Review: Crelant 7G2CS

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Tecmo
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Review: Crelant 7G2CS

Crelant 7G2CS

Reviewer's Overall Rating: ★★★★

 

Summary:

Battery: 18650
Switch: Forward Clicky and side switch
Modes: High, medium, strobe, sos and variable
LED Type: XM-L U3
Lens: AR coated glass
Tailstands: Very well
Price Paid: $10 shipping from Crelant giveaway of 77 lights
Recommended: http://www.md-lightsource.com/Crelant-7G2CS-658-Lumen-Tactical-flashlight-XML-U2-7G2CS.htm
Normal price: $45-55

Pros:

  • Nicely built
  • Infinitely variable
  • Still bright with low current draw on 18650
  • Very bright on 2x16340
  • Well-defined beam
  • Bigger than expected
  • Side switch to change modes and turn off in standby
  • Not too hard to hit the lowest low while ramping
  • Nice feel and placement of cigar grip
  • Very good tailstander
  • SS bezels front and back

Cons:

  • No clip
  • Not optimized for 18650 in brightness or regulation
  • Side switch sticks out
  • Tail switch very recessed
  • Some battery rattle even with 18650 when shaken

Size Comparison:


Left to right:  UltraOk 26650 thrower, Small Sun ZY-A629, Armytek Predator, Crelant 7G2CS, UF 504B, Crelant 7G3CS

 

The Crelant 7G2CS was a bigger light than I thought.  I was thinking it would be p60 sized, but it's a little larger.  Unlike a p60 xml beam pattern, this light can actually throw a defined hotspot.  The main drawback of this light is the 18650 support.  The light is regulated on two 16340 batteries, and it seems all the Crelant drivers are simlar.  Turn it on at the tailcap and it puts out 556 lumens on high.  Click the side switch and it goes into its 68 lumen low mode.  Hold down the switch and it will go into a ramping mode.  You can get the light all the way down to 1 lumen if you time it right.... it doesn't give you any warning when it reaches the low point before it ramps back up.  When it gets to the high point it will flash to tell you, but you can always get there anyways by turning the tailcap off because it always comes back on in high mode.  When you stop the ramping, it will remember that brightness setting as long as you turn it off with the side switch (the third mode is standby).  Turn the light off with the tailcap and it will go back to the high and low modes which are preset.

On 16340 the light puts out 811 lumens on high and 199 on low.  It will get down to 7 lumens, but the ramping seems quicker and harder to hit the low.  I have not tested cr123 primaries but assume the output will be between the 18650 and 16340 outputs, closer to the 2x16340.  Lux on 18650 is 9940cd.  Not a great thrower but respectable for it's size.  For comparison I have a nice xm-l p60 dropin that does 6500cd. 

The 18650 output is not regulated either.  It will steadily drop in output as the battery depletes.  I have to tell you though, as a general purpose light it puts out plenty.  When tailstanding and when I forgot the light was on high because of the smooth bezel, the light was only warm both times.  Heat issues are non-existant, this light is beefy.  I really like the heft, and it's not so small that the side switch seems silly, it fits the hand well.


The light is the newest update using the XM-L U3 CW emitter.  Crelant is very vigilant in getting the latest emitters in their lights.  I've never seen another company update their line as much as them.  I wouldn't be surprised if they start coming out with XM-L2 versions of their lights soon.

The XM-L is very well centered.  The giant plastic disk they use probably helps greatly in their QC.  You can see the blue hue from the AR coating reflecting off the lens.

A closer look and you can see the smooth reflector has some horizontal lines in it.  This produces a very nice beam, I was not expecting the nice spot this small light produces with the big xm-l emitter.

Tailstanding is very steady, thanks to the smooth SS ring on the bezel and deeply recessed tailcap.

The SS bezel on the front has no crenellations on it.  The "Foy" bezel is a nice touch, just be careful not to leave it on while standing upright because you might not be able to tell it is on.  I have actually done this already!

The head can be unscrewed to get a direct view of the emitter.  It is slightly recessed in the head like this to minimize the risk of damage if you want to use it in full flood mode.  The led is very fragile though, so I don't know if I would take a chance running it like this very often, but it is certainly a nice option to have. 

