machine tool accessories. After spending 15 years crafting successful solutions for other people (building animatronic sharks for a Hollywood special effects studio, custom hot rods, backcountry fire trucks, working on the Automotive X Prize, contracting for Mythbusters, and working at the world’s first high-performance electric motorcycle startup at Mission Motors), Jason decided to set out on his own and founded Prometheus Lights in 2011. Since then, he’s been putting his eclectic background to work crafting essential designs built for life.
“The world is full of stuff. As a consumer, I want to buy things that I know someone has cared about and that I know will last. As a designer, maker, and strategist, I strive to create products that reflect how I see the world, my values, and the way I want to fit into the big picture.”
Foursevens was absolutely the move.
The Foundation. The Preon P1 MKIII
We’ve tested so many flashlights over the years. And the Preon P1 takes the throne. At 3.4″ in length and with a diameter of 0.57″, it’s small and pocketable (tech kit and/or pants pocket), but also large enough to hold onto comfortably. It’s sleek and has that timeless iconic silhouette. It’s simple to use, without having to cycle through 27 different modes. It has a deep carry pocket clip that holds onto pockets, yet slides in and out with ease. It’s bright, but also has a few other useful intuitive modes that don’t take a degree in electrical engineering and programming to understand.
While maintaining great output, it also retains great battery life, lasting hours and not seconds. It has an awesome clicky button operation, with a rubber boot to keep it all waterproof. Secondarily, it also operates in “twisty” mode, so you can rotate the head to cycle through modes. There’s a quick momentary on, which is sorely missed on many other flashlights. It’s the third iteration (MKIII), after years of careful improvements and refinement. All this, and it’s affordable unlike some exotic flashlights out there that are 3-4X the price of the P1. And finally… it takes AAA batteries. More on that next.
In short: it’s the ultimate EDC flashlight – nailing performance, aesthetics, and value.
So with Jason at the helm of Foursevens, we’d work together to take the legendary Preon P1 and make it our own via several upgrades, while maintaining its incredible features and benefits.
Speaking from my personal experience, I have been carrying a Preon P1, in one of its variants, on five different continents, temperatures ranging from -20°F to 120°F, inside my EDC work bag to the coffee shops on Austin’s East Side, plane rides up to visit my folks in Pennsylvania, deep within the jungles of the Philippines, among the sand dunes of Morocco’s Sahara Desert, atop the snowy Alps in Switzerland, inside of glaciers in Iceland, and more. Unlike a pocket knife, the P1 can travel with me everywhere. It’s both my trusty everyday carry tool for daily use and one that goes with me anywhere on the planet.
The Return of Titanium
The Preon P1 historically has been offered in aluminum with a Type-III hard coat anodized finish, with black being the standard. There’s also been a blue anodized option at one point. But Jason likes to play with EDC-friendly materials, offering the P1 in Brass as well as Nickel Satin. While these are all fantastic, I admit I’ve owned each version at one point, but there’s the ultra-rare Preon P1 Titanium. The thing is… the last time the P1 was available in titanium was once since 2018. You have to search the secondary market to try to score one. And as you know, with our collaborations, we love titanium. #AllTitaniumEverything, please. We opted for a 6Al4V (Grade 5) Titanium for the ultimate in corrosion resistance, look, handfeel, and durability.
From there, we wanted to level up and engrave the cylinder. For this, we opted for the Japanese geometric asanoha pattern, which represents strength and vitality. But would it be possible? Laser engraving or engraving on a cylinder is incredibly difficult and time-consuming (AKA expensive).
We went through many iterations and found laser engraving left rough edges (earlier Preons had a rough machined texture on the body affectionately known as “the pocket grater”). The only option was to elevate to the very best, to CNC machine the pattern with a single point PCD diamond engraving tool. This single engraving operation takes 30 minutes for every light. That’s about several hundreds of hours of machine time… just to cut the engraving. It’s a stupid idea from a manufacturing standpoint, but sometimes the “stupid” way is the only way to get the finest result, and that’s what we seek with these special projects.
