How would you feel about having 300 lumen in your pocket? (I measure 265 in my integrating sphere – not enough to quibble about.) No big deal, right?
But what if:
-It was about the same size as your pinky finger?
-It weighed less than 2 ounces WITH the included battery?
-It used the ubiquitous AAA battery?
-It included a quality rechargeable AAA battery?
-It had 3 levels – 15-70-300 – activated by a simple twist/twist/twist interface?
-It fit on your key ring with a simple, secure but detachable split ring holder?
-It had a secure, detachable pocket clip?
-It cost less than $100?
-And it had the Surefire no hassle warranty?
That light exists in the form of the Surefire Titan Plus. This light is a follow up to the Titan A that started shipping earlier this year. The Titan A is a nice little light in its own right – 15 and 75 lumen, AAA, lightweight, and under $60.
But this review is about the Titan Plus, which while not perfect, is a near perfect EDC in the eyes of this reviewer.
The light is constructed of nickel-plated brass. Surefire was kind enough to send a sample for my evaluation although I had already purchased one a while back that I’ve been carrying one every day for about the last 6 weeks. I have the Titan A on my key ring, so this Titan plus is carried either clipped to the inside of my pocket or dropped into the bottom of my pocket with a jumble of keys, the other Titan and pocket change.
In this short period the light has suffered few scratches or marks of any kind – in fact, I’ve dropped it on concrete twice and really have to search to find any marks from those drops.
I mentioned the clip – it’s strong but removable by simply twisting off the tail.
On that tail is a lanyard hole that is covered by the removable “quick detach” tail cap that includes a stainless split ring.
I find the light a bit long and heavy for key ring carry, but for those who prefer this type of carry it’s a nice set up. Expect to exert some effort removing the tail cap – it has a snug grip that is doubtful to accidently release.
The beam is really nice. Surefire uses a faceted reflector that results in their “MaxVision Beam.”
Although this sounds like a nice marketing description, the fact is that the beam is VERY nice for my purposes as it projects a very smooth beam with a very slight hotspot that transitions to a smooth, wide beam. The tint is fairly neutral.
On the lowest setting it makes a useful close up light for reading and such – I use medium for most tasks (like walking my dog) – high is a useful blast that will light objects 50 feet or so away. Bear in mind that on high this little light gets warm quickly and will drain your battery in less than an hour of constant use. Battery life ratings with the included Eneloop Pro battery are 7 hours on low (15 lumen), 2 hours on medium (75 lumen) and 1 hour on high (300 lumen).
As for the battery, it’s already been noted that the light comes with a Panasonic Eneloop Pro. This battery requires a charger that tops out at around 1.5V. I use a Nitecore Intellicharger and usually charge the battery(ies) at 1.2V. I was already a fan of these cells for other lights and applications. You can also use a regular old alkaline cell.
The light isn’t without a few issues. Early versions seemed to suffer from having a pinched O-Ring at the lens. Although my first one did have this problem, once I noted it I never really thought about it again. I am a frequent writer and visitor on a popular flashlight forum, and much was made about this O-Ring problem early on, and there were a couple of mentions of moisture inside the lens – my light never had that problem.
Level of twist required for activation is easy enough that my large hands can work the light one handed, but some complain that the effort is too much for one hand. YMMV.
Activation can be squirrely (for lack of a better term). Textbook activation is twist on at low, twist again for medium then again for high. In reality, it’s more like twist on for low, another twist for medium, then a couple of twists for high. You can time it so that a slight delay from medium to high will activate high, but the general consensus has been 2 twists from medium to high. Again, your mileage may vary.
Some of the early ‘regular’ Titans (the “A”) varied in battery tube thickness – some batteries in random samples might not fit certain batteries or the batteries might be tight. Happily with my 4 Titan A and both Titan Pluses I have not experienced this problem – whether Eveready Lithium, Duracell Alkaline, Sanyo Eneloop or Panasonic Eneloop Pros – they all fit.
If you can’t tell already, I like this little light. The brightness it develops is impressive from 1 AAA cell, and the size makes it such that you might always end up with this light in your pocket should you need it. Using the ubiquitous AAA battery ensures that you will always be able to find power for the light, while the supplied Eneloop Pro will save you $$ on batteries – you’ll just need a charger.
Demand for this light is such that shipments are often 2-4 weeks after you order, but in my humble opinion the light is worth the wait.