Random Ramblings of Everyday Life

Review: EagleTac P100A2

Posted in Gear Reviews by ziptrickhead on June 16, 2010

This light was provided by Pacific Tactical Solutions (www.pts-flashlights.com) to review and give away at FCW-6. I was fortunate to have the chance to pick this light as one of my prizes. The light is relatively inexpensive for what it is, and can be had for around $40 online. The EagleTac P100A2 is a 2xAA flashlight with two modes. There is also a P100C2 version that uses 2x123a cells, also with two modes.

There isn’t much in terms of accessories that comes with the light. What you get in the box is the usual instructions, a registration serial number on the warranty card, and a bag with 2 spare o-rings and a removable lanyard ring. Unfortunately it doesn’t come with a belt holster, something that I feel is necessary for a 2 cell light like this. A lower mode would be great as well, but as I go on and on it does seem like I should just get a P20.

The o-rings are quite beefy and seem to make good contact so I don’t doubt the IPX-8 water rating. The lanyard ring could use some improvement though. It wasn’t formed very well, and isn’t exactly flat. When you put it onto the light, the tail cap doesn’t screw down all the way to keep the lanyard ring tight. That or you could say that the lanyard ring isn’t thick enough to take up all the space. Still, it serves its purpose. Since you do have a removable lanyard ring, the tail cap doesn’t have a hole screwed into it to give you a place to attach a split ring.

One thing EagleTac should have done with create a compatible pocket clip. It would be like many other lights, and the design would be similar to the lanyard ring. Just slip the clip in between the body and tail cap and screw down tight. I think the P20 series has a clip like this, but I don’t see why it couldn’t also be included with the P100 as I’m sure it wouldn’t add that much to the total cost. Still, I’m not crazy about the P20 clip as it seems like it flairs out a lot and could easily get snagged out of the pocket.

The head of the light has what I would consider useful crenelations. They aren’t the super sharp and pointy tactical kind. They allow you to see if the light is on or off when standing on the head. There aren’t any bevels on them to make them sharp, so they won’t rip apart your pockets if you carry it loose in pocket. The knurling is also good, not super sharp, but they have enough bite that the light won’t easily slip out of your hands. I’ve never been a big fan of the 2 level body for a cigar grip, but it’s starting to grow on me since I’ve been carrying the light. There are a few spots of annodizing that were chipped off, but that isn’t that big of a deal breaker for me since my lights are users, not shelf queens.

The light only has two modes, something that I’ve missed with flashlights. It reminds me of the old Fenix LxS and LxT series with the loose and tight head for different modes. When the head is tight, the light is in turbo mode. When the head is loosened a little (1/16th of a turn), the light goes into general mode. EagleTac gives the following specifications on the box:

195 lumens for 1.8 hours
55 lumens for 8 hours

They claim flat current regulation in their testing, although they don’t mention the fact that the tests were done with rechargeable AA batteries. Looking at the runtime tests that selfbuilt has done (http://candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=214890) shows that when using rechargeable, the light does have very flat regulated output and the time given is very close as well. This leads me to believe that the output specifications given must be close too, albeit probably on the higher side. Just looking at the output in comparison with some of my other lights, I felt that the outputs were close to the values given.

You can see how the light achieves the two different modes by making contact with that ring inside the head. There is also reverse polarity protection in place.

The emitter being used is an XP-E Q5 from Cree. I don’t know much about the emitter. From what I can tell, the emitter is smaller and less blue than the XR-E Q5. When side by side with an XR-E Q5, the XP-E Q5 does seem very white. I think it’s considered a “cool white” tint. The glass is suppose to be “Syntax I Ultra clear glass lens with anti reflective and anti‐scratch coating”.

The P100 uses a smooth reflector instead of a textured reflector, giving this light very impressive throw. Out throws my Quark Ti-123 for sure. I credit the smooth reflector, small emitter, and deep reflector for the tight hot spot and long throw. Since it does use a smooth reflector, the transition from hot spot to spill isn’t suburb, but it’s not terrible either. Outside of the very noticeable brightness transition, there aren’t any artifacts or rings of light like I’ve seen on some other lights with smooth reflectors.

I really like the tailcap/switch assembly. The switch has a very positive click to it. It doesn’t feel soft or mushy at all and I’m sure that it won’t accidental get bumped on. It is a forward clickie, so you have momentary on but sacrifice the ability to tailstand. The washer that goes in between the rubber boot and the switch assembly is very thick and I doubt it’ll get bent out of shape. That’s important since the washer is what keeps pressure on the sides of the rubber boot when the switch is screwed all the way down. If that washer isn’t flat, the switch can’t be screwed down all the way and there is a chance that water can get into the light if the water pressure is high enough. The threads are also anodized so you can twist the tailcap 1/8th of a turn to lock the light off.

Overall, I really like the light. I had the choice between the A2 and the C2, but I went with the A2 since I don’t really have any 2xAA lights outside of some cheap Energizers. I love the simple two mode UI, and there is good separation between the two output levels. Build seems solid, although I suppose I’ll see how it holds up to the test of time. If you want the low mode and the pocket clip and belt holster, the P20 is around $25 more. Personally, I think I’ll stick with the P100 and save my money. For $40, its a light worth buying if you don’t already have a light of the same class.

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