One of the more frequently used tools in a police officer’s arsenal is a flashlight. I spent the first seven years of my career working in the dark and went through three or four flashlights in that time. While I’m no longer working at night, I still often find myself in need of my flashlight when going through an abandoned property or checking someone’s house after an alarm goes off.
Recently I was given the chance to review the Klarus XT11 flashlight. I’ve been using my current flashlight for several years and was eager to determine if the XT11 would be an upgrade.
In the box
- XT11 flashlight
- One nylon holster
- One lanyard
- Two o-rings
- One key-chain ring
- CREE XM-L2 U2 LED with up to 50,000 hour lifespan
- 1060 max lumens
- 3 brightness settings and 1 flash mode
- Uses two CR123A disposable batteries or 1 18650 rechargeable battery
- 5.86 inches long, 1.37 inch head, 1 inch body
- 132 gram weight
- IPX-8 rating – 2 meters submersed
The XT11 is described as a tactical flashlight, but it still looks like a fairly standard flashlight.
The body of the flashlight is made of aircraft grade aluminum. The area where you grip the flashlight has a diamond pattern, presumably to keep the flashlight secure in your hand. There is also a small clip on the side, allowing you to hook the flashlight to a belt or pocket.
The rear of the flashlight has an on/off button and a mode button.
The head of the flashlight contains the single LED.
The rear of the flashlight detaches, allowing you to insert the battery. You can use either two disposable CR123A batteries or the included rechargeable battery.
You can also remove the head of the flashlight to attach color filters.
Like I said earlier, the XT11 had a fairly standard design; however, I did stumble upon a few issues.
First, my current flashlight has a rear on/off button like the XT11, but it also has a button just under the head of the flashlight. I rarely – if ever – hold my flashlight towards the rear and need an additional button near the head.
Second, while the XT11 comes with a rechargeable battery, there is no way to charge the battery while in the flashlight. Whats worse, the XT11 doesn’t come with a battery charger, you have to purchase one separately; so out of the box, the rechargeable battery is essentially a one-time use battery.
My current flashlight has two metal contacts on the body, allowing you to rest the flashlight in an included charger. Every night when I get home from work, I place the flashlight in the charger and never have to worry about it dying in the middle of a job.
The XT11 has three brightness settings and one flash mode. It is activated by pressing the on/off button. Once the flashlight is on, you can press the mode button and cycle through the three brightness settings. When the flashlight is off, pressing the mode button activates the flashing mode. Additionally, you can half-press the on/off button to momentarily activate the flashlight.
It’s easy enough to use the buttons, but as I previously stated, I prefer to use a button closer to the head. I found it awkward to use my thumb to activate the XT11 and cycle through the settings. Also, I had to make sure I held the XT11 with the mode button toward the ground; otherwise, my thumb couldn’t reach it to change settings or activate flash mode.
Despite the fact the XT11 has a diamond pattern on the body, I found it had a slippery, almost greasy feel to it. The flashlight would slide in my hand when pressing the buttons, not so much that I dropped the flashlight, but more than I prefer.
One area where the XT11 did shine (bad pun intended) is, is that the flashlight is very bright, much brighter than my current flashlight. At max brightness it can put out 1060 lumens.
For those that don’t know, a lumen is the unit of measure for the amount of light emitted from a source. To put things into perspective, 1060 lumens is about what a 75 watt incandescent bulb emits. Needless to say, the XT11 will easily illuminate the darkest areas and the flash mode should grab anyone’s attention in an emergency.
The XT11 comes with a nylon holster that can be attached to your belt by a Velcro strap on the rear. The flashlight fits in the holster perfectly and is secured by a Velcro flap.
Along with the holster, the XT11 has a lanyard, two o-rings, a tactical ring, and a key-chain ring. Unfortunately, I didn’t really have a use for any of these items.
I have a holster I use on my duty belt and can’t have a lanyard hanging from the flashlight; connecting the flashlight to a key-chain isn’t suitable either. I believe the tactical ring is used to fasten the flashlight to a rifle; again, not something I’d be permitted to do at work. Finally, I believe the o-rings are spares for the flashlight and mine didn’t need to be replaced.
While the XT11 is very bright, it won’t be replacing my current flashlight. The lack of an on/off button near the head and no easy way to recharge the battery are both non-starters. Even if those issues weren’t present, the XT11 is way too slippery for me to consider using at work.
At $69.95, the XT11 isn’t the most expensive flashlight in its class, but it’s not the cheapest either. A quick Amazon search will get you a similar flashlight for half the price.
I’m going to have to pass on the XT11 and I suggest you do the same.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Flashlightz. Please visit their site for more information.