Best Compact Tactical Flashlight Review – Klarus 360X1
I know I just recently came out with my review over the Klarus 360X3 tactical flashlight, but it came out at the same time as the 360X1 flashlight so I wanted to review this one too. It was really interesting to see the differences between the 360X3 and the 360X1 and I’m excited to talk about the features of this unique flashlight. I had already been messing with the 360X3 for a while before picking up the Klarus 360X1. I can tell you now it’s a more straightforward light but it’s still packed with features. Let’s dive into this tactical flashlight.
1800 Lumen Flashlight
The 360X1 is a very compact flashlight and is about 5.5 inches in length with a diameter of about an inch making it easy to slip into your pocket which is a big plus for me. It’s equipped with a Cree XHP35 HD E4 LED with a short smooth reflector and delivers up to 1800 lumens with a maximum beam distance of 246 meters. It does feature a crenulated bezel for self-defense which I really like. It’s really great to see this compact flashlight be 1800 lumens. That’s plenty enough light for scouting your backyard or using on the job. You get a really good hotspot with this light, but it’s definitely not a thrower. It has a good amount of hotspot and spill so you can see all around you while pinpointing pretty far into the distance.
Tactical User Interface and Versatile Operation
The unique feature of this flashlight is the dual tail switches. You have the main switch which is in the center of the tailcap and the secondary switch that circles around the main switch creating a ring. This design allows you to operate the 360X1 flashlight from any angle you choose to. While Klarus says that it allows for faster operation, I haven’t actually noticed that I use the flashlight any more quickly. However, I really like that I can operate the flashlight from any angle and it is really convenient. There are little bumps on the switches that prevent your finger from slipping too which is a great touch. The main switch gives you access to a momentary on, a one touch turbo, and constant on. The secondary switch gives you access to a one touch low or a one touch strobe and allows you to cycle through the brightness levels.
The 360X1 tactical flashlight features six total outputs that includes two flashing modes. The turbo mode is 1800 lumens, the high mode is 400 lumens, the medium mode is 100 lumens, and the low mode is 10 lumens. The jump in lumens between the high and the turbo is not as bad as on the 360X3, but I’m still not a big fan. 1400 lumens is a huge jump and I really wish they had another brightness level in between. Either way, it’s really great that the 360X1 does have multiple outputs and I really like that it and includes both a strobe and an SOS.
Along with the brightness levels, the 360X1 also features two programmable settings. In the Tactical Setting, which is the default setting, you have a one touch turbo with the main switch and a one touch strobe with the secondary switch. The secondary switch gives you a momentary on for the strobe and if you press and hold it down it will remain on which is really nice. You can access the strobe at any time whether the flashlight is on or off. In the Outdoor Setting, you have a one touch turbo with the main switch and a one touch low and SOS with the secondary switch. You do have a momentary on for the low brightness level and if you keep the secondary switch pressed down it will remain on. You also can get to the SOS mode by holding down the mode switch for about 3 seconds while the flashlight is on. I really like both of these settings and it’s really not difficult to switch between settings which is great. I find myself switching between settings pretty often. If I’m going somewhere or know I’m going to be staying late at work sometimes I’ll put the flashlight in the Tactical Setting. When I’m working around the house or doing something outside then I prefer the Outdoor Setting. So it’s a really great user interface and it’s very versatile.
After messing around with the Klarus 360X3, I was confident that the tail switches on the 360X1 were the same and would be difficult to turn on accidentally. You need to apply a good amount of pressure to turn the 360X1 flashlight on. Even though the tail switches are protruding from the tail cap, I haven’t had any issues with it accidentally turning on and I haven’t even had to use the lock out function. The holster this tactical flashlight comes with is great. It has a little plastic cup on the bottom that cradles the tail switches and ensures that they don’t accidentally turn on while in the holster.
The 360X1 is a USB rechargeable flashlight and does have that micro USB port located on the side. I’m always a big fan of USB rechargeable flashlights although I often will recommend that you get a battery charger as backup. Sometimes when a rechargeable battery drops to a voltage that’s too low you won’t be able to recharge it using a USB charging function and you’ll need that charger.
