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EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Thrunite Catapult V6 Review (26650 Compact Thrower, MicroUSB Rechargeable)

Today I have a review of the Thrunite Catapult V6. This the 6th generation in Catapult “Thrower” line from Thrunite. It’s compact spotlight style light using a 26650 battery, and is capable of throwing light out to 750 meters and upto 1700 lumens. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this to me to review and evaluate.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/K0bz2lc
YouTube Version of this Review:

Packaging
Packaging is like similar Thrunite products I have reviewed, it comes in a sturdy brown paper box with minimal information on the outside with only the company name, address, model number and LED designation. In my case it was hand checked Cool White. Inside the light was encased in egg case foam. Accessory wise the light includes a Thrunite branded 5000mAh button top 26650 battery, 2 extra Orings, an extra USB cover, extra inner button rubber, split ring, Thrunite branded Lanyard with split ring, a Holster, and a Micro USB charging cable.




The holster is nicely designed to fit the large head of this light. It’s lightly padded and made of the nylon. There is no DRing and the belt loop is permanently attached. The holster is the way to go if you were wanting to carry this light on your person. The multilanguage manual is brief but does a good job of going over the necessary info in 4 languages (English, German, Chinese, Japanese).

Construction
Construction of the Catapult V6 is on par with other recent Thrunite lights I have looked at such as the TC20. It’s made of nicely machined aluminium and anodized in a black hard semi gloss coating. The tail caps on the Catapult V6 and TC20 look similar. Both are non magnetic and allow the light to tail stand. Each has a small hole for the included lanyard. Its one area where some will want a larger hole for paracord. There isn’t any knurling on the tail cap but I was able to get it off easily. Threads are square cut and lightly lubricated along with an Oring.


The body tube has a large diamond pattern milled around it. This isn’t super grippy but it’s a nice change from a more traditional knurling patterns. The body tube is directional but doesn’t have any polarity markings on it for the battery. This light does come into 3 pieces the tail cap, body tube, and head.

The head is fairly large. The light has a polished steel bezel that can be unscrewed with considerable effort according to others on budget light forums. The lens is large and anti reflective coated glass. The reflector is smooth and deep with the LED nicely centered on a large white PCB. The head has minimal milled out areas The button is metal feeling and has a hole for an indicator LED underneath for charging status. It’s an electric switch and requires medium effort to use.


LED + Beamshots, Runtimes
This light uses a Cree XHP35 HI LED in cool white. According to the box there may be a Neutral White Catapult V6 in the future, however as of now this has not been released. This is a 12V emitter so the light is using a boost driver to get the batteries voltage to that level. It has a working voltage of 2.75V to 4.2V

Supplied with the Thrunite 5000mAh 26650 button top battery. It’s capable of delivering the 8A this light requires when use of Turbo.The light will accept button or flat top batteries without issue.

Outputs are pretty impressive. Turbo is rated for 1700 lumens, high for 960, medium for 180 lumens, low for 22 lumens, and firefly at 0.5 lumens. The light also has strobe that is at 1200 lumens.

The Catapult V6 was able to maintain a longer runtime for quite a while, maintaining above 60% relative output for about 125 minutes. Turbo slowly fell to about 90% relative output over the first 20 minutes which is where the light stepped down and ran for another 40 before stepping down for the remaining 70 minutes. Fall off after that was pretty rapid.

Distance
The beamshot of this light is a spotlight thrower. I found it impressive that even on moonlight mode (0.5 Lumens) it ends up throwing quite well over 10ft on a dark night. Over a longer distance and with higher modes the light beam does spread some but it’s still a spotlight. The distance claim of 750 meters is reasonably accurate. The light does have minimal amount of spill with a hard cut off on the edges. Video is really the best to see this in action. See the YouTube version of this review above.

Compared to Klarus XT32 and other 26650 lights I have
When I compared it to my Klarus XT32 the tint colors are very similar. The Captapult V6 has a little bit larger hotspot and a harder cut off on the spill at distances over 100 yards. I think the Catapult V6 for me in my hand is better balanced and easier to manipulate. I also included a picture of the size of the Catapult V6 in comparisons to other 26650 lights I have.

UI
UI is clear and simple to follow. From off a short press starts the light off in low, and short presses will cycle up in modes to medium and high. When the light is on in any mode double click to shortcut to turbo, double click again takes you to strobe. To access firefly long press from off. The light also has memory and will turn on in the last mode accessed except for firefly, turbo and strobe modes.

