Tactical Quark AA or other AA light?

1138

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
85
Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

E21. Fenix quality is just as good and the simplistic UI means that you buy exactly what it says on the package. If the two levels are OK with you, then I'd choose the E21.

The Quark Tactical, on the other hand, is a many-mode light (I think there's 8 or more), but only offers easy access to two modes at any given time. So you're essentially paying for 8 modes but getting only 2. While can customize which 2 you want available, getting to any other modes requires a lot of head twists or button presses. There's a video of the operation and I was completely turned off when I saw that you had to repeat a certain action 15 times to get into the programming interface. The Tactical is only good if no existing light offers exactly the two modes you want.

There's another Fenix light, the LD25, that has 6 modes. These are divided into groups of 2 modes and you can choose which group you want easily accessible (you just twist the head to switch between the two modes in each group; exactly like the E21 and the Tactical Quark). To switch groups requires a double head twist. This means all 6 modes are more easily accessible than the Quark Tactical but you lose the ability to fully customize which two modes are easily accessible. It's a compromise. For me, the LD25 has the better interface.

The reason why Quark is so popular on CPF is because it was designed with CPF user / flashlight enthusiast needs in mind and includes some extra features. The moon mode, for example, is something that people here love but most mainstream users would find it unnecessary. It's only on a site like this where people like to split hairs when choosing lights that certain features become a consideration. I know I have done my fair share of hair splitting as well but in the big picture, it's really not that important.
 
Last edited:

wyager

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 10, 2010
Messages
1,114
Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

[rude comment deleted - DM51] he could just buy a quark regular if he didn't want tactical configuration, right?

Plus, more modes isn't all you're paying for.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

aEx155

Newly Enlightened
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
Messages
144
Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

he could just buy a quark regular if he didn't want tactical configuration, right?

Plus, more modes isn't all you're paying for.

E21. Fenix quality is just as good and the simplistic UI means that you buy exactly what it says on the package. If the two levels are OK with you, then I'd choose the E21.

The Quark Tactical, on the other hand, is a many-mode light (I think there's 8 or more), but only offers easy access to two modes at any given time. So you're essentially paying for 8 modes but getting only 2. While can customize which 2 you want available, getting to any other modes requires a lot of head twists or button presses. ...

These two lights were chosen specifically for their simplicity; I want 2 (or maybe 3) modes, but that's it. Anything more for me just gets excessive.

On the other hand, I've been looking around more and have decided to expand my search:

The Quark Tactical AA and the Fenix E21 are two great lights, both with (essentially) 2 modes. Along with that I have found the Fenix L1T/2T. I'm not sure I've come across other within reasonable range of $40.

Those are the contenders. What would you say is the light of choice?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

B0wz3r

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Messages
1,753
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
First, as was mentioned on your other thread about 1 vs 2 AA's, you need to think about your usage for the light. If you want something that is truly an EDC light that you can keep clipped in a pocket and whip out at any time, get a 1xAA light. If you're going to be doing more outdoors or active things, then a 2xAA model will be better.

I love my Quarks; I've bought four in the last year plus additional accessories. I love how I can Lego them into different configurations for different uses. Yes, there have been some quality control issues with them. I've never had a reliability issue with mine though, and their customer service has been outstanding; easily the best of any vendor/manufacturer I've bought from. You get a lot of value for your money with Quarks.

I've only owned a couple of Fenixes; an L1T v2 I gave my best friend and is now his EDC light. They have older, less efficient emitters though, so you don't get as much light or run time as a newer light. The second was an E20 that I gave my 10 y.o. son for a nightlight, family camping, boyscouts, etc. It's been a solid and reliable light. That said I'd jump on a neutral white E21 if I had the funds; they seem like very solid and reliable lights.

My opinion is to start with a less expensive light and see how you like it. You'll quickly come to love it or it just won't like it that much. Then, you can learn from that experience, give it to a buddy, and get yourself something newer and nicer that will be a better fit for you once you've learned your habits and usage needs. In short the E21 would be a good place to start, bit it's pretty large for EDC. You will definitely need a holster on your belt for EDC use. The Quarks are good lights, but also sort of "entry level" compared to say, Jetbeams. I would give the edge to the Quark unless you really expect to beat the tar out of your light.
 

Kestrel

Flashaholic
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
7,372
Location
Willamette Valley, OR
This is a flashlight recommendation thread for the OP, please stay civil with any differences of opinion between third parties with regards to these lights.
 
Top