ArmyTek Partner A1, A2, C1 Series (XP-G and XM-L, AA and CR123A) Review: RUNTIMES+

selfbuilt

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Thanks for another great review!! What are your thoughts on the performance of XP-G emitter, 1xAA using Eneloops? I'm surprised to see higher output (and consequently, lower runtimes) when compared to XM-L.
Yes, the XP-G version seems to be driven harder on max than the XM-L (hence the much lower runtime). Don't know why. Note that it is hard to get accurate output comparison numbers, given the very different beam profiles (i.e., the lightbox and ceiling bounce measures may not be entirely consistent).
 

Atakdog

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It seems like they accidentally put the wrong driver in their XM-L lights. From pictures it looks like with a different driver (or with a RCR123A) the beam pattern on the XM-L is supposed to be the same type and Lux as the XP-G with a larger hot spot.
Odd since Armytek has a history of getting good drivers in their lights and running them quite high.
 

tubed

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Great Review!
Like many, the lack of low makes this light impractical for me. Any word from them on what the "new" low level will be when they go to 3 modes.
I hope they get this right and go LOW.
 

selfbuilt

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Like many, the lack of low makes this light impractical for me. Any word from them on what the "new" low level will be when they go to 3 modes. I hope they get this right and go LOW.
Agreed. But I don't have any further specifics at this time.
 

Bronco

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Still waiting for word on when the A1 will get the 4th moonlight (hopefully) mode and sturdy (hopefully) pocket clip.
 

iocheretyanny

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1AA eneloop is 300 lumens
1Cr123 is 295 lumens
2AA eneloop is 320 Lumens

This does not make sense to me as 1 eneloop is brigher than a CR123 version of the light? Is this right?
 

thedoc007

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1AA eneloop is 300 lumens
1Cr123 is 295 lumens

This does not make sense to me as 1 eneloop is brigher than a CR123 version of the light? Is this right?

Not only is the AA brighter than the CR123 version, if that is correct it will be the new king of AA lights. I have never before seen a light that can beat the Zebralight SC52 at 280 lumens on a single AA. If that number is correct, the SC52 no longer holds the title for brightest AA light!

Just did some more reading of Selfbuilt's charts. Looks like the Armytek loses most modes - low mode is almost 200 lumens with a 14500! Not cool. The SC52 maintains all modes regardless of NiMH or 14500, and only high mode changes, until the stepdown, after which modes are identical. Still, 300 lumens from a single AA is impressive.
 

selfbuilt

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Not only is the AA brighter than the CR123 version, if that is correct it will be the new king of AA lights. I have never before seen a light that can beat the Zebralight SC52 at 280 lumens on a single AA. If that number is correct, the SC52 no longer holds the title for brightest AA light!.
It doesn't beat the SC52 - in my testing, my two samples are equivalent in output. It might be helpful if people check out the runtime graph:

S15-1xHiEne.gif


As you can see, the A1 XP-G suffers from considerably lower runtime than the SC52 XM-L, for the same initial output (as you would expect, for the emitter difference). The A1 XP-G is in essence over-driven, compared to all the other XP-G lights in my collection.

In terms of comparing it to 1xCR123A C1 XP-G, initial output is again comparable. And again, the end result is much lower runtime on the A1. If you look at the C1 output/runtime graphs, you'll see that it takes about ~80 mins to reach the ANSI FL-1 standard of time to 10% output on CR123A (compared to ~35mins on the A1 XP-G on eneloop).

These results are all completely consistent - the A1 XP-G is unusually heavily driven on max, resulting in unusually low runtimes.
 

thedoc007

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It doesn't beat the SC52 - in my testing, my two samples are equivalent in output. It might be helpful if people check out the runtime graph:

While I appreciate all the extra info, I was basing my statement off your chart. ANSI FL1 Max Output, on Eneloop. 300 for the A1, 290 for the SC52. Last time I checked, 300 was more than 290. Yes, I understand runtime is shorter. And yes, I understand that no one can tell the difference between 290 lumens and 300 lumens anyway, especially since they have different beam profiles. With all that said, though, The A1 does appear to have a higher maximum brightness on an Eneloop, under ideal conditions, than the SC52. This is all I wanted to note. I wanted to make that point only because I have seen the SC52 mentioned several times (here on CPF and elsewhere) as the brightest single stock AA light in existence. If nothing else, now there will have to be an asterisk by that claim. (Unless I am just missing something, in which case feel free to correct me.)

