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Thread: Tactical Quark AA or other AA light?

  1. #1

    Default Tactical Quark AA or other AA light?

    I'm trying to pick a 2 mode AA clicky light for around $40 and I'm torn between these two. (although alternatives can be considered)

    The Quarks are know for their high quality and they're really great lights, but at ~$50, it's going to be tough to convince my parents to get me one.

    The Fenix E21 is a lot cheaper at ~$35, and it's 2 mode, but that's all there is to it, unlike the Quark.

    EDIT: I have expanded my search a bit. See reply #23
    Last edited by aEx155; 10-14-2010 at 08:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic ACRbling's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    The Quark AA Tactical is by far the superior light.

    I'm sure you can scrounge up the 15 dollar difference. Better yet, just get a part time job and buy whatever light you want, by yourself.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Tell them you want the
    Dereelight Javelin 3S


    You might just end up with the Quark

  4. #4
    Flashaholic TJx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Poor warranty experience with 4Sevens on my 1st (and last) Quark purchase says Fenix is the only choice between the 2.
    "Man needs light, whoever plunges into the opposite of day feels his heart chilled"
    - Victor Hugo in Les Misťrables

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ACRbling View Post
    The Quark AA Tactical is by far the superior light.

    I'm sure you can scrounge up the 15 dollar difference. Better yet, just get a part time job and buy whatever light you want, by yourself.
    I have the money, it just, my parents won't allow me to get it since I'm having a hard time justifying the cost.

    So far I've gotten a vote for the Quark and against the Quark...?

  6. #6
    Flashaholic ACRbling's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Got it, didn't mean to jump to conclusions, sorry.

    But get the quark if you can swing it. If you choose to go "fenix" then look into the pd30 r4 instead of the E21.

    The E21 is a budget offering from fenix. It's using an xp-e and is a two mode only light without momentary on.

    The quark has more output, more flexible with batteries, more configurable output choices and forward clickie with momentary on.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic PerttiK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Quark has more output, but less throw than E21.
    Disclaimer: This is just my opinion, I might be drunk or tired, probably both.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Quote Originally Posted by ACRbling View Post
    The E21 is a budget offering from fenix. It's using an xp-e and is a two mode only light without momentary on.
    E21 has forward clicky switch with momentary on. And it feels more solid and better built than Quark.

  9. #9
    Flashaholic vickers214's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    It depends on what you need it for, The Quark has really low modes for indoor stuff, but to be fair if your planning indoor stuff you may be better off with a 1AA light for size. It also has flashy modes which seems to appeal to the minority and i personally dont see the point in them.

    I have a 1AA Quark R5 and the build is mediocre to say the least, rough threads, terrible oversized clear O rings which make the head hard to turn, and smudged lettering on the side, and the R5 it came with had a green tint It now has an R2 in it (like the E21) and it has good throw and nice tint now.
    I veiw my Quark like a Alfa, it is not the best but it has character and i do like it, but My Eagletacs and Fenix lights blow it away in quality.

    Have you thought about the Eagletac P100a2? I have the Q5 (it is now an R2) and after the javlin it is the furthest throwing 2AA light there is I believe?It is only £4 more than the E21 over here so it may be in your parents comfort zone, i understand where they are coming from i suppose, they will see 'flashlights' in the barging bin for $5 and think they are great!

  10. #10
    Flashaholic ACRbling's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Weird. All of my quarks are of the same quality as my eagletac or fenix lights.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic vickers214's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    I don't want to open a can of worms but it seems that the QC on some Quarks is poor, from what ive experienced and read on here.

    Dont get me wrong I understand most people have nothing but good to say about them, but there is a few more grumbles than other brands, well from what searching I have done in my time on here.

    I would still get another though, and I dare say if i did it would be better than the one I have.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    TJx, would you mind expanding on your issues with 4sevens? Until now I have read nothing but great reviews about them. I ordered a quark aa2 yesterday and now I'm having second thoughts...
    I did have an email exchange with their customer service department and I received a response in less than 2 minutes.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Quote Originally Posted by vickers214 View Post
    It depends on what you need it for, The Quark has really low modes for indoor stuff, but to be fair if your planning indoor stuff you may be better off with a 1AA light for size.
    I currently have a 1xAA that I hacked together, and the output is on the low side already, so I'm the moonlight mode of the Quark isn't really a factor.

