Every once in a while a product exceeds my expectations so much I have to tell the world about it. This is the case with my latest Every Day Carry (EDC) item the “4Sevens Quark Mini 123” flashlight ($39 retail price).
Not only is this one of the smallest flashlights I have ever used it far surpasses my old standby the Surefire 6Z that I reviewed back in January 2009. I first learned about the Quark Mini 123 while looking around on the Every Day Carry site.
The EDC site is a place for people to submit photographs of the items they carry with them every day (tactical and otherwise). A common theme of these user submitted photos was the Quark Mini 123.
With my curiosity piqued I did some searching on the web and found several reviews on YouTube, all of which were very favorable regarding this flashlight. That was enough for me to order one to see for myself.
I’ve included the specifications of this flashlight at the end of this review but here’s one spec you need to know. This little light can produce 180 Lumens of light, and it only uses a single 123 sized lithium battery! The Surefire with LED head produces 80 Lumens (and uses two 123 batteries) and I thought that was bright enough!
How bright is 180 Lumens? Remember those AA MagLights we all had at one point or another (or still have)? That light produces 15.2 average Lumens and a run time of 5.5 hours on alkaline batteries. A three D cell MagLight model produces on average 76.8 Lumens with a run time of about 9 hours.
Something to note about the above comparison is that the MagLights are using incandescent light bulbs (filament inside of a vacuum). Most “modern” flashlights are now using LED bulbs that produce an incredible amount of light given their size and power input. I upgraded the Surefire to an LED head to get the 80 Lumens of output (it produced 65 with its incandescent bulb from the factory)
LED bulbs also generate a lot of heat to prolonged use can cause the light to get a little warm (hot in the case of the Surefire 6Z) LED bulbs are not easily replaceable in the field either. The good thing is they last a lot longer than incandescent bulbs.
To activate the Quark MiNi 123, tighten the bezel clockwise. The light will turn on when the bezel is fully tightened, and turn off when the bezel is loosened. Turning the light on/off quickly will activate the 3 output settings (Low/Med/High). Cycle through the output settings twice (within about 5 seconds) and you will activate the “special” settings (Strobe, SOS, High/Low Beacon).
I can’t say enough about this little light. It’s about the size of an average thumb and easily fits in any pocket. The included lanyard is a good way to keep track of the light because it’s easily misplaced.
I still keep my Surefire in my EDC bag but the Quark Mini 123 is my preferred light just about every time.
4Sevens Q Mini X 123 Specifications (from the 4Sevens.com site):
- LED: CREE XP-G R5
- Max Output: 180 Out-the-front (OTF) lumens
- Material: Type-III Hard-anodized Aircraft-grade Aluminum
- Lens: Optical-grade glass lens with anti-reflective coating on both sides
- Reflector: Light orange-peel textured
- Water resistance: IPX-8
- Battery: One lithium CR123A (3V) – do not use rechargeable RCR123As
Seven Output Modes:
- Low: 3 OTF lumens, 150 hours
- Medium: 40 OTF lumens, 8 hours
- High: 180 OTF lumens, 1.2 hours
- Special (hidden) modes:
- Strobe 2.4 hours
- SOS 7.2 hours
- Beacon (Hi) 12 hours
- Beacon (Lo) 60 hours
- Length: 2.3 inches
- Diameter: 0.80 inches
- Weight: 0.62 ounces (w/o battery)
Included accessories: Lanyard, split ring for keychain attachment, spare o-ring.