Which do you think would be a better EDC, the Fenix PD32 V2 or PD35 V3? Open to other 18650 light also. Just want quality components and reliability. Have a Warrior Mini 2 now but I am not impressed with the throw.
I have both, and the PD32 V2 is definitely the better light.
Mainly because the LED and beam profile is so much better. The PD35 V3 I have uses an SFT-40 with very green tint. On all but the highest two modes it’s very unpleasant to use. It’s also a little cooler than the PD32 V2 on turbo, at ~6500k. The spill is also very wide, with the hotspot being pretty spotty and only slightly larger than the PD32 V2 hotspot, so while it has ~500 more lumens than the PD32 V2, they’re spread out over such a larger area that visually, it’s no brighter than the PD32 V2 in actual use, and it’s just too wide for my taste. It also makes the hotspot and spill brightness ratio a little unbalanced, so on lower modes, the spill is too dim to use for walking, and in order to make it bright enough, the hotspot then becomes too intense. It’s still useable and some might like it, but it’s not ideal as an EDC IMO, maybe more as a tac light.
The PD32 V2 has a fantastic LED and beam. The balance between hotspot and spill is great - the spill is still plenty wide and visually brighter, and the hotspot is big enough with a bright corona. It’s great to use. The tint is also fantastic. ~5500k on low, no noticeable/bothersome greenishness, and very clean and neutral on turbo. Being a little warmer at ~6000k on turbo is also nice.
The PD32 V2 is also a bit smaller, and having no side switch makes for a smooth body that’s very ergonomic to use. I love the UI on it. Uses a unique two stage e-switch that mimics a forward-clicky mechanical switch from off with mode memory, and a reverse-clicky switch while on. So from off you get momentary with a long travel until you hit the second stage for constant on so you won’t accidentally full-press, and from on, a quick tap switches modes. It’s a lovely UI to use, very easy and intuitive, and useable without switching hand positions.
The PD32 V2 does only have 3 modes, so not everyone prefers it, but I find each mode perfectly spaced, and it makes it super fast to get to the level you want, or to leave it where you want (I leave mine in turbo). I can activate it and set the brightness I want while it’s in my pocket, then pull it out to use.
And of course, the PD32 V2 throws further. It’s super impressive, one of the top highest throw lights you can get with a ~25mm bezel, at 395m.
Only reason you would get the PD35 V3 is you REALLY need the 5 lumen low mode. I find the 30 lumen low on the PD32 V2 perfect for my use, but if you’re doing super close up stuff all the time, or got a ton of use out of the firefly mode on the warrior mini, maybe you’d want a lower mode.
The PD32 V2 is one of my all-time favorite lights. I think you’ll really like it especially if you want throw.
Another option is EagTac. The DX30LC2 (or the -r version) throws ~265/288m (depending on neutral white/cool white) with the default XP-L HI option, so ~65-88m more than the warrior mini. It also has the option for the same CSLPM1 that the PD32 V2 has, and with that it’ll throw ~320m which is really good throw for the size.
It’s super, super small and thin for an 18650 light - the thinnest 18650 light AFAIK, with a 22.5mm head and 22mm body. It’s really nice. Extremely lightweight too while still having robust build quality. I love the UI on it as well for my use and preference. The tail switch always starts on turbo, and if you hit the side switch+tail switch it starts on low. It’s a very easy shortcut to get the hang of - pull the light out of your pocket in a reverse grip, squeeze the light while turning it on and your pinky will hit the side switch and turn it on in low. 5 well-spaced modes. It’s awesome.
There’s also the PX30LC2-R, which is the same thing but the 22mm body flares out to a ~25mm bezel (same as the PD32 V2 and PD35 V3), so with XP-L HI it throws ~317m with great tint, and with CSLPM1 it will throw closer to ~360-380m. I’d go for this, maybe in XP-L HI, instead of the PD35 V3, if you wanted more modes than the PD32 V2.
Last the Thrunite TN12 Pro is worth a mention as the UI is a little more similar to the warrior mini. It’s last because it’s cheaper, and uses a FET driver so max output/throw will drop as the battery drains, but the build otherwise is decent. The tail switch is always turbo, with a nice intuitive separate side switch UI. Throws ~380m with SFT-40. I don’t have one though so I don’t know if it’s green on low - some SFT-40’s are, some aren’t. Overall I think it’s my least favorite because the driver, but I do like UI (it’s very similar to the Acebeam UI found on the EC35 II) and I wish it were on more lights.
But if you really like the UI on the warrior mini, both the Fenix and Eagtac UIs are very different so they might not be to your taste (though I like them). You could find a modder to swap a throwier LED like SFT-40 into your warrior mini. Or get a similarly-modded warrior mini 2.
Boy, if that does not answer his question, I don’t know what will.
Seriously, great answer.
Wow, that is very helpful. I think I am going to get the Fenix PD32 V2. I am going to place an order as soon as I figure out which headlamp to order. The Eagtac sounds nice too. Have not heard that name in quite a few years…I thought they were gone. Thanks again for such an informative post.
Any Fenix headlamp suggestions?
Nah, I don’t like the UI and lack of moonlight modes on the fenix headlamps. I’d go for an Armytek Wizard C2 Pro Nichia, Skillhunt H04RC, a Zebralight, or a Manker E03H II if you want something tiny.