Klarus ST10 Flashlight Review
Author : Carolyn
I’m always looking for a good outdoor flashlight so I jumped at the chance to review the Klarus ST10, especially since I enjoyed the ST15 so much. If you were looking for an outdoor LED flashlight I would recommend that you look at the Klarus ST series flashlights because they all have excellent features that are perfect for outdoor activities. In this review I’ll look at the features of the Klarus ST10, talk about the pros and cons, and give you my final thoughts on this flashlight.
So let’s dive right into this review, starting with the size of the flashlight. I’m really happy with how compact this flashlight is. It’s less than four and half inches in length so it can fit in your pocket or be put in your bag without taking up much room at all. It’s pretty lightweight and feels very comfortable in your hand. It’s almost small enough to be considered an EDC light. It’s definitely small enough to easily carry with you. It has a CREE XM-L2 U2 LED and delivers up to 1100 lumens with a max beam distance of 115 meters. Thanks to the optical lens, the ST10 has a evenly diffused light so you can see the area around you really well. The light itself is very soft and it's not too overwhelming for your eyes which is a feature I really like. It is important to note that this is not a throw light. Although it can reach out to 115 meters according to Klarus, this light is really for more up close work and lighting up a significant area rather than focusing on a specific spot.
Moving on to the user interface, the ST10 is operated using a single side switch near the head of the flashlight. All you need to do is single click to turn on the flashlight and, because it has a built-in memory function, it will turn on to the last mode that you used. And then just click again to cycle through the different brightness levels. Now the sequence of the brightness levels is somewhat interesting. It goes from turbo too low to medium to high. If the flashlight is off you can immediately enter that low mode by holding down the switch for just one second and you can enter the strobe mode by double-clicking the side switch. To get out of strobe mode you just need a single click and it'll exit out of that mode. So the user interface is fairly easy to pick up on and it won't take much time to learn. Although the sequence of the modes may take some getting used to.
As I said before there are four brightness levels. You have turbo at 1100 lumens, high at 400 lumens, medium at 100 lumens, and low at 10 lumens. That low mode has a 200 hour runtime if you have a fully charged battery. Now that's a really impressive run time and definitely something I look for when getting an outdoor flashlight. The ST10 also has a strobe mode and an SOS mode. I didn't mention this before, but in order to get to the SOS mode you need to get into the strobe mode then double-click again and you will be in the SOS mode. Then to exit out of that SOS mode simply click again and you're out. so between all six different modes you have quite a bit of versatility with this flashlight and that's exactly what you want in an LED flashlight.
I also want to take a second to mention that lock out function. Now I've met people who don't like lockout functions and I met people who really prefer to have them. In my opinion a lockout function can't hurt and even if you're not a fan of them it's handy to have just in case you want to use it. To lock out the ST10 all you need to do is hold the side switch down for 5 seconds and your flashlight will be locked out. Then to unlock it you just need to click the side switch three times. When you lock out or unlock the flashlight the light should flash twice so it indicates that you locked it or that you unlocked it. I really like lockout functions in any light. If I'm going out camping and I'm going to put my flashlight in my bag and not use it until night time, I like using that lockout function to make sure it doesn’t accidentally turn on in my bag. I also really like that I have an immediate access to the low mode and I have a memory function. When I’m doing an outdoor activity and I'm trying to conserve the battery I'll often use the low mode if I just need a bit of light to either walk around or search in my bag or what have you. With that same thought in mind I also like the idea that I can turn off the flashlight either in the medium mode, the high mode, or turbo mode and it'll turn on again to that mode. So if I find that I don't need the full 1100 lumens and I'm happy in the high mode then I can go ahead and make sure the flashlight turns on again to that high mode.
So I've covered the user interface and I've covered the different brightness levels so what I want to look at next is the battery and everything concerning the battery. The ST10 does come with the rechargeable Klarus 18650 battery and it does have a 2600 mah capacity. However you can equip it with any 18 650 battery or two CR123 batteries. In my opinion with an outdoor flashlight it's important to have a flashlight that can accept different cells rather than require a proprietary cell or a single specific cell. This flashlight is USB rechargeable and it does have that silicone cover over that micro USB port to protect it from any of the dirt or grime from the outdoors. I'm always a fan of the USB rechargeable flashlights so I especially like that the ST10 is a USB rechargeable flashlight. The side switch doubles as a charging indicator as well as a battery power indicator. I'll talk about the charging indicator first. While you're charging the ST10 the indicator will glow green whenever the battery is completely charged, it will glow red while the battery is still charging, or it will glow orange if, for some reason, it's not able to charge. For example maybe there's a bit of dust or a piece of plastic in the way of the charging function so it's great that it gives you that heads up. As for the battery capacity indicator, it will glow green when the battery is over 70% charged, orange when it's 30 to 70% charged, red when it's 10 to 30% charged, and finally it'll flash red if the battery is under 10% charged. Many of klarus flashlights have this battery capacity indicator and I really like it. It gives me an excellent idea about where the battery is and while I continually use the flashlight I start to get a good idea of when the charge will drop down.
Looking at the body of this flashlight you can see that it has a really nice anti-slip body which is an important thing to have in either tactical or outdoor flashlights. The body of the ST10 is constructed from Aerospace aluminum alloy and has that hard anodized finish that you would expect in any high-end flashlight. You have really nice heat dissipation grooves so you won't need to worry about your LED heating up too much. The ST10 also has ITS that monitors the internal temperature of the light and it will adjust the output to ensure that the flashlight is working at its best safely. This is a very important feature to have especially in an outdoor flashlight in my opinion. You want a flashlight that's going to be able to take care of itself. This way you don’t need to worry about the LED burning out or potentially even hurting you because of that heat. LEDs heat up very quickly and quite a lot so it's excellent to see that the ST10 does have ITS.
To be honest there are a lot of Pros to this flashlight. However I don't want to list all the features back at you that I just listed so I'll pick my top few favorite features. I really like the one-touch low function. I find I use this function very often partly because I don't want to waste the battery and partly because I don't honestly need that much light to do a lot outside. I also like that built-in memory function because I find that very useful when doing any outdoor activities. I think the fact that it's USB rechargeable and has that great charging and battery capacity indicator is excellent. This way I know around where the batteries charge is at and I have a very simple way to charge it. Finally, I like that really compact size of the light. I prefer a smaller flashlight when doing any outdoor activity so it's great to have that lightweight compact design.
As for the cons with this flashlight, I wish it had a one touch Turbo because, while I do prefer the one-touch low, I also find myself using that one-touch turbo if I'd like to see a good amount of area lit up. However, in order to get to the turbo mode I would need to set the flashlight to it before turning it off so that the memory function will remember that. So I do wish there was a one-touch Turbo. The sequence of the brightness levels is also fairly interesting and I'm not really sure it's my cup of tea. It starts with the turbo mode then goes to low then starts to go back up. I can see some users not really caring for that sequence.
The Klarus ST10 is a truly fantastic outdoor LED flashlight. It has all the features you would want in an outdoor flashlight except for that one-touch turbo. However, it does have the one-touch low, the built-in memory mode, the lockout function, as well as a strobe and an SOS mode. Not to mention that it is so compact it would be incredibly easy to take with you on any of your outdoor adventures. So I do highly recommend the Klarus ST10 and would give it a nine out of ten rating.