On the side opposite of the micro USB port you will see a charging indicator that functions as a battery level indicator as well. When it’s charging you’ll see that the indicator will glow red and when it’s finished charging you’ll see that the indicator glows glow green. If something is wrong you’ll see the indicator flashing yellow which means that it’s unable to charge for some reason. This doesn’t always mean something’s wrong with the flashlight itself. I’ve only had it happen to me one time on one of the Klarus flashlights and I discovered that my wall adapter was broken so once I replaced that my flashlight was charging perfectly. I like that the flashlight will tell you if it’s unable to charge for whatever reason.
The battery capacity indicator will flash for a few seconds once you first turn the flashlight on and you can tell about how much charge you have left in your battery based on the color that you see. Green means that it’s 70 to 100% charged, orange mean it’s 30 to 70% charge, red means it’s less than 30% charged, and a flashing red means that it is less than 10% capacity and that you need to recharge the flashlight or change out the batteries immediately. Speaking of batteries, the 360X1 does come with a Klarus 18650 battery. However, you can equip it with two CR123A batteries or two Klarus 16340 batteries. I often like using CR123A batteries as backup and it’s always great to have a tactical flashlight that can run on different battery types.
Durable Tactical Flashlight
Klarus does a really great job to provide you a high-quality product made with the best materials and safety protections in place. The 360X1 is constructed from aerospace aluminum alloy and has a hard anodized finish that will help prevent any damage from regular use. It also has a rubber coating around the body, tail cap, and tail switches which really grips your hand as you’re holding onto this flashlight. The flashlight definitely won’t be slipping while you’re holding it. It also has some nice heat dissipation fins along the side to help prevent the flashlight from overheating and the lens is made of tempered glass and has a scratch resistant coating.
The 360X1 also has multiple protections in place so that the flashlight is always functioning as best as it can. With the 360X1 you have overcharging protection, over discharging protection, reverse polarity protection, thermal protection, and impact protection up to 1 meter. Not only that, this flashlight is waterproof up to IPX8 standards which means that you could easily take it out in the rain or any weather.
This is a really nifty little tactical flashlight. It’s very similar to the 360X3, but it’s a little scaled-down without the side switch. So while it basically has all the same features, it’s a little less versatile without that side switch. However, I don’t always need that side switch and I know there are some users who prefer just the tail switches so this is really a great flashlight to go with. It has so many features and is very powerful for its size.
Pros: As I mentioned before, I like how compact this flashlight is and I really like that 1800 lumens. It’s a great amount of light and while it’s always exciting to find a flashlight that is 3000 lumens or more, 1800 lumens is a good and practical amount of light that you could use indoors. I like the body style and the textured body as well as switches that make it easy to grab the flashlight. The programmable settings really do put the flashlight above and beyond because it’s so versatile and can be used in so many different situations. Also, the flashlight didn’t get too hot in my opinion. With flashlights like the Klarus XT11GT, that 2000 lumens can really heat up the flashlight and when it does you’ll want to avoid touching the head of it. With the 360X1, it didn’t get that hot and I could still touch the head without feeling too hot. Based on how you operate this flashlight you probably won’t be touching the head much anyways, but it’s still nice to know.
Cons: I’ll be honest, so far I haven’t really found any cons with this one. I could say that I’m still not too terribly happy with the jump between the high in the turbo, but that’s really all I have to complain about with this flashlight. It really is a great flashlight. While this isn’t a con for me, I could see other users not being happy with the amount of pressure you need to apply to turn the flashlight on. It’s definitely a trade off to make sure the flashlight is less likely to turn on accidentally.
Conclusion: To sum up, the Klarus 360X1 is an awesome tactical flashlight and definitely makes my top 10 best tactical flashlights list. The tail switches are really unique and incredibly convenient and the whole flashlight is very straightforward while being packed with so many features. If you’re looking for a compact tactical flashlight, check out the Klarus 360X1.