Brought out the Bodyguard v2 head (BGV2) on the 14500 setup and compared to my Fenix LD30 and SL Macrostream. The LD30 is my go-to 18650 for all- around (SL HL-X for searching outdoors), but for my purposes, I put DC Fix on the lens to increase the spill and soften the hot spot. Note: The Malkoff BG lights run 8 seconds on high, and auto-steps down to medium. Turning off and on (or monetary use) returns to high.
Beams: With the DC fix on the LD30’s lens it does not throw as far as the BGV2, but without the DC Fix film it should be similar. Both are rated around 1,100 lumen from online reviews make about 11,000 cd. IIRC, the spot on the stock LD30 is smaller than the BGV2. Interestingly enough, the spot on the BGV2 after the 8 second programmed stepdown (250 lumen) is noticeably brighter than the Macrostream (500 lumens). SL lists 2000 cd, and I would guess 2500 cd for the BGV2 (after 8 second step down).
DC Fix LD30 is floody but still retains a lot of it’s throw. The Macrostream has a defined hot spot, but is mostly noticed at close ranges. At further ranges its practically all flood. The BGV2 has a defined hot spot and bright spill.
Battery/Runtime: This isn’t really fair, as the Fenix uses an 18650. The SL and BGV2 are using a 14500. Although I could use a 16340,16650 or get an adapter for an 18650 for the BGV20, I’m looking for small and light with the option for daily recharging so the 14500’s stay. The RCR123/16340’s should have a similar runtime to the 14500’s.
The Malkoff is most likely the lowest run time. I’m expecting 15 minutes if I constantly push for High, and an hour of run time if I let it dip into the 250 lumen range. The SL lists 2 hour for high and 8 hours on low. The LD30 has the most modes and the lowest low, as well as an 18650 that boasts 5x the mAh of the 14500. High is listed as 1.5 hours, and low as 70 hours.
Form Factor: The SL Macrostream is the thinnest and lightest. Practically, the LD30 and BGV2 fell about the same in size and weight. Given the thick aluminum body of the Malkoff, some might find this a plus, some a minus. For me, I am going to go with the Surefire 1xCR123 body with a 16340 in the future to reduce the weight. The SF 1xCR123 body’s overall size is about the same as this AA Malkoff body.
Of the three, only the Malkoff body can tailstand.
Controls/UI: All three lights have forward clickies (for momentary or mode switching without clicking on the light). The BGV2 always comes on high (800 lumens for the v2). After 8 seconds, it automatically steps down to 250. IIRC, the Malkoff body has a McClicky switch. The Macrostream comes on high from off. A second press brings it to low. Like many Streamlights, if you continually press the button quickly it stays in the second mode, which in this instance is low. This is a negative for me when it comes for potential defensive use. On a side note, I think this is a plus for the Streamlight Protac models, as too many clicks still retains the final mode in the sequence instead of cycling back to start.
The Fenix’s tailswitch is the on/off switch only. The side switch only changes modes when on.
In the end, as is, the Fenix is the better all-around light, the SL is the better backup task light, and the Malkoff is the better bash around light. However, on a 1xCR123 SF body, the BGV2 takes on an extra notch or two in weight/size savings and still allows for mistake free momentary high use.
I broke down and ordered the old version BG today. I wanted the option to use a single CR123 when traveling, and can still use a rechargeable Li ion 16340 (RCR123). When that comes, I’ll compare the BG, BGV2, and Surefire EDL1-T.