USB Recharging
The light also is capable of being recharged via microUSB. This is opposite the electronic switch and is covered with a rubber flap. I had no issues with the flap staying in place. Charge time was a respectable 3 hours 22 minutes from empty to full charge with a maximum rate of 2.14A.

Conclusions
This is one of the more compact throwers on the market for the sub $100 price. It’s a complete package including the battery, light, and recharging cable along with holster and spares. Some of the competitors such as the Emmisar D1S are sold as just the light. Combine the Thrunites fash shipping from the US and complete package I feel like it makes a pretty good value. I like the compact size for a thrower and use of one 26650 battery. I have other throwers that use 2× 18650 and these end up creating a pretty large light thats much less easy to put on a belt or bag. I like the extra diameter too in the Catapult V6.

This would be a nice choice for security guard applications, landowners looking to survey their property at a distance, or hunters trying to spot game. Due to that tight beam it’s not the best choice for a general EDC light or trail hiking in my opinion but that is to be expected. Overall it’s a very nice compact thrower.

Thrunite is offering 20% off if you order this light through their website through June 15th 2018http://www.thrunite.com/thrunite-catapult-v6-mini-thrower-rechargeable-flashlight/ It’s also available on Amazon (at normal prices) but currently out of stock.

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews Tech

Klarus ST10 Review (1100 Lumens, USB Rechargeable, 18650)

The Klarus ST10 is a old name for a newer light from Klarus. The old version was a AA powered light introduced in 2010 that has not been made for many years. This new version is designed with EDC use in mind and uses a 18650 battery, TIR reflector in a compact aluminum body and is USB rechargeable. Thanks to Flashlightz.com(link is external) for sending this to me to take a closer look at.

Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/sXk3F(link is external)
Video Version of this Review:

Construction and Stats
This light uses 6061-T6 Aluminum for it’s construction that’s hard anodized black. It’s more of a mat finish!{width:75%} https://i.imgur.com/mi1KcGD.jpg!:(link is external) https://i.imgur.com/mi1KcGD.jpg(link is external) . This light is reasonably compact for an 18650 light with built in USB recharging  . To accomplish this a few design changes have been made. This light doesn’t have a tail cap that’s removable. It’s part of the body tube. They do have 4 reasonably sized lanyard holes. What I really like is they cut a space out for the lanyard to sit flush so that the light can still tail stand with a lanyard  .

The tail cap is not magnetic but there is space where you could epoxy one on the outside if you wanted.

The body tube is square kneraled not super grippy but decent. The threads are large and square cut 

. It makes it very easy to thread the head on and off. There are fairly stout golden color springs on both sides of the light. On the head there is a spring within a spring 

design that’s unique. The clip is removable and does rotate on the light. It’s pretty stout when trying to remove it. Under normal circumstances it’s not going to come off easily.

The head it’s self is compact. The button is flat and not rubberized. It’s flat and plastic with a small RGB LED in the center 

that’s used as a battery life indicator. It does look to be removable for servicing if you wish. It’s an electronic switch that has a positive detent and does make an audible click. On the opposite of the switch is the USB charging port. It’s covered with a rubberized door that’s attached to the light. The cut out is decently sized 

so it has good compatibility with a wide variety of standard micro USB cables which is a good thing. It also comes with a Klarus branded micro USB cable. More on charging in next section. I measured the overall weight with battery and clip at 108.4g, overall length was 112mm, and width varied between 25-27mm.

LED & UI
This light uses a Cree XM-L2 U2 LED in cool white. No temperature of the tint was given but it’s pretty typical for cool white, not extremely cool. 

The light has a TIR optic sitting on top of the LED which produces a hot center with decent spill as you would expect. At close ranges 5” or less you get a hole in the direct center of the beam. This goes away at normal distances. There is then a glass lens with anti reflective coating on top of the optic. Front front bezel is flat and looks removable but I would guess it has some type of lock tight holding it down protecting the lights IPX8 water rating. This light ends up throwing decently for it’s short size. They rate it at 115M throw and in my testing it does that pretty easily.

Output and Runtime
This light has 4 main modes, and no moonlight unfortunately. It’s a feature I like to see on EDC style lights. Low is rated at 10 Lumens for 200 hours. Medium is rated for 100 Lumens for 18 hours, High is 400 Lumens for 4 hours, and Turbo is 1100 lumens for 1.5 hours. 

