Klarus XT11GT Pro Review
Specs as per manufacturer
|Brand / Model||Klarus XT11GT Pro|
|Beam intensity||25600 cd|
|Blinkies||Strobe and SOS|
Today I’m testing the first Klarus light I’ve used – the XT11GT Pro.
This is an evolution from the previous generation XT11GT – the changes include (but aren’t limited to) charging via USB-C instead of Micro USB, both switches now on the tail, and a modest boost to lumens. There’s also a change of UI in there too, just to keep everyone on their toes.
I had initially planned to make a 30-60 second video for this review as an addendum, as I’m aware that some struggle to digest long-form text information, but time and family constraints have somewhat held me back on that. Let’s put this one down as Coming Soon!
Some stats first, though
- Length: 139.7mm
- Body width: 25.4mm
- Head width: 35mm
- Weight with included cell: 168g
What’s in the box?
The box for the XT11GT Pro is quite a slick thing; a satin black box with a glossy finish on the image of the light itself. There’s all the usual specs and information printed around it, and the back slides out of the front of the box.
Inside, I find:
- A Klarus-branded holster, containing:
- The XT11GT Pro itself, containing:
- A Klarus-branded protected 3100mAh 18650
- The XT11GT Pro itself, containing:
- USB-A to USB-C cable
Everything you need to get up and running.
How it feels
My initial thoughts are that this is a light designed to be used in a tactical grip (overhand), but given the Outdoors mode of the light that lends itself more to going bushwalking or similar, it’s definitely something that could be held underhand as well, if you’re not changing modes often (or at all). It rests comfortably in the hand, though – great for longer-term holding if needed.
The knurling on the body isn’t too aggressive, and that’s a nice thing to see; nobody wants torn up hands. There’s enough grip if needed to stop it sliding around, but it’s also smooth enough to not feel painful on a bare hand, even if you need to hold it tight.
The switches on the tailcap are easily distinguishable by feel alone, which is great. Because the mode switch is build in such a way that it’s not the same level as the rest of the tail, you just need to slide your thumb “downhill” to find the best activation point of it.
There’s one thing I really like though, and that’s the clip retention system. There’s a part on the clip where it attaches to the body that’s slightly taller, and that tucks in under the tailcap when it’s tightened down. This makes it rock solid, and ensures it won’t unclip at a critical moment.
I don’t have the equipment (nor desire, really) to test how much force would be required to snap the clip when it’s locked down, but I’m imagining the answer is… lots.
There’s also a remote switch available, for those wishing to mount this on a rifle or similar.
I’m quite impressed by the quality of this. Everything seems to be rock-solid, and I fully expect it could take a bit of abuse.
Apart from the bezel, there’s not a rough edge in sight, and there’s no anodisation imperfections that I can spot.
I’m pretty happy that the bezel unscrews, though – that leaves things a bit more free for modders like myself, if they were inclined towards a light like this.
The threads on the tailcap are smooth and well lubricated, so taking the cap off if you want to swap the battery quickly (or charge it externally) is a breeze.
The clip seems very solid, and as previously mentioned, is very secure. The holster provided has a velcro Molle strap, and sits quite securely. The XT11GT Pro sits inside it with the lens up.
The LED and surrounds
Behind a nice smooth bezel is the Cree XHP35 HD at 6500K. Given that this emitter has been discontinued, this may to be one of the last lights I’ll see with this first generation XHP35, and it’s good to see them. Because they’re a 12V emitter, a boost driver is needed to run them, and that usually results in some nice regulated modes that hold their output quite well.
The XHP35 HD differs from the HI in that it’s a domed emitter, so it will make a wider hotspot – the hotspot is decently wide on this light, but for a tactical light, this isn’t a bad thing at all.
There’s a darkened stainless bezel with mildly aggressive crenulations; while not an “attack” bezel, I don’t think being hit with this would be too enjoyable.
Just to get this out of the way – there’s a few errors in the manual that I want to address – these doesn’t affect the use of the light in any way, and are more of an annoyance than an actual problem, but it’s just something that could be updated to accurately reflect how the UI works.
- The light I received came in Outdoor Mode, the manual says it comes in Tactical Mode;
- Momentary mode isn’t mentioned anywhere, but maybe it doesn’t need to be as you’d probably expect that on a tactical light;
- In outdoor mode, when entering moonlight via holding Mode, pressing Mode again cycles upwards through levels instead of down; hold down mode to turn off again. This isn’t mentioned in the manual;
- In Tactical mode, the light goes through Medium as well, not just Turbo/High/Low.
Onto the UI itself!
Warning: Wall of text incoming.
There are two overarching modes – Outdoor mode and Tactical mode. As mentioned above, my light came in Outdoor mode, and I feel it’s a much better mode for it to come in.
To switch between modes, you hold down the Mode button for 5 seconds until the indicator light is flashing green and red, and then press the primary switch fully in. This works well enough switching from Outdoor to Tactical, but switching Tactical to Outdoor means you get five seconds of strobing unless you’re holding the light down against a leg, or similar.
