SHOT Show updates should us that Surefire is stepping up there game and the 2012 catalog was released recently. In my trip through the catalog I noticed a lot of great lights including the 2000 lumen Dominator (but really, how many two-kilo lumen lights do we need?), the really sweet EB1 single-cell light, the suped up Lumamax, and all of their rechargeable lights. But towards the end, two lights stood out:
The Surefire Isis
The photo is from www.solidersystems.com
The Surefire Aegis:
The specs aren't amazing. They both hit a max of 100 lumens with a low of 10. The run times are decent. But both use Surefire's new rechargeable battery technology. They also have a "reactive tailcap" which I assume is a button free activation method using some sort of pressure sensitive or heat sensitive device. The Isis is the Ginger of the pair--showy, encircled by artificial diamonds, with a curvy body made of polished aluminum. The Aegis is the Maryann--still quietly beautiful with a smooth black HAIII aluminum body and titanium accents. Neither light has a pocket clip. Here is the real stunner though--the Aegis will retail for $400 and the Isis for $420. Even Surefire seems audacious for offering so few lumens for so many dollars.
In the end, I see them more like the T1 (the original Titan that used CR2 batteries) or the splash colored pen/E1B combo--collector's items for Surefire fanatics. I am certain that the lights will be nice and Surefires always have a way of seemingly outdoing their lumens ratings, but these lights are not serious competitors in an crowded market. But they are tantalizing for what they presage--a Surefire built with the quality and design chops of a custom McGizmo. These lights aren't all that far away. Drop an XML emitter in them and install a good pocket clip and you are really, really close to a McGizmo.
The new catalog offers a glimpse into a future where Surefire has taken off all of the hindrances of its slow to change dinosaur days. They are running cutting edge tech--TIR reflectors (they are designed to gather up almost all of the light produced by the emitter an throw it forward), aspheric lenses (to better focus the beam), new rechargeable tech, selector rings, new tailcaps (including one that functions like a joystick, with multiple modes selectable from different angled pushes of the button), and new designs.
It is truly an exciting time to be a flashlight fan. And the Isis and Aegis offer promising hints at more to come.