These numbers were supplied by Klarus, using their 16340 battery. No numbers were given for 18650. This light does have temperature regulation in place and will switch down modes as the light

heats up. In my runtime graph you can see that actively happening after about 10 minutes, output drops to about 55% relative output and the light cools, and it goes up to about 70% output, and seasawas a few times. As the battery depletes this stops happening after about 25 minutes of runtime. After 100 minutes the light decreases slowly significantly over about 10 minutes to about 10% output where it runs for another 10 minutes and then runs on low for a while longer. I stopped the test at 180 minutes where it was still making light but very little. There is also strobe mode at the full 1100 lumens, and SOS at only 100 lumens.

UI
UI on this Klarus ST10 is simple, The light has memory and will remember any of the constant on modes for quite a while. When it does start out it’s on low. When on you just single click to move up in modes, long press to turn off.

I dislike that it has a double click when on goes to strobe. On most lights this takes you to turbo but not here. Strobe isn’t a feature I use often so it’s a little frustrating to expect turbo and get strobe. When in strobe double click again to enter SOS, single click to exit. The light does offer a lockout mode with the switch. Press and hold 5 seconds to lock, then quick press 3 times to unlock. The light flashes twice to indicate lock or unlock.

USB Charging
This light comes with a branded Klarus 2600mah battery. This is a button top cell with protection. The light will also work with flat tops and unprotected cells as well as charge them thanks to the dual spring design inside the light. I like that the USB charging area is large enough to fit a wide variety of common micro USB cables and that a cable is supplied in the package. When charging the power button up front goes red when charging, and green when it’s completely charged. If you see if flashing something is incompatible or there is a problem.

Up front on the button is the battery charge indicator. During use of the light it will light for 5 seconds and then turn off to show power level. Green is between 70-100%, Orange is between 70-30%, and red is from 30% to 10%. Flashing red is below 10% power remaining and you should charge the light.

Working voltage is 2.5V – 8.4V so it will work with 2 CR123a or 18350 (but it isn’t designed to charge them). I like that the light has options for power, just in case that’s all you have.I measure Parasitic Drain at a stable 7.98mAh which is acceptable.

EDC
As an EDC this is a decent option. It’s not too thick diameter, and the clip is pretty good. I didn’t have problems with it coming on in my pocket without using lockout. I like the clip https://i.imgur.com/JozKq8R.jpg(link is external) despite it not being super deep carry I typically like. I do wish there was more resistance on controlling it’s rotation. Mode spacing is pretty even no major jumps, I wish it did have a moonlight option and a direct jump to turbo (Double or triple click). USB recharging makes it convenient to recharge most places too.

Packaging
The packaging is a full retail box.

It’s on the smaller side which is nice. On the outside you have all the important facts such as beam distance, Brightness, water resistant (IPX8) etc. Inside is a plastic try where the light sits. It’s packaged with a lanyard, Klarus branded micro USB cable, and the included 2600mah battery.  No holster is included with this light.

Pro’s

  • I like the little LED under the power button that changes color and acts as a battery level indicator.
  • It has a wide working voltage which gives lots of battery options (18350 & 16340) and will recharge any standard 18650.
  • 1A charging speed over USB.
  • I like they thought to include a cut out in the tail cap to allow the lanyard to pass through and the light still tail stand.

Con’s

  • Reusing the name of an old product that’s quite a bit different isn’t the best marketing move by Klarus.
  • I dislike the double click to strobe, and would prefer it go to turbo.
  • I like that it comes with a battery but I feel like in 2018 the baseline should be 3000mah minimum.
  • I wish a warmer LED, or High CRI option was available. I prefer these for EDC use.
  • Magnetic tail would be nice

Conclusion
Klarus hasn’t always been my favorite brand, but I like this little light for the most part. I wish the UI was a bit different for an EDC but it’s a trend in the right direction for Klarus. The price point seems to be right too with it being available from FlashlightZ for under $50 for the complete kit. Klarus put some thought into the design of this light to make a good EDC, with features that are popular for the general public looking to get into lithium powered lights at an affordable price range. As an enthusiast there are a few things I would change but I can live without them too. Check out the link in the description below to see more about this light and where you can pick it up on FlashlightZ(link is external) website or Amazon(link is external).

Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Sofirn C8F Review and Discount

Here is my review of the Sofirn C8F Tripple LED Flashlight. You can read this review on Reddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/flashlight/comments/7okpiq/reviewsofirn_c8f_triple_xpl_nw_written_video/

Find the Sofirn C8F on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2CYZ2x6  Use the Code Q9ZWHJVR to save 20% off the purchase price.

