Penlights have always been somewhat of an oddity to me. Their peculiar size and shape has always struck me as somewhat impractical, however one cannot deny the ease with which they are used generally. EagleTac has thrown their name into the mix with this continuation of their “Personal Nano” line.
Meat and Potatoes
The EagleTac PN20a2 takes all the best qualities of the previously reviewed PN20a and adds to it the brightness and runtime increases made possible from an extra AAA cell. It also reduces the overall girth that was caused by EagleTac’s two stage switching mechanism, opting instead for a standard forward clicky on the tailcap. The resultant light feels surprisingly trim and nimble given that I took issue with the size of its smaller sibling. The mode changing of the PN20a2 takes place in the same way, the now traditional tightening or loosening of the head, however it can be slimmer since this action doesn’t also handle powering the light on and off.
EagleTac has successfully miniaturized their forward clicky switch to be able to fit into the narrow tail of this torch. It is an excellent feeling switch with a relatively short travel. Included with the light is your choice of tailcap options. The light comes with the standard protruding switch ring pre-installed but allows you the option to change to a recessed switch ring capable of tailstanding or “candle mode”. Unfortunately due to the small diameter of the light and the larger diameter of my thumb, this choice proved fairly difficult to operate. Since this is one of those situations where “your mileage may vary” I am glad that these are included options rather than requirements.
Using a Cree XP-E LED sitting in a minute 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 and 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 pocket clip is one place where I have routinely taken issue with EagleTac’s products. Because of their design, they have either been prone to accidental removal, or have even broken entirely too easily. The clip on the PN20a2 uses this exact same design. Thus far I have had no cause to complain about any of these things happening to this particular unit though. Over the course of some weeks I have not yet experienced any such failures. However, since the clip has remained unchanged in both design and implementation, I find myself chalking this up to the law of averages and still objecting on principle. You are welcome to disagree.
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 quality light with a stunningly beautiful beam in the slimline penlight size. EagleTac gets this one right in my book.
Provided for review by the kind folks at EagleTac.