The deep CNC engraved pattern not only looks killer, but provides a positive grip for gloved or wet hands.
Emitter Upgrade and High CRI
Nichia 519A 9080 SM403 (4000K) 90+ CRI, the ultimate emitter for EDC. Luckily, Foursevens has been working with Nichia for a long time, and Jason was granted the opportunity to debut a pre-market 519A in one of his custom Prometheus lights. They (and the flashlight world) fell in love with it… making it the obvious choice for this collaboration light. When we reached out to Jason and asked what LED he wanted to use, he replied “the Nichia 519” before we were done asking the question.
The 4000K 90+ CRI means that you’ll avoid the cheap gas station flashlight blue artificial light we all know and despise. Quality of light is the key here, with the Nichia creating a warm natural light that is easy on the eyes and pierces through the darkness.
The Foursevens x Carryology Preon P1 clocks in at a modest but bright 100 lumens max and delivers 1 lumen in moonlight mode. 100 lumens is the “correct” number of lumens for a AAA flashlight based on the battery capability and available thermal mass. This will make sure you get plenty of hours of use and avoid overheating your daily tool.
The Foursevens x Carryology Preon P1 features the best-looking LED that Foursevens has ever put into a flashlight, the Nichia 519A 9080. This is the very first time this LED has been available in a Preon. Then, it’s all capped off with high-strength optical-grade glass with a dual AR coating in front of the emitter for ultimate clarity.
AAA, the Perfect Travel Solution
All Foursevens AAA lights run on (and ship with) GP Professional AAA NiMh rechargeable batteries. First, they work better than disposables. Second, they are less finicky than their Li-ion counterparts and this light doesn’t require the higher voltage or energy density. We are shipping two (2) AAA batteries and our USB-A dual-channel charger with each light so you are never left in the dark. The beauty of rechargeable batteries is you can put in a fresh one at any time, and you should. And the number one massive benefit of running AAA batteries, other than the rechargeable aspect? No matter where you are traveling in the world, you’re always near a AAA battery. In the rare circumstance that you chew through both rechargeable batteries and don’t have access to charging, you can pop a AAA battery out of a TV remote, a wall clock, or a remote-controlled dancing robot dog toy.
The Switch Button | Custom Molded Silicone
The second-generation Preon used a metal tailcap cover over a rubber button. This looked cool and allowed the light to (barely) tailstand, but it was prone to sticking, accidental activation in the pocket, and could easily be damaged if dropped. It was cool but wasn’t reliable…and if it’s not reliable it has to go. The improved MKIII uses a custom rubber boot and Jason paid special attention to the button activation: easy to use intentionally, but never comes on in your pocket. Finally, the waterproof clicky button with silicone boot allows for a momentary on with a light press, but stays on with a hard click. But if you’re more of a twisty fan, you can twist the head (emitter side) of the flashlight to cycle through modes.
Simple, Bright, and Useful Modes… Without the Engineering Degree
By default, the P1 is set to operate in the most everyday carry and travel-friendly configuration (AKA “configuration 3”). This starts you out with Medium (15 lumens) for useful light in a dark environment where you might not want to disturb anyone else or let your presence be known, like getting up in the middle of the night in a hotel room with your significant other fast asleep. Then, another click and you’re in High mode (65 lumens), which is plenty to do some outdoor exploring or hiking in the dark. And finally, Burst mode (100 lumens), for when you really want to reach out and touch something. Note, Burst mode is quite bright, so aim it away from your eyes. You’ve been warned, ha! Of course, if you want some of the other available modes that are extremely useful in an emergency (like SOS mode, Beacon mode, and Strobe mode) you can cycle through different configurations easily to unlock them, by following the instructions on the Foursevens website. Once you’ve played around with it once, you’ve got the hang of it forever. Intuitive, easy, and useful lumens for real-life applications.
