Beam me up!

Daniel O’Dea was blown away by the Asteroid-V2 Hunting Kit

When it comes to handheld torches, like many things these days we’re spoilt for choice. Between improved LED and battery technology, torch lighting would have to be one of the top 10 products in terms of advancement during the past decade or so – they just seem to be shining brighter and for longer than they ever have. Ten years ago a 300 Lumen torch seemed amazing yet now could be considered rather passé, especially with 1000 Lumen offerings readily available.

As this technology has progress, one Australian firm seems to have well and truly kept pace in delivering the latest and greatest in lighting to shooters and outdoors people, so I wasn’t surprised when I received an offering from Powa Beam in the Asteroid-V2 Hunting Kit.

The idea of a torch ‘hunting kit’ isn’t new and I’ve reviewed similar offerings from Powa Beam before. The basic principle is that of a durable hard case decked out with all the basic kit a hunter might need for some solo spotlighting. I remember years ago when this involved lugging around a small 12V battery slung in a pouch across your hip with a spotlight attached to your firearm via a cable connection, rather cumbersome but it had to be done if you wanted to be detached from a vehicle and spotlight on foot.

I used to do this myself and still have the old-style scope mount on my Brno which I dug out for a comparison photo. Nowadays you achieve the same only more powerful with longer battery life and 25 per cent less bulk thanks to a modern torch, small remote pressure switch and some form of mount.

In this case your package includes an Asteroid-V2 rechargeable LED torch, 10,000mAh rechargeable battery pack, scope mount, USB-C remote pressure switch, USB-C charging cable, user manual and two spare O-ring seals. Starting with the key element we have a torch 252mm long with a 63.6mm lens housing and 26mm main tube. The unit is CNC-machined from ‘high-strength aerospace aluminum’ and finished with premium Type-III hard anodizing for an extremely durable finish. Control-wise we’ve two buttons, a tail-mounted one in the cap at the end of the main tube and side switch towards the rear of the lens housing assembly.

The tail button primarily serves as an on-off switch but is multi-functional. A light press fires the unit up momentarily while depressed and off when released. A full press down turns the unit on, remaining so until another full press is repeated. Two light presses held on the second activates a strobe function until released, while a light press followed by a full press down actives continuous strobe until another full press turns it back off.

Pressing the side switch with the unit on lets you toggles through four lighting functions in Eco, Low, Medium and High. Eco mode produces 10Lm of light for a staggering 330 hours, a little short of two weeks continuous run time! Low gives a reasonable 100Lm of light for 40 hours and for reference, 100Lm is the same output as the old 6-volt Dolphin Torches we used to lug around (noting the latest Dolphins are about double that).

Medium mode provides an impressive 500Lm for 7 hours 22 minutes and at full power on High you could almost fry an egg with a staggering 1400Lm of blinding light. At full power the 1400Lm setting is quoted for three-minute stints for about four hours, 50 per cent usage. It’s also worth noting that to achieve the charge times listed, a minimum 5v/2A charging port is required. The unit also has a memory and returns to the last setting when turned off and on.

Ok, frying eggs is an exaggeration but on full power the unit can become hot and maximum operating temperature is 55C at which point the smart temperature control system kicks in and lowers the lumen output until the unit cools off before ramping back up to full output (hence the battery life referring to three-minute intervals at 1400Lm). The strobe function operates at 1400Lm as well. Centre of the side button also incorporates a small LED indicator which on startup monitors the remaining battery charge and displays a different colour for five seconds depending on the level. When the charge drops below five per cent an indicator flashes red continuously to let you know it needs recharging.

The unit is powered by a supplied Powa Beam 10,000mAH rechargeable battery pack but is also compatible for use with two 21700 batteries. Both the pack size and 21700 compatibility are an upgrade from previous models which relied on 18650 rechargeable batteries, these new options being larger with greater energy and discharge rate. Battery numbers relate to size with 18650s being 18mm in diameter and 65mm long and 21700s 21mm x 70mm.

Directly opposite the side button on the other side of the lens housing is a rubberized tab covering a USB-C charging port and the unit comes with a USB to USB-C cable for this. From dead to full charge will take a little over five hours depending on the port output and when plugged in the side-switch LED glows red turning to green on full charge.

In another upgrade the USB-C port now also serves to connect the remote pressure switch. In previous versions the remote switch cable would be connected to an alternative rear cap, replacing the tail button. This new approach is much neater and removes the need to swap out the tail cap. The touch pad on the remote switch appears, by feel, to have three buttons. One controls on-off and others full functionality of the side which, so you can toggle between light levels, strobe etc using the remote pad.

Two spare O-rings for the body are supplied, basically the only serviceable item on the torch apart from the batteries. To maintain the waterproof rating of IPX-8 (two-metre submersion) it’s suggested these are occasionally treated with silicone lubricant. Spares are provided if you break or lose one, though this is now less likely with both the charging port and new remote system not requiring removal of the tail cap.

Two attach the torch to your rifle the kit comes with a basic scope mount. Simple but effective it comprises two molded sections of shaped polymer, connected by a threaded rod or bolt with an appropriately sized knob for tightening. One side clamps to the scope, the other the torch and it’s worth noting this is a ‘scope’ mount and not designed for underbarrel use.

With very few exceptions the minimum standard diameter for a scope tube is 1” (25.4mm), which is about the same as the Asteroid-V2’s main tube (26mm). It’ll still work on larger diameter scope tubes by virtue of the range in the clamp bolt, though not on a smaller diameter rifle or shotgun barrel. Even a 12-gauge barrel only has an outer diameter of around 18mm which is too small for this mount to clamp on.

In the field the Asteroid-V2 is designed specifically with the shooter in mind, as it’s not just the intensity of the beam but how it’s focused. 1400Lm is great but if it’s a spread beam it’s not going to do the job for you at long range when spotlighting. Beam distance on the V2 is an incredible 1400m, suitable for all practical spotlighting ranges.

I’ve been using Powa Beam roof-mounted spotlights for years and also had a very good run with their torches. My little Comet X1 is seldom far away and is the closest thing torch-wise I have to an EDC (everyday carry) which goes everywhere with me. As an Australian company, Powa Beam also have a great reputation for customer service, very reassuring on the rare occasion something might go wrong. The Asteroid-V2 appears to be just the latest in great line up of products and has an RRP of $385 (but shop around). More at

Product: Powa Beam Asteroid-V2 Hunting Kit
Beam distance: 1400m
Waterproof rating: IPX-8 (up to 2m)
Impact rating: 1.5m
LED: Osram 5400K~5600K
Batteries: Powa Beam 10,000 mAh power-pack (inc) or 2x 21700
Dimensions: 252mm (L), 63.6mm (HD), 25.4mm (BD)
Weight: 388g (with battery)
Programmability: Five light modes – 10Lm to 1400Lm and strobe
Warranty: Limited lifetime

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