There’s something about ludicrously bright torches that really appeals to us. Perhaps it’s the fact that this writer still clearly remembers the EverReady era when torches provided the illumination of a wet match and chewed through batteries in minutes rather than hours, even days. We have the humble LED to thank for not only enhancing the way ahead but doing it for days and weeks on a single set of batteries.
The rechargeable 800 lumen MecArmy PT10 is a case in point. This little pocket titan is just 7.7cm long but is probably bright enough to illuminate a tennis court. Its wide diffuse beam is perfect for revealing the route ahead and, ingeniously, instead of switching on at full pelt, the first time you press the button it emits a soft glow instead so one doesn’t draw too much attention to oneself. However, when you hold the button, the beam strength jumps a notch higher, then higher still and then, when you think it can’t possibly get any brighter, it reaches full power and everything looks like it’s in broad daylight, well sort of. Furthermore, if you double tap the button, it skips straight to full beam. And if you hold the button from the off position it stays on full beam for as long as your thumb’s on the button. Finally there’s strobe for really attracting some attention or disorientating an assailant. Lots of handy features, in other words.
The PT10 features three Cree XP-G2 LEDs and charges via a micro USB connection in just 90 minutes. It’s not the cheapest shiner on the shelf but it’s superbly designed, is comfortably grippy and, for a torch so small, it has one of the brightest beams in the business.