 

 

EDC Review Reviews

Klarus Mi1C Review

The Klarus Mi1C is a small EDC style light with a great pocket clip. It includes a rechargeable 16340 battery that has an onboard microUSB connector for recharging. Thanks to Bestlight.IO for sending me this light to take a look at. Use the code LIQUID at checkout to save 10% on your order.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/JlKb6
The Video version of this Review:

Size & Construction
This is a very small light https://i.imgur.com/aMdafMR.jpg 54.60mm in length https://i.imgur.com/3z8qTyb.jpg to be exact and 21.8mm in diameter to be exact. Weight came in at 1.55 ounces with battery and clip. It’s made of aluminium that is very nicely anodized a black finish with low gloss. The body has a nice texture on the battery tube and the tail cap has flat spots to help you unscrew it. The tailcap is also magnetic and decently strong. The head is ribbed. If I compare it to my Olight Smini here it’s identical in size.

This light breaks down into 3 major pieces, the bezel can be unscrewed with a lock ring pliers. There are springs on both sides of this light. The magnet in the tail can be easily removed (Just remove the spring) https://i.imgur.com/795TSUE.jpg The clip is removable and fully adjustable anywhere around the light. Overall it’s a fantastic clip for EDC. https://i.imgur.com/dqkBdyo.jpg

LED and modes
The LED in use in this light is a Cree XP-L HI V3 in cool white. https://i.imgur.com/TM2YsLP.jpg I didn’t observe any off colors in the beam. This light features 4 main modes and 2 flashing modes with soft mode changes in between each mode. There is no direct access High or Low mode. Mode spacing could be improved in my opinion. As you can see in the table https://i.imgur.com/FT1LoSl.jpg there is a big difference between high at 600lm and medium at 45lm. Low is listed at 10 lumens and moonlight is thankfully at 1lm. Strobe is at 600 and oddly SOS is only at 45 lumens. These were all with the 16340 battery. I would have liked to see another mode between High and medium, something like 150 or 200lm as I think it would be very useful.

On High mode I noticed the light flickers slightly at the beginning before it stabilizes. I tried to capture this on video but was unable to, it’s not very noticeable. This light also has a blink system used to show the battery capacity.

Lockout
There seems to be an error maybe due to translation in the manual about lockout mode. I found it hard to get the light out of lockout if I followed the manual until I figured it out. To activate lockout press and hold the button when the light is off, hold through moon light mode and the light will flash 3 times. If you push the button again the light flashes twice showing it’s locked. To unlock press the button 3 times quickly and the light is now unlocked.

Lens
This is a very floody light thanks to it’s drop style lens. https://i.imgur.com/7pxIX0F.jpghttps://i.imgur.com/zpM0yY7.jpg It has no reflector https://i.imgur.com/NHQXve8.jpg to keep it as short as possible. I measured the lens at 16mm in diameter and 5mm tall. Personally I would prefer a TIR style reflector like what’s on the Olight Smini because I prefer that beam pattern for EDC uses.

Night Shots https://youtu.be/iVtaloS5hYs?t=4m31s
Beam Shots for the Klarus and then the Olight

Battery
This light does need a moderately high drain cell in order to get the full 600 lumens for more than a few seconds. Included is a Klarus branded USB rechargeable 16340 battery that’s stated at 700mah. It has a microUSB https://i.imgur.com/3v83YXH.jpg connector built into the top of it. When recharging there is a Red LED on top and when it’s full it turns blue. I measured this battery recharging at 0.33A. I had no complaints with this battery. There is not room for an 18350 battery in this light. The light is compatible with standard CR123a cells as well.
Runtime Graph
Here is a graph of runtime I did on the included battery on a full charge.  As you can see temperature regulation played a pretty big roll in the output of this light with the light stepping down as it got hot. I think an additional mode between high and medium would be a nice compromise between more usable light and heat.


EDC
As an EDC this is pretty darn great. I really like the captured pocket clip https://i.imgur.com/dqkBdyo.jpg that allows for very deep bezel up carry. https://i.imgur.com/MXWky4V.jpg It’s fully rotatable on the light and nicely accommodates jeans that have a larger seam at the top.There is a magnet in the tail that is strong enough to hold the light up but not much more than that.

Package
This looks like a perfect little stocking stuffer to me. It’s like it’s already wrapped up and with a bow. It’s a very nice presentation box. Inside you get 2 extra o rigns the manual and that’s it.

Pro
* Good low lumen mode
* Very well constructed light with excellent anodizing
* Great in the pocket EDC ability, no issues with accidentally turning on.

Cons
* I am just not a big fan of the light output of the lens here. It’s too much a super even flood and has very harsh edges. I would have a more hot center allowing the light to be pointed.
* Mode spacing could be better. It needs something between High (600lm) and Medium (45lm)
* No USB cable included for recharging.
* There seems to be some translation issues in the included manual about lockout mode.

