SureFire E2L AA Outdoorsman Review

There aren’t many lights that can keep up with the most demanding of environments, and today we present one of the few that can – the SureFire E2L AA Outdoorsman.

As SureFire’s first AA-powered flashlight, the E2L AA combines SureFire quality with the ubiquity of AA alkaline or lithium batteries.

Key Specifications

  • Output: 80 lumens high, 3 lumens low
  • Runtime: 9h high, 60h low
  • Battery: 2 x AA
  • Length: 6.6″
  • Bezel Diameter: 1″
  • Weight with Batteries: 4.9 oz.
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime
  • MSRP: $180

Pricing & Ordering

At the current online price of $165 on SureFire’s website, this is not going to be a flashlight you will be able to find at Target or Wal-Mart.

The E2L AA Outdoorsman is only available in hard anodized olive color.

In The Box

The packaging for the E2L AA is pretty simple, consisting of the light, user manual, registration card, usage warning information (lithium batteries are dangerous, especially if not used properly), and a SureFire decal sticker. The light comes pre-installed with two Energizer Ultimate Lithium AAs and is ready to use out of the box.

Unfortunately, my E2L AA came in bulk packaging, so there will be no pictures of the retail packaging.

Batteries

The majority of SureFire flashlights use the lithium CR123A battery. This battery is more commonly used for photography equipment and are more expensive, so for consumers interested in purchasing SureFire lights, battery type is often a deal-breaker. The E2L AA takes lithium, alkaline, and NiMH AA-size batteries, but for maximum performance, lithium AAs such as Energizer Advanced Lithium or Ultimate Lithium should be used.

It should also be noted that installing the batteries requires unscrewing the head module. The tailcap can be removed, but the batteries do not come out from the back.

The Light

Head

The KX-1B head on the E2L AA features crenelated bezel, a tempered anti-reflective coated glass window, a total internal-reflection optic, and a Cree XR-E LED. This is slightly different from the KX-2 head of the double-CR123A-based E2L and the KX-1 head of the single-CR123A-based E1L, and the KX-1B is brighter than both. The crenelated bezel makes it easy to see whether or not the light is on when it is head down.

Interesting here is the warning message on the bezel: “CAUTION: HOT SURFACE.” Most LED flashlights heat up to some extent, but generally do not get hot enough to warrant a warning. Perhaps this is a remnant of SureFire’s incandescent history, but throughout testing, the E2L AA has never gotten more than mildly warm.

Body
The entire light is type-III (hard-anodized) aluminum. The knurling is fairly aggressive, which makes it easy to maintain a solid grip on the light, even if your hands are wet. The pocket clip is long and very secure, and overall, the light is extremely well built, as one would expect from SureFire.

Each end of the body has a well-lubricated O-ring, which ensures that the light is water-tight, as well as smooth threads.

Tail Cap
The patented lockout tailcap features a deep forward clicky type switch, which gives a confident sounding “CLICK” when depressed all the way. The forward clicky allows for momentary on when pressed half-way, which is convenient for going directly to high mode (more on that in the section below).

To activate the lockout feature, turn on the light and unscrew the tailcap until the light turns off. With the tailcap unscrewed, the batteries are still held in place because they can only be removed from the front.

Modes

The E2L AA offers two brightness levels, a 3 lumen low mode and an 80 lumen high mode.

Low
A single click of the E2L turns on the low mode. Having the lower mode available first is beneficial, especially at night time, where the full brightness of the light may temporarily blind your night-adapted vision.

High
To activate high mode, turn the light on, off, then on again within two seconds. Entering high mode is made easier with the forward clicky, where momentary on can be used instead of turning the light on and fully depressing the switch.

Performance

With lithium batteries, the light is rated for 80 lumens on high. While the E2L AA is not the most impressive with respect to raw output, but the quality of the beam pattern from the TIR optic is excellent.

The “hotspot” in the beam is nearly artifact free, which is a problem that plagues many flashlights that use smooth reflectors, and side spill illuminates a fairly large area (note the width of the beam compared to a typical flashlight in the picture above). For close-up work, the E2L AA is a pleasure to use.

Runtime

If you haven’t read our article about runtime graphs and the ANSI FL1 Standard, please click here.

With nearly flat runtime curves, the E2L AA is well regulated and will maintain consistent brightness. After the end of regulated runtime, the E2L AA will continue to operate in low mode.

Conclusion

Whether it is your next camping trip or your next shift, you will be able to count on the SureFire E2L AA when you need it most. Although the price point places the E2L AA into the “premium flashlight” category, its quality is second to none and it truly deserves the premium price point.



Pros Cons
  • Low and high modes
  • Clean beam pattern
  • Aggressive knurling for solid grip
  • Anti-reflective tempered glass window
  • Durable construction
  • Lockout to prevent accidental activation
  • Lifetime warranty
  • High price
  • Heavier than comparable lights

Related Links

SureFire E2L AA Outdoorsman Product Page

8 Responses

  1. FRANK GULOTTA says:

    I would like a case that fits on my belt for the Sure Fire E2LAA outdoorsman. Excellent flashlight. Thank You

  2. JP Gagnon says:

    Terralux Flashlight have 2 cases leather and nylon will fit for Sure Fire

  3. Paul says:

    Robin, thank you for your informative review of the E2L AA Outdoorsman! As you’ve said elsewhere, the low is greater than Surefire’s advertised 5 lumens, thus I use the F04 diffuser for a very pleasing indoor night-light. This was a wise purchase.

  4. Paul says:

    Correction: 3 lumens

  5. Khaleeq says:

    I want to buy this light but not sure if I can run on rechargeable batteries or not. Kindly suggest.
    Kind regards

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00BS46KZQ?cache=2d579f658c40b36f9e0d3b0cbeb88ce2#ref=mp_s_a_1_2&qid=1392495349&sr=8-2

  6. Robin Wang says:

    Khaleeq,

    You’ll be fine using rechargeable NiMH in the E2L AA (that’s what we use too).

    Robin

  7. khaleeq says:

    Thankyou for your reply. I am just wondering if there is anyway I can get to see its runtime graph before placing an order. The reason is its previous version that you reviewed has consistent output level that does not go below 90% of its starting output. How do I know that same is the case with this newer version?
    Regards

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