Quark AA2 Tactical flashlight: Pack Leader
4Sevens continues to be a standard setter in the world of high performance, multi-mode portable lighting products. A great representation of this is the Quark AA2 Tactical light reviewed here. It has an amazingly clean beam that throws very efficiently (and far for an AA torch) and kills the competition in terms of cleaniness, lack of artifacts, and concentricity. It is effective to about 50 (maybe 75) yards when detailed indentification is needed. Put that beam in a durable 6061 aluminum body that wears a Type III hard anodizing that features IPX-8 waterproofing. Proven in my own extensive water testing, I found the Quark AA2 Tactical to be extremely waterproof with no failures noted (even in open water testing to about 25 feet). Weight on the AA2 Tactical will vary from a very light 3.2 ounces to 4.0 ounces depending on the type of cells. It is extremely portable and will fit into just about any POU. The Quark AA and 123 series utilize a common emitter head and tailcaps which also can be interchanged with each other (and ordered separately) to create your own lights...very cool. Burn times and brightness levels achieve excellent capability for the utilized emitter heads (XP-E R2 LED version reviewed and tested, XP-G R5 version referenced and current as of Mar 2010): Moonlight mode @ 0.2 lumes for 30 days, Low @ 3.5 lumens for 5 days, Med @ 18 lumens, High @ 70 lumens for 5 hrs, Max @ 170 lumens (R2 version, 206 lumens R5 version) for 1.3 hours (2.5 hours R5), Beacon @ 170 lumens for 18 hrs and Strobe @ 170 lumens for 2.5 hours. Lumen measurements are actual Out The Front (OTF) achievements too, not just at the LED actual. The glass lens features anti-reflective coating on the inside (for more efficiency) and a hard sapphire coating on the outside to help curtail scratches. The TACTICAL interface on the Quark lights feature a primary and secondary mode which are easily programmed (shown). This allows instant access (without "tap through") to your two most needed brightness levels or modes. That's because this UI features memory retention so the last mode you used will be remembered when you turn the light back on (but accessing the other modes you have not programmed cannot happen quickly). Also expect an extended rubber covered durable forward clicky switch in the TACTICAL versions that allow for momentary light actuation (good feature). Don't expect to tailstand these Tactical lights however with that protruding switch (but you CAN swap out a regular Quark tailcap with it if you should want that UI and tailstanding capability!). Value is extremely high on this Quark AA2 (and seemingly all Quark lights!): Collector-quality packaging, DuraCell AA batteries, high quality lanyard with a quality snap (and comes with small SS split ring), rubber HandGrip accessory (which joggers might like), and extra o-rings are all included in what is a reasonable selling price for this quality level (around $50 to $60). Correction in the video: the FENIX light cone and red filter attachments WILL fit on the Quark lights; just press them on hard (it seems they won't break). Also some models will come with the Quark Prizm kit with allows a 90º diffusion of light and fitment of red, green, or blue filters. Quality of fit and finish is excellent throughout the Quark AA2 Tactical and I anticipate all the Quark lights, including this one, to be lifetime lights. This is evident by an industry-setting 4Sevens 10 year warranty. Overall the Quark AA2 Tactical is a homerun achievement made possible by listening to and integrating inputs from many knowledgeable light users from around the world. In many ways, the Quarks are leading the pack. ///////////////////////////////////// Nutnfancy Likability Scale: 9.5 out of 10 /////////////////////////////////// Music: By Nutnfancy, called "Sudden Impulse"