Not many people build ‘em like this. That’s for sure. Just how durable and flexible does your flashlight need to be anyway? ArmyTek would like to find out.
Meat and Potatoes
ArmyTek has produced in their predator line some of the most versatile flashlights I have ever seen. I have seen very few lights that can match or surpass the programmable variability found in these torches. The ones that can require a more involved programming interface. Not only are you able to choose your desired outputs, but even regulation styles are user selectable and you can set your torch to a particular voltage range based on the batteries you run to better utilize that regulation.
The Predator is capable of between 1 and 10 constant output modes in the primary line, each one selectable from a continuously variable gamut from a trio of über-low moon modes and 1-100% output. You can choose to arrange them highest to lowest, invert that, or mix it up into any illogical orders that suits your needs best. The secondary line adds some real spice into the recipe. It has up to 5 mode slots with even more options. Not only are the constant outputs available, but so are nausea inducing strobes from 1-50hz, along with beacon and SOS options.
Love mode memory? It’s yours. Hate it? No problem, you can turn it off. Want it at some times, but not others? It can handle that too. Just leave it activated on one line, but not the other. There are three regulation styles available. Full, where your light maintains full output until the batteries are depleted and simply shuts off, Semi, where the light smoothly dims to accommodate depleting cells (and indicate to the user they are nearing the end of their life), and step, where it maintains constant brightness for periods, but gradually steps down in output as the power depletes.
All of this ability is housed within one of the absolute most durable frames I have ever tested. Seriously, I have seen a video of some guys putting the old V1.0 model through insanely intense torture testing that would make any flashlight aficionado cringe. I’m certain that the physical durability hadn’t diminished from then ’til now. I will be honest though. I’m too chicken to put a light with this nice a finish through intentional damage inducing tests like that, despite being sure it could handle whatever I dish out.
Speaking of finish, the Predator has one of my favorites from my entire collection. It has an incredibly thick matte black anodizing that withstands much that would leave lesser lights marred for life. The only other brand that I’ve seen that actually competes for durability is Elzetta. As long as we’re taking options, ArmyTek still continues offering chooses in bezels too. Still available are the white stainless steel, and the gold Ti nitride you see here, but also a black Ti based coating as well. All the options are available in either crenellated strike bezels or flat “stealthy” varieties as well. The Predator is a joy to use. It’s grip is sure, and it just feels solid. I really quite like the rubber cigar ring too. It’s plenty soft enough to not get in your way when you want to hold it more like an ice pick, but does an excellent job boosting retention in the cigar grip position. It drags a little on the holster, but doesn’t get in the way too badly.
The Predator version 2.0 is using Cree’s latest XP-G2 LED in a large smooth polished reflector, so you can imagine how that affects the beam shape. This light is a thrower. It has a narrow spillbeam, and tightly focused spot. It tends to give you a little bit of tunnel vision when you are using it out in the wild, but it makes up for it with it’s ability to reach out for massive distance illumination. Maximum output is over 600 lumens so bright definitely describes it. With a minimum moon mode that sits in the sub-lumen range, this light has to be one of the most widely varied output ranges available.
Once again, my biggest suggestion for this light has to do with the method it is programmed. There are only two methods for user input in the Armytek flashlights; twisting the head, or clicking the switch. I will give them kudos for designing a programming method that is completely functional, and even relatively logical, using only those two inputs, but at the same time I have to mention how daunting it is.
If you are simply changing an output in line 1 to a better value, it is very possible to adjust on the fly. This simple change is what I would call field operable. When you are diving deeper into the labyrinthine programming tree however, it is wise to do so in a very controlled environment. Fully reprogramming this light to your own custom setup can easily take half an hour or longer. Keep the manual handy and consult it often. Once you get into the groove it can start to make sense, but it is never easy. If any light has ever had the need for usb programming, it is this on. With this many options it’s hard to want to set aside the time to mess with them. Thankfully, once you get the light set up the way you want it, you can basically forget about them until you find a need to change.
Thankfully, the default “Military” preset is a perfectly viable flashlight setup, and comparable to many lights on the market today. If need be, the Predator can be used here and never altered, though this would be greatly underutilizing its capabilities.
ArmyTek makes quality lights; of this I am certain. Their desire to give an unprecedented level of control to the end user shows through incredibly well. Durability and finish are top notch. As long as you can muddle your way through the programming menus, this light can bring you a completely personalized experience.
Provided for review by the kind folks at ArmyTek.
Power for this review supplied by PTS-Flashlights.
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