Continuing the new JETBeam budget series the BA10 combines the handy usefulness of a simple UI with the common availability of easy to find AA cells.
Meat and Potatoes
The JETBeam “B” series represents a step into a wider world for this company. A new set of budget offerings that still manage to exude quality. Offering a two stage interface akin to base models from other companies, the BA10 is an excellent mix of new technology and simple usability. Changing between modes is as simple as twisting the head tightened for high and slightly loosened for low.
Utilizing one easy to find AA cell to power today’s most common powerhouse LED, the Cree XP-G, JETBeam has not skimped when it comes to output. Pairing the XP-G’s superb efficiency with its characteristically excellent emission pattern, the BA10 manages to squeak 160 lumens out of the 1.5V source and project it in a beautifully smooth beam, aided in that endeavour by a lightly stippled reflector. The spread of the beam is very middle of the road. It is a good all purpose pattern balancing moderate flood and throw. As usual with this LED, there is still an excellent transitional corona and decently bright spill assisting in eliminating any “tunnel vision”. The 12 lumen low mode on the BA10 is definitely a little low for general purpose lighting during the day, but is still excellent for low light navigation.
The machine work on the BA10 is just as top notch as the BC10. Every corner and edge has been smoothed to a comfortable finish. The anodizing seems thick and durable. Of interesting note, the knurling is definitively less aggressive than many lights I have seen lately, though it still provides adequate retention. It’s just much less chance of being a pocket shredder. Even the tension mounted pocket clip has been smoothed so there are no rough edges.
Speaking of the pocket clip, It is really quite a tight clip, which is somewhat unusual for this type of mounting method. Generally tension mounted clips are prone to accidentally falling off with the slightest tug, but this model appears to be nearly immune to such afflictions. However, this death grip on the barrel of the light also transitions to becoming difficult to use. The clip is so tight it takes a very concentrated effort to be able to use at all. Add to that the fact that the clip rubs against the tailcap (as opposed to the head on the BC10), potentially scratching the anodizing on the head with each successive mode change, and you see why my light will be growing old without this particular accessory.
This light definitely stands out in one particular aspect. It is one of the largest single AA I have yet handled with the only larger being the gargantuan Icon Rogue and Modus variants. It really starts to push pocketability when lights get to this size. It’s actually starting to compete with some smaller 2×123 lights for pocket volume. It would be nice to see AA lights receive some benefit from their smaller diameter when it comes to a series like this.
Clearly JETBeam hasn’t skimped on the quality in order to make this new budget line a success. These lights seem to be about all the little extra touches, from the forward clicky to the quality lanyard (one of the minimally few lanyards I will actually leave in place beyond the review period), JETBeam looks to have gone the distance to make quality light affordable, rather than the other way around. The BA10 has a few more areas of concern than the BC10, but it is still quite a decent light overall.
Provided for review by the kind folks at JETBeam.