I own four G2s as well as SureFire’s Defender (nasty little tool serrated at both ends), but I fell in love with the A2 and have been using it for two and half years. All of SureFire’s 2-battery flashlights last about the same time (continuous 1 hour) and put out about the same amount of super bright intense light (65 lumens), but you don’t necessarily need that much light all of the time. That’s where the dependable A2 shines: there are two beams, high and low.
I’m a safety officer in a large prison, about 700,000 sq. ft., where I do inspections — the whole place just me, my little light and my clipboard. I simply can’t use the G2 at my job, because it has failed me while working. With the G2, I saw that when the batteries are used to the point they can’t support the super bright bulb, that’s it; they’re done (with no warning). With the A2, the same batteries that quit on the main bulb will keep working for many additional hours on the much more efficient lower beam. I tested the batteries from my G2 with a good battery tester and there was plenty of juice left, but not enough to support the bright bulb. Then I put the same batteries in my A2 and they would run the low beam fine, but not the high beam.
The low light won’t blind bears, but it will get you around until you get back to your battery box to replace them. I mostly use the low beam to conserve the batteries, but the high beam is great for looking into little dark places and into large dark locked rooms, through thick safety glass, to see what is being stored in there (it lights up the whole room), or as extra lighting when photographing in low light when a flash won’t do. When reading very fine print or to signal other officers rather than shout at (or blind them), I use the low beam.
The neat little clip on the A2 is also great for slipping the light into your front or back pants pocket, shirt pocket, etc. and for attaching the light to your hat bill while trudging through the dark keeping your hands free (just don’t look at your buddies or you blind them). You really don’t need the nylon holster for short-term use, which is very handy. The A2 also has square edges so it won’t roll around if you do put it down, and it has a rough as cob grip (no slip at all).
The U2 Ultra has six output levels, but it’s $80 more expensive than the A2, which isn’t cheap either. But is the A2 worth $200? Yes. If I lost it I would buy another as soon as possible. G2′s are great, but I know my A2 will work at some level, all the time. That’s what makes the A2 worth the extra bucks. I carry it all the time, use it all the time, under all conditions.
– Larry R. Odom
SureFire A2 Aviator Light
(LED: green or white only)
Available from Fox Fire Rescue Police Equipment
Or $188 from Amazon
(LED: white only)
Also $195 from SureFire
(LED: blue, red, yellow-green, white, green)
Manufactured by SureFire, LLC