I have an Olight Smini in copper and really like it as an EDC light. It has a TIR style lens which makes a very useful wide beam with a hotter center. The Mi1c I thought would be very comparable and have the added features of a magnet in the tail cap, be lighter and a great clip but instead the super floody nature of the lens kind of turned me off. I used the light out one night when I was out photographing the sunset to navigate down some trails and out of Golden Gate park https://i.imgur.com/TSiTgGR.jpg. It did work for this but I wished I would’ve had my Reylight Ti-Lan I also had brought on my trip instead.. It was good for up close but further away the super even floody beam provided long shadows that made it hard to determine the trail. Part of this is due to the big difference in lumens between high (600) and medium (45).

In all fairness this isn’t a light to take on a hike. In more normal urban EDC use this light did better. It’s worked well to find the screw the went under a piece of furniture, to make sure the mailbox was empty at night, and to avoid spiders in the backyard. It’s clip is fantastic and it’s fantastic as an EDC. It’s lightweight and well built and rechargeable nearly anywhere. With the attractive box it would make a nice stocking stuffer too. Take a look at it on Bestlight.IO.

Flashlight Reviews

Olight PL-Mini Review

Olight adds to it’s growing family of weapon mountable lights with the new Olight PL-Mini.  Thanks to Olight for sending this to me to try out. Weapon lights are one of my favorite things to test as it gives me an excuse to head to the range for some target practice and testing. The PL-Mini is designed to be very small, and rechargeable. This breaks tradition from most weapon lights that use lithium primary cells like CR123s or CR2032s.


Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/MhnJR
Video Review:

 

Build Quality
This light has a machined aluminum housing, with a built in non replaceable battery. The light housing is mostly pinned together. It has a tool free quick release with a spring loaded side. https://i.imgur.com/3TG5pq2.jpg https://i.imgur.com/glNkKvA.jpg My side was slightly stuck but it freed up easily and has not been a problem. The comes preinstalled with the Glock sized rail piece, but a 1913 rail piece is included in the packaging along with an allen key to change if that’s what you need. I really like the quick release system that’s tooless.

The toggles/buttons are made of plastic with some texture on top. https://i.imgur.com/xNG7Nrh.jpg They have a small amount of rubber between the switch surface and the surface of the light that squishes when depressed. It’s not a mechanical feeling switch like on some of the Surefire weapon lights. The buttons only are able to be pressed down, not from the side or not towards the muzzle. I do like that at least on my G19 here they are much closer to the trigger guard making it not much of a reach to turn on or off. https://i.imgur.com/NkVE9PQ.jpg I shot about 200 rounds with this light attached and had no problems with the light turning off or malfunctioning. Water resistance is rated at IPC6. I had no problems out in the rain with the light.

Size and Weight
This is one of the smallest and lightest weapon lights on the market that I am aware of. It’s a perfect fit on my Glock 19 adding very light weight and no extra length. Weight came in at 2.32oz. I measured the length at 61.3mm, Width at 26.1mm, and height at 27.1mm.

This light uses a Cree XP-L HI LED in cool white. It’s very centered in the light. Lumens is quoted at 400 lumens on high with step down to 60 lumens. That doesn’t sound like a lot but as you will see from my night shots It’s enough in my opinion, especially considering the small weight and size. This is a great self defense or home defense option. It throws more than I expected. The reflector is smooth and the lens is anti reflective coated.

In my testing with the Ceiling Bounce App the gradual step down from 400 lumens to 60 happened after just a few minutes and then slowly over the course of the next 6 minutes the light was down to 60 lumens.  It remained here for a about 45 minutes. At the 62 minute mark it took a rapid decline to zero and shut off due to low voltage protection.

Still beam shot

https://i.imgur.com/nE5jX6j.jpg

Hallway beam shots https://i.imgur.com/eoe6oVq.jpg

Heat really isn’t an issue with this light. I didn’t bother to test this because after 10 minutes of run time it was barely warm to the touch.

Charging
The PL-Mini uses the familiar magnetic charging system Olight uses on other lights but with a twist. This charger is labeled on the bottom as “Special” and the magnet is installed in reverse to other chargers they have on the S30R iii, S2R, etc. I asked Olight what the difference was and they said it’s designed for faster charging, especially for use in the field. From a completely low battery I charged it to full in one hour. The charging numbers are pretty low, but given the size of the battery it’s decently fast. The charging speeds I was was 5.07V at 1.86W with 0.37A. Battery capacity is listed at 260mAh. The light also will turn on during recharging, so thats’ a great way to extend runtime if you needed and it opens up other use cases like using it as a bike light.

