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Armytek Zippy ES: Extended Set Review: Keychain Flashlight
Armytek Zippy specifications
|Brand/model||Armytek Zippy ES: Extended Set|
|Beam intensity||58 cd|
|Battery config.||Built-in li-polymer|
|Review date||May 2021|
Sometimes cheap flashlights are just great and there are no substitutes. The Armytek Zippy ES is one of them. I received the Zippy from Armytek as a gift, but I actually like it quite a bit, probably because it’s rather unique. And therefore, I just wanted to do a review and share my thoughts and some testing. Keep in mind that this is the Extended Set, that includes the 360 degrees rotatable mount.
The Armytek Zippy was sent in a simple box with a hangtag for retail sales. On the box itself, you can find a few specs and some details like 200 Led lumens, USB rechargeable, and 5 years no hassle warranty.
Inside the box you can find:
- The flashlight: Armytek Zippy
- 360 rotatable clip
- Pocket clip (attached)
Flashlight in use
The main reason for liking the Zippy is the 360 degrees rotatable clip. The clip itself can be attached to the headband (and makes it therefore an extremely lightweight headlamp). And it can be clipped to a baseball cap, what I really like.
Until now, I have been using a heavy 18650 headlamp for outdoors, but the Zippy is a great replacement being so extremely lightweight, you don’t even feel it.
All Zippies are translucent with a secondary color, including blue, green and grey. The one I’m reviewing is green, obviously from the pictures.
There is only 1 switch which can be hard to find in the dark. But once you know the position of the switch it’s not so difficult to locate.
On the opposite side of the switch is a metallic belt clip, and the Extended set, that I got includes the 360 degrees plastic clip, that you can attach to anything from a baseball cap to your shirt. And the set also includes an adjustable headband, that makes the Zippy probably one of the lightest headlamps on the planet. (and also one with one of the shortest battery life)
Build Quality, and Warranty
We’re talking about a plastic EDC flashlight for $12. You shouldn’t expect a $100 build quality for a $12 flashlight, and the build quality of the Armytek Zippy isn’t bad at all.
The attached metal clip is pretty stiff, but could easily be removed with the help of a ruler or something. On the opposite side of the LED, there’s a ring you can attach your keychains to. Would I recommend using it on your keys? Maybe, maybe not. But if you do, make sure you lock it.
Armytek provides free warranty repair for 5 years (excluding batteries, mounts, holders, chargers, switches and connectors, which have 12 months warranty) from the date of acquisition if there is a document confirming the purchase. That’s what the manual states.
LED, Lens, Bezel, and Reflector
The LED position is a little odd compared to the typical plastic EDC flashlights. Just take a look at the following pictures.
If you’re pointing the Zippy to a wall, like you would do with any other EDC flashlight this size, it would lit up the ceiling instead of the wall. Again, this is easier to understand when looking at the pictures.
I can’t really see what type of LED is used, but it’s not a 5mm LED like some cheap keychain lights use. There is no reflector or TIR optic in front of the LED, and therefore the beam looks a little ugly. The beam color goes from a little purplish in the middle to greenish on the outside. This isn’t really a problem outdoors because the beam is very wide, but quite obvious when you go white wall hunting.
Dimensions and size comparison
- Length: 58.75 mm / 2.3 ”
- Max width: 26 mm / 1.0 ”
- Body thickness: 9.6 mm / 0.38 ”
- With metal clip: 12.3 gr / 0.43 oz
- Without metal clip: 10.6 gr / 0.37 oz
EDC Flashlight comparison
Size compared to other EDC flashlights
Driver & User Interface:
Simple EDC lights need simple UIs, and this Zippy has a pretty straight forward UI without any bells and whistles.
- Low, Medium, High
- Single-click: (to last used mode, mode memory)
- Double click: nothing, just turns off
- Press and hold 4 seconds: lockout (repeat to unlock)
- Single-click: Off
- Double click: nothing
- Press and hold: change modes from Low to High
- Yes it does
Blinky modes menu:
Low battery warning:
- Yes, press-and-hold for 4 seconds for entering the lockout mode.
- Not visible by eye, in any mode
Batteries & Charging
The Armytek Zippy is a nice rechargeable flashlight with a battery capacity of 100mAh (lithium polymer battery). This means that the runtime is very short in High and Medium mode. Low mode is actually not too bad, and that’s the mode I am using most when doing beamshots. Since it will replace my 18650 headlamp, because of the weight, I am mainly using low mode to see my camera and without getting light from the headlamp within my beamshots.
Charging is done via a Micro USB cable, which is not included in the package. Charging goes at an unbelievable current of 0.1A. Charging takes about 1 hour.
All output numbers are relative for my home-made Integrating Sphere. It is set up with an Extech SDL400 Lux Meter for measurements including a Kenko PRO1D ND-16 filter. The base measurement is done with a Convoy S2+ that has been tested at 255 lumens.
|Amp at start||Manufacturer’s specs||@ 30 seconds||@ start|
|high||160 lumens||118 lumens||118 lumens|
On the package it even says: 200 lumens, but that’s impossible to achieve. Even 160 lumens was impossible in high mode.
The runtime test was done with the 50cm integrating sphere, including the Kenko Pro1D ND-16 filter and Extech SDL400 data logging Lux Meter.
Low has obviously the longest runtime at 11 hours and 37 minutes with a relatively stable output of around 5 lumens.
Medium gradually drops in output over a span of 1 hour and 17 minutes. It then drops to roughly 2 lumens
High starts at 118 lumens but decreases output till 27.5 minutes when it abruptly drops and continues at sub 20 lumen levels till it drops again at 40 minutes. It’s now around 1-2 lumens and continues for about 1 hour. I would recommend charging the battery when it drops to its lowest output.
Measurements were taken indoors with a professional Hagner E4-X Lux Meter at 30 seconds after start.
- Measured candela at 2 meters: 84cd / 18 meters / 20 yards
According to its specs, it’s claimed distance is 15 meters, so this is relatively close.
Beamshots to show a bit about the beam, but the beam isn’t very pleasant to look at.. So you don’t buy it for the beamshape but its features.
The output looks lower than the Tube, but up close it’s quite a bit more powerful, but it’s not reaching the wall as well as the Tube. And the wall is only a few meters away.
Disclaimer: This flashlight was sent to me for review at no cost by Armytek. I have not been paid to review, nor have I been holding back on problems or defects.
Explanation on star ratings:
- – Avoid: my phone flashlight would be a better choice
- – Poor: significant defect or issues, much better options available at the same price
- – Average: some defects or issues
- – Good: recommended (minor issues)
- – Great: highly recommended
- Comes with a nice 360 rotatable clip
- Includes headband
- Extremely lightweight
- Not very bright (not reaching claimed output)
- Small battery/short runtime
4 stars: ★★★★★
If you’re looking for an extremely lightweight headlamp, that you only need to use for a short time at a short distance with a low output, The Zippy will cover you. If you’re into bright headlamps, look somewhere else. The Zippy is mainly a keychain light with the ability to use as a clip on light or headlamp.