MecArmy PT16 Flashlight Review

Preface

Another review light from GearBest! This time it’s the MecArmy PT16. I happen to really like cr123 flashlights, and this is my first triple! I was extremely excited to have this one provided by GearBest.


MecArmy PT16 Official Specs:

MecArmy PT16 triple
LED 3 CREE XP-G2
Reflector SMO
Max Output 1000 lumens
Working Voltage 2.5V-8.4V
Max Run Time 20 h
Recharge Time 90 m
Max Beam Distance 140m
Battery 16340 lithum ion
Length 67mm/2.638in
Head Size 28.8mm/1.134in
Weight 40g/1.411oz
Accessories Manual, Battery,O-ring, Lanyard

This section contains the manufacturer’s descriptions and claims, not my impressions or results.

MecArmy PT16 Review:

Key Features

  • Onboard charging (with indicator in dual red/green)
  • Triple LED
  • High output for small size

What’s Included

  • Flashlight
  • 16340
  • Adapter tube
  • Lanyard
  • Manual
  • Spare o-rings (3!)

Pictures

Might as well get right to it, so as always, here are all my pictures of this light, etc. Enjoy. All the pictures below are reused from this album.

Quality

This light feels extremely solid and well built. The threads are clean and smooth and appropriately lubed, and the anodizing is perfect throughout. The parts all snug very nicely and feel solid in-hand. The Micro-USB port seems well connected and I haven’t felt give in it at all (unlike other onboard-charging lights I’ve had, and microUSB ports in general).

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Manual

Manual contains guidelines for all of the PT series, but the UI is the same for all of them. That’s because they share a head, and the head is where the driver is! It’s a suitably passable manual, and informative, and in English.

It’s one sheet of paper, printed front and back.

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Power

The only power option for this light is a single 16340.
edit: a single 18350 would fit physically very easily, and I can’t see an electrical reason it wouldn’t work: I just don’t have any on hand to test, and I can make no claims on how the recharging would work with an 18350. It would be worth testing since on average the capacity of 18350’s looks to be slightly more than 16340s.

This light can’t be used while being charged (hey, some can!)

UI and Operation.

UI is pretty simple, but not necessarily something you’ve used before, so might take some practice. Note that there are at least two versions of the UI – I have the new one and haven’t tested the old one (which does sound quite bad!). The new UI improves on things appropriately, as we hope. Thank you companies, for appreciating user feedback! I believe users mentioned some level of programming with the old UI. There is no user programming whatsoever in the new UI (and there doesn’t need to be – the issue that sometimes needed user-programming was fixed).

As the manual says:

  • From OFF: 1 click for ON (Low mode)
  • From OFF: 2 click for Turbo
  • From OFF: 3 click for STROBE
  • From Strobe: Long press (>1 second) for SOS
  • From OFF: Press and hold for momentary ON (Turbo); release to turn OFF
  • From ON: 1 click for OFF
  • From ON: Press and hold to cycle through modes (Low/Med/High/Turbo)

It’s a pretty simple and intuitive UI. Unfortunately the modes don’t include a moonlight. This (and every?) light needs a moonlight, and for me it’s sorely missed.

The modes are pretty well spaced, though High and Turbo seem a little close.

The light has a timed stepdown in Turbo mode, after 3 minutes (to 70%). Output is also adjusted by “real time temperature monitoring” but the manual doesn’t go into further detail.

LED and Beam

This is a 3 x XP-G2. It’s the first triple I’ve had, and I love the triple aspect. Triples have great output while not driving the individual emitters quite so hard. This means less heat, which is a good thing. Unfortunately for my taste the light is a little cool, but not grossly so. If you’re hunting whitewalls, you’ll

Compared to my Convoy s2+, which is driven at 4.56A. Even at the stock 3.04A, that light is rated to 1000 lumens. So at 4.56A, it’s reaching at least it’s rated 1000 lumens. The PT16 is clearly brighter. Not by a lot but it’s definitely brighter.

The beam of this triple is very nice: Not quite spot, but still basically spot, if that makes sense. Very TIR-ey, and that’s a good thing. The lenses, while described by MecArmy as “SMO” are really what we’d call TIR. It’s a very nice looking TIR triple optic too, if there is such.

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Retention

You can retain this light on your person in any way you choose, so long as it’s a lanyard. This light does not come with a clip, and one can not be purchased for it. I’m not even sure how it would be connected, truthfully, though I’d love to have one on it. it does not come with a pouch, either.

The lanyard attaches in any of three holes on the tailcap.

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This is kind of unfortunate but again, I don’t know how a clip would fit on the light, and I would never use a pouch. So it just sits deep in my front pocket, and there it stays.

It’s not really a problem, but you can be aware of it. It might sound strange to say it but a clip on this light would not be suitable. It’s just too nice in hand to get ruined with the feel of a clip.

Build and Disassembly

This little flashlight is well built (as described above) and if I’m honest, I wasn’t able to get it apart very thoroughly. The bezel is apparently sealed on with loctite. I would love to get in there and check things out, but that didn’t happen this time. The head was just as unfriendly from the other side – I didn’t press my luck but the driver didn’t seem interested in exiting either.