I do wish Olight would have explained this in the manual or on the website. I feel like it would have been a smarter choice to make the charger a bit of a different design or anodize the aluminum differently, or a different color cable/USB end so it stood out more from their standard charger.

Is it Safe?
It looks like Olight has taken steps to make the charging port on this light safer the previous magnetic charging designs they use. It will not start a fire with steel wool was placed on the charging contacts. I didn’t measure any live voltage on the charging contacts.

Packaging is typical of other modern Olight lights. https://i.imgur.com/b5o3frT.jpg It has a retail cardboard box, with graphics on the outside and relevant information. Inside is a plastic try containing the light, 1913 rail, alan key, and recharging cable. The directions are brief and complete.

Since this is a new light there isn’t any Holster support yet from established manufacturers. This has been a problem with other Olight weapon lights. I am surprised they don’t establish a relationship with a few manufactures so that holsters are available during launch instead of months later. I feel like this would be a quick way to boost sales of a new light quickly.

I think this will be a popular weapon light from Olight. It provides more than enough light to use in a self defense situation while being in a very small package. I like the ergonomics of the light with the buttons being for left or right handed shooters, and the buttons being closer to the trigger guard. Being rechargeable means it’s less expensive and more convenient to use while on a patrol or during training. It’s simple to operate with only one mode. I think the price is pretty attractive for its offering given others on the market for a rail mounted light.

Pro’s
* Perfect size and weight for a compact pistol like a G19, CZ P10C, etc
* Impressive throw for the size and amount of lumens.
* Decent runtime for most situations, and good recharge time.

Con’s
* No holsters commercially available yet.
* I wish the PL-Mini charger was more distinctive in its look, since it’s not compatible with older Olight rechargeable lights.
* Timed step down. Since this light doesn’t get very hot I wish it would run on high until the battery gave out.
* No Strobe or mode options. Just turn it on.
* Only a 2 year warranty, usually most Olight products have a 5 year warranty.

Olight official store: https://www.olightstore.com/olight-pl-mini
Olight official eBay store: http://bit.ly/PLMINIeBayUS

EDC Flashlight Reviews

AceBeam EC35 Review

Here is my review of the Acebeam EC35 in Neutral White LED color. Check this light out at Bestlight.IO https://goo.gl/g69jzz

Flashlight Reviews

ArmyTek Wizard Pro V3 Review

Use the coupon code RED for 10% future orders on ArmyTek.com

This is my first ArmyTek light and after having it a few weeks and using it frequently, I don’t think it will be my only one for too long. Flashlight enthusiasts on the internet, especially on reddit are quick to recommend the ArmyTek Wizard line of right angled lights and headlamps for a variety of uses. I am glad that ArmyTek sent me one for review so I could experience why it’s one of the most recommended brands out there. I can clearly see why. During this review I will be comparing the ArmyTek Wizard Pro V3 with my recently reviewed Olight H2R. Both are headlamps of very similar size, using the same LED and similar battery sizes. Comment down below and let me know what you think of this light.

Complete Photo Gallery – http://imgur.com/a/nEa3p

Headlamps are useful not only as a headlamp, but in this case as an EDC, when repairing cars and around the house hold. Not only will it tail stand but it will stand on it’s head or on either of the sides. A light like this is useful for strapping onto your chest, or straps on a backpack or tent.

Design & Coating

Size wise this is almost identical in length to the Olight H2R, and it’s very similar in diameter too. With the more square head it’s slightly larger in the pocket. Weight wise without batteries they are 2.85oz for the Wizard and the Olight H2R is 2.22oz. Here is a picture where I lined up several similarly sized lights so you could see the size.

 

When I first got the light I was worried that the button on the side of the light would be a problem due to how it sticks out of the light. However it’s a firm press and has not been an issue other than the one time I was laying directly on it. The button is translucent and has a multicolored LED underneath that it uses to display information such as heat, mode, etc.

 

This light is coated in a mat black finish that is slightly grippy. It’s a finish I have not seen on any other flashlights. The one bad thing about this coating is that it does show scratches and abrasions worse than normal anodized aluminum. I keep my phone and light in the same pocket usually, and have noticed it seems like I have more wear on the coating then normal, some paint seems to wear off my phone case and transfer to the body of the light. Most of these rub off with a little water.

