The Klarus XT2C U2 is an inexpensive flashlight with a ton of lumens.
I’ve used the XT2C U2 for roughly 6 months and I’ve found it to be a very capable light for the price. It pumps out 580 lumens for a price point of $65. The throw is decent, fine for everyday carry or searching but not enough for a rifle light. It paints roughly the same amount of light on a white wall as my 300 lumen Streamlight TLR-1s at 50 feet thought it fades rapidly as the distance grows while the TLR-1s beam continues to provide usable light up to around 100 feet.
The light features full metal construction, O-ring seals on both ends and a multi function tailcap. I found the main tail cap switch to be easy to find and activate, and the click on/off function has grown on me.
The XT2C U2 has survived numerous drops, tosses, bangs and rain storms. It rides lens up in a Surefire V70 holster on my duty belt and is exposed to the elements on a daily basis. Never has it failed to turn on for any reason. Due to my abuse, some of the finish is worn on the corners but overall the light looks and functions just as it did when it was new.
The shrouds on either side of the control buttons have lanyard holes in them, and a clip is included with the light. Also included is a belt pouch with a flap. I have not used the pouch very often but it features elastic on the sides which gives positive retention of the light and this is much appreciated.
I constantly have to search with my finger for the mode switch, especially when wearing gloves. I have also had several accidental discharges when the light is in my flashlight holster which makes me think the buttons need a larger shroud. To fix this, I would like to see the two end cap button shrouds joined into one “C” shaped shroud. The gap in the “C” would give access to the mode button and would allow the user to find it with their finger easier even with gloves on.
This flashlight does not have any memory, and it is set to always turn on to the brightest setting. Pushing the mode button will bring you down to the medium and dim settings. I found this to be particularly annoying indoors and I’ve blinded myself quite a few times by clicking the light on while it was pointed at a nearby glossy or light colored surface.
While on, the XT2C U2 gets hot VERY QUICKLY. I am familiar with other lights getting hot around the bezel, but the entire body of the XT2C U2 gets hot. I had mine turn on in my holster once and I didn’t notice it for around 15 minutes. I found it by looking for the source of the burning sensation on my side. I could barely touch it to get it out of the holster and turn it off. As I use lithium batteries in the light (CR-123s) I pulled them out immediately to prevent them from overheating or exploding.
My last gripe about the light also stems from it always coming on in the brightest level. Because of this, I tend to just use it in this setting instead of fishing for the mode button every time. As a result, I have to replace my batteries every 4-6 weeks. I would say that the 1.8 hour estimated run time at the brightest setting is mostly accurate.
In my opinion this light would be best used for every day carry or general utility/outdoors purposes. The fact that the high mode comes on first at all time is great for blinding would-be attackers or instantly lighting up a scene. Low modes can be used for setting up the tent, changing a flat, fixing a fence, reading a map or any number of other activities.
Not Recommended For:
I would not recommend this light for any activity that you will need it to remain lit for more than a few minutes on high mode. The XT2C U2 will quickly become too hot to touch and you’ll need to switch to a backup light or a lower light mode.
I would not recommend this light for any situation where light discipline is necessary such as duty or tactical situations. A few times I’ve needed just enough light to see the ground at my feet but couldn’t have the full amount as it would alert other’s to my presence. I had to shove the light against my chest and mentally click through the modes, hoping that it wouldn’t be on a high setting when I removed it. This is a no go for me.
I would also not recommend this light for activities where you plan on toggling the light on and off quickly in tight spaces. For instance, on duty I use my XT2C U2 to check dark corners inside buildings. Quite often the light bouncing back is enough to partially blind me, disabling my night vision for a minute or two.
4Sevens Quark Pro QP2L-X with Burst Mode: Burst mode gives you an astonishing 780 lumens, standard maximum mode is 390 lumens. At $75 this would be an interesting option though the battery life at maximum lighting is only 1.7 hours.
Fenix TK 15: This light has a maximum output of 450 lumens and a battery life of 2 hours at that rate. It has a slightly different button layout and is compatible with several tactical accessories such as a rail mount and tape switch. It can be had for $59.95
Despite the mediocre experience I’ve had with the Klarus XT2C U2 on duty, I can’t help but want one! This light won’t die on me despite my best efforts and it pumps out some serious lumens despite it’s price and size. Now, I will not be purchasing one for duty or tactical use despite Klarus’ advertizing. That said, I think the XT2C U2 is a solid flashlight and a reliable light source for EDC or utility functions. Get yours at LA Police Gear.