Terry at EdgeTactical.net recently gave me the opportunity to put hands on an EagleTac G25C2 flashlight. I jumped at the chance because I really wanted to see what 770 lumens from a single LED looks like. I can now confirm that 770 lumens is a whole lot of light.
EagleTac is a company that I have wanted to check out for sometime. Their lights generally get good reviews and seem to offer a good value for what they cost. All that aside, what really interested me in EagleTac is their documentation. While many light makers tell you how much light their flashlights can put out at the LED, EagleTac gives you that number and an actual output that is taken from a calibrated integrating sphere (a device for measuring the output of a light). The actual measured output takes into account the light loss from the reflector and lens. Many people don’t realize that only about 70-90% of the advertised lumen rating of many lights actually make it out the front of the light. This level of transparency and honesty in advertising is refreshing.
The G25C2 is a single LED flashlight that is marketed as a tactical light. At 6″ long and 1.5″ wide at the bezel, it is not a small light. It can be powered with 2 CR123A batteries, 2 RCR123A batteries, or 18650 li-ion battery in the configuration that I tested (there are battery extenders available that allow different battery options). It features 5 output levels that are spread over 2 modes, 2 strobe frequencies, and 5 hidden auxiliary modes (more on all these modes and levels later). It features a large, orange peel textured reflector, finely machined knurling, aluminum construction, black hard anodizing, a removable pocket clip, a blackened stainless steel bezel, and many other features. EagleTac lights are designed in Washington by EagleTac and assembled in China.
In the Box
Apart from the light itself, there are several items that come packaged with the G25C2 including: a glow in the dark switch boot, spare o-rings, a low profile grip ring, a tail-stand rubber boot, a lanyard, a lanyard ring, the user manual, and a sheath. Many of these items are very useful while others seem like an afterthought.
The sheath seems to be of decent quality (not great) but it is far too large to consider using on anything other than a duty belt. It is made of a semi-rigid nylon material that has small indentations that retain the light even if the flap is open. I think if I was going to carry a light like this on the belt, I would get some custom kydex made for it.
The metal gate clip on the lanyard is a bit cheap feeling but the rest of the lanyard and lanyard attachment point is quite usable. The lanyard attachment point is detachable from the light and must be removed in order to attach the tail-stand boot.
The tail-stand boot is easily one of the most clever accessories that I have ever seen included with a flashlight. It can be stretched onto the tailcap of the light and allows the light to stand on end. This allows you to sit the light on a flat surface and bounce the beam off the ceiling to light a room. It also functions well as a guard to protect the switch from accidental activation.
The user manual that comes with the G25C2 is surprisingly excellent. It contains succinct and useful instructions and information about the flashlight. There are numerous graphs and graphics that do a good job of conveying necessary information. I am so used to horrible, useless user manuals that it is extremely refreshing to find a good one.
Fit and Finish
The fit and finish are very good. The threads are large and rotate smoothly. The o-rings are properly sized to seal the light from water and dust. The knurling is very finely machined. The hard anodized finish is smooth and evenly applied. The polished aluminum reflector is massive and beautifully finished. The gun metal colored stainless steel bezel ring is a very attractive touch. The light even comes with lubricated threads and o-rings which one of those extra little things that shows that EagleTac really cares about their product. Over all this light is constructed very, very well. It certainly feels very durable and, in my testing, it showed no signs of having any durability issues.
There are a few things that might nag some users. The pocket clip is sturdy but it can loosen easily. It doesn’t loosen to the point that you will loose the light but it does wiggle even if the retaining ring is tight. I also noticed a lot of dust inside the bezel of the light on the lens. EagleTac went to great length to create an efficient reflector and uses very high quality glass with AR coatings, so it seems strange that they would allow dust in the bezel.
Output and Run Time
The G25C2 has 4 output levels in mode 1. The version of the G25C2 that I have uses a CREE XM-L U Bin LED to pump out 770/320/59/2 lumens depending on output level. The actual measured output is 640/267/49/2 lumens. These numbers underscore just how much advertised claims and actual measured output can vary. I applaud EagleTac for publishing these numbers.