 

The design of this light has a few aggressively shaped areas that I find attract more dust and pocket lint than normal. Up near the head there are several sharped cooling fins, and between these they attract a good amount of dust and lint. Then at the bottom the transition between the body and  tail cap also collects a good amount of dust/dirt around the first oring, the good news is it doesn’t get beyond this point. I think that’s the purpose of this dual oring is to provide water and dust resistance even when the tail cap isn’t 100% screwed on like if charging or in manual lockout.

 

This light is a little aggressive on the labeling in my opinion. I prefer a flashlight with minimal labeling and this one doesn’t get my stamp of approval in that regard. It has labeling on top, on the side, and around the tail. It’s larger white letter on the black body do stand out.

 

Performance

This light uses a Cree XHP50 and combined with its diffused TIR style glass lens it’s primarily a flood. This one is the white variant and it’s fairly neutral but not warm. ArmyTek lists it as having a 70 degree hot spot and a 120 degree spill. Range of brightness is anywhere from 0.15 lumens on firefly 1 to 1800 Lumens on Turbo. Run times range from 40 Days on Firefly 1 to 1 hour on Turbo 2 (if proper cooling is supplied).

 

Modes

If you are familiar with other recent ArmyTek lights then the interface is the same as those. If you are new to ArmyTek like I was there is a bit of study needed. The entire 3rd page of the manual covers how this light operates. I am not going to go over everything in this review but will go over the high points. This light is organized into 4 mode groups. The brightness in each sub group is memorized

 

  • Group 1 – 3 Firefly Modes
  • Group 2 – 3 Main Modes
  • Group 3 – 2 Turbo Modes
  • Group 4 – 3 Special Modes

 

From off

  • One click turns the light onto its previously memorized mode and brightness.
  • Two clicks turns it onto the previously memorized brightness in main mode.
  • Three clicks turns it onto the previously memorized brightness in Turbo mode.
  • Four clicks turns it onto the previously memorized brightness in special modes.

 

Long pressing the button from off cycles through the available modes Firefly through Turbo 1.

 

From On

  • One click turns the light off
  • Two clicks turns from firefly to main or main to firefly or special/turbo modes to main mode.
  • Three clicks goes to turbo mode
  • Four clicks goes to special modes

 

2 Philosophies of use – General and Tactical. General is a normal flashlight, click the button and the light stays on. In Tactical it turns the button into momentary, so the light is only on when the button is pressed. To switch between them you unscrew the tail cap by ¼ turn and then press and hold the button, while screwing in the tail cap.

 

Battery Level Indicator – Uses the LED under the button to flash a series of colors every 5 seconds. Green is between 75-100%, Yellow is below 75%, Double yellow, is below 25%, and double red every second is below 10%. The light doesn’t do this in Firefly mode and you can turn this feature off by a series of button presses and cap rotations.

 

High Temperature indicators – When the light reaches 60C brightness decreases in small steps to cool down.Once cool it will step back up to deliver the most light possible. Timed step down is not used in this light. As temps increase you get a series of LED color indicators on the button. Warning is 3 orange flashes, at critical temps you get 3 flashes in one second.

 

Beamshots can be found on the video  https://youtu.be/3Kc_LjbqV3c?t=11m31s

Charging system/battery + Parasitic Drain

Having onboard charging of lithium flashlights isn’t anything new. Lot’s of manufactures do this in a variety of ways. You have seen me talk about Olight’s magnetic charging in past reviews. More recently the concern about live contacts and the dangers of potentially shorting the battery have become more vocal. The ArmyTek system was designed from the beginning to alleviate these concerns and it’s one of the best systems out there for this. Let me explain how it works.

 

The Charging cable itself is white, and uses USB on the input end. On the other end is a magnetic connection with several LED’s inside. The tail cap has a large recessed center pin and a smaller outside ring. To charge the light you need to slightly unscrew the tailcap. Due to how it’s anodized when it’s tight it breaks the circuit. Unscrew it a little and the circuit is complete and the charging begins.  The LED’s are solid red while charging, Red and blinking if there is a problem (Forget to unscrew the tailcap slightly?) and solid green when charged. They also use a diode in the tail cap to prevent short circuiting via the exposed tail caps should you forget to screw in the cap after charging. The other big benefit is that you can charge any normal battery that fits. No proprietary batteries! The downsides to this system is that it’s a little slow to charge by modern standards. I measured it at 0.7A when the battery was at about 40% capacity and charging. If the battery is discharged a good amount this means charging via the built in charging may take several hours (5+). You must lay this light down or stand it on its head when charging. That’s one place where I do like the Olight charging system better.

