Eagletac SX25L3 MT-G2 Kit
Reviewer’s Overall Rating: ★★★★1/2
3x18650 rechargeable or 6xCR123A primary cells
Electronic; 1x Side or 1x Side/1x Tail
100, 45, 7, 1 or 100, 10
MT-G2, 5000k (EasyWhite)
AR-coated, water white glass
I got a deal on it.
August 27th, 2013
Exceptional Brightness/Volume ratio
Fantastic machining, fitment, and anodizing
Healthy spread of accessory accoutrements
+Practical mode spacing
+Swapping out thread-on bezel accessories does not compromise ingress protection
++Head-twist UI is slick and straightforward
++Optimal battery configuration for this emitter
++Also accepts primary cells
+Tint (lack thereof)
- -Small =/= Ergonomic
- -Diminutive side switch is stiff, can be take too long to locate, and offers little tactile feedback when pressed.
- -Tail switch accessory feels like an afterthought
-Came with silicone grease on bare aluminum head/body threads
Three small chips in the finish out of the box
Some accessories are less useful to me than others (YMMV)
Features / Value: ★★★★☆
As of October 2013, the SX25L3 MT-G2 has possibly the highest regulated brightness-per-volume of any LED torch. Unlike some other MT-G2 lights, the serial cell configuration allowed Eagletac to fully drive the MT-G2 until the cells are tuckered out. There is a low-voltage warning for 3x18650 LiCo/LiMn cells that makes the light blink once per minute once combined battery voltage falls below 9.1V.
I appreciate that it has a ten year performance guarantee. I’ll try to make a point not to forget that down the road.
I really enjoy the perfect wall of light that the white diffuser provides. The holster really grabs the light confidently—I like it. The color filters appear to be quality items but I may only ever use the red and blue, and rarely at that. The tailswitch is a nice alternative to the side switch in a sense because it’s infallibly easy to find in the dark, but with body being somewhat thick for tailswitch use it’s only serviceable and not a perfect solution. I have fairly large (but not ‘banana’) hands. Props if you caught the Shallow Hal quote. You may be better off getting the non-kit version.
Design / Build Quality: ★★★★☆
The fitment of the parts is spectacular. I like the idea of using the head to change modes. Twisting the head is absolutely SILKY smooth, especially after I hit the bare Al threads with some CRC-226 electrical contact cleaner to remove the Nyogel/silicone grease that was applied at the factory. It requires just the right amount of torque to overcome static friction between the O-ring on the head and the inside of the body. Once the head begins turning, there’s positively ZERO grittiness.
The joy of the precise machine work nearly makes up for the fact that the button is nearly lifeless as far as tactile feedback is concerned. Mind that it’s not mushy—it offers but a miniscule ‘pop’ signalling the end of its short travel. So, the act of pressing the button is not exactly satisfying, viscerally. In contrast, the electronic switches in my Maglite ML125 and XL-50 ‘break’ crisply and with healthy “CLK” and “POP” sounds, respectively. I liken the feel of those two switches to the second stage of a nice Savage AccuTrigger—with the SX25L3’s being a Benjamin Blue Streak trigger. Eagletac seems to have chosen a quality switch and boot for this light but I insist that they work on improving the switch feel for their future models.
Eagletac should also consider changes to the body design for the next iteration of the SX25L3. The current body design does not exactly facilitate finding the switch in the dark when pulling out the light from a jacket pocket, for example. I imagine it would be more difficult with gloves on. That being said, finding the switch is never really a hassle; it simply takes longer than it should. They could improve this by machining the two “Vienna Fingers”-esque cutouts so they diametrically oppose each other. This way, the hand will have a more natural sense of thumb-to-switch ‘proprioception.’ In other words, easier orientation in the dark.
I like the feeling of holding this light: it’s got a reassuring heft. I had initially worried the head might rattle in a loosened state—but fear not. It’s rock solid, thanks to chunky, well-machined threads and excellent O-ring fitment. I can switch through all modes with one hand. After a little bit of use I learned how to index the switch’s position with respect to the round cutout, so I can effortlessly choose what mode I want while it’s still off.
Battery Life: ★★★★★
As far as efficiency goes, this one competes with lights that use an extra 18650. No PWM is used for modes, visible or otherwise. Overall a pretty impressive showing by Eagletac’s engineering department. I like that the timed 25% drop can be set to drop by just 10% instead. No drop would have been preferable. Eagletac has the right idea by using 3x18650 to drive the MT-G2 hard. Perfect regulation is perfect.
I’ll refer you to Selfbuilt’s professional grade review for such detail.
The ability to use six CR123A cells should be great feature in a pinch.
Light Output: ★★★★★
It will handily throw down with all 200W worth of my apartment’s incandescent living room lamps turned on all at once. I’ll try to update soon with some ceiling bounce comparison shots. It made me chuckle like a maniac when I turned it on outside for the first time.
A quick ceiling bounce test with my iPhone 4S’s light meter app says the levels are: 100, 43, 3, 0.5.
So, if High is 2375L, Medium calculates to 1029L, Low is about 70 lumens, and LowLow is 12 lumens. Take those with a grain of salt, especially LowLow. Low appears to be lower than 100 lumens to my eyes, though. A Mag 2D XP-E (134 lumens) appears noticeably brighter in a ceiling bounce than the ET’s Low mode.
Overall, I like the mode spacing. I’d be happy if Medium were a tad lower: 700 lumens or about 30% of High would do it.
Summary: ★★★★☆+1/2 stars
First, I must give props to E2 Field Gear for their customer service and their lightning-round flash sales! Without the surprise sale I would’ve had to wait a while to own this fine light. They shipped my SX25L3 out quickly even though I went with the free shipping option.
The size is excellent: I can simply throw it in a sock and put in the small zippered compartment in my backpack and forget about it. The diminutive size makes it that much easier to have the light with you in the event that you need it; that counts for a lot in my book.
One more point that I deem important: The tint is simply fantastic. I bought an MT-G2 light rather than one with multiple XM-Ls/2s because I’d been hearing fantastic things about the consistency of the MT-G2’s tint across the beam; I am not disappointed. I’m surprised by how natural night scenes appear despite this particular MT-G2 being ‘just’ a 75 CRI emitter. I attribute this to the perfect tint consistency. I’ve built a few XM-L 3C lights and the “Cree rainbow” (kreisler’s term) makes their hotspots appear icky yellow in comparison to the consistent and natural 5000k tint of the SX25L3 (compared at all levels). I believe that people who don’t think they like neutral white would like this light-emitter combination.
I wish I could figure out how to un-bold everything…
And I’d like to know how I split this thread off into an alternate dimension: https://budgetlightforum.com/t/-/21880