Reviewer's Note: The T100C2 was provided for review by EagleTac. Please see their website for more info.
Warning: Pic heavy as usual!
Manufacturer's specifications, condensed from EagleTac's website:
- Cree XP-E Q5 LED in WC tint (premium cool white)
- Maximum 55 lumen / 220lumen
- Runtime (2xCR123A) 14 hrs / 2hrs, (1x18650) 20 hrs / 3hrs
- Dual levels output, activate by twisting bezel
- Syntax ultra-clear glass lens w/ harden and AR coating
- Type III finish / aerospace tough aluminum
- ET26 Smooth aluminum reflector for maximum throw
- Gold plates on all contacts
- Generous knurling and tactical aerodynamic
- Protrude tactical forward clicky tail-cap
- Polycarbonate cigar grip ring
- Spare o-rings
- Mark II version also includes a beefed up bezel head
Extra (optional) kit includes:
- EagleTac Heavy Duty Nylon Holster
- Mil-spec Para-cord Lanyard with easy attachment clip
- EagleTac silicon grease for self-service
- Choice between the smooth ET26 (MAX throw) or ET26 orange peel (Smooth Beam) aluminum reflector
- Choice between the standard protrude tail-cap or the tail-stand tail-cap
- Separate weapon mount kit also available
- Supports two Lithium CR123A batteries (also compatible with one or two Li-ion rechargeables)
- Length: 5.6 inches (14.2 cm), Head Diameter: 1.25" (3.1 cm), Body Diameter: 1.0" (2.5 cm), Weight 3.95 ounces (112 grams)
- MSRP $50 ($55 with full kit)
The T100C2 Mark II is a beefed up version of EagleTac "intermediate" line. Slightly more built-up and equipped than the personal series P100A2 and P100C2, the T100C2 is aimed at the tactical group (if you'll pardon the image). The Mark II designates a revised build, with enhancements and improvements across the feature set (although I don't have the original T100C2 to directly compare). It also features more customizability and accessories than the personal line (although not as much as the high-end T20C2 I reviewed recently).
By default, the T100C2 comes with a very basic kit - just manual, warranty card, and spare o-rings (i.e. just like the personal P100C2). Mine came with the heavy duty holster and one battery tube holder, but I don't believe the holster is standard with the base model. The kit version includes the holster, o-ring lube, wrist paracord lanyard and your choice of tailcap (tailstanding or not) and reflector (smooth or OP). The default light configuration is the protruding switch tailcap and smooth reflector (reviewed here).
(from left to right: AW protected 18650, EagleTac T100C2 MarkII, T20C2, Olight M20, JetBeam Jet-IIII M, Raptor RRT-2).
T100C2: Weight 114.1g, Length 142.6mm, Wdith 31.6mm (bezel max)
T20C2: Weight 123.3g, Length 147.8mm x Width 34.9mm (bezel max)
Judging from my other lights, I would say the T100C2 is fairly beefy overall, and somewhat intermediate to the EagleTac P100C2 and T20C2.
It may be something of a Goldilocks model (i.e. if you find the P100C2 too small or the T20C2 too large), but I think all three lights are within a reasonable size range of "heavy duty" lights.
Fit and finish are excellent on my sample, no flaws in the black type-III hard anodizing except for a few very minor chips in the knurling. The occasional knurling chip seems to be par for the course for EagleTac, presumably due to how aggressive the knurling is (i.e. gets banged around a bit during manufacturing/assembling).
Identification labels are very sharp and clear, in bright white against the black background. As with all recent EagleTac lights, there are a number of warnings printed on the bezel (i.e. hot surface, don't look directly into the light ).
Screw threads are anodized for head or tailcap lock-out. Due to the standard protruding forward clicky, the light cannot tailstand in its default form – but you can buy a tailstanding tailcap accessory or select it from the kit version (see my T20C2 review for a pic of it).
Note that the polycarbonate grip-ring is removable, although you will need to temporarily remove the tailcap o-ring first.
The light uses the low profile Cree XP-E emitter, with a Q5 output bin and premium "cool white" WC tint. I don't believe neutral-warm tints are available in this line – you would have to go up to the T20C2 to have the choice. For those of you not familiar with tint bins, please see my Colour tint comparison and the summary LED tint charts found here.