I’ll type the UI up, and I’ve made a diagram that may help explain it. It’s far more intuitive than I’m making it out to be!
Half-press the primary switch for momentary turbo, and fully activate to turn the light on to turbo. Tap the mode button for a brief moonlight mode, or hold for two seconds to keep moonlight mode.
On via main switch: Press main switch to turn off. Press Mode to cycle downwards through modes. Hold Mode to enter SOS mode. This will flash out SOS in Morse Code, at 100 lumens. It appears quite dim initially, but it’s to maintain battery life for if it’s needed. If you’re being searched for in the dark, then it’ll be visible from the air from a long distance.
On via Mode switch moonlight: Press Mode to cycle upwards through modes. Hold Mode to turn off.
Half-press the primary switch for momentary turbo, and fully activate to turn the light on to turbo. Tap the mode button for a brief strobe mode, or hold for two seconds to keep strobe mode.
Press main switch to turn off. Press Mode to cycle downwards through modes. Hold Mode to enter Strobe mode. Tap strobe again to return to main light mode.
You can lock the light out by unscrewing the tailcap a little to break the electrical connections; there’s no electronic lockout. Thankfully, there’s also no PWM!
The Klarus-branded 18650 that’s included with the kit is a protected 3100mAh cell – this is perfectly sufficient for the light. This can be charged either in the light via a USB-A to USB-C cable (included), or in an external charger.
I’ve tested the XT11GT Pro with some other standard 18650s I have lying around, and it works fine.
In the light, I get a charging rate of around 1A. I feel like this could be pushed to 2A with no problems, though. Putting the battery in my Vapcell S4+ on Auto mode, it selects 2A, so there’s room to move there.
For my readings, I use the following:
Lux Meter: For lumen readings and runtimes, an Adafruit TSL2591 connected to a Raspberry Pi running Ubuntu, using RuTiTe by bmengineer in a custom sphere. A UNI-T UT383S is used for candela readings. An Adafruit MCP9808 rounds out the list for temperature monitoring, if I feel it is needed.
DMM: UNI-T UT139C and UNI-T UT210E – 16AWG wire is used directly into the 139C via some banana plugs, and 8AWG wire in a loop for the UNI-T. The DMM I use depends on how high the expected current will be – I use the 139C for <10A, and the 210E for >10A.
Given the nature of this light (dual wall for signal tube), getting current readings is quite difficult. As much as it burns me… this one is a bit beyond the gear I have available. If I had a large amount of clamps and space, then perhaps… but not with what I have.
I’ve opted to test only Turbo and High, as I feel these are the modes that would be most likely used. Medium is also a potential, but I can extrapolate rough runtimes from the other modes.
As seen and expected, Turbo drops down to just above High over the course of 2.5 minutes. There’s a decent amount of heat behind generated, but Klarus is playing it safe – while quite warm to the touch, the light wasn’t getting to the “goodbye fingerprints” stage like other lights I’ve used in the past.
High will get you a little over four hours runtime, with a stepdown at the thirty minute mark or so; still at over 200 lumens, though. From that, I can conclude that the Medium runtime of 11 hours is probably fairly accurate – I’d probably expect a little more than that, though.
Lumen measurements (for each mode)
Given that I’m an enthusiast without a bottomless pit of cash for professional testing equipment, I expect my readings to be up to 10% out at times, even after multiple calibrations. With that said:
- Low: 8 lumens
- Medium: 93 lumens
- High: 367 lumens
- Turbo: 1999 lumens
I’m pretty happy with those numbers, as most of them are within that 10% – and the ones outside of that, we’re talking one lumen outside, which is completely negligible.
- 5m indoors: 29,225cd = 341.91m throw
- 10m outdoors: 29,400cd = 342.93m throw
Both a bit above the rated throw of 25600cd (320m throw) – nice!
Comparison to other lights
- Nitecore P20i, Klarus X11GT Pro, Nitecore MH12S
- Klarus XT11GT Pro, JetBeam PC20
All wall-shots taken at 0.3s, f8.0, ISO 100, 5000K WB; straight off the camera with no adjustment in post. Lights are approximately 60cm from the wall.
Things I like
- Form factor is quite nice
- Puts out a lot of light with a nice broad hotspot
- Thought behind the design – the clip retention system is great
Things I don’t like
- Cool white (but I’m always saying this about tactical lights)
- No memory mode, but there’s workarounds
I like it. While it might be a “simple” light, it’s got decent mode spacing, and a nice and easy to use UI. Having the two modes (Outdoor and Tactical) separated is nice, so if you never want a strobe, you can lock it away. The ability to use non-proprietary batteries is always welcome, too.
It’s definitely worthy of consideration if you’re after a tactical light.
I’d love to see one of these in a warmer colour temperature, but I know that the XHP35 has been discontinued. That said, I’m planning on modifying this one to something warmer, like a 4500K 80CRI.
This light was provided by Klarus through Liteshop, where it is available for $144.95AUD at time of writing . I was not otherwise compensated for this review. As such, my opinions are my own, and as such reflect my own (sometimes weird) likes and dislikes.Tags: 18650, klarus, tactical