With the introduction of the new “Personal Nano” series, EagleTac begins to add super compact EDC style lights into their lineup. More than just a simple keychain light, the PN20a shows that power can come in small packages.
Meat and Potatoes
Even in this world of 1000, 1200, 2200 lumens, squeezing 70 out of one AAA cell for a usable amount of time is still impressive to me. The PN20a is a tiny light that seems to expand the venerable P100 series into an even more pocketable size. Being a bit larger than the Fenix E01 or the 4Sevens Preon I, the EagleTac isn’t quite petite enough to pull keychain duty for me, but I am sure it is still within the tolerances of many people. The extra size does appear to give the light quite a solid build, making it quite robust and more impervious to impact.
Using a Cree XP-E LED sitting in a textured reflector, this torch produces one of the most even flood beams I have yet come across. There are no rings or artifacts to be seen, just a nice even dispersal, wide transition from the spot to the spill. EagleTac includes a diffuser filter in with this light, but from what I see, it really is not necessary at all. The beam is wide enough to begin with that you don’t really need to mess with it further. If you do choose to add to the spread though, this diffuser does an excellent job living up to its name.
The fit and finish of this light are living up to the later improvements that EagleTac has imparted to their later lights. The anodizing is perfectly flawless and seems to resist damage fairly well everywhere except the point where the spit ring attaches to the body of the light. This junction however tends to be one of the harshest torture tests that I can conceive of for any flashlight. None of the other keychain models I have tried out have fared any better. The machine work is, as expected, top notch and even most of the included extras like the lobster claw clip appear to be quite high quality.
The user interface for the PN20a is a fantastically basic two stage twisty operation that is instantly reminiscent of the Nitecore EZ series. All the excellent simplicity of that UI carries over to this light. It is easily the type of light that can be loaned out to anyone with no more than a couple seconds of explanation. The lengthy preflight checklist that some lights require is enough to make me reach for a much less capable light when it comes time for a quick loan. With this light, that isn’t the case. Better yet, this simplicity allows the light to behave completely predictably when you find yourself needing it quickly. The more complex a light is, the less likely it will do exactly what you want it to when you really need it.
When I first pulled this light out of the package for initial testing, I was immediately greeted with discouragement as the pocket clip promptly snapped off during extrication from the packaging. I have mentioned EagleTac’s clip attachment method a number of times previously and I still believe it to be one of the weakest points on their lights. I hope someday that this will begin to improve but in the mean time, don’t get your hopes up for a decent clip.
The comparisons that the PN20a’s user interface naturally bring to mind inherently suggest other comparisons between it and the EZ AA as well. Dimensionally speaking there is surprisingly little difference between the two lights at all. The EZ AA is only about half an inch longer and the overall maximum diameter is so close, any differences are negligible. This begs the question as to whether the loss of half or more energy capacity is worth the minor reduction in size. It really comes down to personal preference however.
One of the available options that can be obtained is a “RB Kit” consisting of high quality red and blue colorfilters. These units are constructed nearly identically to the diffuser that comes with the light. They are molded plastic friction fit covers with mirror coated glass optical elements. The blue filter actually reflects yellow when viewed at an angle. I am very impressed with the quality of the elements themselves. When it comes to actual attachment, however, I think the design could be improved. As I mentioned, these filters are strictly friction fit and because of that, they have a tendency to slip off over time. I am constantly finding them in the bottom of my pocket.
A well solid little light that is easy to use and durable. An impressive pocket dweller that is up to most tasks. It might be a little larger than I would like, but it still has a quality that shows through.
Provided for review by the kind folks at EagleTac.