You have to unscrew the bezel and take out the glass to get to the reflector.  Looks a litttle rusty on the bottom, but the main thing is the top side of the reflector, which is perfect Smile

Nice machining on the modest cooling fins.  Threads came lubed and have a smooth action.  You can see the side switch sticks up a little over the outside of the light.  Though I haven't activated it by accident, it looks possible if the tailcap switch is on and the light is on standby.

Very flat tail results in great tailstanding.  The cigar grip is rubbery and nice to hold.  All the machining looks great, and the light feels very high quality. 

As you can see, the switch is very recessed in the tailcap.  This is nice for tailstanding but it could be hard to activate wearing gloves.  Of course you can always turn the light on and use the side switch to turn the light off into standby mode instead of using the tail switch.  I just don't know how much standby drain this puts on the batteries.

Another shot of the side switch sticking out of the side.

Tailcap threads were also lubed and very smooth.  Where the heck is the clip on this light?? It's not that hard, this light is pocket sized, where is the clip?

The spring is all that is visible from the inside of the head.  Flattop batteries work fine in this light, as there are springs at both ends.

The lanyard hole is on a small ring near the tailcap.  It is removeable if you take off the oring, but it is very unobtrusive so there is no reason to remove it.  It would leave a gap also, which just wouldn't look right.  The battery tube may be a little wide, as there is some battery rattle when shaken hard with a Tenergy flat top 18650.

Here's a shot of the inside of the tailcap. I had no trouble with any batteries due to the springs on both ends.

In summary I think this light is very nice.  It isn't the brightest and I would love to have a clip on it, but it does everything else very well.  For the price it would be hard to find an xm-l ramping light of this quality, and U3 lights are still pretty rare beasts.  It is quality and versatile, so I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for a light in this size and price range.  I'll try to get a shot of the beam compared to a p60 in the near future. 

Thanks for reading!

Edited by: sb56637 on 08/26/2014 - 17:19
MRsDNF
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Nice review Tecmo. Looks like a nice little light.

 

djozz quotes, "it came with chinese lettering that is chinese to me".

                      "My man mousehole needs one too"

old4570 said "I'm not an expert , so don't suffer from any such technical restrictions".

Old-Lumens. Highly admired and cherished member of Budget Light Forum. 11.5.2011 - 20.12.16. RIP.

 

Tecmo
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Thanks MRsDNF!

Just posted lux numbers. Looks like 9940cd. Not too bad for a small light putting out 556 lumens from an xml. I didn’t test with 2×16340, but if the lux extrapolates the same as the lumens that would put the lux at 14,498cd at 811 lumens.

Also a minus for the light, but I noticed some rattling from the battery when I unintentionally shook it. I thought they usually shook with 16340 installed, not 18650 Shocked It isn’t usually an issue, but I can make it rattle. Good part of that is there is plenty of room for even the biggest batteries.

Chicago X
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Very nice, thorough review. 

http://wardogsmakingithome.org/index.html

War Dogs, Making it Home - Rescue Dogs for Returning Vets

cruzer
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Any idea how far it throws?

i see you have both the 7g2cs and 7g3cs. which would you recommend for an EDC light?

the 3cs claims 200m while the 2cs claims 300m.

i read the 3cs doesnt have much spill. how does the 2cs compare?

thanks

Tecmo
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cruzer wrote:
Any idea how far it throws?

i see you have both the 7g2cs and 7g3cs. which would you recommend for an EDC light?

the 3cs claims 200m while the 2cs claims 300m.

i read the 3cs doesnt have much spill. how does the 2cs compare?

thanks

I measured 9940cd with the 7g2cs which is 200 meters throw with an 18650. With 2×16340 you might get 240 meters. One of the best throwers in this size light is the Armytek Predator and the one pictured in my review can’t even throw 300m.

As for the 7g3cs selfbuilt got 6200cd which is only 157 meters. It isn’t a thrower at all IMO. It is just too small. I would rather have seen a shallower reflector for more spill in a light this size. It’s great for projecting a lot of floody light outdoors but more tunnel vision indoors.

I don’t think the 7g2cs could be an edc. Kind of big and no clip. While the 7g3cs is a little long, it is very skinny and has a good clip, so I don’t see any reason it couldn’t be a nice edc.

ste-zo
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Nice review, thanks!

sb56637
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Thanks very much! Frontpage’d and Sticky’d.