    The main reason I said that I wanted Tactical version of the Quark was because I only want two levels. I like the whole "set it and forget it" setup where you can just pick two modes (most likely low and max/high rather than cycling through other modes)

    Any more votes for the Quark or the E21?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    I've had my Quark for over a year. Even though I do not use it everyday (I'm on my 3rd or 4th set of batteries. I mostly use the 4 and 22 lumen setting) I have not had a problem with it. I am not a Quark loyalist but mine has served me faithfully. And would not hesitate to buy another if it fit my needs at that time.

  15. #15
    Enlightened Good day's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Quote Originally Posted by aEx155 View Post
    I have the money, it just, my parents won't allow me to get it since I'm having a hard time justifying the cost.

    So far I've gotten a vote for the Quark and against the Quark...?
    Why you want to buy the Quark ?Fenix E21 is also a wonderful light .You can buy the Quark if you really really want to own it ,but as you said your parents won't allow you to buy the Quark ,so you must think more

  16. #16

    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Quote Originally Posted by vickers214 View Post
    It depends on what you need it for, The Quark has really low modes for indoor stuff, but to be fair if your planning indoor stuff you may be better off with a 1AA light for size.
    I already have a 1xAA that I hacked together, and that's already fairly low on output, so the "low low" of the Quark isn't a deciding factor for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Good day View Post
    Why you want to buy the Quark ?Fenix E21 is also a wonderful light .You can buy the Quark if you really really want to own it ,but as you said your parents won't allow you to buy the Quark ,so you must think more
    I'm trying to figure out if I should "really really want to own it" or just settle for the cheaper E21. If it comes down to it I can always have my older brother order it for me.

    Is there any reason there seems to be so much variance with the quality of Quarks?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Quote Originally Posted by aEx155 View Post
    I have the money, it just, my parents won't allow me to get it since I'm having a hard time justifying the cost.
    Protip-get a debit card and a paypal account. Then you have freedom to buy whatever you can afford (Within the limits of the law, that is.). Just be careful, you might end up on a crazy shopping spree. Stay away from ebay.

    That said, I enjoy my quark AA^2 a lot more than my fenix LD20. Build quality is the same, and the quark has a big list of features the fenix doesn't. Same or lower price at $52.44 shipped, neutral white, moon mode is AWESOME (I use it every single day), sapphire coating, brighter, forward clicky switch, can take MANY different battery configurations (the fenix only takes ONE), lego-able, and superior warranty make the quark a clear winner in my opinion. A while back, we had a "which is better" thread with the quark AA^2 versus the Fenix LD20 or something, and IIRC the quark won with something like 65% of the votes to 35% of the votes. And remember, this is an LD20, which is even better than an E21.

    So, my vote is for tactical quark AA.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    I like my flashlight UI simple and uncomplicated - easy to remember and less things to go wrong.

    Which is why I avoid the Quarks and have owned a TK20 and an E21 - both Fenix.

    I vote the E21 - but like everyone else has said, it really depends on your tastes and intended use.

    Hell, I'd stick with a Minimag LED if I could find one worth half a dollar.

    -Trevor
    "We canít just go with MBAV because itís out there and battle-proven." - Fred Coppola, deputy project manager for Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Wiggle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Quote Originally Posted by TMedina View Post
    I like my flashlight UI simple and uncomplicated - easy to remember and less things to go wrong.

    Which is why I avoid the Quarks and have owned a TK20 and an E21 - both Fenix.

    -Trevor
    The Tactical Quarks are so simple and predictable, almost boring after EDC'ing one for nearly a year!

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* AnAppleSnail's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    I got in on the first run on Neutral Quarks - The Q35A XP-E AA^2 tactical. I've wanted and craved more flashlights, but not for good reasons - just to have 'em. I've had no trouble worth mentioning with mine.
    My biggest light-hog is my camera.

  21. #21

    Default 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 by 1138; 10-14-2010 at 04:20 PM.

  22. #22

    Default 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 DM51; 10-15-2010 at 04:00 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Fenix E21 or Tactical Quark AA?

    Quote Originally Posted by wyager View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by 1138 View Post
    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 DM51; 10-15-2010 at 04:01 PM.

  24. #24
    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tactical Quark AA or other AA light?

    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.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

  25. #25
    Administrator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tactical Quark AA or other AA light?

    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.

  26. #26
    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tactical Quark AA or other AA light?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    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.
    Sorry... wasn't aware that I had said anything offensive.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

  27. #27
    Administrator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tactical Quark AA or other AA light?

    Suggestion wasn't directed toward your post. Carry on.

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