Thrunite Catapult V6 SST70 Review & Comparison (2836 Lumens, USB-C, 26650)

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liquidretro
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Thrunite Catapult V6 SST70 Review & Comparison (2836 Lumens, USB-C, 26650)

Today I have the newest Thrunite Catapult V6 with an interesting LED choice, the SST70 LED. Other updates include USB-C charging and it’s slightly longer in length. Thanks to Thrunite for sending this to me as well as providing a discount code which will be in the description below. Let’s get into that review.

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Packaging & Accessories
Packaging is like similar Thrunite products I have reviewed, it comes in a sturdy brown paper box with minimal information on the outside with only the company name, address, model number and LED designator. In my case it was hand checked Cool White. Inside the light was encased in egg crate foam. Accessory wise the light includes a Thrunite branded 5000mAh button top 26650 battery, 2 extra Orings, an extra USB cover, extra inner button rubber, split ring, Thrunite branded Lanyard with split ring, a Holster, a USB-A to C charging cable and a holster.



Construction
Construction of the Catapult V6 is on par with other recent Thrunite lights I have looked at such as the T2. It’s made of nicely machined aluminium and anodized in a black hard semi gloss coating. The tail caps on the Catapult V6 and TC20 look similar. Both are non magnetic and allow the light to tail stand. Each has a small hole for the included lanyard. Its one area where some will want a larger hole for paracord. There isn’t any knurling on the tail cap but I was able to get it off easily. Threads are square cut and lightly lubricated along with an Oring.



The body tube has a large diamond pattern milled around it. This is less deeply milled then the original V6 I have, and that’s not an improvement in my opinion. I prefer the deeper more grippy milling. The body tube is directional but doesn’t have any polarity markings on it for the battery. This light does come into 3 pieces the tail cap, body tube, and head.

The head is fairly large. The light has a flat aluminum bezel that can be unscrewed with considerable effort according to others on budget light forums. The lens is large and anti reflective coated glass. The reflector is smooth and deep with the LED nicely centered on a large white PCB. It’s a slightly different reflector than what the original V6 had. The head has minimal milled out areas and is slightly shorter then the original V6.

The button is metal feeling and has a hole for an indicator LED underneath for charging status. It’s an electric switch and requires medium effort to use.The PSB charging port cover is the same as the previous V6, but the port inside is different.

Size and Weight
I measured the length of the new Catapult at 137.3mm in length, 33mm on the body and 58mm at the head. Weight with the battery is 303.2g.

In comparison to the old V6 Catapult the new light is 19.3g heavier, and 6.3mm longer. Diameters are the same.






Retention
The new Catapult V6 comes with the same holster as before. It’s a pretty good holster, with minimal padding and a small Thrunite branding sewn in. It has a fixed belt strap on the back and Dring.

Here is what it looks like in my hand as well.

LED & Beam
The previous V6 model of the Thrunite Catapult used the Cree XHP35 HI LED, but Cree discontinued this LED in the first half of 2020, in favor of the XHP35.2 LED series. Instead of going with this LED, Thrunite has chosen to go with the SST70 LED. On paper this is a little of an odd choice on a thrower style light. The SST70 is a domed LED which usually are usually better for more floody applications. So let’s see how it works here.

The SST70 is in cool white only at the moment, but to my eye it’s not an obnoxiously cold cool white. Officially lumens are up, from 1700 in Turbo to 2836 on the new model. In practice this is kind of hard to see I notice it more in the spill with it being more intense then the older light. Candela is down from 140,650cd to 120,000cd and this is hard to see as well. The biggest difference is the hot spot size between the two lights. The new catapults hotspot is slightly larger when I compare the two. There is no PWM visible to the eye here, but my oscilloscope did detect a little bit in low mode only.


Heat & Runtime
Turbo on this light appears to have a timed step down at the 3 minute mark, where it steps down to 50% relative output for the next 30 minutes before stepping down to about 45% for most of the remaining 1:28:00 before rounding off and shutting off with LVP at 3.034V. Max heat I saw was at 26 minutes at 50.5C.

When I compared this to the previous model Catapult V6 with the Cree XHP35 HI I can say the SST70 while making more light is a bit less efficient. They both have the same timed turbo step down at 3 minutes, while the previous model is able to sustain this a little better but remember it’s producing a bit less light. The result is about 30 minutes more runtime with the previous model and during this it’s producing a higher percentage of relative output, but keep in mind the new model light produces more light in all modes, so it’s actually brighter.

UI
UI is clear and simple to follow. From off a short press starts the light off in low, and short presses will cycle up in modes to medium and high. When the light is on in any mode double click to shortcut to turbo, double click again takes you to strobe. To access firefly long press from off. The light also has memory and will turn on in the last mode accessed except for firefly, turbo and strobe modes. This is unchanged from the previous model.

Recharging
The 2021 Catapult V6 has onboard recharging via USB-C which is nice to see. However it requires the use of a USB-A to USB-C cable (included). I did not have any luck with this light charging via USB-C to C cable or via USB-C PD.

The total charge time from LVP at 3.034V to fully charged at 4.158V took 3:04:09 of the included 5000mAh 26650 battery. Max charge rate I saw was near 2A. The curve does look a little atypical, with a sudden drop to lower charging point as the battery reaches a certain capacity.


Pro’s

  • A bit more general purpose with the increased spill and more lumens then the outgoing model
  • Good build quality from Thrunite
  • Complete packaged light.

Con’s

  • Only available with cool white right now.
  • A bit longer and heavier then the previous design
  • Milling in the body isn’t as deep or grippy.
  • USB-C charging requires a A to C cable, C to C or PD doesn’t work.

Conclusion
I am not ready to call the Catapult V6 SST70 an all new light. It’s largely the same light as the original V6 but with a different LED and other small tweaks to better optimize the design for this new LED, as well as update the light to USB-C charging while they are at it.

As I mentioned before the LED that was being used in the C6 Catapult was discontinued and the SST70 was chosen in its place. I do commend Thrunite for doing a good job at optimizing the design with a slightly different reflector, slightly longer head design to adapt an LED that traditionally isn’t used for a thrower to a thrower light. The result is pretty close to the old V6 design in terms of throwing performance in the real world even though it doesn’t test quite as well via official numbers. The new light does have a bit more spill and slightly less throw distance but it’s not enough to really notice in my tests. Mode spacing could be a little closer in the lower modes but I have certainly seen worse.

The Catapult V6 has been a permanent member of my collection and gets used a decent amount because I like the size, feel in my hand and performance despite being cool white. The revised model I reviewed here retains most of that despite growing in length slight and having a less aggressive milling on the body. The increase in lumens isn’t drastic but the increase in spill is kind of nice when using for general purpose tasks. If you don’t have a Catapult V6 in you collection I can recommend whichever model you can get you hands on.

Pavlo
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Nice comparative review.
I’d be curious to know how the throw of each compares once the lights have stepped down to a sustainable output.

The SST70 requires 50% more lumens at turbo to attain similar throw to XHP35 in turbo.

Once the 3 minute mark hits and the step down kicks in to 50% output, is the throw still comparable?