The run time on this light is pretty impressive. It will run for 1.1/3.5/20/200 hours depending on output level. It wasn’t that long ago that LEDs finally became capable of “tactical” level output and you could get 60 lumens for 1 hour. Now, with the G25C2, you can have 770 lumens for 1 hour and about 60 lumens for 20 hours. Amazing.
The user interface of the G25C2 sounds somewhat complicated on paper and in some ways it is complicated. However, if you stick with the basics, it can be very easy to use. Most of the switching between modes and output levels is accomplished by twisting the bezel but there are some clicks of the switch involved in switching between some functions. Thankfully, the levels are basically set-and-forget. Levels can be selected with the bezel and the switch is only used for on and off when the level is selected.
There are 2 modes each with 4 settings. My sample G25C2 came set in Mode2 which has 2 output levels (770/90 lumens) and 2 strobe settings. Mode 1 consists of 4 output levels (770/320/59/2 lumens). These modes are basically just two different sets of output levels. They dictate how the flashlight behaves when you twist the bezel. Moving between the levels included in each mode is accomplished by twisting the bezel so you can set the desired level and then you can be assured that hitting the switch will result in the light mode of your choice (or in Mode 1, disorienting strobe).
The 5 auxiliary modes are somewhat difficult to access. Switching through them involves quickly rotating the bezel quickly from level 1 to level 3 (or 4) and then back to level 1. The modes are accessed in this order: Disorienting strobe/Flash(Hi)/S.O.S./Beacon/Flash(Lo). This is a bit cumbersome but I suppose these are basically hidden modes that are not necessary to most users.
I think it is hard to get a real idea of what a light is all about by shining it at white walls and the ceiling so I basically set about using this light for real world tasks as often as I could for several months. I am not police or military so I can’t comment as to whether this would be a suitable duty light for those types of users but I was struck by just how well this light works for general utility, camping, hiking, and preparedness. The long run times of the lower output levels make this exceedingly useful for those times that the power goes out or when the sun sets on the trail and you are still miles from your car.
EagleTac did a great job of splitting up the output levels. They are spaced well enough that each level is very distinct from the other and provides drastically different run times.
The lower output settings on the G25C2 are great. The 2 lumen setting is actually more than enough light to get around in a dark house or even a dark trail and at 200 hours run time, it conserves battery capacity for times when the higher output modes are needed. The 59 lumen setting is great for when you need to look further down the trail or need to light up a bathroom during a power outage but is still relatively thrifty with the battery at 20 hours run time.
The higher output settings are really awe inspiring. The 770 lumen high mode is absolutely amazing. 770 lumens is a lot of light. It is enough light to light a large room when bounced off the ceiling and enough light to spot items over 200 yards away. The 320 lumen setting is no slouch either and it can be handy for those times that you may need high output but still need to conserve run time.
The beam is very balanced thanks to the reflector design. I mentioned above that it can throw enough light to see items over 200 yards away which would make you think that the beam is very focused, and it is, but it also has a very bright and wide spill beam. Much of the light is focused into a tight hotspot but there is a lot of useful spill that lights a very broad swath of your vision.
This light is not very well suited to pocket carry because of the size of it’s bezel and reflector. It could be carried on a belt or in a bag but I prefer my lights to be more accessible. This isn’t really intended to be an every day carry light.
The switch on this light is deserving of praise. It is a forward clicky switch which means that you can press lightly for momentary on or press and click for constant on. This switch offers good resistance and a strong click. It doesn’t feel mushy or sound weak like some low quality switches.
This would be an impressive light just by virtue of its output but the other features like well thought out output levels, long run times, useful accessories, quality construction, and a well balanced beam shape really make it a great light. It is probably more complicated than I would want for a pure tactical light but all the extra modes turn this into an excellent light for the camper, hiker, or prepared citizen. I’m impressed.
Check out the EagleTac G25C2 for a great price at EdgeTactical.net.
Disclosure: This light was provided to me, free of charge, for review by EdgeTactical.