Author : Carolyn
Tactical flashlights are great and all, but I find myself really looking for better outdoor flashlights. I think using flashlights for self-defense, or when you're in a hairy situation, is a really great option. But as an outdoor person, I find myself needing a flashlight for when I go camping, or hiking, or to the lake. So I'm going to talk about one of my favorite outdoor flashlights, which is the Klarus G20.
The G20 is a pretty compact light. I can't really put it in my pocket, but it's really easy to just toss into a camping bag, or a backpack, or whatever I happen to be carrying on me at that time. It also comes with a holster, so if I don't have any room in my bag, I can easily just put it in the holster, and I'm good to go. The G20 is I think a little less than five inches long, so it's really not difficult to carry.
Amazingly, the Klarus G20 delivers up to 3000 lumens of power, which I think is the most I've seen out of a flashlight this size. It has an orange peel reflector that diffuses that beam a lot, so it's a very, very floody beam. And you would not believe how bright 3000 lumens is when it is in this wide beam. I recommend watching flashlight reviews on YouTube with the Klarus G20, because you can see just how bright this flashlight is. Granted, it's not as impressive as seeing it with your own eyes, but you get a good idea of just how wide this beam is, and how much it's going to illuminate an area.
So the G20 is super powerful, but that's not even my favorite aspect of this flashlight. I will say I do prefer a more diffused beam rather than a focused beam, so the G20 already spoke to me just in that regard, but I also really like that it has two switches, a tail switch and a side switch that operate independently from one another. I love that because I do like tail switches. I find that they're very easy to use. There are times whenever I just don't really want to use a tail switch, I prefer that side switch, so I like that I can switch back and forth depending on what I need at the moment.
The Klarus G20 has six total outputs, four brightness levels, and two specialty modes. The brightness levels range from 15 lumens to 3000 lumens. You have the turbo mode, which is 3000 lumens; the high, which is 650 lumens; the medium, which is 160 lumens; and the low, which is 15 lumens. With only four brightness levels, you're bound to see some variety in the amount of lumens each one delivers. However, I have to say I'm not to crazy about the jump from the high, 650 lumens, to the 3000 lumens. I would like to see something a little more in the middle between those two brightness levels.
That being said, I will say that with the diffused beam, 650 lumens is more than enough to light up a campsite or a hiking ground. You really don't need that much power, and it can be nicer to use the lower brightness levels just to conserve the battery. Which, speaking of, the Klarus G20 actually uses a Klarus 26650 lithium ion battery. This is a batter you don't really see flashlights use very often, and it's kind of unfortunate because it delivers a good amount of power that you wouldn't normally see in a flashlight. I've watched several flashlight reviews, and a lot of reviewers will say that they would like to see this battery be used more in flashlights because it does deliver a good amount of power, and allows for longer run times. That was just a little side note.
Now going back to talking about the user interface, you have the two independent switches, and you have access to one-touch low, and one-touch turbo. When it comes to an outdoor flashlight, being able to immediately access the low mode is, in my opinion, essential. If you're in a little tent, you don't want to activate that 3000 lumens. You're probably going to blind yourself, along with anyone else who happens to be in the tent. But if it's the dead of night, you're in your tent, you're searching for something in your bag, easily you can access the low mode and search for whatever it is you need. This way, you're not blinding yourself, you're not blinding your companions, and your not wasting the battery when you don't need 3000 lumens of power to look through a bag.
I think most flashlights will probably have at least one tactical feature. For the G20, this is definitely the strobe mode. You can access the strobe mode by double clicking either the tail switch, or the side switch. However, because it's an outdoor light, you're definitely going to want an SOS mode, and the G20 does have that. Once you double click and you're in the strobe mode, simply double click one more time, and you'll enter the SOS mode.
Another feature of this flashlight that I love is that it's USB rechargeable. The Klarus G20 has a mini-USB port located on it's side so you can just plug it in, and let it charge. I know a lot of flashlights will come with proprietary chargers, so USB rechargeable flashlights are very exciting. I think everyone has USB cables just sort of lying around their house. Most USB devices will come with a USB cord, so odds are you have more than you're actually using, or than you actually need, which is why a USB rechargeable flashlight is perfect, because you can always charge it easily. Not to mention, the G20 also comes with a USB cable, so you can add that to your collection of USB cables.
The side switch on the G20 also doubles as a charging indicator, so when you plug the G20 in to charge it, you'll see a red LED light up if it's charging, and a green one light up when it's finished charging. So you know when you're ready to go. I never really understand why certain flashlights won't have that charging indicator. It's a little weird, but it's excellent that the G20 does come with that.
It also has a low-voltage indicator, so it will let you know when your battery is getting kind of low, and you need to recharge it, which is significantly better than the flashlight just dying on you when the batteries are dead. There's actually more to the indicator than I mentioned, I just now remembered. The little light on the side switch will glow green while the flashlight is on, and this indicates that your battery has a good amount of charge to it, and then it will glow yellow or orange when it's got a decent amount of charge to it, and then it will glow red whenever it's getting kind of lower.
The Klarus G20 does have that smart ITS temperature control system, and what this means is that the flashlight monitors it's temperature, and will adjust the output according to it's needs. So if the flashlight is getting too hot, or if the battery power is running lower, it might decrease that output to protect the internal components of the flashlight and make sure nothing is damaged. In my opinion, this is an extremely essential feature to have in an outdoor flashlight. You don't want to have to worry about a flashlight overheating and damaging itself, or the battery, or you. So the G20 will remain safe and stable at all times, allowing you to just enjoy the outdoors, and not worry about your flashlight.
There's also a built-in memory function. The side switch will always go into the last brightness level you had it in, whereas the rear switch is always going to go to the low output, and cycle up from there. I know some users may not like it that way. I prefer it that way. I like having the low brightness level easy to access, and I like the cycling where you can access the low mode first, and the turbo last. The good news is, if you prefer to always get into the turbo mode, simply turn the flashlight off in the turbo mode, and then turn it on using the side switch, and you'll enter that turbo mode every time. You can also press and hold the side switch, and that will allow for a momentary on in the turbo mode, and then just release your finger, and the flashlight will turn off.
The user interface is definitely my favorite part of this flashlight. I like that you have the independent switches. I also like that the tail switch turned on goes into the low mode. I like that the side switch has memory function so if I prefer using the medium, high, or turbo mode, I can do that. And I also like the momentary on with holding down the side switch.
All in all, I think Klarus did a great job with this flashlight, and whenever I'm getting ready for any outdoor activities, it is the flashlight that I will grab and put in my bag every time.