I had met the owners of 4Sevens at Blade Show this year, and became familiar with the wide assortment of LED lights that they had to offer. A well known company, Fenix is relatively new, yet has won many awards among prestigious flashlight review sites. At Blade Show, the assortment of flashlight models was almost daunting as I inspected each one for the throw of the beam. Shining a flashlight in a bright large room isn’t any way to evaluate the capability of the tool. So when my buddy Dave off of the forums brought out his 3 1/4th inch Fenix P2D 100 flashlight, my interest was piqued. Impressed by the light output, I begged Dave to do a review on the light. After much hemming and hawing and more haggling to boot, he finally let go of his death grip on the little light and gave me the time and opportunity to give it a good workout in the woods. And, there’s no better reason to hit the woods at night than to do a flashlight review!
The Fenix P2D is a small, compact, one cell CR123 flashlight. This light fulfills the need of a high output yet dense beam that is perfect for my kind of backpacking. What is my kind of backpacking? Normally encompassing nocturnal animal viewing, I like to have a good throw and a tight focused spot. I use the light in turbo mode to get both of these features easily. The general mode has 3 other output levels and a SOS function. I used mostly the turbo mode and the lowest light setting for a “lantern” function inside the tent.
P2D Premium 100 Features (from Fenixlight.com)
• Utilizes a Premium (100) Luxeon Rebel LED with a life of 50,000 hours
• Two modes (6 types) of output, generation/turbo selected by turning the bezel (patented)
• General Mode: 11 lumens (30hrs) -> 50 lumens (5.5hrs) -> 100 lumens (2hrs) -> SOS
• Turbo Mode: 175 lumens (1hrs) -> Strobe
• Digitally Regulated for Constant Brightness
• Uses one 3V CR123A battery (Lithium)
• 8cm (Length) x 2.1cm (Diameter)
• Made of aircraft grade aluminum
• Durable Type III hard anodized finish
• 37.8-gram weight (excluding batteries)
• Waterproof to IPX-8 Standard
• Toughened ultra clear glass lens with AR coating
• Push-button tail cap switch
• Capable of standing up securely on a flat surface to serve as a candle
• Includes a holster, lanyard, two spare o-rings, and a rubber switch boot
I will humbly admit that I do not know the intricacies of voltage and battery life, much less the newer forms of LED bulbs available to the general public. My idea of a good flashlight is one that I can utilize outside spotlighting snakes and other various reptiles. I am biased as I rely on throw by figuring out how far the light reaches. I like to be able to spot something at least 80 meters away, and spot eye-shines from an even farther distance. This can present a problem when I go backpacking, as I can’t necessarily take my 1 million candlepower rechargeable spotlight with me. I’ve always been looking for alternatives, something along the lines of a spotlight that will stay in the pocket.
My buddy, Dave off the forums, showed such a torch to me one night; he had two with him as he thought he lost one a while back. He came from the north to visit some relatives in my state, and invited me to come down and say hi. Jilly, Dave, and I all went out for a day of fourwheeling and shooting and general normal NC manner. When we returned that night, Dave told me of a pond near the house where they were staying. He then busted out the two Fenix P2Ds, and pressed the buttons on the back of the lights as we went on our way. I was seriously impressed with the amount of light. “Dave,” I said, “let me borrow one of these and review it while we are out there.” Right from the start, I could tell that this item was special, and I was excited to see what how we would do navigating and searching out various animals with the compact torch.
The pond and the old lot were the last shroud of land the animals could cling onto due to the new housing development, and also the perfect spot to test out the lights. We started out towards the pond. After a short time, Dave’s sister alerted us that she saw something move in the faint glow, outside the spot of our omnipotent lights. Dave and I searched the area as both of our lights fixed on an ornery copperhead that was coiled in the grass just a few yards ahead. The vivid brown patterns danced in the aura cast by the P2D, and the the scale colors weren’t washed out as many other white LEDs seem to do. We examined the copperhead from afar for a short while more, establishing it was a yearling juvenile due to the green tail and the size. We decided we wanted to get a little closer in to it, but we made sure to maintain a respectful distance. I wouldn’t recommend approaching any animal that could be dangerous unless you have had the proper training and knowledge of what to do if something should happen. In other words, don’t try this at home. If you do, don’t call me!!
The little snake slithered away into the dirt pile pondering how it became daytime so quickly. Onward we went with our little nature walk gear test. As mentioned before, my idea of a light review is how well it can spot various sizes of animals, as this is the most common function of a flashlight in my pocket. A green frog was spotted across the pond as we continued observing other creatures both large and small. More species of frogs could be identified, along with the eye shines of many different wolf spiders in the area. The high version of the beam setting did well, and even though the flashlight became warm, it was still easy to hold in the hand. Later on that night, I was able to spotlight a black widow web from a good distance, and finding various beetles and insects were no problem. In camp, I found the low setting of the battery to be the handiest of the functions, as the CR123 battery still has not been replaced despite all the use.
If one tightens the bezel, the light is also adjustable, giving a dull glow that works well for reading, without putting too much white on the book face. This light has some serious battery time. Originally I was not an advocate for CR123 batteries, but some gentlemen much wiser showed me “the light”. I’m extremely pleased with this light, and I’m very interested to see some of the other high quality models that Fenix has to offer, like the larger versions. Spotlighting a bobcat from across a narrow valley in the middle of the Smokies may not be a dream anymore. And, too bad for poor Dave; now I have to figure out a way to trade for it to, because even though he already has one of these, I know he will want to go back to having to having two. The light is worth that much.