EagleTac, newly crowned king of evolutionary product cycles has upped the ante once again with their Mark II Digital model. Harnessing advancements in both LED efficiency and UI refinement, the T20C2 attempts to bring greater versatility to this champion in tactical lighting.
Meat and Potatoes
EagleTac has historically been known for their simplistic but useful torches usually offering only two modes; a general use setting, and a full-bore max. At its heart the T20C2 in Mark II Digital garb holds to that formula, while yet adding a few features to sweeten the pot. The Mk II adds a series of hidden modes containing both a useful low power setting and several blinking options. Overall the gist of the light has not changed since only those two primary modes are available when the light is first fired up, but the secondary settings are a welcome addition indeed.
Dropping the original XR-E package for the XP-E in the budget minded 100 series was one of EagleTacs best choices. In my experience, lights with the smaller XP based LED package have inherently cleaner beams and more usable spreads of light. For the T20C2, EagleTac has gone a step further by taking advantage of the increased efficiency available from Crees new XP-G, producing an even more impressive 300 lumens of out-the-front intensity. The beam of this light is an excellent tight spot with a flawless wide transitional corona into the spill. The net result is a very well balanced beam that is useful both at distance and up close.
Of note, though not genuinely important to use, is the method that the light uses to transition between brightness levels. The 20 series does not use the traditional direct output change, but rather invokes a rapid ramp to smoothly and evenly change brightness in less than a second. It is a unnecessary extra that gives this light a touch of class and makes it feel just that much higher quality.
Cigar grip rings have previously been ill-received in my household. In the past, both offerings from EagleTac and other companies have only stuck around for the photo shoots before being removed, likely to never see reattachment again. My complaint has been that they are too harsh and a softer, less angular, rubber grip ring would fit the role better. That is precisely what EagleTac has done. The new cigar grip ring is, aesthetically pleasing, less intrusive, and on my light, going to stay.
Included accessories are the concept that rules the day with these lights. All of them ship with removable clips, quality holsters, interchangeable black or glow-in-the-dark switch covers, lanyards, soft rubber tailstanding rings, and even a very nice screw in diffuser that takes the place of the crenelated stainless steel bezel. Those last two are especially unique because of how well they function exactly as they are intended with very little intrusion. The tailstanding ring doesn’t really get in the way of the switch when in play, and the diffuser creates a flawless hotspot-free beam with almost no apparent depletion in overall output.
As I mentioned, this light remains true to EagleTacs past, being at its core still strictly a two-mode light. With such an excellent quality, long-running low mode it seems a shame to eliminate any chance of activating the light directly into that mode. I don’t know what would be the best possible user interface for three separate modes of activation, but I would like to see some method involving just a further twist of the head to access that. Independent access to all three drastically different uses for this light would increase its real-world effectiveness that much more.
The 20 series are exceptionally well constructed lights. They feel incredibly solid in my hand and look capable of withstanding any abuse you put them through. The one sticking point to that, in my opinion is the clip. The clip does not appear to be altered in any way from the old 10 series and is still a short steel clip held on by nothing more than spring tension. After having become spoiled by the clip retainer rings of other companies, this method just comes up short.
One byproduct, I assume, of the new digital brain of the 20 series is a slight delay between pressing the switch and activation of the light. This isn’t a large gap by any means, but it is noticeable none the less. It almost makes the light feel like you are using a reverse clicky instead of the nice forward clicky that they are known for. I don’t know for certain what it is that causes this behavior, but I would love for it to disappear in a quiet update to this product.
EagleTac has once again produced a high quality light that pushes the envelope in terms of output. Combine that with the T20C2’s good choice of levels, useable interface, and dare I say it, good looks, and you have a light that you can truly enjoy carrying.