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Prime C2 Pro XP-L vs XHP35

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This is a subjective review. An objective review would look at just the data and have no opinions... in this case, I don't yet have data to compare so I can only give my subjective opinion.

We just got in a batch of XHP35 flashlights from Armytek. As of starting to write this, full specs of the XHP35 flashlights have not been released yet - they didn't even come with a manual. I'll be printing and modifying V3 manuals until we can get a pdf of the proper manual.

Turning them on, I wasn't sure what to think. I haven't been using a Prime - my personal flashlight in that size range is a D25LC2 XP-G (yes, an old model Eagletac). It's not like the Wizard headlamps where we spent so much time demonstrating them that I can easily recall the beam profile to compare to a newer Wizard. I just don't see Partner or Prime models turned on as often.

The first step, I tested to see what manual would apply. Pulling out the V3 for each flashlight, I tried the directions for controls and it worked... with one exception. Battery level indication come already active and can't seem to be turned off.

The next step was to compare two of the flashlights. I could compare them at work in the sunlight lit office, but I wanted better testing then just 'which is brighter and what does the profile look like'. Checking our stock, we have a few Prime C2 XP-L and we just got in some Prime C2 XHP35, perfect. Grabbing one of each, I took them home with me.

A little after 10 pm, I went for a walk with my sister to compare the two lights. We had to deal with passing traffic (some with their brights on) but got to hang out with a neighbours cat that wanted some attention.

My sister brought her camera, but most of the pictures turned out too blurry to be of much use.


My first attempt at comparing them was to shine them down the road and see how far they lit up. It didn't work so well as picking out a spot along the ditch among the tall grass is not easy.

Next, we tried using the community mail box as a marker and adjusting our distance from it. This also didn't work so well as the reflective sticker on the side was making it difficult.

Finally, I tested using a tree. I selected a pole along the road (power, phone, cable line pole) and stood beside it. Shining the XHP35, at max output, at the top of the tree I started taking steps back until it no longer lit up the tree sufficiently for me - about a meter and a half back from the pole. Switching to the XP-L, I stood beside the pole again, shining it at max output at the top of the tree, I started taking steps forward until it lit up the tree roughly as much as I cut off for the XHP35 - about a meter and half forward from the pole.

So, my subjective opinion has the XHP35 with about 3 meters more throw.

Alas, none of the pictures showing throw turned out.


Next, I wanted to compare the actual beam profile of the two lights. Since that wasn't going so well while aiming it down the road, I turned the flashlights to the ground and used a mark on the road to compare sizes.

A couple of pictures were taken with flash... so they turned out okay.

On the left is the XP-L while the right is the XHP35. Hard to see the difference in these pictures, but there is a bit of a difference.

Handling them myself, both my sister and I were able to easily tell which was which by the profile. We actually decided this by not knowing which was in which hand and deciding which beam profile we preferred and why.

We both picked the same one - the one where the spot was larger and actually seemed to blend into the spill area better. We both said that the lighting was smoother since it transitioned more gradually between spot and spill than the other.

After making our choice, we checked what we had selected and it was the XHP35.

One more picture.

This one is blurry because the flash was off - this was the least blurry of the blurry pictures. Because the flash was off, the camera took a longer exposure shot and we got the above picture. Do I know for sure which flashlight is which? Nope... I should have written it down. I would guess that the XHP35 was in my right hand (left side of the picture) because the spot looks larger... but... maybe it was in my left since that looks a little smoother with less transitional edges. To know for sure, I would have to take the shot again and keep track of which is in which hand.


Heat is another factor. I'll be honest, I am rather sensitive to temperatures... particularly heat. Since I was comparing both flashlights at max output, I got to experience the heat of both flashlights.

The recommendation with most LED flashlights is to turn them down or off if they get too hot to hold - and that probably happens sooner for me than for others. I didn't time how long I could handle holding them, but since I was turning them both on at about the same time, I had a rough comparison.

Without actually timing it, I subjectively think the XHP35 was taking a bit longer to get too hot for me. Of course, if it was then it wasn't by much - maybe 5 seconds.


Summary

If I was looking to get a Prime C2 Pro, my first choice would be to get the XHP35 because the beam to spill transition is softer.

However, if I wanted to save a bit of money then I would get the XP-L instead. The beam profile isn't that much different, so a 'less smooth' profile and saving some money isn't an issue.

Although, I would prefer the Partner since it has the tactical tail button that allows momentary functionality as well. I also prefer being able to turn a flashlight on and off while reverse griping it so I don't have to flip it around or use my other hand - many people get flashed in the eyes by wildly swung flashlights.

- Roy

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