I have a death grip on my Fenix LD09 and that’s not going to change, or is it? I have some very particular needs and required features when it comes to my EDC torch. It has to have the right set or as little compromise as possible. But there is always room for a worthy challenger or in this case a fantastic backup. I often hear through most schools of thought that “two is one and one is none” I have hesitated to back this up and actually carry two of anything but for as much as I use my torch I should have a backup. I recently got the Lumintop AAA in the mail and put it through its paces however I won’t compare it to the LD09 (that’s left to the Klarus) but rather look at it from a backup perspective and comment on if it could be an EDC option. Let’s get crackin’.
Overview_ This is one of the real features for this little AAA monster, it has almost no weight .53oz compared to some other devices like the ever popular Streamlight that weighs in at closer to 2oz. This gives an ultra-light feel and fits literally anywhere and they certainly include as much flexibility as possible while still remaining simple in operation. There is an option for tail cap activation or an included magnetic option that transitions it into twist activation that I found surprisingly easy to use. While it may seem silly to include the iridescent ring on the cap anyone who has dropped their light in a tight spot or at all will know this is something very handy. It has a modest price point at about $22 and while cheaper can be found you will sacrifice power and some weight with this little powerhouse weighing in at 110 lumens and .51oz it outshines most in a similar class that tends to come in at closer to 85 lumens and 2oz, let us take a closer look.
Top/Cap_ With two cap options it is actually very refreshing to have options, while I font leverage the twist models and prefer the push button it’s certainly nice to know if the mission changes or I need it, I have it. It has a particularly strong feel to the button in early testing, it’s solid with little play and even has a spare in the box just in case and also has some excellent traction on the button even with an ungloved hand. The one downside here is that the button sticks out past the casing so tail standing is not an option unless you want to change the cap. This is another challenge, the magnetic tails are handy but lacks any real strength, this is fine so it doesn’t magnetize everything in your pocket but if slightly bumped it comes free quite easily, this is where the illuminated top comes into play. It stands with the same features as most others in its class it a 1.5m drop resistance and the usual IPX8 (2m) waterproofing so nothing here that makes its unique but it does include two spare O-rings since both the top and tail come off. The beam on this is nothing special either, it doesn’t focus very tightly so expect to splash light all over the place but again for its size, it shouldn’t be expected.
Body_ This is your classic black model with the regular aircraft grade aluminum finish but there are other options, this is nice since it may come down to matching or stronger finished. This is another point of concern, after flipping my side clip it already picked up a noticeable scratch, something that simple shouldn’t damage it. Nice that its flips to give options on how to carry/attach but you might want to look at other finishes for extended carry or durability. There is no included lanyard attachment just a key loop/clip so don’t expect to keep a good grip, the openings on the cap are also too small for any paracord attachment so expect to drop it due to size and weight. The internals are well sealed and there isn’t any rattle or “play” on any of the components, there is also advanced circuitry that maintains constant light which is a stand out from some other manufacturers and models in this price range. It’s well built and it shows.
Activation_ Options, options, options here. You will get the added flexibility of either a tail cap activation or the twist with magnetic back, I usually despise twist to activate but having the option is something I am really enjoying. If I am at home or want to carry the spare I get some flexibility if I’m working on the car magnetic, just going out around town then its tail cap, that I really like. The button is strong and also comes with a spare so no need to worry about blowing it out right away and it seems easy to change. With only a few settings like low (5 Lumens) medium (32 lumens) and high (110 lumens), it’s very easy to operate and you get some good separation of power levels. It starts at a medium on so it won’t blow out your vision and not on the lowest setting to be useless, this is nice since it seems most manufacturers start out on full blast or so low you might as well have lit a match.
Pro’s_ simple, cheaper, small, light, runs common AAA, interchangeable tail caps, excellent power for its size
Con’s_ Black finish doesn’t seem too durable, weak beam distance compared to some slightly larger models, weak runtime (thanks to AAA) at 30min on full blast
bottom line_ All in I like it, its makes for a ultralight carry option for those that need to cut weight and running AAA means it’s easy to carry a spare battery or find one in an emergency. Look at stronger finishes for those that are tougher on their lights and make sure you get the model that has the interchangeable caps. Get one here if you have been thinking about it or need a robust backup option.