For some of us, flashlights accumulate around the household: the garage, in bags, and everywhere else we can think of. I usually have a flashlight in my pocket each day and forget how helpful it can be until I do not have it. There is always a flashlight in my vehicle, everyday bag, and elsewhere throughout my home. Illumination gives us knowledge in darkness and there has been a continual push for "more lumens" as technology continues to improve.
Once again I am trying out a light from Klarus. This time it is their XT21X boasting 4000 lumens with a 316 meter beam distance and over 24,000 candela. Previously, I was using their XT12S that I already thought was bright at 1600 lumens with a 402 meter reach. I will start off by saying that this light is much too large for most people's pockets. The XT21X currently resides in my everyday bag and has proven useful.
On the full 4000 lumen setting, the flashlight will give an entire room illumination. This was especially helpful during storm season when power outages would occur. Furthermore, I used the light to clearly illuminate the 100 yard range at night. Not all situations call for a full 4000 lumens however, and this is where the other light setting come into play. The settings include turbo (4000LM), high (1200LM), medium (400LM), low (100LM), and moonlight (5LM).
For everyday purposes, the light can store settings and continue back at a chosen light level. This is incredibly helpful when turning the flashlight on and not blinding yourself with a full 4000 lumens simply to find something you dropped in the dark.
Opposed to the other Klarus product I tried, the XT21X uses a micro USB to charge instead of a magnetic charger like the XT12S. So as long as I have access to a USB charger, I can keep the light charged. While on the topic of USB ports, the light also comes with a small key chain light that simply plugs into a USB which is nice for traveling or emergencies. Lastly on charging, when you plug the light in, the switch on the body will illuminate a charge level, so you can quickly see what level your battery is at.
Switches being located both on the tailcap and the body of the light give the user choices in how they will operate the light. For me, more options are better than too few and I never know how I will be holding the light, or the situation.
Durability testing is probably one of my favorite aspects in testing any piece of gear I acquire. First, I am not easy on my gear which quickly tells me what to continue using or not. But of course, I always want to take things a step further and really abuse what's being tested. Countless times I have dropped the XT21X in the garage onto concrete, at the range onto the gravel, and more. Sure the finish may not look as fantastic as it was when I unboxed it, but the functionality of the light is still present. I attribute the lens durability to the protective bezel not allowing direct impacts to contact with the glass. The light is said to be IPX-8 waterproof which translates into 2 meters of submersible water resistance. Hopefully most of us will not be losing the light in deep water. I have used the light in rainy conditions and had it in water plenty of times without water penetrating the housing or lens. I do believe that the charging port could be a weak point for water since it is simply covered with a rubber flap.
As of now I have not had many problems or gripes with Klarus lights. There are always area for improvement however. I recently mentioned the charging port cover. I do not know if there is a better way to cover or encapsulate the charging area, but after prolonged use I am sure the rubber will rip off or cease to seal well. Knowing myself, I will tear it through normal use. The tailcap paddle switch for adjusting modes still seems sensitive to me and could turn on in the pocket or in a bag if the user is not careful.
For myself, I will be primarily leaving this light in my everyday bag. It holds a charge for a long period of time so far and has an incredible output when needed. If the light was more compact with the same capabilities then it would be used as an every day carry light in my pocket.