Author : Carolyn
I have to say that I have been really impressed by the new tactical flashlights that I've seen come out this year. At the end of the year I always like looking back and thinking about my favorite tactical flashlights that I reviewed and later on I will probably write something that just outlines maybe three or five of my top favorite tactical flashlights of 2017. But for today, I'm going to focus on a newer Klarus flashlight that has come out fairly recently. I'm a little bit behind on this review, but I'm very excited to do it. Today I'm going to be looking at the Klarus XT12S.
Now for those of you who are familiar with Klarus, they have quite a few flashlights from their XT series that we reviewed here and their XT series flashlights are amazing tactical flashlights. Now for those of you who may not know about Klarus flashlights, these are high end, high quality, tactical flashlights that you can rely on for a variety of situation. Klarus is really great at innovated and versatile flashlights, and the XT12S is an excellent example of this. So, I'll be talking about the features of the XT12S and I'll talk about some pros, some cons and any other notes that may help you in deciding whether or not this flashlight is for you.
So to start with, some of you may have heard of the Klarus XT12 or the Klarus XT12GT. Now, the Klarus XT12 is the original version of this flashlight and the Klarus XT12GT is the upgraded version of that flashlight. The Klarus XT12S is actually almost a mirror image of the XT12GT, but it's significantly smaller, making it easier to carry with you. So, to give you a comparison as to how much smaller the XT12S is, the XT11GT is, in length, 161.5 millimeters, whereas the XT12S is 143.3 millimeters. So, it's about an inch smaller than the XT12GT making it significantly more easy to carry around. The XT12S delivers a max of 1,600 lumens and has an impressive beam distance of 402 meters, so I categorize this probably as a mini throw light. It's not going to throw as much as you'd expect from a larger full light, but it's definitely impressive for it's size.
It features a Cree XHP35 HID4 LED and it also has a beautiful, sleek ... it has a nice, smooth reflector and both of these together help give the XT12S that power and that distance. One thing I really like about this flashlight is that it is built to fit onto a weapon, making it perfect for hunting or tactical applications of any kind. A lot of tactical flashlights will be able to be mounted on a weapon, however I have come across some that haven't been able to be and I think that this is kind of big downside of a tactical flashlight if it can't be mounted onto a weapon. So, I'm really glad that the XT12S is able to be. So, now I want to touch on the brightness levels and the two operation settings of the XT12S, so you have a total of 6 outputs.
You have four brightness levels ranging from low to turbo. That's 10 lumens to 1,600 lumens. That is a huge range and gives you a lot of versatility. You also have two flashing modes. You've got the strobe mode and the SOS mode. Now, I want to note that the strobe mode does deliver the 1,600 lumens, however, the SOS mode only delivers about 100 lumens. It's interesting to me that it delivers only 100 lumens. I would have expected it to deliver a bit more for the SOS mode. However, having that 100 lumens allows the SOS mode to have a 42 hour run time. So, that, in and of itself is fairly impressive. I also mentioned that the XT12S does have two operation settings. You have the tactical setting and you have the outdoor setting. Now, if you are familiar with any of the newer Klarus XT series flashlights, you're probably aware of these settings, but just in case you're not, I'm going to go ahead and go over both of them.
So, in the tactical setting, you have a one-touch turbo and a one-touch strobe. The XT12S is operated using a dual tactical tail switch with a main switch and a secondary paddle switch. In the tactical setting, you can use the main switch to access immediate turbo mode and you can use that secondary switch to not only cycle through the different brightness levels, but also to access that immediate strobe. All you need to do is hold down that secondary switch and the strobe will activate immediately. This setting is excellent for any sort of law enforcement, security, tactical application or possible self defense. Now, the outdoor setting is a little bit different. It does have the one-touch turbo, but rather than having a strobe, it actually has one-touch low. So, if you hold down that secondary paddle switch you're going to access the low brightness level. This is excellent for any outdoor application or even just a casual flashlight to use around the house. You won't always need to use that 1,600 lumens and a lot of the time it's better to conserve the battery and to use as little lumens as you need, so 10 lumens is a good amount of lumens. You can see really well in front of you, so this is a great setting for that.
Believe it or not there's actually a lot more to this flashlight. It's also rechargeable using a magnetic recharging port. This magnetic charging port allows you to charge the flashlight securely and quite easily. If you take the included USB magnetic charging cable and get it close enough to the charging port, it will automatically connect and charge, which is really kind of nice because there are times with USB rechargeable flashlights I sometimes feel like I'm fumbling a bit trying to get the micro USB into that port. With the XT12S there's no fuss, because it is magnetic and just self locates. It does come with that magnetic charging cable and it can plug into any USB outlet. So you can use your computer, a wall or car adapter, anything you have to charge a USB device. The XT12S also has a battery capacity indicator that is also a charging indicator. While charging this you'll notice that there's a little LED ring around the magnetic charging port and that is the indicator. While you're charging it, it will glow red while the battery is charging, green when the battery is finished charging and orange when something is wrong with the charging process and it needs to be checked or inspected.
The battery capacity indicator is somewhat similar. When the battery is over 70% charged, the indicator will glow green. When it is 30 to 70% charged, it will glow orange. When it's 10 to 30% charged it will glow red and when it's under 10% the indicator will flash red, letting you know it's time to charge that battery. You can equip the XT12S with a single 18650 battery or two CR123 batteries. Obviously if you use the two CR123 batteries, you will not be able to charge the flashlight. The XT12S does come with a Klarus 18GT36 18650 rechargeable battery that has a 3,600 milliamp capacity. This is a very high quality battery and I'm really quite impressed with it.
So, the last thing I want to talk about is the safety and durability of this XT12S. Just like with other Klarus flashlights, the body is made from an aerospace aluminum alloy. It has that nice, hard anodized finish. The flashlight itself is built to dissipate the heat from the LED and it also has that intelligent temperature protection system or ITS. This monitors the internal temperature and adjusts the output if necessary to prevent any burning out of your LED or any damage to you or the flashlight. With a high quality flashlight, you should definitely expect to see that it has this system in place, especially if it is a high lumen flashlight.
You also have the front and rear internally mounted springs that protects the battery from any impact and the XT12S is actually impact resistance up to one meter and waterproof up to IPX-8 standards.
All right, so my final thought. It's a really neat light. It's a really awesome tactical flashlight. I did like the XT12GT, but I like that the XT12S is smaller. Some of the pros that I like about this flashlight, I'm impressed with the beam distance on it. 402 meters, that's quite far for such a small light. I appreciate the two programmable settings. This allows for a little bit more versatility. You can easily switch between the two settings and I think that that's really great. I like that tactical dual tail switch. It's very intuitive. The user interface is really easy. It's simple to operate and I really appreciate that. Now, the only complaint I have about this flashlight is probably the fact that it does require a proprietary charging cable. I do like that the cable is able to connect to any USB device and charge, that's excellent. But I only have one cable and if I lose that cable, that's a problem. It's not like you can just go to your nearest convenience store and pick up this particular cable.
All in all, I'm incredibly impressed with this flashlight. I am so excited that the XT12S has a little brother that is more or less exactly the same flashlight, just smaller. And if you're looking for a tactical flashlight, I definitely recommend you check out the Klarus XT12S.