Need advice on 2xAA lights

mr_matt

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Oct 25, 2012
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I'm looking for some advice on which light to get for a gift. Until recently I was unaware of flashaholism and only thought I was strange to want a more powerful handheld light than my mini Maglite (xenon). After much research I'm now familiar with words (and non-words) like "tactical", "clicky", and "XM-L" and while I do not feel justified in buying them all for myself, I have decided to give them as gifts to my brother in laws (and then buy the best one for myself next year). But enough about me, I'm looking for a flashlight with these characteristics:

$40 and under - (I'm not very wealthy)
Cheap batteries (AA) - (They're in college and probably will not be ordering batteries online)
Durable/waterproof - Hiking/Camping/Hunting/general outdoor use, I've seen most are IP-X8
High/turbo mode - would like 200+lm, the higher rated the better
Low mode/long life - low run modes will probably be used more

Would very much like, not necessarily a deal breaker:
Holster - keep light from getting dings in a pack
Diffuser/lampshade - seems like it would be very useful in camping
Tailstands/tailstand attachment - see above (I might be able to make this myself)

My main candidates are:
Jetbeam PA20
Nitecore MT2A
Olight T25

Questions:
Are any of these compatible with the Fenix diffuser tip or camping lampshade?
Each have a low setting (14-16 lm) but very different run times (26.5hrs, 50hrs, 108hrs), are these numbers real?
Which is the better light in your opinion?
Any suggestions I may have overlooked?

Thanks
 

weez82

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I spend a lot of time outdoors and I carry a Fenix LD10 when backpacking/camping along with the diffuser cone (lampshade sucks). I highly recommend the LD10 over a 2x AA light. And it can be found around $40 shipped. Or if you're 100% sold on a 2x AA light, 4Sevens Quark X can be found for under $40 shipped right now at goinggear. I think your friend would appreciate the size and performance of the LD10 for outdoor use. One last thing, dont look at specs from the manufacturers, read reviews in the review forums for real specs ;)
 

reppans

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Goinggear currently has Quark AA2 XMLs old logo lights currently on clearance for $32 with CPF discounts (shipped, if total order >$50). I think this light still holds the highest lumen record on Selfbuilts tests from 2xAA at 400 lumens, and will also do ~ 400 hrs on its moonlight low... my favorite camping mode. Foursevens also has the best warranty and US-based HQ and customer service in case something ever goes wrong - that's important to me giving gifts. I got a bunch waiting for holiday gifts and will also be including optional 1xAA battery tubes to some for pocket EDC, or if someone wants to get into 14500 Li-ions..

(Weez beat me to the punch)
 

Gunner12

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The Quarks on sale right now are probably the best for the price. Also, for other users, I'd get something simple and easy to use, no tap triple tap to change modes. A simple on/off tailcap with maybe a head twist for modes would work better.

Reviews would give you the real numbers, but not all do runtimes for low modes. Shiningbeam also has nice lights at a lower price, and the Fenix E21 could be a good choice as well.

:welcome:
 

reppans

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Foursevens is one of the few brands that I have a lot of faith in the specs... in fact I think they're conservative to a fault. They list the AA2X at 280, Selfbuilt tests it at 400 before 3min thermal stepdown. There's a long, long user testimonial thread on runtimes over in the 4Sevens subforum in MP. My DSLR light meter thinks my QAAX on high (107 lms) is slightly brighter than my ZL H51w max (172lms) on a ceiling bounce test.
 

Watts On

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The Fenix E25 is under $40, 187 lumens, works with any AA batteries, has three brightness levels, is IPX-8 waterproof, and can tail stand. No belt clip or holster. I am very pleased with mine.
 

mr_matt

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Thanks for the feedback, this forum is the best

Lights for me to check out:
4sevens Quark X AA2 (I admit I haven't looked at 4sevens much)
Fenix LD10, E21, E25 (I have read that Fenix builds their lights like a tank)

I thought the manufacturer specs might be off with all the different run times, I'll have to tune into a few more reviews by selfbuilt
 

Ian2381

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Get a Fenix E25 and a pair of eneloop AA batteries, they now just have to get themselves a cheap AA charger and will be all set for a long time. :thumbsup:
 

mr_matt

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Well, I blew it on the 4sevens, I waited until Sunday to order from GoingGear and now they're out. The more I looked into this light the better I like it, but I'll have to move on...
I'm liking the Olight T25 right now, sounds like it's built well, has a good feel to the tail switch, and comes with a (partial) pouch

I came across the Crelant V21A but haven't heard much about the light or brand so I'm a little reluctant to buy one until there's some review. So far its the only one with an XM-L in my price range, anyone know if it's any good?