Note: It is extremely difficult to accurately take photos to measure "brightness". Many brands overexpose their images to appear brighter. But we decided to snap some shots for you, with all camera specs listed and no photo editing whatsoever, to hopefully better illustrate this particular flashlight's output.
Configuration 3 (Medium, High, Burst).
11PM. Austin, Texas. 91% humidity. Light fog.
Backpack is 20 meters away (60 feet).
Slide 1: Ambient / Control Group (0 lumens)
Slide 2: Medium (15 lumens)
Slide 3: High (60 lumens)
Slide 4: Burst (100 lumens)
Camera Settings: ISO800, f2.8, 1.0sec, 70mm focal length, zero edits.
The Preon P1 is officially immersion tested and approved for IPX8 rating. Meaning it can operate under 1 meter (3 feet) of water continuously. It also keeps out dust and sand, like I personally can confirm from dropping my flashlight intentionally several times into the Sahara Desert’s sand. More than two months later, I’m still finding sand in my pant pockets and inside my backpack… but not in the Preon.
Just to keep things cohesive with a little color pop, we had to add some orange back by the clicky button. The orange switch retainer is made from 6061 Aluminum and Type-II hard anodized for durability. Nothing too wild, but we loved the way this little detail added some extra visual interest and fun to the raw titanium flashlight.
The Pocket Clip: Heat-Treated Stainless Steel
Jason wanted to improve the pocket clip. The factory thought he was crazy and went through five rounds of prototyping to get it right. But we got it right.
We increased the thickness by 20% for more strength, revised the geometry for better ergonomics and pocketing, and used heat-treated stainless steel. The clip is an integral part of the overall light, not just an afterthought.
From there, we added a durable black coating and laser engraved both logos into the clip, commemorating the collaboration.
The Configurable Interface
No one can agree on the best program setup so we offer six convenient program presets (configurations). Choose your favorite, at any time. The configurable interface is standardized across the entire Foursevens line of twisty and clicky lights. No matter what light you pick up, you’ll know exactly how to use it.
Low Battery Warning
Typically, when you need light you NEED LIGHT…because you can’t see in the dark. A lot of designers ignore the most critical phase of flashlight use: when the battery is low. The Preon’s voltage monitor will step down output to let you know the current level cannot be supported, but it will continue to deliver moonlight output for hours when other lights would consider the battery dead…and leave you in the dark.
Just like backpacks, high-end pocket knives, mini fidget tools, and more, there is a never-ending rabbit hole of brands and models to choose from. And when that occurs, you find cheap low-quality knockoff units as well as highly specialized exotic units for thousands of dollars. The Preon P1 is high-quality, yet doesn’t have the sticker shock price of $500, $750, or $1,000+ for a pocket flashlight. Not saying those torches aren’t worth it, because they are marvelous products. But they’re just not for everyone. The P1 is a killer value for quality and features for the dollar – it's pocket-friendly in more ways than one.
Of course, just like all of our collaborations, we have an internal codename or character that we internally use to reference the project among our team and the collaboration partner. This would be no different. To complement the asanoha CNC engraved pattern and the purpose of the tool itself (creating light), we opted for the codename Onibi. Onibi are a type of atmospheric ghost light from Japanese folklore. Translating to “Demon Fire”.
We loved it. Codename sorted.
Demon Fire in Your Pocket
Tested along tens of thousands of miles of adventures across six continents, refined and reimagined via a collaboration effort between Foursevens and Carryology, the perfect companion to live in your pants pocket, the admin panel of your favorite pack, your highly organized tech kit, your vehicle glovebox, your emergency kit, and your drawer at home. We truly believe the Preon P1 Onibi is the ultimate EDC and travel flashlight, giving you all the lumens you need whenever darkness falls. Because dark sucks.
One thought on “Exclusive Release | Foursevens x Carryology Preon P1 Onibi”
Comments are closed.