You know, you’d think I’d get tired of talking about tactical flashlights, but my enthusiasm hasn’t wavered yet. I think it’s important for everyone to own a tactical flashlight. Tactical flashlights are truly excellent tools that once you get used to carrying or having, it’s really difficult to imagine life without it.
So, I have another excellent tactical flashlight to talk about today. It’s the 5.11 Tactical Flashlight TMT L2. Before choosing this light, I always like doing a bit of research into each light, and I was amazed to see what flashlight users had to say about the TMT L2 Flashlight, so I decided to check it out for myself and see if my reaction matched those of the very satisfied users of these lights.
So, let’s go ahead and get started with this tactical flashlight review. So, the TMT stands for Tactical Mission Torch, and the L2 refers to two lithium batteries. So, right in the name you already know what you’re getting with this flashlight. It’s equipped with a Cree XPG-B LED and delivers up to 320 lumens, which is a good amount of light you’ll get some exceptional visibility with it.
I’ll talk more about the different brightness levels in the user interface in a minute, but I really want to focus on right now is my favorite aspect of this light, which is the construction. I really like the body design. It’s got a really good tactical feel to it, feels comfortable in your hands. It is constructed from aerospace grade aluminum. It is water resistant. It is impact resistant up to 2 meters. It has a soft touch anti-roll ring, allowing you to grip the flashlight a little bit easier, allowing you to out the flashlight on a surface without worrying about it rolling away, and it also has that stamped metal pocket clip that I really like with this flashlight.
Now, if you’ve read flashlight reviews before, you know that a lot of the things I said, it’s pretty common in many tactical flashlights. But feeling it in your hand, you can feel that the aluminum is thick and sturdy. You can tell that you’re going to be using this light for a long time, and that you won’t have to worry about durability being an issue.
In a few different reviews I read, one user talks about dropping the flashlight frequently, and not even seeing a scratch on it. Another user said that he left the flashlight in the water overnight and it still worked amazing. Now, I wouldn’t recommend doing that with any flashlight, but the very fact that it was still working, after sitting in water overnight, is very, very impressive. Talk about high quality, this tactical torch really seems to deliver on that.
Flashlight User Interface
Moving on to the user interface, it has a single tactical tail switch. The tail switch does protrude out from the flashlight, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Good, because it’s very easy to find, and it has that momentary on, so you’ll be able to illuminate an area very quickly. One of the down sides, however, is that it may accidentally turn on. Of course, 5.11 Tactical did consider this, and it does have a rotary dial lockout switch. So, right next to the switch you have the small rotary dial that you can just spin a bit, and it will lock out the switch. It’s a really easy lockout design. I really like that. There’s not really any guessing. It’s very straightforward, and with a tail switch that protrudes out from the flashlight, I think that’s definitely something you want.
I really like that it has a momentary on feature. I think that every tactical flashlight should definitely have a momentary on feature. It’s great. You just barely press the switch down, and it immediately turns on and just release your finger when you turn it off again. It’s great for just a burst of light, if you just need to see a section of the outdoors as quickly as possible. With a tactical flashlight, it really is all about being prepared, being quick, being easy to operate, everything to make any tactical situation safer and easier for you.
It does feature three different outputs. You’ve got the high, the low, and then a strobe mode. So, in the high mode you’ve got the full 320 lumens. The low mode, you have 15 lumens, and the strobe mode is back again to the 320 lumens. The run times are pretty good. You’ve got on high, two and a half hours. On low, 55 hours, and on strobe, seven hours. Now I really hope you don’t need to strobe someone for seven hours, but it’s good that it has a decent run time.
The reflector on the TMT L2 Flashlight is orange peel, has that orange peel texture on it, so you’re going to get a really good dispersed beam. I do like to see tactical flashlights that have that orange peel reflector. I usually see the smooth reflector, and both reflectors are really great. It really just comes down to preference, and what you plan on using the flashlight for.
So, I want to talk a bit about the user interface. It’s a bit of an odd interface to be quite frank. So, when you turn on the flashlight, it’s always going to turn on to the turbo mode, so you’ll have access to the 320 lumens always. To enter the low mode, you need to double tap. In order to get to the strobe mode, you need to triple tap the tail switch three times. Well, triple tap, there it is right there. So, you need to triple tap the tail switch to get into that strobe mode. As I said, a bit odd. I’m not a huge fan of triple tapping to get into the strobe mode. I think most tactical flashlights should be able to get into that strobe mode pretty instantly, and triple tapping is not instant in my opinion. I do like that it always turns on to the turbo mode, so you can always access the full 320 lumens.
Let’s talk about the two lithium batteries that it takes. It does include two CR123A Duracell batteries, so you have some high quality batteries with this flashlight. CR123 batteries are pretty easy to come by. They’re fairly inexpensive. Those are the pros for those batteries. Although I have to admit, I’m surprised that the TMT L2 does not take any other kind of battery. It only takes two CR123A batteries, so that is something to keep in mind before buying this flashlight. You should also consider looking at a rechargeable flashlight if you don’t want to replace batteries all the time.
Moving on to the pros and cons of the 5.11 Tactical TMT L2 flashlight. So, some things I liked about it. I raved about the construction. This is truly a high quality flashlight. I really think it is built to last even in the roughest conditions. I also really like the rotary dial lockout switch. With a lot of flashlights that have a lockout switch, often you’ll have to press the switches in a certain way to get to lockout, and then press them again in a certain way to get the flashlight to operate again. So, I really like it’s just a very quick rotary dial lockout switch, and that’s it, you can just twist it. You’re locked out, twist it again. You can operate the flashlight again. Really simple, really straightforward. All in all, I really do like that.
There are a couple of things that I’m not crazy about with this flashlight. First of all, I am not really big on the user interface works. I don’t like the double tap to get to into the low, and then the triple tap to get into strobe. With any tactical flashlight, I firmly believe the strobe should be very easy to access, and I don’t think triple tapping is considered easy to access. I also wish it would take more than just CR 123 batteries. While these are great batteries, if you decide to use this flashlight as an everyday carry light, or you use it frequently, you’re going to be burning through those batteries quickly. That’s going to get quite costly. With my tactical flashlights, I do prefer that they have different options of batteries that they can run on, and I usually do prefer the option to have a rechargeable battery for just such a situation, so that I can use a flashlight without having to worry about continually going through batteries.
So, one note that I want to talk about with this flashlight. Not really a pro or a con. It’s just that it is considered a tactical flashlight. However, I would probably consider it more of an outdoor flashlight. While it does have the tactical tail switch, and it does have the strobe mode, you can’t access the strobe mode immediately, so that’s one pretty important thing that makes a tactical flashlight a tactical flashlight. You can also see it does have a granulated bezel on the head. However, it looks like it’s more of a design decision rather than an actual tactical tool. You’re not going to be breaking any car windows with this bezel. You might be able to do some damage to an attacker, but it’s really not a great tactical bezel.
So between the user interface, the batteries and the bezel, I would definitely consider this flashlight more of an outdoor flashlight or a car flashlight, one you just keep in your dashboard for just in case. So, with that in mind, I would say this is a really great flashlight. I’m going to give it an 8 out of 10, because while I like the construction, not big on the user interface, but it’s altogether a great flashlight.