SAR Eclipse Signal System/SESS...High Speed, Low Drag Signaling Device

Signaling is one of the most important elements of survival and living to fight another day. The idea is to attract attention and get rescued. It's kind of hard to carry a signal mirror, whistle, flare or laser flare in our day to day lives. Honestly I'm not even that dedicated, because these items are usually a hassle to carry (unless I'm in the field or out of my element). We don't plan on winding up in a survival situation, it just happens. So having any gear with us is a plus, and the device I'm covering today can be kept on you at all times without even knowing its there. It's the SESS or SAR Eclipse Signal System designed by Spencer A. Reiter.

Spencer is a former Airborne/Ranger NCO and makes some pretty awesome knives as well as some other cutting edge gear. I encourage you to check out his blog and website (links below) and see some of his work, when you have a chance. Spencer's knives and tool's are pretty cutting edge and after speaking to him, the intentions of his designs are for helping us all to live to fight another day, something anyone of us can appreciate. Not to mention after my time spent on Ft. Benning I respect any man that has earned a Ranger Tab!

The SESS is a signaling system that combines a Signaling mirror and SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) patch. Signaling mirrors work during day light hours and not many signaling systems aid in signaling at night. The SESS gives you the ability to signal in either condition. All of this in the convenience of a dog tag sized system weighing less than a 1/2 of an ounce. Much less than conventional signaling mirrors.

The SESS is basically a stacked set of dog tags held together by a rivot. The system comes is available in a few different options making them quite versatile. The SESS/B (boot) is the standard option. It is a two dog tags and features the SOLAS and Signal mirror. The SESS/B can be laced in your combat boots, worn around your neck, on a keychain, or placed in a personal survival kit.
Left to right: SESS/K(nife), SESS/C(lip), and SESS/B(oot)

The SESS/C (clip) is a triple stacked model that features a clip that can be used as a money clip, or clipped on MOLLE webbing, or other gear. Making this model very versatile.

The SESS/C model can also be purchased with a Duracoat finish. The colors available in International Signal Orange, WWII Olive Drab, and Black. You can see the Duracoat in WWII OD Green in the photo to your right on the SESS/K.

Another option not pictured is the SESS/IR for all the high speed operators out their. The infared model features MIL-SPEC IR Glint tape that can be used with NVG's and Laser Devices, good for identifying Friend or Foe in tactical environments. This model features the SOLAS patch in a covert manner as well as the standard signal mirror tag, to signal in conventional methods.

My favorite model is the SESS/K or Knife model. This model features all the standard capabilites as the SESS/Clip model as well as a titanium tag that has a tungsten carbide reinforced cutting edge. The tungsten knife is extremely sharp and can be used for a variety of cutting task. This system truly is its own E&E kit in one. Signaling and a cutting tool that's less than an ounce. This would be a good addition to any personal survival kit tackling signaling and your cutting needs, while taking up very little space.

The knife albeit is small is still very effective. It comes hair shaving sharp (I tested it by shaving a patch of hair of my arm). Being that it's made from titanium there is very little weight difference from the SESS clip model. The finger groove or choil area really helps in using the knife for cutting task, as well as holding the other stacked tags in your palm, essentially as a knife handle.

To use any of the SAR Eclipse Signaling System models: Hold the SESS up to your cheek with the mirror tag opened in the out position. Place your bird and trigger fingers in a "V" and holding your target in between the "V". Then sweep the mirror until you see the reflection of light on your fingers. Your target should see the glare projected from the mirrored tag. Similar to a traditional signal mirror. Even with the small size of the tag its very effective and has an extreme reflective surface. In my test it worked very well, as well as some of my commercial signal mirrors. The SOLAS patch is designed to pick up light and reflect it back with a glow. In my testing, the SOLAS patch reflected light in different variables depending on the light being used. The stronger the light the brighter the SOLAS patch became.

The hole in the center of the tag is not designed to be used as an aiming hole as traditional signal mirrors. Commercial signal mirror's have a retro-reflective aiming sight that shows you where your reflected light is projected. I'm not saying the hole can't be used for that, it's just not designed for that. However it can be used as a range estimation tool, similar to how we use the dog tag hole to gauge target distance. If your interested in using it this way this is how you go about it:

  • Select a distance, say 100 yards
  • Then take a known height, say a six foot tall man
  • Then stand at 100 yards away from your target of a 6' man 
  • Where he fits into the hole of the tag, this is your target distance and you can use this to estimate target distance's 
*Understand this is a range estimation and not exact. If you would like to be exact use a rangefinder.

Spencer has tested the SESS all the way out to 10 miles. The SESS has also been tested in a real life scenario involving a Federal Drug Enforcement Agent, where the SESS saved his life. Check out that story here. If that isn't testament enough that this is a piece of essential gear, I don't know what is.

Check out SAR Global Tools and some other reviews of the SESS:
Jerking the Trigger
ITS Tactical


  1. Excellent review for a for a great product made by a stand up guy

    ~James G

  2. Thanks James, we dig your site bro! thanks for stopping by