New year and new review! Its going to be short and sweet, much like the item in question. Because this time I am taking a look at the FourSevens Atom AA flashlight! This little flashlight came into my posession through a friend and it has been a part of my EDC eversince.
I have looked for a proper flashlight for my EDC for quite sometime. I have seen people using all kinds of lumen rich Ledlensers and tactical SureFires etc. And I would have loved to get either one of those lights too, but I just could not bear to pay the high prices just yet. Then Adam from OV Innovations sent me his spare light, this tiny little thing, which has set the way I view EDC flashlights in a whole new light (pun intended).
FourSevens was a new Company to me, but they definitely are not a new Company in the industry. They are a US based manufacturer that has started back in 2008. As I am writing this review, I just visited their website the first time and noticed that they are going through a reboot! So in 2018 the Company migth be a bit different as it is at this moment.
Anyway, their main focus has been to bring technological innovation to the high performance LED flashlight world, as they say themselves. They are well known and resdpected in the EDC community and no doubt this owns up to their drive and passion for high quality products and unique features.
The Atom AA
The Atom series is the smallest of the FourSevens product line. The whole line consist of simple, yet effectively designed flashlights. The model at hand is the Atom AA, which is a really small light, just a little bit larger than the single AA battery that powers it. But even more tiny are is its siblings that take only one CR123A or CR2 batteries!
To list the features and specs of the Atom AA more accurately, here is a list:
- The light is operated by tightening the cap.
- Tightening the cap at first the low light mode (app. 1,5 lumens, run time 45h) is engaged. Continuing to tighten the cap brings up the high mode (70 lumens, run time 3h).
- There is no reflector in the light, but there is a Glow In the Dark (GID) surface on the inside of the lens. The Atom AA is available with a reflector too, like most of the Atom lights.
- The body is made of stainless steel and the the lens is plastic.
- In the end of the body there is a neodymium magnet.
- The emitter is a CREE XP-G2 and the light is given a water resistance class IPX8, which means it can withstand a continual submersion.
- And if it was not clear yet, the light is powered by a single AA battery. The Battery is inserted by loosening the cap, negative (-) side down. The magnet holds the battery in its place inside the body.
Further information you can read from the manufacturer’s website here.
This little light has been a part of my EDC for a few months now and there are both great things about it, and some things I am not so fond of.
I think the light looks absolutely great. Unlike some “tactical” lights, this little big giant is sleek and stylish. The brushed steel with the polished details give an air of professionalism to it. The green GID surface inside the lens is a nice touch of colour too.
The looks of a light are not the main quality most people are looking in a flashlight. But when you are looking for something you can carry in your pocket and take out in any situation, this little light is much more covert than your strike bezeled, high lumened, weapon capable torch. But as always with any gear, it is what you need and what you prefer.
To me, it is these small things that make the Atom AA a great flashlight. Firstly, the magnet is an absolutely gorgeous feature and greatly enhances this lights capabilities. Sometimes you just need your hands free to do something, for example car repairs and you do not have a head lamp with you. The Atom AA attaches to the hood securely with the magnet and lets you do what you need. And believe me, I did this with my Jeep and the Atom was of great use.
BUT I ended up dropping the light into the engine space and of course it rolled under some pipes and cables so that my hand could not reach it. Thank God for the magnet, because it was an easy retrieval after all with a magnetic screwdriver. I am confident that the magnet will come in handy in many a situation.
The GID Illuminator
The other small thing that brings me joy, rather than is of real use is the GID surface behind the lens. When you have the light on it charges the surface and when turned off, it will be brightly illuminated for a short time. I have tried to see if there would be any proper applications for this feature.
But sadly the GID illumination is a bit too dim to, say, read a map in the dark etc. I will try to explore this more in the future, but at the moment I think its meant to be a cool detail and not a practical property of the Atom AA. The fact that the FourSevens website does not mention this at all speaks for this interpretation of the feature too.
The Light Modes and Operation
The operation of the Atom AA is very easy and can be operated even with one hand. The low light mode pops up after tightening the cap just a little bit and the high mode after a few turns after that. I have rarely used the low mode for anything, to my eyes it is just a bit too little. But the high mode is quite nice for all kinds of close proximity work. As FourSevens dictates, the Atom lights are flood-type of lights for close-up work rather than for illuminating objects from distance.
But I have two issues with the operation of the light. The twisting of the cap is nice and easy, but it is easy to over do it too. Inside the cap you have these two o-rings that keep the water out. But when you twist the cap you have to be quite careful as not to damage the outer ring. I have tightened it too far a few times and almost shredded it.
The second thing is that the cap tends to tighten on its own in your pocket. This results in unwanted lighting up and thus unnecessary depletion of the battery over time. It is not that big of a deal, but a nuisance all the same.
I love the little Atom AA. For me it is the ultimate EDC light. Small, lightweight and at hand when every you need it. And stylish and inconspicuous to boot too. The brightness of the light is not huge, but that is to be expected of such a small light. There are the few small issues with it, but the details and the overall performance far out weight the flaws. Now I only need to better colour-match my EDC and I can have a shot to be one off the cool kids!
Likes and Dislikes
Details, such as the GID surface behind the lens and the magnet
Battery size is small and easily available everywhere
The operation is easy to overdo
The cap tends to wind on its own in your pocket
I received this product via my own funds. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give this product a good review. All opinions are my own and are based off my personal experience with the product.