Words and pics: Rich Norman

The details are not the details. They make the design.

That’s Charles Eames, quoted by THYRM, which gives you a good idea about what the company stands for.

THYRM excels in invention, innovation and the production of feature-rich kit; kit which fills a niche you never knew existed.

Like their CellVault and CellVault XL – both of which I’ve reviewed on the blog – the Switchback is extremely useful…once you learn how to use it.

I won’t waste your time trying to explain the latter, when this excellent primer by Sage Dynamics exists:

Tactical and personal defence uses aside, my use of the SwitchBack is more along the lines of EDC.

There’s a very busy, narrow pedestrian and cycle thoroughfare very close to my house. It’s a really direct route to a lot of places I need to go on foot, day or night. However, the lighting isn’t great along my entire route and I like to take a torch with me just in case.

On unlit sections I’m often dazzled by those strobing lights cyclists have. It can be pretty disorientating. So, I like to advertise my location right back in their direction. However, until I fitted the SwitchBack I wasn’t always fast enough to retrieve my light in good time and start counter-strobing.

So obviously that alone makes the SwitchBack worth getting.

Already have the original? Well, you *do* need to buy the SwitchBack 2.0.

Read on and I’ll explain why.

Just to note that in all comparison pics, the original SwitchBack is on the left and the 2.0 is on the right.

Here’s a list of the differences between the original SwitchBack and the 2.0. The points are taken from THYRM’s website but I’ve added my own confirmation and use notes – plus comparison pics.

  • A finger ring that releases under heavy force/torque, but can be reset. Every fallen over holding a torch with the original SwitchBack installed? That’s one reason this is a great idea.

• A stronger pocket clip that also works with MOLLE/PALS webbing. The original wasn’t so great hitched on chest rigs etc. The 2.0 rectifies this, whilst continuing to work with trouser pockets etc.

• A pocket clip position that allows for slightly deeper carry than the original. Works better than the original in the carpenter pocket on my Arc’teryx trousers, that’s for sure.

• A tubular portion that is cut lower to allow grip on both sides of the tail-cap during installation; this is a massive win over the original if you only have the one SwitchBack, but want to use it across a number of flashlights. It makes torquing the tail-cap or unscrewing it so much easier.

• A wider thumb rest with traction features. Tactile!

As well as the enhancements pictured:

  • Small crush ribs on the SwitchBack 2.0’s lip that create a custom fit across a broader range of lights.
  • An aluminum spacer that expands compatibility to Streamlight HL and HL-X flashlights and other manufacturers with similar designs.

And, it’s still designed and manufactured in the USA.

Lastly, here’s THYRM’s compatibility chart for the 2.0:

As an addendum, it’s also worth checking out THYRM’s video:

I got my SwitchBack 2.0 from the UK purveyors of tacticool gucci, Tactical-Kit.