FAQ - VSSL Direct

FAQ

Military Grade?

We make our products to withstand harsh outdoor environments.  Our cylinders are 6061 Aluminum, the same version used for aircraft, scuba tanks and many other critical components.

Our flagship VSSL Supplies is used by the Canadian Armed Forces for their wilderness survival school as a training aid. You'll find professional/military reviews of our products here.

How big are they?

Each VSSL unit is approximately 9” long by 2” diameter and they weigh about 16oz each. Exact weight is listed on each product page.

What are they made of?

Each VSSL unit is made from military spec (Mil_Spec) 6061 seamless extruded aluminum - practically indestructible. The lights are comprised of 3, 1 watt LED (Cree) bulbs. Three bulbs provides redundancy.

Are they water-resistant?

When properly closed, each VSSL cylinder and its contents are protected from the elements including temporary exposure to water. The light is water-resistant on its own or attached to a VSSL.

What about the batteries?

Our lights use 3 N-type (generic name), or E90 (Energizer) batteries. They are outstanding batteries and can be found in most hardware stores, electronic stores, camera stores, or ordered through us: (click here to order batteries)

We spent substantial time in product development sourcing the best type of battery for this application with the help of the experts from Emerging Power. Emerging Power is an ISO 9001:2008 certified – ITAR registered and FM Certified products -manufacturer of OEM and replacement batteries and charger products based in New Jersey. Their list of satisfied OEMs includes many Fortune 500 customers. 

AAA batteries are far more common; we know this. AAA and AA batteries power most of today's small portable electronics. The downside is that these batteries are snapped up really fast in the event of an emergency. Disasters such as Hurricane Katrina taught us that less common batteries are actually more readily available during supply shortages. We can assume that hoarding during the zombie apocalypse will also deplete store shelves of more common batteries.

Our N-Type batteries have the same capacity as a high end (Energizer, Duracell) AAA battery (~1000 mAh*) but with a smaller form factor, allowing us to create a smaller light but still use high capacity batteries. 

Battery installation instructions:

Where are they made?

Proudly Made in Canada. We amalgamate parts from around the world and our products have been designated "Made in Canada" due to the substantial completion that takes part in our facility in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The bulk of our manufacturing is completed by youth with special needs. Although we could save a bunch of money by having everything done overseas, we strongly believe in contributing to the local community and economy! Our operations manager is noted (and awarded) for the work he does locally with youth with special needs and he is often invited to consult with local businesses on how to integrate this type of workforce into mainstream environments. 

Where do you ship from?

Currently two locations: Bellingham, Washington and Vancouver, Canada. US Customers will receive product direct from our Washington facility.

Where do you ship to?

We've shipped units around the world. Our shipping rates are entirely weight based so shipping rate is determined by total weight of the order plus geography. Some examples are:

USA:

Rates starting at $6.00 and up to $30.00 based on the weight of the shipment.

CANADA:

$6 - $17.50 Canada Post Parcel Post for orders up to $40

$8 - $35 Canada Post Parcel Post for orders over $40

INTERNATIONAL:

$20 - $26 USPS First Class International for packages up to 4lbs 

$75 - $100 USPS Priority International for orders 4lbs to 25lbs

Can I replace the contents?

Yep. Whatever you end up using can be easily replaced. Just look for the tin and contents you need to replace and order your refill online (click here to order refills).

Blank / empty tins?

We also supply blank tins so you can outfit your VSSL unit with your own contents (click here to purchase).

If you do use your own contents, please send us a picture for a chance to win a complementary VSSL and have your ingenuity showcased on our website for the benefit of other VSSL users.

How long will the flashlight last?

We are about to complete our ANSI/NEMA FL-1 portable light certification. It’s not a requirement, but you'll see most of the high quality torchlight companies are voluntarily doing this in order to establish a unified standard. So once we are through that, we'll have certified specifications for lumens, water resistance, durability, run time, etc. Until then, we've found the usable/functional light time is about 20 hrs. In S.O.S mode, it broadcasts a visible signal for about 40 hrs.

What kind of beam does your light emit?

For you torchlight aficionados, this is an important question. You basically have three different types of beams: flood, spot or a combination (adjustable). During our R&D phase we polled several of the top survival/camping/outdoor forums to see what end users would prefer and the majority selected flood beam.

Spot beams allow us to see farther, but flood beams illuminate a broader area over a shorter distance (like a lantern). Since VSSL’s are a multi-purpose tool, our customers felt that a flood beam with a more lantern like beam would be more practical. 

I have an idea for a VSSL; can I share that with you?

By all means, feel free to share! We've brainstormed a long list of potential next iterations, but would love to drive the development of future products based on customer feedback. feedback@vsslgear.com

Zombies? Really?

Our founder has a zombie in his garden! But really, we try not to take life too seriously.

And hey, you just never know right?