Selfbuilt, I hope you take this is it was intended, only to explain my rationale. I am always amazed at the quality of your reviews, and the time you spend giving us a standardized and reliable source for comparisons.

I just realized that my "king of AA lights" phrase was asking for touble. I should have clearly defined what I meant, may have avoided this debate entirely. I was assuming everyone would know what I was referring to, but after re-reading my post, that was not a reasonable assumption. With the additional clarification, hopefully we are now on the same page.
 
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selfbuilt

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Selfbuilt, I hope you take this is it was intended, only to explain my rationale. I am always amazed at the quality of your reviews, and the time you spend giving us a standardized and reliable source for comparisons.
No worries. I can understand why 290 would seem different from 300 (when in fact they aren't really, for the reasons you outlined - plus natural sampling and testing variation). I always struggle with what's a reasonable level of specificity in the measures, which is why I always encourage folks to take them with a grain a salt.
 

TweakMDS

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For some reason I missed this review... Thanks for putting yet another great review online. I'm always a huge fan of the format of single AA lights, and I just LOVE the look and feel of ArmyTek lights. Really reminds me of the surface of a stealth bomber.
That said, to be anything remotely stealth, this light would really need a proper low mode.

That said, their XP-G seems to be driven unusually hard, 300lm from an XP-G on a single AA battery seems like pushing it on both the LED and the battery.

I hope their final 3-stage version (with clip!) will have modes like 1lm - 40lm - 250lm. If they pull that off with a sturdy screw-on clip, I'll definitely buy one of the throwier versions, or maybe both, because I'm loving that XM-L reflector they use...
 

Vlk

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Yes, the XP-G version seems to be driven harder on max than the XM-L (hence the much lower runtime). Don't know why. Note that it is hard to get accurate output comparison numbers, given the very different beam profiles (i.e., the lightbox and ceiling bounce measures may not be entirely consistent).

I've had Partner A1 XP-G for four months so I can say a few words.
First of all, I agree with everything Selfbuild said, In fact I bought this light, two actually, after reading this review. I was looking for a simple no-nonsense powerful single AA light and would certainly have gotten SureFire or HDS Systems if they made one. That lead me to Armytek.
I. Negatives.
1. One of the lights came with the lens not laid flat on the O-ring, as a result of it there was a small gap and I got some water in the head. The light was still working fine though. I easily fixed that, and it became fully waterproof. I made an effort to get water in it but failed. But I didn't do 10 meters test for a few days.
2. Beam artifacts are there, black dots in the hot spot and black rings in the spill. Not an issue for me outside.
3. The beam is just fine for the outdoors but a little too wide for urban walkabouts. Viking's 10/40 is much better. But it is still okay.
4. As Selfbuild said, the light is obviously overdriven, especially on high and especially with lithium primaries. With L91 it gets so hot after about 10/15 minutes that it is almost impossible to hold it without gloves. So long term reliability is uknown.
II. Positives.
1. The light is overdriven and can extract every bit of high power out of battery, if that's what you want it to do. In winter you can also use it to warm your hands! I tried it and it worked great.
2. Very comfortable to carry with great feel. Use with gloves is not a problem.
3. Powerful with alkaline and lithium primary batteries and very powerful with LI-Ion. Does not get too hot with Li-Ion. That's the kind of battery I use it with. Both black AW 14500 and red AW IMR work well. IMR gives better runtimes on both settings, about 40 min. of bright light on high plus another 10 minutes of increasingly dim light and about 2 hours of bright light plus another 20 minutes on low.
Runtimes with L91 is about double that. Alkaline battery is by far the best if you need longest runtime on low. With interruptions I got over 20 hours of light.
4. Excellent throw on alkaline and lithium primaries and great with Li-Ion. I would say it is at least 150 meters on high and 115/120 on low. The beam profile reminds me a helicopter light. With Li-Ion battery you can safely drive with it in your hand at 100 kph in good weather.
5. Reliability has been good so far. I use it every day outside for about five minutes. After probably 3000 or so clicks already the switch feels like new.
6. Mode switching is very fast and effortless.

Overall, I like this light a lot. I use it as my main EDC light and carry it either in jeans pocket or in overcoat or parka pocket. I also usually have SureFire original back-up in my bag as a..back-up, and Fenix LD01 on my key ring.
 

