Skim through every site advising readers about the necessary items for Everyday Carry (EDC) and there’ll be a torch mentioned in each and every one. Torches have become as widespread as wallets, phones or pocketknives, no matter if you’re out for a drink in the local pub, or hiking through the Snowys. And there are countless reasons why you’d need one.
But you don’t want a huge tactical torch bulging in your pocket (not in the pub anyway). Tech has come a long way, and keychain torches no bigger than an ordinary AA battery can dazzle anyone annoying, and also help you change a tyre in pitch darkness, or find the trail uphill once dusk sets. Some variants even shine brighter than torches much bigger and feed on huge batteries.
Ranking high among the specialist brands producing a range of torches is RovyVon. The company is based out of Shenzen, China and was founded by outdoor enthusiasts. They’re a staple in the EDC arena with small, but extremely powerful and feature-rich torches that slip comfortably onto a keychain. But don’t let the small form factor fool you – these are fully functional field torches with more light than you’ll ever need, a range of useful lighting settings, long run times, and a decent build. Their current Aurora range of keyring torches are some of the most capable and sought-after EDC items on anybody’s list. Smack in the middle is the RovyVon Aurora A5X. Let’s see what makes it shine.
Master of All Trades
The Aurora A5X is one of the newer additions to the revered Aurora lineup of keychain torches. Like its siblings, it packs a lot of light and features in a super-compact form factor. If you like to travel light, this is truly a featherweight coming in under 15 grams, but packs a punch.
The standout features are the different lighting types. The torch puts many tactical and much larger flashlights to shame with its rated maximum output of 650 lumens, has a useful reading light function, and even a strobe feature for emergency lighting. The main front light has four different brightness settings, and you can quickly access the type of lighting with a simple press and hold.
The torch turns on to an ultra-low setting, but with enough light for everyday use, such as finding keys. Longer presses move brightness to low, medium and the blinding maximum setting, A battery-saving ‘memory’ feature is the step-down function that retorts brightness levels back to low after the torch has been on for more than 180 seconds.
There’s a lot of impressive tech and innovative engineering that puts so much power in so little space. Front LEDs are sourced by leading LED maker CREE for the 650 lumens output, and there’s the option to go with revered Nichia LEDs, rated at 450 lumens, but with longer run times. Side LEDs offering a white and red standard or flashing strobe function go on for much longer (10 hours flash for white, 7 for red) and are ideal in emergency scenarios. Other cool features are the UV light and glow in the dark setting that shines using the torch’s own luminance.
All this is housed in a translucent polycarbonate body that is impact and water-resistant (IP66), so no dramas if the torch slips out of your hands or unexpectedly lands in the water. On the charging side of things, the Aurora A5X has a built-in 330mAh lithium polymer battery to offer great run times and efficiency, and a micro-USB that charges the battery from empty to full in less than 90 minutes. An indication light reminds you of the juice left in the battery. The torch can last almost three days non-stop on the ultra-low setting before it needs to be recharged.
Carrying is easy too. You get an included reversible stainless-steel pocket clip for a hand-free mode, and a lanyard to attach it to a keyring.
How it Differs from Other Torches in the Aurora Series
RovyVon’s Aurora torches come in a similar form factor and size, but differ mainly in the exterior body materials, lighting features and the battery output. The A1X for instance comes in a polyamide outer casing in different colours, has the same battery life and brightness output (650 lumens) but misses out on the strobe and flash function of the RovyVon Aurora A5X.
The A3X has a somewhat smaller battery (at 260mAh) and therefore slightly shorter run times. LEDs are the same high-end offerings from CREE or Nichia so performance is comparable. The selling point of the A3X is its good-looking aluminium casing, which ups the weight by a few grams, but the torch misses out on the better waterproofing of the A5X.
Higher-end casings of copper or titanium are found in the Aurora A9, A9 Pro and A11 with the latter in interesting colour schemes. Lighting tech and brightness are about the same as the A5X as is battery output. The metal housings though add considerably more weight and up the price.
The pick of the bunch has to be the Aurora A5X. It’s lightweight, bright, has front and side LEDs for different lighting types, impact and waterproof body and has very long run times. The price is right too, and you get a whole lot of torch for your money’s worth.