AUSA12: Surefire Upgrades Backup Light Series

Surefire has two new versions of its compact Backup line of hand-held lights. The improved models now have a max output of 200 lumen and feature a slightly longer head. I had one of the original Backup lights which Surefire first made in an 80-lumen version. It’s a nice light, but I’d rather have the 200-lumen model.

Surefire displayed its new Backups at AUSA 2012. Here’s a video with a little more detail. (Smartphone users can click on the link to watch the video).

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  • Lance

    Looks smaller and lighter than older ones looks nice. As someone guards as well I know what a good light is.

  • Andrew

    Lance – It is larger and heavier. (not by much though) Read through the article again… Guard on though my friend!

  • Casey

    Is the shrouded tail cap the only difference between the tactical and commercial versions? And is that a clicky tail cap or one requiring constant pressure like the LX2?

  • Curt K

    I’ll stick with my Streamlight PorTac 2L. It’s my EDC Light.

    • Curt K

      ProTac 2L

  • Bman

    Ok surefire may be pretty tough but their products are not in any way, shape or fashion, so advanced or more durable than any of the other big names out there that are half the price. Smaller than this, the Streamlight P2L (I believe is the model name) puts out 183 lumens and is very durable. I bought it for around 40 bucks. Use it for duty wear and it it clips into a pocket. Ive had it clanging against my knife in my pocket while running or jumping fences and there is barely any visible wear on it. Forgot it in my pocket and washed it in the washer machine on an extra heavy cycle with water drops inside the darn thing, it still lit up and still runs fine to this day. Ive also used Stingers and their version of the maglite as well as maglites for duty for years. Even have the original maglite “tactical” led light that is tough but the features are not logical for “tactical” purposes. Surefire is great, but every one here would do themselves a favor by looking at other products until surefire comes down on their prices. I do not dislike surefire at all, I have just never been super impressed with their products and that is before I saw the price!

    • FormerSFMedic

      I definitely see what your saying Bman. I would like to see prices drop too (who doesn’t). I think it’s plausible for SF, but probably not by much. The thing about SF that many people don’t understand in regards to pricing is the R&D that SF does. Surefire commits considerable time and resources to R&D where other companies do not. This R&D ensures that we get the products we want and need and that those products will when they get to us. I guess it’s kind of like an investment so to speak, as long as you stay with SF.

      On the subject of performance, I don’t want to speculate as to other companies capabilities but I will say that not all lights are created equal and there is more to it than output and durability. All my SF products have performed substantially better than anything else I’ve tried. I have also been involved in formal testing of SF suppressors, testing them side by side with other makes. If any product is a shining example of SF R&D and quality in their products, it’s their suppressors. They performed better than all other cans tested on nearly every test I was involved in.

      What I see in SF is innovation and quality beyond what is required. Their led lights may not always be the brightest but the quality of light emitted, the pattern emitted, the runtimes, and durability is always consistent and of the highest standard.

  • A company either steals R&D, or it does it’s own. Surefire paying for their own R&D is not something special or unique.

    Surefire tried mandatory pricing there for a while, and it had to have hurt their sales because they have seemingly abandoned the practice.

    As for better performance, I’m on my third tail cap for my E1B Backup. It’s the only light I’ve ever carried that consistently goes through switch caps. And I certainly don’t carry it every day. Contrast that to the chinese (I believe) manufactured 4seven light. I carry it a whole lot more, and use it much more as well. It’s still on it’s factory original switch.

    As for innovation, they seem to be closing their technology lag time gap, but it’s sure taking them a while.

    I like some of what they do, but surefire seemed to spend a number of years resting on their past performance, and only in the past 2 years or so have they gotten off their *** again.