Vlk

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I've had Partner A1 XP-G for four months so I can say a few words.
First of all, I agree with everything Selfbuild said, In fact I bought this light, two actually, after reading this review. I was looking for a simple no-nonsense powerful single AA light and would certainly have gotten SureFire or HDS Systems if they made one. That lead me to Armytek.
I. Negatives.
1. One of the lights came with the lens not laid flat on the O-ring, as a result of it there was a small gap and I got some water in the head. The light was still working fine though. I easily fixed that, and it became fully waterproof. I made an effort to get water in it but failed. But I didn't do 10 meters test for a few days.
2. Beam artifacts are there, black dots in the hot spot and black rings in the spill. Not an issue for me outside.
3. The beam is just fine for the outdoors but a little too wide for urban walkabouts. Viking's 10/40 is much better. But it is still okay.
4. As Selfbuild said, the light is obviously overdriven, especially on high and especially with lithium primaries. With L91 it gets so hot after about 10/15 minutes that it is almost impossible to hold it without gloves. So long term reliability is uknown.
II. Positives.
1. The light is overdriven and can extract every bit of high power out of battery, if that's what you want it to do. In winter you can also use it to warm your hands! I tried it and it worked great.
2. Very comfortable to carry with great feel. Use with gloves is not a problem.
3. Powerful with alkaline and lithium primary batteries and very powerful with LI-Ion. Does not get too hot with Li-Ion. That's the kind of battery I use it with. Both black AW 14500 and red AW IMR work well. IMR gives better runtimes on both settings, about 40 min. of bright light on high plus another 10 minutes of increasingly dim light and about 2 hours of bright light plus another 20 minutes on low.
Runtimes with L91 is about double that. Alkaline battery is by far the best if you need longest runtime on low. With interruptions I got over 20 hours of light.
4. Excellent throw on alkaline and lithium primaries and great with Li-Ion. I would say it is at least 150 meters on high and 115/120 on low. The beam profile reminds me a helicopter light. With Li-Ion battery you can safely drive with it in your hand at 100 kph in good weather.
5. Reliability has been good so far. I use it every day outside for about five minutes. After probably 3000 or so clicks already the switch feels like new.
6. Mode switching is very fast and effortless.

Overall, I like this light a lot. I use it as my main EDC light and carry it either in jeans pocket or in overcoat or parka pocket. I also usually have SureFire original back-up in my bag as a..back-up, and Fenix LD01 on my key ring.

Forgot to mention carrying the light with well-tailored suit without anyone noticing that you have something interesting in your pocket. Forget about it or any other AA or 123A light. I tried this one, HDS and SureFire back-up lights. Clip or no clip - no difference. Only AAA light would really do. If you wear very relaxed slacks like Armani, it might work carrying it in the pants pocket, and it might not. I still didn't like it. When are they going to make a high end flat flashlight, I wonder?
 

Random Dan

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Any news on the 3-mode version with pocket clip? I haven't seen any for sale yet.
 

Nice65

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Any news on the 3-mode version with pocket clip? I haven't seen any for sale yet.

I asked Armytek a while ago, they said they'd release in Spring. Nothing more definite than that though. I don't do Facebook or Twitter, but there may be news posted there.
 

Alfred143

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Tapping on the glass of my A1 (xp-g) seem to be not as secure as my JB RRT-01. It doesn't sound loose (but tinny), not a confident solid tapping sound, if you know what I mean.
Is there suppose to be an o-ring between the head and glass and another o-ring between the optics? If looks like there doesn't seem to be one on the head. I can't open it with fear of breaking the thread lock seal.
 

Nice65

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I just emailed them for an update on this.

Anything back? I cancelled my initial order for the A1 when I read Selfbuilts' update, but I'd certainly get one if the mode memory has been sorted and a clip added.
 

MojaveMoon07

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In regards to Partner v2, this was posted today by Armytek at budgetlightforum under 'Commercial Sellers' Spot'' in the thread 'ARMYTEK OFFERS and PROMOTIONS':

"Unfortunately, there are not any news about updates Partner lights. There are available only Armytek Partner v1 lights."


There is, however, an update (link) from Armytek about their headlamps
 
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416isToronto

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Thanks for your awesome reviews Selfbuilt! Since discovering your reviews, I have never bought a light without checking out your reviews..

Wondering if any one has tried out the A1 Limited Edition XML2-U2- claims 390 Lm with a AA 45 mins and 700 Lm with a 14500.
Still only 2 modes...
Thinking of ordering one....just wanted to see if any one had tried it out though...
 
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