MecArmy is an up and coming brand in the flashlight industry and, though it makes a lot of really high quality extremely durable products, the one that its most famous for right now is the PT16, which we are doing this review. And I think the reason that the PT16 is so popular is that it fills a really unique niche in the tactical flashlight world. Most tactical flashlights have to sort of choose a side. They are either a full tactical flashlight normally about 5-6″ long handheld, easily mountable on your gun, or they are an everyday carry light and they are a key chain light, just something very small probably about 130 or so lumens less, something that can easily be attached by use of a split ring to your key chain to use all the time.
Don’t have time to read this full review? Check out our TOP 10 BEST TACTICAL FLASHLIGHTS LIST HERE
The PT16 though, lets choose both of those options. What you have got here is a flashlight about 2.5″ long, an inch thick which can put out 1000 lumens which is a pretty incredible output for a light of that size considering that lights twice as long have about that kind of output. So, this is definitely a light that is meant to be an everyday carry, but it is giving you that same kind of ridiculous ultra-bright output that you get from full tactical light. I think it is an interesting idea. It’s an idea that is really catching on.
So just looking at the light, the light is extremely durable, extremely tough, aircraft grade aluminum, impact resistant so it’s pretty reliable. If you drop it it is not going to be destroyed, your investment isn’t gone. So, this is a light that’s actually tough enough that you could be running it over. You could probably roll it across the highway and as soon as a you got a window, retrieve it and it would be fine. It might be a little scuffed, but the light would still operate.
The other thing that the MecArmy PT16 is turning heads for is its interface which is really nice. Now, being able to put out 1000 lumens is fantastic. But, being so small the light only supports a 16/340 lithium ion battery. It is nice that it has that. It is nice that it has a rechargeable battery it is compatible with and especially nice because of the functions of the flashlight, which I will get to in a moment. But this does cut down its run time compared to some of the other best tactical flashlights. The run time on Turbo for 1000 lumens on the PT16 is only 35 minutes, so that is definitely not something that you want to be using too much.
One of the ways that MecArmy has countered this is with a really unique user interface. Most tactical lights are out to get you using the turbo mode as quickly as possible. The PT16 is not designed with that philosophy in mind. What they have done is they have a light where one tap will bring you on at the lowest setting. The lowest setting here being 5 lumens, which is nearly true moonlight. It is very nice. It has got about 20 hours or run time. Subsequent presses start to dial the brightness level up to 100 lumens, to 420 lumens and finally to 1000 lumens. So, the light sort of gently encourages you that way to only use as much light as what you need, which is a smart philosophy for a light of this size, which understandably has to make some sacrifices in the battery area. Now, if you do want to go straight to turbo, and this is part of what makes the user interface so nice, you do also have that option. Just a quick double tap will put you right on that 1000 lumen setting so you don’t have to scroll up every time that you want to gain access to that feature.
Of course, it wouldn’t really be a tactical light without a strobe. So, you have got yourself a triple tap that can access your strobe function right away. Of course, it also has the SOS so you are pretty much covered. It is an unusual interface that is going to get you into what you need without ever burning unnecessary battery power. It is actually a user interface I wouldn’t mind seeing applied to other tactical lights as well. But for now, for just a small everyday carry/tactical light hybrid, something you might want to be carrying in your pocket with you, I think that is absolutely the best interface they could have possibly gone with.
Now I have mentioned before that the battery is rechargeable and what is significant about that is that you are not going to need an external charger for the MecArmy PT16. One of the best features of this light is that when you unscrew the head you get yourself a micro USB port. So, this light is actually rechargeable. You just unscrew the head, plug it in, give it 90 minutes, which is because of the small battery and the nice technology, the maximum amount of time you will need to charge this light and you have got yourself a fully charged light ready for another evening walk, walk home from work or anything else that you need.
Lets switch gears here and talk about the beam for a little bit. What is the beam like? Well, it is a cool light beam. The beam is actually powered by three LED’s in this light. They’ve got three LED’s to make this idea work, each with its own smooth reflector. So it comes out as a pretty clear and reliable beam. It’s a pretty wide-ranging hot spot. The beam distance is surprisingly good for such shallow reflectors. You can get this thing 143 meters. To give you some idea a 2.5 inch light is able to shine, that is a football field and a half. So, if you are at one end of the football field you can turn this light on at full power and you are going to shine it all the way down the football field and beyond. So, that is a lot of power for such a small flashlight. That is a lot of distance for such a small light. Probably more distance than you are going to get of any comparable light.
Now, the beam does have also a lot of flood, which is nice. Despite that range, it’s got a pretty wide flood to it. Like I said, the reflectors are a little shallow. And why that is a good thing is because you might one day need this for self-defense. That strobe function is not something that you need to be able to aim precisely, you just need to be able to activate your strobe and buy yourself the seconds you need to protect yourself. The MecArmy PT16 is definitely in a very high class among everyday carry self-defense lights. It is incredibly bright, incredibly wide dispersing, and that is going to give you the upper hand against any attacker who wants to mess with you.
Moving on the the accessories for the PT16. It doesn’t necessarily have a lot of optional accessories that you can go out and buy for it, which is sort of fine. It doesn’t exactly need it. It is such a small, straightforward, simple flashlight that you are not necessarily going to be running around trying to accessorize it. It does come with some nice accessories, though. The battery for one is included. It comes with a lanyard, which sort of makes it easier for everyday carry and that is pretty nice. It has the user manual, which you will likely never need. The operation of the light is so incredibly straightforward. You might want to look at it for the warranty information. But, this is a flashlight with a very intuitive user interface and a very straightforward charging mechanism. From the moment you have it out of the box you should not have really any issues operating this light. Of course, the standard spare O ring.
In summary, the PT16 is probably MecArmy’s most popular light for a good reason. It’s got a fantastic user interface. It’s got a really innovative bold design philosophy positioned where it is between real tactical lights and everyday carry. Fantastic thing to take with you, not just for camping and outdoor, but actually a really honestly good everyday-life kind of flashlight. Something to slip in your pocket, have when you are looking for your keys, looking around in the dark, when you are walking your dog late in the evening, or you are just walking to your car and it is dark from work. I mean there is a lot of ways that such a small unobtrusive light can become useful in your everyday life. Definitely, if you are looking for a light that you can carry around with you, just make your life a little easier, just an everyday illumination tool, then take a hard look at the MecArmy PT16. It is probably exactly what you are looking for.