Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review - 4Sevens Quark Turbo Series

The Quark Turbo series of flashlights
are a great EDC choice.
There are basically two types of flashlights. Flashlights that are commonly called "throwers" (far shining) and flashlights called "flooders" (close shining). 4Sevens makes a series of fairly small throwers, only marginally bigger than their Quark series of EDC flashlights. If you're looking for an small, inexpensive thrower, than look no further than the Quark Turbo series of flashlights.

The Quark Turbo comes in two flavors: One that uses two CR123A batteries and one that uses two AA batteries. They are both similar in brightness, varying mainly in size and in weight. The Quark 123² Turbo (CR123A batteries) is lighter and smaller, while the Quark AA² Turbo is longer and heavier.

I'll list the specifics behind each light below, then I'll go into the review for the flashlight in general. Both flashlights are excellent, so the difference is mainly between the types of batteries that you wish to use.

Quark AA² Turbo:
Weight with Batteries 5.4 oz
Weight without Batteries 3.7 oz
Length 6.2 in
Head Diameter 1.2 in
Body Diameter 0.87 in
Bulb/Emmiter CREE XP-G S2 LED
Operating Voltage Range 0.9V - 4.2V
Battery AA
Battery Amount 2
Max/Min Output 190 lumens/0.6 lumens
Max/Min Runtime 1065 hours (Moonlight)/47 minutes (Max)

Quark 123² Turbo:
Weight with Batteries 3.9 oz
Weight without Batteries 2.8 oz
Length 4.9 in
Head Diameter 1.2 in
Body Diameter 0.87 in
Bulb/Emmiter CREE XP-G S2 LED
Operating Voltage Range 3.0V - 9.0V
Battery CR123A
Battery Amount 2
Max/Min Output 200 lumens/0.7 lumens
Max/Min Runtime 800 hours (Moonlight)/2 hours 30 minutes (Max)

The deep, smooth reflector lets the Quark Turbo shine far.
As you can see, the differences in the two types of flashlights mainly lies in their dimensions and weight. Since AA batteries are longer and heavier than CR123A batteries, the flashlight that uses them is also longer and heaver. However, there is a benefit to the AA battery. It is more commonly available, which can be very important. If you can't resupply batteries for your flashlights, it's just a fancy paperweight.

The Quark Turbo series, like the Quark series, is made out of type III anodized aircraft grade aluminum. It has ample knurling on the whole body. It is very easy to hold. It has a larger head than the Quark flashlights, due to its deeper, smoother reflector. This reflector is the secret behind the further shining beam. Flashlights with deep, smooth reflectors have a more concentrated beam, which translates to a beam that can illuminate objects that are far away.

You can clearly see the bright spot in the middle of the beam.
Looking at the beam pattern, it has a bright spot in the middle, and then dims out around the edges. This is great for far-away illumination, but not as good for close-up work. If you are mainly going to be illuminating objects at a distance of 25 yards or less, I would suggest choosing a different light, since it will give you a more diffuse beam pattern. However, if you see yourself needing a further, shining beam, or don't mind a bright spot in the middle, then the Quark Turbo is something you may want. Continue reading...

The Quark Turbo can be carried easily due to it's removeable/reversable pocket clip. I have had a lot of experience using the Quark 123² Turbo and I must say that it's pretty comfortable to carry. I cannot speak for the Quark AA² Turbo, since it is 1.3" longer. I would guess that, for some, it might be too long to carry comfortably.

Programming & Use

The flashlight is turned on via a clicky tailcap switch. You can also press the tailcap lightly (you don't have to "click" it on) to activate the light momentarily. This is known as the "momentary-on" feature. This feature is useful for quick flashes of light. It's a lot more convenient to be able to tap the button to shine the beam, and then let it go when you no longer want to use the light, than to have to depress the tailcap fully to turn the light on.
The protruding tailcap is easily depressed.
The programming of the Quark Turbo is identical to that of the Quark Tactical. The Quark Turbo can memorize any two modes of output, from its eight total modes, to be instantly available. These two memorized modes are accessed by either tightening or loosening the head (for example, tight can be Max, and loose can be Low).

To have your Quark Turbo memorize a different mode, turn it on and loosen the head by a half-turn. Then, tighten the head at least four times rapidly (twisting it tight, then loose, then tight, etc., four times). After the fourth time, leave the head tight or loose depending which position you want to program.

After three seconds, the light will flash, signaling it is ready to be programmed. Cycle through the eight available modes by clicking the tailcap off and on. The mode sequence is as follows:
The Quark Turbo comes with a many accessories.
Moonlight » Low » Medium » High » Max » SOS » Strobe » Beacon

Once you find your desired mode, leave that mode on for ten seconds and the light will flash again, confirming that the mode has been memorized. To cancel programming before it flashes, turn the flashlight off for three seconds.

Waterproof

The Quark Turbo, like all 4Sevens flashlights, is waterproof. It can go 10 meters underwater for 30 minutes, which is very impressive. I actually went to a swimming pool with the Quark 123² Turbo in my pocket. After 3 hours of swimming, the flashlight still functioned perfectly. No water got inside.

Conclusion

If you are in the market for pocket-sized thrower, the 4Sevens Turbo series may be what you are looking for. I was thoroughly impressed by the light, so impressed that it is currently my everyday carry (EDC) light. For a while now, it has served me flawlessly. I highly recommend taking a look at this light.

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