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The tailcap of course comes off easily. The tailcap is almost completely anodized, and has no spring – only an unanodized contact point for the negative terminal of the battery, and a ring of unanodized aluminum where the butt of the cell compartment makes electrical contact for continuity. The threads themselves are anodized.

The other end of the cell compartment also has anodized threads, but the butt is not anodized here either – that makes contact with the gold ring on the outer edge of the driver. The positive terminal of course makes contact directly in the center of the driver with a small gold plated button.

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The head on this light seems to be common to the MecArmy PT series. PT10/14/16/18 appear to use the same head, while each accepting a different battery type. It’s a head that can certainly handle the heat – lots of mass, good working fins. This is good I’d guess, for keeping prices low. It’s bad in this case because the battery cell wasn’t sized down appropriately and the 16340 has at least 2mm of play room. It is held securely along it’s length, though, and that is enough to secure it along it’s width. A battery tube adapter has been provided. With the adapter in, the light rattles like crazy. That’s the adapter bouncing along the length of the light. I found this to be very dumb, and never used the adapter once. The battery by itself does not rattle at all.

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It will tailstand easily.

It doesn’t really roll (two ‘anti roll’ flat spots on the head).

The bezel has light crenelations and is a little sharp. Clearly this wouldn’t be a weapon because of it’s size. On the other hand, anything can be a weapon, and the crenelations can help. They also let a small amount of light seep out, if your light is doing a headstand.

Size

The diameter of the cell compartment is suitable for an 18650 already. And an 18650 is significantly more girthy than an 16340….

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What that means is that the tube is quite a bit larger than it really needs to be. The head needs to be this size (28.8 mm) in order to have room for triples and mass for heat-sinking (and because it’s common to all the lights in this series). Maybe the light would look funny with a tube appropriately sized for a 16340, but I’d rather that than the battery have 2 full mm to move around, and a useless battery shim. On the other hand, they seem to have sized the compartment appropriately for the PT10, and while it looks silly, at least the battery probably fits naturally. Anyway, the amount of extra room in here is no joke.

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The only way to retain this light on your person is with a lanyard. That’s important in the size category, because that means I’ll end up just throwing it in my pocket. how does it feel there? Well if you can already carry something like a Zebralight sc600/sc63 or a Nitecore MH20/clone, then this will be just fine. If you normally carry a BLF-348, then this will feel bulky and strange, and it’ll be hard to make it disappear. The head size compared to it’s length, make it’s somewhat unwieldy in a pocket.

Here’s the PT16 compared to most of my cr123/16340 lights (and some that aren’t!).

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L to R: Manker U11 (the only non-16340 light here – it’s 18650) Convoy s2+ shorty
MecArmy PT16
Olight S1 (brushed Ti)
Zebralight H31
Ultrafire WF-602C

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You can see that the PT16 doesn’t have a low quite as low as any of these. Interestingly it looks here that the U11 has the “best” low (Ultrafire notwithstanding – I’m not sure it was working at this point).

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Here’s the PT16 beside the Olight S1.

18 - FancWvw.jpgHere’s the S1 on top of the PT16 – clearly the head on the PT16 is a good bit bigger!

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Almost as big as the head on the U11, in fact. Side by side with the Manker U11.

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Beside items you know:

Money bill, and chapstick.

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Conundrums

  • Still have to basically unscrew the light to recharge it – might as well just pop the battery in the charger
  • The provided battery tube rattles dramatically, while the battery does not rattle at all
  • A pocket light with an easy-press, proud button, and no UI lock-out setting is strange to me
  • Even though everyone has a Micro-USB cable, I think at this price, one should be included (and it’s not).

Summary

I’m not sure my verbiage here makes it seem thus, but I thoroughly enjoy this light. I like carrying it. I like taking it out of my pocket and setting it on my desk to look at. I like to use it and momentarily fiddle with the UI, then be pleased with the output from such a small light. My only real complaint with this light is that it likes to turn itself on in my pocket (3x thus far). I love do moonlight, and the Low on this is too high for my tastes. But it’s a great light.

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Should you buy one? I think you should if you like using 16340 lights. If I was buying for myself, I’d probably go with the 18650 version (the PT18).

Pros

  • Rechargeable
  • Built in microUSB port with indicator
  • Will tailstand
  • High output from a 16340

Cons

  • Accidental activation (this WILL be an issue if you carry it in your pocket, even alone)
  • Battery tube is useless
  • Short runtime on high.
  • Still want to claim “no magnet” as a con…
  • No clip, no holster
  • Bezel is not removable (I want trits in there so badly)
  • Tint (it’s cool)
  • No moonlight

Final Thoughts

Great light, recommended. A couple of refinements could make this my most-recommended triple very easily. As it stands now, I fully recommend it if you don’t mind no moonlight, and a slightly cool tint.

Coupon Codes

Don’t forget to support GearBest, and remember the coupon code “Reddit” for 10% off regular price flashlights.

Thanks again to GearBest for providing this light for review! Future reviews include the NiteNumen NE01, and the Opus BT-C100 charger!

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