Thanks
 
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HIDblue

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mr matt...GG still has 4Sevens Quark AA2 Turbo XP-G for around $38 and a few bucks off that price with the cpf discount code. It's basically the AA^2 version with an XP-G emitter and a larger reflector/head. A great buy at that price.

If you're buying them as gifts for people who don't know flashlights, they won't be able to tell the difference between the XM-L and XP-G emitters. They'll just think it's a really bright AA flashlight. Hope this helps.
 

roadkill1109

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mr matt...GG still has 4Sevens Quark AA2 Turbo XP-G for around $38 and a few bucks off that price with the cpf discount code. It's basically the AA^2 version with an XP-G emitter and a larger reflector/head. A great buy at that price.

If you're buying them as gifts for people who don't know flashlights, they won't be able to tell the difference between the XM-L and XP-G emitters. They'll just think it's a really bright AA flashlight. Hope this helps.

BOOM! Just like that, I ordered a Quark AA2 Turbo! Haha! Thanks for the heads up! I've been wanting to get a Turbo AA2 head, now I get the whole light, box and accessories for less than the price of the head alone! SWEEET! :)
 

Samy

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Good one!

I have a small army of 2xAA lights, I love the AA format. The quarks are Definately the pick of the bunch, I just received a couple from the goinggear.com sale which now gives me about half a dozen quarks at my disposal. On the subject of gifting out lights, less modes are usually better. I bought my grandad a BA20 earlier this year and he loves it, keeps it under his pillow every night.

Cheers
 

HIDblue

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BOOM! Just like that, I ordered a Quark AA2 Turbo! Haha! Thanks for the heads up! I've been wanting to get a Turbo AA2 head, now I get the whole light, box and accessories for less than the price of the head alone! SWEEET! :)

Anytime. Hard to pass up those prices.
 

Labrador72

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$40 and under - (I'm not very wealthy)
Cheap batteries (AA) - (They're in college and probably will not be ordering batteries online)
Durable/waterproof - Hiking/Camping/Hunting/general outdoor use, I've seen most are IP-X8
High/turbo mode - would like 200+lm, the higher rated the better
Low mode/long life - low run modes will probably be used more

Would very much like, not necessarily a deal breaker:
Holster - keep light from getting dings in a pack
Diffuser/lampshade - seems like it would be very useful in camping
Tailstands/tailstand attachment - see above (I might be able to make this myself)

My main candidates are:
Jetbeam PA20
Nitecore MT2A
Olight T25

Questions:
Are any of these compatible with the Fenix diffuser tip or camping lampshade?
Each have a low setting (14-16 lm) but very different run times (26.5hrs, 50hrs, 108hrs), are these numbers real?
Which is the better light in your opinion?
Any suggestions I may have overlooked?

Thanks
The JetBeam PD20 and Nitecore MT2A are not compatible with the Fenix diffusers but will fit the Fenix Lampshade and might fit Olight filters.
However:
The PA20 has a glitch whereas you when in turbo you can cycle through the daily mode in the background. If you don't use the momentary on often will not happen all the time but IMHO - why pay to have a defective UI?
The MT2A seems to have a few improvements over the PA20 but the Low is not really low, in fact is probably brighter than the PA20 Medium output - the low on the PA20 is 1 lumen or less. In my opinion not ideal for camping: it's good to have a low of least less than 5 lumen but a moonlight would be even better to use in a tent. Also, the flashing modes can be a real nuisance if you change levels a lot.

I would rather consider the Quark 2AA or wathever is called today - well above the 40 bucks but you might find it on sale.
The Eagletac D2AA clicky should also match most of your preferences.
You can always consider the Fenix LD20/22 but they fall short of 200 lumens.
The Thrunite Neutron 2AA also had a nice UI and was bright too but it may have been discontinued.
 

bruc

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Can the Quark A2 XM-L and A2 Turbo A2 body be swapped out for A1 with 14500 battery in each?
Are the newer models of each offer substantial upgrades to each model?
 

reppans

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Can the Quark A2 XM-L and A2 Turbo A2 body be swapped out for A1 with 14500 battery in each?
Are the newer models of each offer substantial upgrades to each model?

Yes, 1x14500 for either.

The only upgrade is on the Turbo > XP-G2
 

roadkill1109

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Yes, 1x14500 for either.

The only upgrade is on the Turbo > XP-G2

Probably get fantastic runtimes and output as well as throw on those new Quark lights with XPG2 leds! Hmm....time to invest in a new Quark? hehe... I'd end up with more AA2 tubes than i know what to do with! haha...

Oh, FourSevens, why can't you sell your next-generation quarks with the heads only! hehehe.... Here are my spare tubes: AA2 for my old S2, AA2 for my XML, and now another AA2 for this XPG2? I almost forgot another AA2 tube for the AA2 Turbo! Egad!

Anybody wanna buy spare AA2 tubes? Selling them, cheap! :)
 
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