The history of the Fenix PD35 Flashlight
Throughout the years, the Fenix PD35 has set itself apart from the rest of the flashlights in the Fenix line. It is said that to be successful, you have to be different, you have to stand out, and this is precisely what the Fenix PD35 has done year after year. Today, we take a few moments to go over the various models and upgrades of this flashlight from the very beginning up until now with the most current models. We may even analyze what the future holds for this great flashlight, which has set the standard both in everyday carry and tactical carry.
The very first Fenix PD35 was released in June 2013, it was the successor of the trendy Fenix PD32 T6 model. When it first launched on to the flashlight market, no one expected it to do as well as it did. However, this 850-lumen flashlight was going to soon become the top seller for Fenix Store Flashlights. This first model PD35 had a Cree XM-L (U2) LED with five different output levels. The turbo output was a max of 850 lumens with a runtime of 1 hour and 15 minutes. The body design of all subsequently released versions stayed similar to this first style PD35, which included a rear side switch that would turn the flashlight on and off and the iconic rubber side switch, which could be used to increase or decrease the output levels. The internals of this model was reasonably modern at the time, including the dual spring design for better impact resistance and compatibility with flat head batteries. The 2013 version of the PD35 was powered by a single rechargeable 18650 battery or two CR123A batteries. At the time, this was a relatively new battery, but it set a precedent for all other flashlights. Even the latest model still uses a 18650 battery. Back in 2013, the 18650 cells that the PD35 used were flat on both ends. However, the newer and more protected 18650 batteries are button tops on the positive side of the cell.
After much success, it was time for an upgrade that arrived in July 2014. This Fenix flashlight is the most popular of all the PD35's that have been released. Its reign of popularity started in 2014 and lasted almost four years before it was finally retired in March of 2018. What made this newly upgraded Fenix PD35 U2 so famous? It kept many of the great features of its predecessor while getting upgrades where it needed it the most. One of the main updates was the light output increasing from 850 lumens to an impressive 960 lumens. Additional updates also included the IPX-8 waterproof rating, allowing the PD35 to be submerged 6.5 ft. Underwater for a max of 30 minutes. The visibility distance was also increased to a maximum of 208 meters or 682 ft. The PD35 was so popular that it received various awards and acclaims throughout its four years of production.
As we had mentioned before, the 2014 Fenix PD35 U2 was the most popular PD35 model to have been released until the Fenix PD35 TAC arrived in June 2015. With this new tactical model came many updates that loyal Fenix customers had been asking for, including two programmable settings for outputs and 1000 Lumens of output. To this day, thousands of PD35 TAC's have been sold. It has become so popular that Fenix Store has developed the exclusive Elite Series cerakote versions with the help of Blowndeadline Custom Finish and Brothers in Arms Cerakote Finish. Other updates included the Cree XP-L(V5) LED that allowed a single rechargeable 18650 battery to reach 1000 lumens and 656 ft. of visibility. The programmable tactical flashlight mode enables control of 3 outputs (Turbo, Low, Strobe) all from the rear switch. While the EDC Outdoors mode allows for the flashlight outputs to be controlled by the newly updated stainless steel side switch. Another significant difference in this model was the change in the body style, specifically in the head where the grooved head now served as a tactical strike bezel or glass breaker.
Finally, in February of 2018, the regular PD35 U2 was upgraded to the Fenix PD35 V2.0. This new model has been regarded as possibly the best EDC flashlight to date. It boasts 1000 lumens with an extremely long runtime of 2 hours and 50 minutes. Another significant difference in this model was the upgraded side switch that now included a small LED battery level indicator when you turn on the flashlight. The body material was also updated to HAIII hard-anodized oxidation-resistant aluminum. A feature that many had requested had also arrived in this V2.0 model, a true eco mode at 3 lumens that lasts a total of 430 hours (17 Days)!
Without a doubt, the Fenix PD35 has always been a favorite to all from flashlight junkies to standard users all around the world. The simple and easy to use UI cannot be beaten. The ability to use a variety of batteries, both rechargeable and non-rechargeable, is something that sets it apart from other flashlight brands and models. As flashlights experts and fanatics, we eagerly await the arrival of the next upgrade to the Fenix PD35. Many believe it should be rechargeable, while others want to so more output and longer runtimes. Whatever the enhancements may be, you can be sure that the Fenix PD35 will be built to last a lifetime backed by the quality customer service of Fenix.