Random Ramblings of Everyday Life

Review: VersaTi ET10 (high first)

Posted in Gear Reviews by ziptrickhead on May 5, 2010

Today I got my VersaTi ET10. I got it as a sort of graduation present to myself since I should be graduating college this month. It’s $59.99 at GoingGear. Actually, GoingGear is the only distributer I can find now. It wasn’t a popular light because it had lots of issues, but it also happens to have features I wanted which is why I ended up getting it.

In terms of production AAA titanium lights on the market now, the ET10 is actually one of the more expensive ones. A titanium Preon I can be had for $55. The iTP titanium AAA can be had for around $45. Both have better fit and finish as well, better polish jobs for sure.

First the bad things about the ET10. The biggest problem that a lot of people had with them was the way that the light switches mode. It uses a plastic disc with brass connectors to change the mode. With several of the lights from the first batch, that plastic disc would come loose and then rotate around. If the brass pins don’t contact the right areas, then you’ll lose one of the two modes.

The fit and finish isn’t all that great on it either. There are a lot of machining marks left over on the light. It’s pretty evident on the tail cap.

The head on my also seems to lean towards one side. I think that the threads were just cut a bit lopsided. When the head is screwed all the way down, you can see that the gap is larger on one side. You can also feel the edge of the head on one side while it is flush on the other side. There is no side to side movement when the head is screwed all the way down though. There is side to side play when the head is loosened though.

There is also a chip on the edge of the body near the threads. Also the emitter (Cree Q5) isn’t that centered, but I don’t care much about that.

The threads themselves are really small and super tight. Take it as a neutral I suppose. I would prefer more robust threads though since it seems like it would be easy to cross-thread with them.

I also wanted the low first version and had ordered that but then Marshall from GoingGear contacted me saying that they only had the high first version. Sucks, since low first would make much more sense in a small light like this but whatever.

There are 2 big reasons why I got this light even with all the bad reviews and the high price. First is the fact that the light is off when the head is tight down. Almost all twisty lights have the light off when the head is loose and the light on when the head is tight down. The other reason is the AMAZING regulation. Even on alkaline AAA, its practically completely flat.

You can see runtime graphs by CPF’s selfbuilt here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=251177

Looks to be a little under 30 mins flat on high and 44 hrs flat on low.

The output is basically all flood. It’s definitely something I have to get use to. It doesn’t seem all that bright on high; the Fenix E01 seems brighter even though its technically “less lumens”, but that’s because the E01 has almost everything concentrated to a hot spot. I’m not sure which I like better. I’ll have to use the ET10 outdoors first to see how well it works. It does have a super dim low mode which I love.

The light is also titanium. Coolness factor right there.

Another thing I love about it, although it is a small detail, is how thick the split ring hole is:

Granted I’ve never had a thin split ring hole break on me, but I just don’t trust it when the metal is so thin (like on the ARC AAAs).

It also comes with a bunch of extra o-rings and even a carabiner type clip. I love it when manufacturers package extra o-rings with their lights. It’s something small and cheap for them, but it can be a pain to find the right size replacement as the end user.

In conclusion, you can do better for cheaper, but if you really want the UI and the regulation, its currently one of a kind in the production world. I probably would have paid the difference and gotten a Mako if Endeavor was still making them. I’m not too concern about the lopsided head, so long as it remains water resistant. I’ll see as time goes by I suppose.

EDIT (5-6-10):

Well that was short lived. The lopsided head was indeed a problem. I tried dunking it in a bottle of water and water slowly made its way through the threads and into the battery compartment. It’s going back to GoingGear tomorrow. Excellent customer service from Marshall though. He said I’ll get a refund but maybe I’ll just have him ship something of equal value to me. No wonder no other vendor wants to distribute the lights…

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