Armytek Prime A1 Pro

In Review by Jawor | Leave a Comment

Is ArmyTek Prime A1 indestructible? On the website of Polish distribution of Armytek flashlights, HVT, Prime A1 was described using the words “Unbreakable flashlight for everyday use[…]”. Well, we decided to accept the challenge…

However, before our crash tests, lets have a look at Prime’s design and features:

Accessories

Torch arrives packaged in a simple cardboard box. Except for the flashlight, set contains a wide variety of accessories – a lanyard, few spare O-rings, nylon holster for carrying Prime on belt and clip to attach flashlight to the edge of a pocket.

Clip

The clip turned out to be the carrying method that I used most frequently. At the beginning it was very stiff, but over time it has loosened enough for a comfortable use (but the hold is still quite firm, Prime A1 is safe). Both assembling and taking off the clip require some force, so the risk of accidental detachment is virtually impossible. The only drawback of this feature is that clip’s endings (on the side which is pushed onto flashlight) are folded so that they slightly stick out and may hurt users’ leg.

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Switch

The switch was made of white, flexible plastic. Turning the torch and changing modes require a bit of a push, so a risk of unwanted pressing is significantly decreased. At first the button may seem a bit difficult to use, but after some time you can quite easily get used to it (the pressure required will also decrease as the Prime is used). The switch itself was placed lower than the rest of the body, what further reduces the chance of accidental pressing. It was quite well illustrated when we drove thorugh the Prime, and the Armytek’s flashlight hasn’t turned off. Anothher cut was located on the opposite side and provides a firm grip in addition to making it easier to find the switch.

Warning Sensor

The switch contains a nice additional feature – a warning sensor which informs a user about battery status and possible overheating. The green flash means that everything is fine, yellow indicates a problem (eg. the battery level below 50%) and red implies  heavy/critical state (the battery below 10% or below 5% depending on the frequency of flashes).

Modes of Operation

Armytek Prime A1 has 7 operating modes. To be honest, if you had no contact with flashlights of this Canadian manufacturer you will definitely need to read the manual. Otherwise it will be impossible to use all available possibilities. After triple reading I was able to seamlessly switch between all modes – firefly (0.15 lm and 1.7 lm), normal (10 lm, 70lm and 210 lm), max (370) and strobe.

Flashlight is lit with a single pressing of the button – thanks to memory of modes it wil run in the last used configuration. To go through all the modes, simply hold the switch. Continuous pressing of the button when Prime A1 is working will cause the transition between modes of the current section (the fireflies or main).

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Pressing the switch twice will change the section. Triple press will run the max mode, while the quadruple turns on the strobe.

It may seem complicated, but in practice (after studying the manual) this is a simple and intuitive process. Among this variety of modes I could always find the one appropriate to the situation.

Thanks to full brightness stabilization, Armytek’s Prime A1 keeps the amount of lumens constant for the selected mode until the battery drops to 5% of capacity – then firefly 1 will be the only mode available.

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Energy Source

Prime A1 can be powered powered using a single AA alkaline battery or 14500 400mah rechargeable cell. That way, if all of the sudden (despite the warnings starting at 50% of battery) we run out of power, there should be no trouble with finding a new one. AA batteries are available almost everywhere.

It is worth mentioning that the max mode (370 lumens) requires an appropriate power source. On normal 1.5 V alkaline battery the light will be off after only 3 seconds, but on 3.7V cell Prime works perfectly.

Threads

The inside of the flashlight is secured by long threads, which were additionally secured with a layer of Nyo Gel. Moreover, each of them is equipped with two silicone O rings, thanks to which the flashlight water resistant up to depth of 10m.

Body

Prime’s body is made of aircraft-grade aluminum – normal use and any ordinary falls pose no threat to this durable torch. The question is, what about abnormal use? Well, in a short moment we’ll go back to this question.

Magnet

At the end Prime A1 has a strong magnet which allows attachment of flashlight to many metal surfaces. If it isn’t needed it can be removed after unscrewing the cap.

Cap

The enidng itself has a square shape with rounded corners. In conjunction with the cuts on the front of the flashlight it slightly limits rolling of the flashlight on slanted surfaces.

Coating

The whole flashlight is covered with a black, matt, anti abrasive and anti slippery coating. What deserves attention is a phenomenal durability of the layer – after the few months of constant use the only signs of wear are visible where the clip was placed.

Definitely-Not-Normal Use

In the description of the flashlight, I came across the word “indestructible”. From the first moment it stroke me as a challenge, so it shouldn’t be surprising that we decided to see how Prime A1 will withstand a set of crash tests.

When we tried treading it into concrete, Prime A1 has simply laughed

When we drove through it with a car it was unharmed.

Then I decided to do a few throws and it turned out that, even though Prime A1 isn’t actually indestructible, it is very close to this title.

Armytek’s flashlight bravely withstood 10 strong, full force, throws into a concrete wall. It was the eleventh one which caused the damage – the glass lense cracked. More specifically one of the lenses – after taking out the remains of glass, it turned out that there was a second one behind it. This one was damaged only on the edge. Despite this, Armytek Prime A1 still runs at full power.

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In the process of throwing the Prime stopped working exactly two times. And it wasn’t because the button punching the wall. The batteries simply surrendered faster than this flashlight.

After our series of throws the torch was basically white from the fragments of wall and plaster. However, it was enough to wipe it to prove that dark shell is almost intact. The only damage was a pair of white dots on the surface. That’s why I used the word “phenomenal” describing it a few paragraphs earlier.

Similarly, the aluminium body has bravely withstood the torture and the only trace of our throws is a tiny, barely visible damage.

Summary

Armytek Prime A1 Pro is a versatile flashlight, which, thanks to many modes and ease of change between them, will suit both EDC and field conditions. Its size may not fit everyone’s likes, but in this case the it results from exceptional durability, one of the major advantages of this model.

It is true that we were able to damage the Prime, however, it required quite a lot effort – when throwing we destroyed two batteries and made a few holes in the concrete wall. And even though one of the lenses broke the torch still shines. This only confirms that if the Armytek Prime A1 isn’t actually indestructible, it needs very little to be called so. And daily falls or threats won’t do it a harm.

 Pros:

+ Durability!

+ Coating!

+ Available modes

+ Switch with battery state indicator

+ Full light stabilisation

+ Powered with 1 AA

Cons:

– Powered with 1 AA

– Size could be problematic for some

– Pocket clip with elements which stick out

 

 

Special thanks to ArmyTek Poland for providing us with a possibility of testing Prime A1 Pro!

~Jawor

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About the Author

Jawor

Hikes since he learnt to walk. Happy to spend hours discussing jackets, backpacks and other gear. Caver, diver and a leader of the Gear Insider project.

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