The single battery Fenix PD20 is packaged in a cardboard box with plastic insert, not a plastic clamshell. It's easy to open and can be reused to store the PD20 as well. The PD20, like all the Fenix lights we reviewed, includes a belt pouch, spare parts, warranty card and instructions.
The Fenix PD20 is the upgradte version of the P2D.
It uses a Cree XR-E high output, high efficiency LED
(about double the efficiency of earlier Luxeon LEDs)
as a light source. It is small and lightweight and has
a type III anodize hard coat finish. The head is interchangeable
with the P2D, but the body is a slightly different
design and so requires a different talicap. Rumor is
that the PD20 body will be available (with tailcap) separately
for current owners of the P2D who want to use
123A cells as a power source. The advantage of using
the higher voltage lithium 123A cell instead of AA cells
is that the light becomes smaller than the one AA cell
L1D but has the output of the two AA cell L2D. The disadvantage
is the cost of the 123A cells, which really isn't bad
at all if you know where
to get good quality cells inexpensively.
Body: The body of the Fenix PD20
is machined aluminum with the more durable type III
hard anodize finish and is available in black only.
The outside of the PD20 body has flat panels around the
central area of the body for grip and display of the
company logos. The tailcap has a textured area for grip
as well as a recessed switch for standing on end and
a lanyard attachment point. A wrist lanyard can be attached
and several other accessories are included with the
Bezel/Head: The head of the PD20 includes a coated
glass lens, a metal reflector, a Cree XR-E LED, and
a regulator circuit, all permanently installed. The
lens is slightly recessed which serves as some protection
from impact and abrasion. The LED is fairly well centered
in the reflector. There is a tiny gap around one edge
of the emitter, so it's not exactly perfect.
Output: Output is very good. The beam is very
smooth with a brighter center and a wide soft spillbeam.
The white light produced by the LED is a high color
temperature and produces good color rendition.
Since LEDs produce much more light in the blue end
of the spectrum, and significantly less light in the
red/yellow end, things illuminated with an LED can appear
"flat" and lacking depth or texture to our
eyes. This is because of the way our eyes work and the
limited spectrum output of LEDs. Distant target identification
is, to my eyes, always better with an incandescent bulb.
However, this particular light is not really designed
for long distance use with its fairly broad, smooth
beam, so it should be fine for most applications.
Output is variable with the P2D, and the adjustment
is done in a very different way from many other lights.
To use "Turbo" mode (Max/Strobe), simply make
sure the head is tight against the body. To switch between
Max and Strobe, partially press the tail switch in until
the light blinks off. When you release the switch the
light will be in the next mode. To use "General"
mode (Low/Medium/High/SOS), make sure the head is not
tight against the body tube - loosen it 1/2 turn from
tight - then half-press the switch as described earlier
to switch between modes. To quickly put the light in
Max mode, just tighten the head again while keeping
the light on. Dimming is achieved with constant current
regulation circuit which means there is no flickering
of the LED in dim modes.
If the light is turned off for 2 seconds or more, the
modes reset, starting from the beginning again the next
time you turn the light on.
PD20-CE, Titanium 123A:
Runtime hrs. (advertised)
All throw readings are in Lux
at one meter. The numbers in parenthesis are for
comparison in the Comparison
Runtime Plot: I fully expect the runtime plots
to be very similar to the L1D running with a single
NiMH AA cell, since the Lithium 123A cells provide for
a very flat discharge curve and seem to have, in practical
use, about the same usable energy as an AA cell. In
order to say, the factory advertised runtimes, above,
will probably prove to be fairly accurate.
The following runtime data is courtesy of, and used
with permission from, Roger H. (a.k.a. Chevrofreak on
CPF). Thanks, Roger, for allowing the use of your work!
PD20 - Energizer E2 123A cell:
Time to 50% Starting Ouput
hr 57 min
hr 35 min
hr 55 min
hr 55 min
data © Roger H. (Chevrofreak) - used with
Switch: The tail switch is a rubber covered
clickie and is fully recessed in the tailcap which allows
the light to stand on end and be used as an electric
candle. Despite the fact that the switch is recessed,
it is very easy to use. Click on, click off. A "half-press-then-release"
causes the light to blink off and back on, switching
modes in the process. You can lock-out the switch by
unscrewing the tailcap 1/2 turn. This will prevent accidental
activation when packing the light in your backpack or
I did notice that the switch cover pooks out a little
when the tailcap is put on, but when removed it is flat.
This appears to be because a very small amount of pressure
builds in the light as you continue to tighten the tailcap
past the O-ring and the light becomes air tight. When
standing on the tailcap this results in a very slight
instability, but nothing serious; at least not with
the unit I have.
Seals / Water Resistance: The lights are protected
from the environment by an O-ring at both ends of the
body tube, a rubber switch cover and a sealed bezel.
Fenix advertises the light as "waterproof"
with no specific depth rating. I would call it "dunkable"
but not "diveable".
If either gets wet inside, just disassemble as much
a possible without tools and let dry before using again.
Batteries: For batteries, this light is approved
by the manufacturer for use with 123A (a.k.a. CR123A)
Lithium cells. All others are at your own risk. The
input voltage for the Fenix P head is is not given.
I would recommend Titanium
brand 123A cells for $1.00 each (here's
a review). For a lower-cost brand, they perform
extremely well. Name-brand 123A lithium cells generally
perform a little better, but cost over $10 a pair in
To change out the batteries: unscrew the tailcap, drop
out the old cell, place in new cell observing proper
polarity. Reattach the tailcap and you're ready to go.
No significant battery rattle is noticeable during
Accessories: Several accessories are included
with the light. Inside the package you will find spare
O-rings, a spare rubber switch boot, a wrist lanyard,
and a belt sheath.
What I Liked: Waterproof, Tough/impact
resistant, Good battery life, Bright, Easy battery change,
Lightweight, Stands up, Multiple output modes
What I Didn't Like: Nothing at
Picky Little Things: None
Conclusions: Fantastic output and
versatility. Smaller than the L1D, but provides the
output of the L2D. I do believe this is THE light I've
been waiting for, and it is definitely going to be my
new EDC/Travel light. As far as I'm concerned, the quest
is over for my "perfect" every-day-carry light.
Of course, that'll change once the technology is developed
to create an even smaller, brighter, and more versatile
light; but for now, this will do nicely! My former all-time
favorite, the Peak Caribbean, is finally to be retired
to the desk drawer. I'm sure it won't mind the rest.