 

Included was an ArmyTek flat top cell without protection. It’s recommended that you use a battery that can maintain 7A discharge in order for Turbo mode to work. Parasitic drain was measured at 0.05 mA.

 

Thermal Management

The thermal management in this light is active. Using Turbo for instance the light will provide as much light as possible until it gets to 60C and then it will step down the light giving it time to cool, and then it will power up again to deliver maximum possible brightness assuming the battery has enough voltage. So if you are in a situation where you have a fan or wind cooling the light it will run brighter longer. During my standard test, at 1 minute during Turbo the light reached 111F.  I don’t have the equipment to test and graph  the step up and down but I can show you with a glass of ice water.

 

I don’t often write about the manuals of many flashlights, but in this case I want to say it’s the most complete manual I have seen on a flashlight. It does a good job of explaining its features and has great grammar and spelling. This isn’t a poor translation, I believe it’s written by native english speakers. I think this is a benefit from this flashlight being Designed in Canada and not overseas.  I highly recommend a read through or two of this manual to better understand all of it’s modes and available options.

 

The packaging is a nice white, retail box with a few key details on the outside. Inside is a plastic shell that holds all the goodies. Inside you have the flashlight and an Armytek branded high discharge flat top battery, extra orings, headstrap, handstrap, nylon plastic cradle, and the manual printed in color.

 

As a Headlamp

Some assembly is required with the headstrap. The manual has a section with diagrams that shows how to set it up which is nice because it was a little confusing. I decided to install my headstrap without the over the top piece. I didn’t find it was necessary with the weight of the light when I was using it on home repairs, and an oil change during my testing. It also comes with a handstrap. I didn’t use this during testing but it’s a nice touch. I could see attaching it to the strap of a backpack, or for use when running.  The straps themselves are an elastic cloth that seem pretty sturdy. They are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time. The plastic cradle is a nylon I would guess as it’s pretty flexible. It has cuts in the top, and both sides to make it easy to remove. My one negative is that when mounted on the strap the mount itself can slide around pretty easily instead of staying in place on the band .

 

As an EDC

I was skeptical at first of carrying a right angle light as an EDC but after the Olight H2R it worked pretty well. The Armytek Wizard V3 is even better due to it’s pretty fantastic clip design and button. The clip might be my current all time favorite of any flashlight I own. It’s deep enough carry, but sticks out enough to easily go on many different types of pockets, or bag straps. It’s rigged yet flexes if needed. My only wish is that it was parkerized black or cerakote instead of a polished tumbled finish. It takes quite a bit of effort to pull the clip on or off the light and it does leave some light scratches on the finish. It seems to rub off though. The clip is not fixed in place so it does rotate if you want it to. The button is proud and protrudes from the light a decent amount. I have had it come on once by accident in my pocket but that was only after I was laying on that side of my body. Due to the smart modes on this light, it didn’t come on in turbo so burning myself or clothes wasn’t a problem. The light does offer lockout if you unscrew the tailcap slightly. I will also add that due to the charging system I covered above there is no worry about shorting the battery while carrying the light in your pocket due to a diode being used and the disabling of the exterior contacts when the cap is screwed on tight. The light also features a pretty strong magnetic base that has no trouble holding the weight of the light to a metallic object securely.

 

Summary

The Armytek Wizard Pro V3 is a fantastic headlamp and EDC in my opinion and testing. It’s peak performance isn’t quite as high as the Olight H2R but it’s advanced mode options, advanced thermal managements, and well thought out safe charging system all for a slightly lower price than the competition make it a very good choice for a fancy headlamp, and an 18650 floody EDC option. The Olight H2R has a more simplistic mode map, but also doesn’t do nearly as many things or has as many modes. Being my first ArmyTek light, I found the modes took some study to fully understand and remember but once I did they made good sense. I think this makes a fantastic choice for a headlamp but can also be used for an EDC, or general purpose light.

 

Pro’s

  • Active thermal management allows the light to be the brightest it can be but keep temps safe. Allows up and down management of lumens.
  • Safest built in charging system, works with any 18650 battery that fits.
  • Very well built with an excellent 10 year warranty
  • Excellent pocket clip for EDC carry

 

Con’s

  • Exterior writing on the light is more than I like to see.
  • The modes are a little complex without first reading the manual. Once you understand they are very logical.
  • Not the fastest built in charging system but probably the safest

Use the coupon code RED for 10% future orders on ArmyTek.com

Up Next is the Acebeam EC35 NW

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Nitecore MT20C Review

I have had this for a while and realized I never did a video review of it.

To Purchase the Nitecore MT20C please use this link http://amzn.to/2qjbYqy