Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Review - Quark Regular Series

The Quark Pro QPA uses a single AA battery.
A staple set of flashlights in the FOURSEVENS product line, the Quark Pro series (formerly the Quark Regular series) is more than enough flashlight for the majority of lighting tasks that you may come across. Being very similar to the Quark Tactical series, the Quark Pro series differs by the way the flashlight is programmed. The Quark Pro series also does not have a "momentary on" feature, but that is easily remedied, if you wish to have this feature, by purchasing an aftermarket tailcap.

The Quark Pro series spans a number of different flashlights, mainly varying by what kind and how many batteries it can contain. The series consist of 4 flashlights that use either one or two AA or CR123A batteries. Every once in a while, FOURSEVENS undergoes a change to their flashlights by upgrading the LED emitter, but the form and function of the lights remains the same.

The series shares many qualities between all of the lights. They all are constructed out of T-6061 aircraft grade aluminum that is Type III Hard Anodized in black. They have adequate knurling, which provides a good grip in the hand. They are all 0.87" in diameter but vary in length due to the amount of batteries that they contain.

Listed below are the specifics for each light in terms of size, weight, output and runtimes. These flashlights have been updated by FOURSEVENS to the new Gen2 CREE XP-G2 LED.

Quark Pro QPL (formerly the Quark 123):
Weight with Batteries 2.0 oz
Weight without Batteries 1.4 oz
Length 3.2 in
Head Diameter 0.87 in
Body Diameter 0.80 in
Bulb/Emmiter Cree XP-G2 LED
Operating Voltage Range 0.9V - 4.2V
Battery CR123A
Battery Amount 1
Max/Min Output 246 lumens/0.2 lumens
Max/Min Runtime 360 hours (Moonlight)/1 hour (Max)

Quark Pro QP2L (formerly the Quark 123²):
Weight with Batteries 2.8 oz
Weight without Batteries 1.6 oz
Length 4.4 in
Head Diameter 0.87 in
Body Diameter 0.80 in
Bulb/Emmiter Cree XP-G2 LED
Operating Voltage Range 3.0V - 9.0V
Battery CR123A
Battery Amount 2
Max/Min Output 276 lumens/0.2 lumens
Max/Min Runtime 720 hours (Moonlight)/2 hours (Max)

Quark Pro QPA (formerly the Quark AA):
Weight with Batteries 2.5 oz
Weight without Batteries 1.6 oz
Length 3.8 in
Head Diameter 0.87 in
Body Diameter 0.80 in
Bulb/Emmiter Cree XP-G2 LED
Operating Voltage Range 0.9V - 4.2V
Battery AA
Battery Amount 1
Max/Min Output 131 lumens/0.2 lumens
Max/Min Runtime 240 hours (Moonlight)/1 hour (Max)

Quark Pro QP2A (formerly the Quark AA²):
Weight with Batteries 3.8 oz
Weight without Batteries 2.1 oz
Length 5.8 in
Head Diameter 0.87 in
Body Diameter 0.80 in
Bulb/Emmiter Cree XP-G2 LED
Operating Voltage Range 0.9V - 4.2V
Battery AA
Battery Amount 2
Max/Min Output 246 lumens/0.2 lumens
Max/Min Runtime 720 hours (Moonlight)/1 hour (Max)

As you can see, the Quarks are very bright. All of them, except for the Quark Pro QPA, are similar in brightness. The Quark Pro QPA is less bright, because it only uses a single AA battery, which only offers 1.5V. This makes the LED not shine as bright.

Protecting the LED of every Quark is an impact-resistant glass lens. There is a sapphire coating on the outside and anti-reflective coating on the inside to keep efficiency and durability high. The reflector of each Quark has an orange peel texture, which gives a very nice and even beam pattern. This flashlight is a flooder, which means that it is great for up-close to medium-range lighting.

Operation

All Quark flashlights, even the Quark AA²,
come with many included accessories.
The light is turned on with a tailcap clicky switch. The tailcap is flat, which allows it to be stood on end, called "candle mode". This is great for illuminating a room, since the light bounces off of the ceiling, evenly illuminating the area.

The two most commonly used modes are Max and Moonlight, the highest and lowest modes. To access Max, you simply tighten the bezel. To access Moonlight, you just loosen the bezel a half-turn. That's it.

You can also cycle through the other modes just as easily. Lightly depress the button momentarily (you don't need to "click" it off) and the output will switch to the next mode. The mode sequence is determined by whether the bezel is tightened or loosened:

Loosened Bezel: Moonlight » Low » Medium » High » SOS » Beacon

Tightened Bezel: Max » Strobe

Once the flashlight has been turned off for at least three seconds, it will revert to the first level of output in the sequence, either Moonlight or Max.

Carrying the Quark

The Quark can be carried in many ways. The smaller Quarks, which use single batteries, are small enough for be carried in a pocket. The Quarks also come with an included carry pouch, which can be attached to a belt, allowing the light to be easily carried.

The pocket clip on the Quark Pro QPL is non-removable.
My favorite method of carrying the Quark is with the included pocket clip. All of the models have a removable pocket clip, except for the Quark Pro QPL. The pocket clip of the Quark Pro QPL is non-removable, but there are two versions, one with the clip and one without. The pocket clip is made of steel and holds the flashlight securely, but still allows the light to be removed easily for use.

The last thing that I wanted to mention is also one of the coolest. All of the flashlights in the Quark series are waterproof to 10 meters for 30 minutes, as rated by FOURSEVENS. I have personally tested this on a number of FOURSEVENS flashlights and have found the lights to be waterproof to at least 15 feet (it's the deepest that I have gone with them). It is safe to assume that the rating given by FOURSEVENS is legitimate.

Conclusion

The FOURSEVENS Quark series is a great series of lights. Whether for EDC (everyday carry) or for work, they are compact, bright and durable. They have a variety of lighting modes that make the flashlights very useful, not to mention, they come at a great price point. If you're looking for a everyday use flashlight, look no further than the Quark Regular series.