Review of the FOURSEVENS Quark Tactical QT2L-X
The fine folks over at FOURSEVENS recently sent me the latest updated version of the Quark Tactical QT2L-X for review. I’m a big fan of the FOURSEVENS Quark series of lights – the build quality is awesome, the size is fantastic for EDC (Every Day Carry) and they come in a variety of User Interface options to suit your needs. This particular Quark Tactical QT2L-X comes with FOURSEVENS “tactical” user interface.
If FOURSEVENS is known for anything, its known for staying at the cutting edge of LED emitter technology, and is constantly updating their flashlight products with new latest and greatest LED emitters. This particular version of the Quark has an XM-L2 LED emitter, which gives the QT2L-X a “burst mode” of 780 lumens of output for the first 60 seconds on the Max setting before ramping down over the next 30 seconds to 50% of the initial output. Nearly 800 lumens out of a package this small is extremely impressive. The Quark Tactical QT2L-X is powered by two CR123A power cells, which FOURSEVENS includes with the purchase of the light. Here are the brightness levels and run times produced by this combination of LED emitter and power cells:
Moonlight: 0.5 lumens, 25 days
Low: 5 lumens, 4 days
Medium: 55 lumens, 14 hrs
High: 300 lumens, 3.2 hrs
Max: Burst at 780 lumens, 1 minute, then 390 lumens, 1.9 hrs
In terms of the quality of the light beam, the XM-L2 LED provides an impressively artifact free, neutral tint beam. Like previous Quark models, the QT2L-X is equipped with a “orange peel” textured reflector which favors flood over throw.
As I’ve talked about in past FOURSEVENS Quark reviews, I don’t consider the user interface on the Quark Tactical QT2L-X to be a truly tactical interface. FOURSEVENS knows how to do a truly tactical UI, as evidenced by their fantastic and previously reviewed Maelstrom. The main difference between the UI of these two lights is the activation switch. In the case of the Maelstrom, the activation switch is an “instant on” pressure switch (sometimes refereed to as a dead man’s switch) that activates the light when pressure is applied, and deactivates the light when that pressure is released. The Quark Tactical QT2L-X activation switch actually has multiple functions. With light pressure, the QT2L-X activation switch operates in principle just like the Maelstrom with “instant on” capability. However, when more pressure is applied to the activation switch on the QT2L-X will “click” and stay on. A second click will then cause the light to deactivate. I’m an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor, and have had several hundred hours worth of tactical firearms training. The reason why you don’t want an activation switch that clicks and locks “on” during a defensive scenario is that during the adrenaline dump you’ll experience in a life-or-death engagement, you’ll experience a significant loss of fine motor control. In short, fiddling with a light to get it to turn off can get you killed. The simplified “instant on/off” user interface of the Maelstrom is the standard UI which all truly tactical flashlights from various manufactures use.
This is not to say that the Quark Tactical QT2L-X isn’t a great light…I happen to think it’s a GREAT EDC light. Many EDC lights have several different modes that have to be cycled through in order to find what you want. With the QT2L-X, you have the ability to program two of the 8 different modes available to be active at any given time – one mode for use when the light’s head is tight, and one available when the head is loosened about a half turn. Many EDC lights come with several nifty functions that you’ll hardly ever use – like strobe, beacon, or SOS mode. If you’re like me, you RARELY use more than about two or three different settings on a flashlight anyway – I most often use the moonlight mode on a flashlight (to navigate through my home in the dark without waking up the rest of the family). But if I want a brighter setting, chances are I want it really bright. So on my QT2L-X, I have it set for moonlight mode with a loosened head, and max output for a tightened head. Now having said that, I really wish FOURSEVENS would make a Quark-sized light with a truly tactical UI. The Maelstrom is a little big to carry with you regularly, and I can see a large segment of concealed carry firearm permit holders would like a truly tactical flashlight that’s always with them. A single cell or double cell sized light would really fit this bill here.
If you’re looking for a simple to opperate EDC light that’s equipped with the latest and greatest LED technology and unsurpased build quality, look no further than the FOURSEVENS Quark Tactical QT2L-X. With a retail price of $75.00, it’s an excellent value on an indispensable tool.
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.