The reflector is quite deep, and therefore likely to produce fairly good throw. The bezel certainly looks beefy to me (apparently upgraded from the original T100C2).
Note that my light came with the standard smooth reflector, but OP is also available as part of the kit selection. Here are some comparison beamshots - all lights are on Max on an AW protected 18650, about 0.5 meters from a white wall. For direct comparison, I have included the T20C2 with the smooth reflector
As you can see, even with a smooth reflector, the T100C2 is less ringy than a standard Cree XR-E light (i.e. T20C2). Otherwise, beam spillbeam width is similar to the T20C2. Throw is slightly less, and the hotspot has a wider and more sharply defined appearance than some XR-E lights.
I don't know what the OP reflector would look like, but I think this pattern is quite acceptable.
The T100C2 has the same simple interface as the personal series line. Press the switch for momentary on, click for lock on. Tighten the bezel for Turbo, loosen for General mode. Very KISSable.
No are no strobes, SOS, hidden bat signals, etc. What you see is what you get.
Consistent with other EagleTac lights, I was unable to detect any signs of PWM. As the runtimes clearly indicate, the lower output General level appears to be current-controlled.
Testing Method: All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for the extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.
Throw values are the square-root of lux measurements taken at 1 meter from the lens, using a light meter.
Throw/Output Summary Chart:
As you can see, the T100C2 has somewhat less throw compared to the higher-end T20C2, but still above average for this class of light. Max output is not exactly a barn burner for the group, but certainly very respectable for a multi-power, Cree Q5 output bin class light.
Fans of perfectly-flat regulation on all battery sources will find much to rejoice in here.
Most multi-power lights default to direct-drive on 18650 on Max (e.g. T20C2). But thanks to not being driven quite as hard, the T100C2 is able to keep regulated performance for quite awhile on 18650. In fact, the only other light that I know that is this well regulated on all sources is the Lumapower Encore (not shown) - and it is not driven as hard as the T100C2.
Consistent with the current-controlled nature of the circuit, output/runtime on General mode was excellent.
Bulkier than most simple 2-stage lights in this class, with more aggressive knurling than typical (although those could both be positives for you).
The light features physical reverse polarity protection in the head, requiring the use of button-top 18650 cells. Some of the newer high capacity flat-top 18650s (i.e. protected 2600mAh) may not work in this light without modification.
As I mentioned earlier, the T100C2 MarkII seems to be something of a Goldilocks model – designed to appeal to those wanting more than just the basic P100C2 model, but not as much as the new premium T20C2. By offering a number of kits and options, users can adjust their T100C2 purchase along a continuum between very basic to near premium. The price also scales nicely as well.
To be honest, I can see this light as having more appeal than the entry-level P100C2 – which in my view is still a bit too bulky for a bare-bones light. Of course, some users may prefer the P100C2 size and feel over this intermediate model – and at least you have the choice this way. But I still think a basic model should come in as small a form factor as possible. Ideally, what I would like to see from the P100C2 is something closer to the size of the 4Sevens Quark 123-2 and Olight T20/I20.
Whatever you fall on the "beefiness" scale, there is no doubt that the T100C2 runtime performance lives up to EagleTac's usual current-controlled goodness. IMO, the output levels are reasonably spaced for a general purpose light. For those looking for an extra lower output mode, check out my T20C2 review.
There is certainly a lot of competition in the 1x18650, 2xCR123/RCR space, and the T100C2 slips nicely into its own little niche within the KISS group. It may fit your needs, but you should look closely at the other EagleTac models or competing makers with simple 2-stage lights (e.g. Fenix, Olight, and Lumapower come to mind).
At the end of the day, the T100C2 seems designed to appeal to those liking a simple, solid-looking tool with a fair amount of heft and power. And the kit customizability options are certainly a bonus for a light of this class/price.
UPDATE Oct 24, 2009: FYI, EagleTac has come out with a newer offering with the same interface as the T20C2, but is much smaller in build - the P20C2. You might want to check out my P20C2 review if you are in the market for this class of light.