Cloud Defensive: MCH Light, Keeping a Torch in Your Pocket

Released in early 2022, the MCH handheld light by Cloud Defensive, continues to build upon the success of the OWL and REIN 2.0 by introducing the latest light-producing weapon ling design, in a compact body fit for individual or pocket carry.

The MCH (aka the Mission Configurable Handheld) has two versions—the full-sized version (the focus of and featured in this review) and the micro (not covered)—each with two configurations; a High Candela (HC) configuration (featured in this review) and a Every Day Carry configuration. Both configurations are also available in a single output or dual (selected at the time of purchase). The MCH is made from certified 6061-T6 aluminum and has an overall length of 5.175” with the largest diameter of 1.2” at the bezel/head.

The MCH is much like other CD lights in that it consists of three parts; the head, body and tailcap. Each is machined to precise specifications, and then anodized to meet ANSI/PLATO FL-1 impact resistance standards with a black satin exterior (although other finishes are available). All segments are sealed via silicone rings to ensure against water and dust penetration. As such the MCH (switch included) has been certified in IPX8 immersion testing for use while under 100’ of water for up to 24 hours.

At the head, the full-sized MCH HC, single output light element produces an emission of 71,000 candela/1,100 lumens of warm-toned light (same as the REIN 2.0). Alternatively, if end-users select the EDC, single-output configuration it will produce 40,000 candela/1400 lumens. This is due to the combination of the electroformed reflector, power supply, and warmer LED emission that allows the MCH to project light further than many competitors. It is important to note, that if the dual output option is selected, end-users will instead have the LOW and HIGH switch settings. It is important to note that lumens are a measure of the potential light during performance. However, without an efficient focal point to concentrate the beam, lumens quickly disperse over an ever widening range. In contrast, candela is the measure of light that is focused sufficiently to reach the target at a specific distance. While the MCH HC configuration does have an impressive 1,100 lumens (a common industry metric of measure), its crushing 71,000 candela is the same as the REIN 2.0 and allows for the same penetration of useable light through photonic barriers (such as smoke, dust, or opposing light sources). This allows end-users to recognize targets at a greater range.

The MCH light element includes the same redesigned and streamlined bezel as the REIN 2.0 and is made from the same 6061-T6 aluminum for maximum strength and impact resistance. This bezel secures a military-grade 3mm thick glass that while robust, is the principle sacrificial element to the light that can only be replaced in its entirety if damaged. The glass is described by Cloud Defensive as low-iron glass, with 98% light transmission that was 40% thicker than other market competitors.

The body of the MCH is made from a single piece milled aluminum. The 18650 power cell itself will provide for 150 minutes of continual runtime on the full-sized HC, single output configuration (or HIGH setting for dual output), or 120 minutes of continual runtime for full-sized EDC, single output configuration (or HIGH setting for dual output).

The MCH uses the same rubberized tailcap push-button switch as the REIN weapon light. Included with the MCH are three variable negligent discharge rings that screw into the threaded tailcap, and provide a protective shroud around the push-button. Additionally, a removable Thyrm Low Profile Battery Carry Clip is included with the MCH and is affixed to the light between the threaded ends of the body and tailcap.

The MCH is currently only available in Black (featured), Clear Anodized, Flat Dark Earth, and OD Green. It also includes a charging unit for the 18650 battery that comes with a UBS power cable. It also comes in two models, the full-sized MCH (18650 series) and the micro (18350 series).

Product Evaluation Scores:

  • CostAverage (3/5): With a list price of $219.99 the full-sized MCH represents some of the current efforts by Cloud Defensive to offer a direct competitor to many common hand-held patrol lights on the current market. It incorporates 1,100 lumens output and many of the design features and functions found in the REIN 2.0 weapon light. The materials and tail switch technology, place it among some of the leading designs on the market. In comparison, the Surefire EDCL2-T ($199 @1,200 lumens), the Modlite PLHv2-18650 Handheld ($309.00 @1,350 lumens), and the Streamlight Protac HL-X ($89.00 @1,000 lumen) all illustrate the MCH’s price point, with its included ring/belt mount, are appropriately (or average) placed within the current market.
  • Comfort Good (4/5): The full-sized MCH threw the same warm-toned 1,100 lumens similar to the REIN that, unlike the glaring “white” light from other weapon lights, the MHC’s emissivity didn’t flood a room, hallway, nor blind the user going back to them in an enclosed environment. With the included Thrym LPC, handling of the MCH or draw from a pouch or belt was comfortable in the hand and easily manipulated. The result of use with the MCH in enclosed environments (rooms, hallways, etc.) was a lower intensity on the eyes, but still illuminated the space or target(s) at a greater distance. The tailcap switch of the MCH is similar to the REIN 2.0 in that it combined the momentary ON/OFF halfway down, and then the continual ON/OFF audible/tangible click at the bottom. It should be noted that at this output level, after approx. five minutes of continual runtime the light emitter and body became notably warm (common to many types of 1k+ lumen handhelds), and that further extended useage would become uncomfortable.
  • Durability – Good (4/5): From a durability aspect, the MCH appeared to have been made from the same T6 aluminum as the REIN 2.0. And with Cloud Defensive’s lifetime warrantee, the MCH had an overall excellent level of strength to resist impact and abrasion (also reflected in its ANSI/PLATO FL-1 shock testing and IPX8 waterproofing). It is unlikely owners would be in a situation whereby risk of damaging the body were realistic. Perhaps the weakest point of the actual MCH itself was the 3mm-thick sacrificial emitter lens that necessitates the entire emitter be replaced (sold separately) if damaged. A drop test of 10 releases from approximately 6’ above raw concrete was performed. The goal was to evaluate the MCH against impacts it may encounter in the field. That said, the aluminum bezel of the MCH’s light head and around the tail button took a majority of the impacts, with only minimal surface marring noted that never penetrated the lower layers of metal. During research, issues with the tailcap being improperly removed and reattached by owners were noted—with the rubberized O-ring being damaged. This was attributed to owners improperly conducting battery swaps via the tailcap rather than (per the instructions) to remove the light’s head/emitter unit. If end-users need an immediate replacement for such O-rings (vice contacting Cloud for one), then any Home Depot carries matching ones (Danco #40 O-ring; ¾” outer diameter x 5/8” inner diameter x 1/16” thickness). Other issues were raised (low output, flickering due to lacking contact between the battery and connector) that appeared to be addressed by Cloud Defensive under its product’s lifetime warrantee.
  • Functionality Good (4/5): Functionally, the MCH was the first handheld light offered by Cloud Defensive and addressed the basic needs from such an accessory. The light was consistent with traditional handheld designs with a hand sized body and rear-facing pressure switch. The performance of the MCH’s light emitter and lumen output allowed its beam to penetrate through various photonic barriers (lights at/between/behind the target) and ambient interference (smoke/fog/debris) with ease. Without getting into the scientific elements, the warmer tone of light simply allowed more usable light to stretch the distance (think wavelength of light) and illuminate the target’s surface. The MCH has the same solid central illumination point as the REIN 2.0 (likely as they use the same light head), but the radius of diffused light around it had a definitive, controled boundary/hard line and didn’t simply spill outward (as opposed to the performance of a Surefire that floods an area). While this meant that all the available light was directional and would only illuminate what you wanted, it also meant that anything on the periphery wouldn’t—so something for end users to consider. Meanwhile, from a completely dead battery, the 18650 battery took approximately six hours to fully charge.
  • Weight Good (4/5): Overall, the full-sized MCH weighed in at 5.71 ounces (while providing 1,100 lumens) owing a majority of its weight to the encompassing T6 aluminum. In the case of the MCH, its weight was neither noticeable, distracting, nor weighed down when stowed on the belt or plate carrier. In contrast, the Surefire EDCL2-T (4.1 ounces @1,200 lumens), the Modlite PLHv2-18650 Handheld (5.9 ounces @1,350 lumens), and the Streamlight Protac HL-X (6.2 ounces @1,000 lumen) demonstrated that the MCH weighed in less than most market alternatives, and does offer improved light output (particularly in candela), for its diminished weight.

Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)

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I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.

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