Budget Light Forum ...where Frugal meets with Flashlight!

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Would protected panasonic ncr18650a fit in this fl.?
Did you confirm that it has a battery protection, flashes when battery drops to 3V and shuts down when down to 2,75V

Overall I like this fl. and I would buy it if under 40$, 45$ is a bit costly…

P.S. Of course, very nice review Wink
P.S.S. Which Predator is that, xml or xpg?

 

Tecmo
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Sirius9 wrote:
Would protected panasonic ncr18650a fit in this fl.?
Did you confirm that it has a battery protection, flashes when battery drops to 3V and shuts down when down to 2,75V

Overall I like this fl. and I would buy it if under 40$, 45$ is a bit costly…

P.S. Of course, very nice review Wink
P.S.S. Which Predator is that, xml or xpg?

I’m using Xtar 18700 2600mah which are pretty big. With the double springs it should have no trouble with any size. I will check on the protection.

If shipping is killing the deal for you DX has it now.

The Predator is a v1.2 xpg. I also have an old V1 with a xpg2 in it. I have no interest in the xml version, but that new 2.1A xpg2 one I’d love to have!

Oh and thanks! Smile

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Tecmo wrote:
If shipping is killing the deal for you DX has it now.

Noticed that ($44.30, anyone has a coupon code for discount there? :)), but I wonder if it is legit, they could put a picture of box also, don’t want it to be shipped in bubble bag!!!
O and I don’t have enough $ on my credit card now Flat Stare and by the time my bank starts working tomorrow it will probably be gone, just as Nitecore EA4…

 

gen1.3_
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Does your copy have the ring of Saturn? Very unpleasant to look at.

Tecmo
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I just checked again and the beam looks really good; but I do notice a ring way outside the spill. It is probably from reflection off the bezel.

gen1.3_
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Yes, that is what I notice too. After removing the bezel, it is still slightly visible.

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gen1.3_ wrote:
After removing the bezel…

Was it glued?

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No it wasn’t. Screw on.

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Hm, strange. Couldn’t unscrew mine on V31 Flat Stare And man I’ve tried everything. Can you post a pic of the bezel and the inner part of the head? Thanks in advance Wink

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I will when I get home. I have the v11a and the bezel is also glued and will not come off. Im guessing the 7G models are only removable.

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Aaahhh, interesting. Thanks for the info, gen Wink

Haterade
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Do you have any experience with the Jetbeam PC25, Klarus XT11, & Thrunite T11S to compare to the 7G2S?

I like copper

Tecmo
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I have a TN11S review

http://budgetlightforum.com/node/18633

The TN11S is about the same lumens on 18650 and 2×16340 but is bigger, thus it has more throw. Also the Crelant has ramping while the other has set modes. The Crelant geys much lower.

Haterade
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Non-hidden strobe on TN11S is a turn-off. Actually looking at the TN11 now. Sort of like it’s twist-to-turbo UI better.

I like copper

Octavian
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First hello to all members and flashlight fans!

I have this flashlight from aprx 3 years (XML U2), as you know is not so bright with 1×18650 and no regulation, I had few unsatisfactory attempts with 2×16340 (poor runtime) and I ended with Xtar IMR 18350 850 mAh. Matching is OK (I think no other 18350 can fit because dimensions)
Very good quality, true capacity and with them the flashlight is insane bright, flat regulation, no steps (!) full power easily for 25 min (I don’t know the current at the led) , test made 5 minutes max , 2-3 minutes cool down, 5 min and again 2-3 min cool down, because are no steps the flashlight can go exaggerated hot after 6-7 minutes on max!

On max output compared to my Eagletac T200C2 and I don’t see any difference on the brightness, of course aprx 100 lumens between ~750-850 is hard to see, there are some differences on hotspot (little more focused on Eagletac) but at general brightness to little difference to be observed on naked eye.

This flashlight I put it on “storage” more than a year because I was not satisfied how goes on 1×18650, but now in 2×18350 configuration became again one of my favorite for close actions Smile (because it is without discussion a flood light) .

PS: sorry for my bad English