Technological grandeur in familiar wrappings. FOURSEVENS mixes things up once again adding fresh LED ingredients into their well established recipe.
Meat and Potatoes
New naming conventions aside, the FOURSEVENS Quark series is one of my all time favorite sets of lights. Within that series, the subset of 1xCR123A lights remains at the top of the heap. Their small, easily pocketable size so completely belies their power that I find them hard not to love. It was this form factor that really started to create the enthusiast I have become. To think that so small a device could be a flashlight many times as powerful as the aluminum 2 D-cell lights I used to admire was mind boggling back when the LED flashlight market really started to take off. That was even back in the old days of the Luxeon LED. Beginning with Cree’s introduction of the XR-E, LED technology has seemed to grow at an exponential pace.
Today’s review subjects are definitely old favorites, though wearing new badging and with one important difference. Newly re-minted FOURSEVENS has become one of the first companies to use the new Cree XP-G2 LED. This new updated diode pushes approximately 20% more light out at the same drive levels. Also, these new models have a beam that is a few degrees narrower, resulting in better throw than we’ve seen from this line recently.
Technical descriptions of the beam aren’t the whole picture, though the nitty gritty subjective view is similar. This is a beautiful beam. Smooth, crisp white, and very bright. The focus is definitely a bit tighter than the XP-G models and MUCH more so compared to the XM-L models. There’s still enough balance to the beam, especially with the bright spill, that it works for your average EDC tasks, but it is definitely more throw-centric than it has been.
The vast remainder of these lights remain what they have been before. This is simply a technology update, though a significant one at that. Modes, operation, and design remain unchanged. In the Quark Pro QPL model, this means instant access to both the highest and lowest outputs, and easy access by quickly cycling the power to 3 more constant modes and 3 specialized blinkey-flashy ones. The Quark Tactical QTLC model also retains its slightly more complicated programmable interface. You get to set your two favorite, most used modes to the two instant access positions, but hides the remainder out of sight and definitely away from easy access.
Fit and finish on these two Quark lights is as fine as it ever is with companies as well established as FOURSEVENS. Their anodizing appears thick and uniform across the entire light and the laser engravings are all crisp, white and clear. There definitely seems to be a larger emphasis on the brand badging than previously, but it’s not yet so prominent that it detracts from the overall appearance. Corners and edges are all appropriately rounded or beveled. There’s really nothing new here, these are just a well made light that is truly finished.
Since these are really just evolutionary updates of existing lights, my laundry list of suggestions are really just a rehash of existing issues. Largest and by far most prominent on that list is the clip on the Quark QPL. Since there have been no major updates to the body this clip is still permanently attached to the light head (the only Quark to suffer this ailment). This causes it to ride directly against the body/tail of the light interfering with line changing operation and potentially scratching the anodizing. I believe i would far prefer to see a more specialized clip length allowing less interference and and scratching. My preference before still remains the frontrunner in this race, to keep the light simply clipless. It has a cleaner overall look and simpler feeling operation.
the FOURSEVENS Quark series has been and continues to be a solid light option for beginners and seasoned veterans alike. The companies continuous inclusion of the latest and greatest LEDs on the market continues to be truly setting them apart from the remainder of modem torch manufacturers. Seems to be an absolute winning strategy.
Provided for review by the kind folks at FOURSEVENS.