MecArmy PT26 Review
Well I haven’t ever done this with a review article before but I’m going to add a little bit for this product as I have had it for a while now and I think it deserves more praise than it originally received (not that I did not think it was already a good product then). This is a really impressive torch, and I’m not saying that for any reason beyond the truth of it and well worth the money given its capabilties. With the winter rolling in the nights have been getting much darker, and I live on the side of a mountain with some forest running around it and when I walk the dogs (even just over the rugby and football fields) it really isn’t suitable to wander around without any form of light. I always though that the torches I used where more than adequate but the fact of the matter is up until now I have really just been making the best of a bad situation. Previously I could just about make the dogs running around the fields (which I used to think was good) and I have some torches that cost upwards of £50, so it isn’t like they were cheap, but using this is completely different. I see my dogs across both of the fields with ease. I even lit up a decent chunk of the mountain next to them. The advantage of it being almost completely black up there is to really see the difference this torch makes. You go from seeing nothing at all to being able to see branches and leaves 100 meters away (I really couldn’t imagine a torch this small producing that much light), it’s more powerful than my car headlights. I thought the lack of focusing capability was somewhat of a weakness as most of the other torches I have can be turned into spotlights and that function made them appear more powerful than they actually are. I happened to go out over the weekend with my partner who had one of my other torches and I obviously had this one. It was only when we compared them side by side that I realised what a difference this was. Spotlight aside, the power was substantially greater and you really wouldn’t believe how bright such a compact torch can be. If you have read some of my other torch reviews I have mentioned that I use a different camera now to what I had about 4 months ago. My mother gifted it to me from her collection, then realised she gave me the wrong one, and unfortunately the one she gave me instead is actually terrible for my purposes (it doesn’t do close-ups very well and it struggles to get a decent picture in the dark) I have made do with it but effectively all of my pictures of torches have not shown quite how bright they really are in real life compared to the old camera. I will borrow the old one and update these pictures over the next few weeks as this torch really deserves better images than I have taken. Anyway that’s my update.
*End of Update*
It comes with a carry pouch that has a belt loop and D ring on the back and a premium looking soft wrist lanyard. I don’t know if all of these come with the 26650 battery but mine did which gives it the most power and lifespan on a single charge and it also came with a plastic sleeve for the smaller 18650 batteries. There is also a small USB cable for charging and 2 spare O-rings to keep your torch water-tight.
The torch itself is quite short but chunky and, while I would prefer it to be an inch longer, it is comfortable to hold and the diamond grip helps give you some extra grip. Its IPx8 rated so it should withstand being submerged below 1m although I haven’t found any information regarding maximum depth or length of time it can be submerged for so I just assume it’s not designed with scuba diving in mind to be safe I will immediately recover it if dropped.
It has a charge and bank capability meaning you can charge another item from the USB slot. There is a full-sized USB slot along with the two micro-USB its easy to tell which you use to charge the torch(micro-USB) and which you use for other devices (USB) and as you can purchase separate batteries at your leisure you can carry as many batteries as you want to charge any other devices you take out with you. This is especially great news for people who are camping or adventuring outdoors for extended periods of time. The double micro-USB is for fast charging (2.5 hours) which is a nice feature as a lot of the time I go adventuring spur the moment so, it’s handy to know I can get a quick charge in for an hour and have plenty of power for a night out.
The are 4 different light settings although depending on the battery you use they will have varying stats. Low, medium, high and turbo. If you use the 26650 battery then you will get more lumens on each setting. You get 3-15 lumen increase on low medium and high but a massive 2500 lumen increase on turbo and a 30-50% increase on run time per charge, so it’s definitely worth spending the extra money for the bigger batteries. you cycle through the modes by holding the button down when the torch is on although if you double tap the switch when off the light automatically goes into turbo which is nice. The only downside is that the torch has no memory function so every time you switch it on it starts on low. I don’t think this is a problem personally as I would likely use more power than I require using higher intensity settings but some people do prefer to have it start higher. Low however, is plenty for walking around and keeping a low profile and I dare say if you had to rely on this torch for survival purposes the lifespan of a single battery and the multiple settings would be a huge advantage. It is undoubtedly one of the best choices for a bug-out bug or if you frequently fly or go sailing I would highly recommend you have this in case of emergencies.
I have used this torch in a few different environments. I have walked the dogs through the woods in the night ( I prefer the privacy and ease of not needing to worry about my dogs misbehaving around strangers), taken it to a camp spot (also at night otherwise it would have been rather pointless) and I’ve tested it around the house also. Using the tail stand to leave the torch in one spot I set it on low and still found it easy to navigate my lounge (more so than the lantern I have) and it lights up my large back garden on high and turbo. The high and turbo settings have been my preferred choice when wandering through the forest as in the middle of the night the more light you have the safer you feel. I have caught glances of the light coming from the LED’s and am confident any ‘would be’ attackers would be immediately blinded and disoriented if I were to shine it directly shine it into their eyes (my eyes hurt just from peripheral glare).
Well it definitely is a well made piece of kit, it’s very solid and it has some nice features to go with it. I would like it to be a bit longer so that I could maybe get two batteries in for extended use but, it’s not like it doesn’t have a long lifespan on just the one 26550 and it’s easy enough to carry spares. With the IPx8 rating its suitable for a variety of outdoor purposes from walking the dog to exploring spooky locations. It has an impressive beam range and comes with the very handy carrying pouch if you want to attach it to your belt. I haven’t used a torch this powerful before that didn’t require a rucksack to carry and a fist sized battery to power it. It sits on my belt very comfortably and the compact size means it’s never in the way when walking through dense shrubbery. This will definitely be my main torch for the foreseeable future replacing my cheap ‘generic’ brand torch. I do highly recommend it and you wont be dissatisfied with its capabilities.